In early October 2014, the United States announced that it is easing certain parts of the arms embargo against Vietnam. The easing of the policy comes after 40 years after the Vietnam War. The easing will help Vietnam to improve its maritime security and allow defense articles to be shipped to Vietnam in the future. Also, the State Department expects to make decisions on case-by-case basis on requests for specific weapons. This will help the country to improve its patrol in the South China Sea. According to published news reports, the US is considering selling weapons systems including the P3-Orion surveillance system that the US is hoping to retire soon. The US along with other Asian nations is concerned at increased activity by China in the region especially in South China Sea.
Human rights groups are criticizing the government decision. The Vietnam government has been making human rights improvements lately and the group says that they are coming slow and it is too early to ease the embargo. However, relationship between the US and the Vietnam has been improving steadily in recent years and high level discussions are ongoing. It appears that both countries are making an effort to reestablish trust.