The US government has chosen to extend an apology to Vietnam for its role in the Vietnam War by gifting several stealth fighters to the Southeast Asian nation. This gesture is intended to demonstrate the goodwill and regret of the United States for past transgressions.
In a collective announcement, the US will transfer four F-35 Lightning II jets and two B-2 Spirit bombers to the Vietnamese Air Force. This joint declaration emphasizes that these aircraft symbolize “friendship and reconciliation,” aiming to “strengthen the security and stability of the region.”
The communication further states that the US and Vietnam have mutually decided to “bury the hatchet” and “progress as partners.” It expresses the hope that this donation will not only “mend the wounds of war” but also “nurture a new era of cooperation.”
Nevertheless, the agreement has faced criticism. Some opponents have accused the US of attempting to sway Vietnam and cultivate an ally against China. Questions have also been raised about the rationale and morality of offering instruments of war as a form of apology.
The finalization of the deal is anticipated in the coming months, pending approval from the US Congress for the transfer. Additionally, the US has extended an offer to provide training for Vietnamese pilots and technicians in the operation and maintenance of the stealth fighters.