|John C Rood, US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
John C Rood, the US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, said during a 5 December hearing of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services that the US Department of Defense (DoD) is currently strengthening and leveraging the US network of allies and partners to compete with countries such as China and Russia, pointing out that " building a constellation of strong allies and partners is a foundational pillar of the US National Defense Strategy and one of the US’s greatest strategic advantages over competitors. In response to regional threats from China, the Defense Department is strengthening its military relationships with a number of countries, he said. "In Vietnam, we are building a productive defense relationship and overcoming the legacy of the war," he told lawmakers.
Last year, the US Navy conducted the first aircraft carrier visit to Vietnam since the end of the war. The US has also transferred a high-endurance Coast Guard cutter to Vietnam. In addition, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced during his visit to Hanoi two weeks ago that the US will provide a second such cutter to Vietnam.