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Antaras
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USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 5:28 am

https://en.vietnamplus.vn/agreement-on- ... 206959.vnp
The activity took place within the framework of the ongoing Vietnam visit by the US Vice President from August 24-26.

At a total cost of about 1.2 billion USD, the headquarters will cover 3.2 ha with a construction site of over 419,000 sq.m in Cầu Giấy district.

Its main building is inspired by Hạ Long Bay while its landscape features the tradition of rice cultivation like topographies of the Red River and the Mekong Delta. It is also expected to become a solid symbol of relations between the two nations.


Until this moment, the US Embassy in London is still being the most expensive US Embassy complex in the world with the price of $1 billion. However, this record will be beaten with the newly proposed complex in Hanoi, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with a price of $1.2 billion.

Both VN and US agree that this new US Embassy is a milestone of the relationship between these two used-to-be-enemies countries. Remember that just 50 years ago, the US was bombing and trying to flatten Hanoi. And now, the US is proposing the most expensive ever Embassy right in that city, being the capital of the oldest communist-socialist state in the world.

How do you think about this development?

Image
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More images at https://kienviet.net/2021/08/26/tru-so- ... ai-ha-noi/
 
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Aaron747
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 5:34 am

It's a very nice design - good balance of modern touches with Hanoi's past settings.

The cost is kind of irrelevant - comparisons have to be made in adjusted dollars. Every large capital project perennially costs more than those from before.
 
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c933103
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 6:44 am

Seems useful to help gather intel from Southwestern China
 
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Dutchy
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 9:20 am

so at 2.800USD per sq m it is quite an expensive office building, but sure. Must be including the price for the grounds. It is just bizarre big for an embassy. So yeah, must be filled with intelligence officers.
 
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Aesma
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 9:43 am

I visited Hanoi recently. It's a modern city. By that I mean it has large avenues, and very big "socialist style" buildings. That's due to history of course, having been developed since the industrial revolution, then after the vietnam war. There are still older districts, but you wouldn't really put an embassy there. So the US has to go big if it wants to hold its status.

I can't see how a parallelepipedic glass building resembles in any way the Ha Long Bay, though.

Would such a building in such a country (where the US doesn't have that big a presence, unlike in the UK) be expected to house things that are not stricly embassy related, like the American Chamber of Commerce Vietnam, things like that ?
 
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Dutchy
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 10:11 am

Aesma wrote:
I visited Hanoi recently. It's a modern city. By that I mean it has large avenues, and very big "socialist style" buildings. That's due to history of course, having been developed since the industrial revolution, then after the vietnam war. There are still older districts, but you wouldn't really put an embassy there. So the US has to go big if it wants to hold its status.

I can't see how a parallelepipedic glass building resembles in any way the Ha Long Bay, though.

Would such a building in such a country (where the US doesn't have that big a presence, unlike in the UK) be expected to house things that are not stricly embassy related, like the American Chamber of Commerce Vietnam, things like that ?


must be. The 'norm' in the Netherlands is around 17 sq m per employee for an office building. Let's be generous, it is a building with standing, after all, 30sq m per employee, which means that this building could house as many as 13.000 people. Quite a big presence indeed.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 10:15 am

Dutchy wrote:
so at 2.800USD per sq m it is quite an expensive office building, but sure. Must be including the price for the grounds. It is just bizarre big for an embassy. So yeah, must be filled with intelligence officers.


Of course there is intelligence and many other functions, this is not unusual for US embassies. The Tokyo US embassy is 12 stories and takes up a whole city block.
 
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Mortyman
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 11:00 am

Another festung America ...
 
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c933103
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 11:39 am

Mortyman wrote:
Another festung America ...

Are you speaking as if they're somehow unnecessary?
 
petertenthije
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 12:16 pm

c933103 wrote:
Mortyman wrote:
Another festung America ...

Are you speaking as if they're somehow unnecessary?

In today’s age of instant global communication, I think it is a fair question to as if a embassy / listening post this big is quite necessary.
 
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c933103
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 12:19 pm

petertenthije wrote:
c933103 wrote:
Mortyman wrote:
Another festung America ...

Are you speaking as if they're somehow unnecessary?

In today’s age of instant global communication, I think it is a fair question to as if a embassy / listening post this big is quite necessary.

Except when your target doesn't globalize its communication?
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 12:27 pm

Maybe of former state department person could explain why we need 13K persons in a $billion building. My worry is how do that many persons operate without getting in each others' way. Then again Amazon has 50K people working (pre-covid) in downtown Seattle.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 12:53 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
Maybe of former state department person could explain why we need 13K persons in a $billion building. My worry is how do that many persons operate without getting in each others' way. Then again Amazon has 50K people working (pre-covid) in downtown Seattle.


They get in each other's way, one way or another. Seen 'Narcos'?
 
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c933103
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 3:03 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
Maybe of former state department person could explain why we need 13K persons in a $billion building. My worry is how do that many persons operate without getting in each others' way. Then again Amazon has 50K people working (pre-covid) in downtown Seattle.

Remember China just removed American embassy at Sichuan, whic's also responsible for ethnic minority area like Tibet and Yunnan
 
johns624
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:20 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
Maybe of former state department person could explain why we need 13K persons in a $billion building. My worry is how do that many persons operate without getting in each others' way. Then again Amazon has 50K people working (pre-covid) in downtown Seattle.
Someone hypothesized how many people could work there; not that that many would be. I'm sure there's a very big trade section, since more and more US-bound goods are made in Vietnam.
 
petertenthije
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:34 pm

c933103 wrote:
petertenthije wrote:
c933103 wrote:
Are you speaking as if they're somehow unnecessary?

In today’s age of instant global communication, I think it is a fair question to as if a embassy / listening post this big is quite necessary.

Except when your target doesn't globalize its communication?
Other then old fashioned paper mail and maybe walkie-talkies, there is not much that can not be intercepted or rerouted through “favourable” (read: hacked/bugged/owned) servers. And if it is truly “off the grid”, the it makes no difference whether the data is processed in Hanoi or Langley.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 5:27 pm

johns624 wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
Maybe of former state department person could explain why we need 13K persons in a $billion building. My worry is how do that many persons operate without getting in each others' way. Then again Amazon has 50K people working (pre-covid) in downtown Seattle.


Someone hypothesized how many people could work there; not that that many would be. I'm sure there's a very big trade section, since more and more US-bound goods are made in Vietnam.


Sure, just by my experience. It is truly a big building. But even if there would "only" would work 1.000 people, that is still quite massive for a diplomatic post in Vietnam.
 
SRQLOT
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 6:21 pm

It needs to be so big so 10 evacuation helicopters can land at the same time. ;)
 
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Antaras
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sat Aug 28, 2021 10:57 pm

SRQLOT wrote:
It needs to be so big so 10 evacuation helicopters can land at the same time. ;)

They should have placed the embassy right next to HAN airport...
 
wildpig1234
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sun Aug 29, 2021 6:50 am

It's a huge much more open campus compared to the current one: https://www.google.com/maps/place/USA+E ... gIgARICEAE

The new architecture style is much better than the old drape building. I am also surprised myself about its size and cost but then again maybe this is going to be the new US flagship diplomatic post in SE Asia.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sun Aug 29, 2021 10:17 am

The US needs to modernize and streamline its foreign service. There need to be clear performance objectives in order to maintain an assignment, with the baseline expectation that the employee will not continue in their role unless objectives are met every year, and that their position is necessary.

I would assume about 20% of this scale is needed, and the rest appears to indicate national narcissism, dementia or both.
 
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Aesma
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sun Aug 29, 2021 10:25 am

Instead of spying on China the goal might be to influence Vietnam more than China is.
 
ltbewr
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sun Aug 29, 2021 10:26 am

Sadly due to the hatred of the USA by too many, you have to have ultra-exterme levels of security at our embassies that massively add to the costs. They include large setbacks to limit damage from vehicle bombs, bomb resistant glass, massive barriers and entry checkpoints, hyper secure parking, more recently having some kind of system to keep out 'Havana Syndrome' microwave brain destroying tactics. There is the need for massive security during construction so no 'bugs' in the concrete placed by China or Russia. No doubt as others suggested this is going to be a massive base for the CIA and other spy agencies for their work as to SE Asia and China. I love the irony that 50 years ago we were at war in Vietnam, trying to keep out Communism. Now we will have this huge embassy in part due to capitalism (from trade).
 
johns624
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:27 pm

ltbewr wrote:
I love the irony that 50 years ago we were at war in Vietnam, trying to keep out Communism. Now we will have this huge embassy in part due to capitalism (from trade).
Really no different than Germany and Japan.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:37 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
The US needs to modernize and streamline its foreign service. There need to be clear performance objectives in order to maintain an assignment, with the baseline expectation that the employee will not continue in their role unless objectives are met every year, and that their position is necessary.

I would assume about 20% of this scale is needed, and the rest appears to indicate national narcissism, dementia or both.


It's mission creep - that's the cause you're looking for. Objective-based performance evaluations are not realistic in an operation like the State Dept because missions change so often and competing agendas from CIA/DoD/DoC are constantly in the mix.
 
bennett123
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:54 pm

A fairly standard glass box building.

Just a very large one.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:54 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
LCDFlight wrote:
The US needs to modernize and streamline its foreign service. There need to be clear performance objectives in order to maintain an assignment, with the baseline expectation that the employee will not continue in their role unless objectives are met every year, and that their position is necessary.

I would assume about 20% of this scale is needed, and the rest appears to indicate national narcissism, dementia or both.


It's mission creep - that's the cause you're looking for. Objective-based performance evaluations are not realistic in an operation like the State Dept because missions change so often and competing agendas from CIA/DoD/DoC are constantly in the mix.


I agree that mission creep is the message being conveyed by this plan. Mission creep is a precursor to failure. I think it is important that we succeed in Vietnam.

I don't think the US government is capable of running a large office like that.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: USA proposed its most expensive Embassy ever in Hanoi

Sun Aug 29, 2021 7:12 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
Aaron747 wrote:
LCDFlight wrote:
The US needs to modernize and streamline its foreign service. There need to be clear performance objectives in order to maintain an assignment, with the baseline expectation that the employee will not continue in their role unless objectives are met every year, and that their position is necessary.

I would assume about 20% of this scale is needed, and the rest appears to indicate national narcissism, dementia or both.


It's mission creep - that's the cause you're looking for. Objective-based performance evaluations are not realistic in an operation like the State Dept because missions change so often and competing agendas from CIA/DoD/DoC are constantly in the mix.


I agree that mission creep is the message being conveyed by this plan. Mission creep is a precursor to failure. I think it is important that we succeed in Vietnam.

I don't think the US government is capable of running a large office like that.


The problem is the named agencies are doing their jobs, just at cross-purposes.

Seen ‘Narcos?’ The DEA and DoS are trying to help Colombia stop traffickers while the CIA is using traffickers and revolutionary groups to run guns to anticommunists in central America. DoS is aware of CIA’s aims but can’t tell DEA. DoC helps both sides with front businesses in US and region to launder $$. Pretty shit operations setup.

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