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>> In a move once viewed as unthinkable, President Obama considering whether to lift a three decade-old ban on arms sales to former Cold War foe Vietnam. Matt Spetalnick has the story.>> Lifting the lethal weapons ban on Vietnam We'd sweep away one of the last vestiges of the Vietnam War era.
>> The potential for arms sales coming weeks before an historic trip to Vietnam by Obama, building on a thaw in relations over the last two decades.>> The US and Vietnam have achieved a pretty high level of reconciliation in recent years. But this is one thing that the Vietnamese have urged very strongly that needs to be removed.
>> Obama eased the ban on US arms in 2014 allowing Vietnam to buy defensive maritime gear to counter China's claims in the South China Sea.>> Now, the question is whether the administration is ready to fully lift the ban and what kind of conditions might be placed on that, in doing so.
>> The war in Vietnam claimed the lives of over 50,000 American soldiers sparking upheaval at home.>> This would be a bitter pill for some to swallow in the United States especially Vietnam veterans. The north Vietnamese took over the country and opposed the one party rule under the communist system.
Since then they have liberalized economically. In some ways human rights is a huge issue for many on Capitol Hill.>> One major factor for Obama whether Vietnam will opt for major US defense deals, a potential boost for US jobs that could soften opposition to lifting the ban in congress.
Until now, Vietnam has relied for arms mainly on its Cold War patron, Russia.