In 1968, John Forbes Kerry reported for duty at Coastal Squadron 1 in Cam Ranh Bay in South Vietnam, where he served as an officer in charge of Swift boats, leading five-man crews on a number of patrols into enemy-controlled areas. Of strategic significance throughout history, both the French and the United States used the military facilities in the bay during the Indochina Wars. Indeed Admiral Rozhdestvensk used the bay as a staging area for the Imperial Russian fleet prior to the Battle of Tsushima in 1905. Ironically, the Vietnamese turned the military facilities in Cam Ranh Bay over to the Soviet Union after the fall of Saigon. In 1979, the Soviet government signed an agreement with Vietnam for a 25-year lease of the base. Cam Ranh Bay was the largest Soviet naval base outside the Soviet Union, allowing the Soviet Union to project increased power in the South China Sea. In his inaugural address, Kerry gave Cam Ranh Bay as an example of the moral bankruptcy of the Domino Theory, a 20th Century foreign policy theory that speculated if one land in a region came under the influence of Communists, then more would follow. More importantly, he said, America could 'do better' in the 21st century, as the defeated nation sought to climb out of the ashes of defeat in the Cold War.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.