“If men were angels, no government would be necessary,” wrote the American revolutionary patriots Alexander Hamilton and James Madison in the Federalist Papers. And right now, the Vietnamese government must make a choice of what kind of government it wants. No angels will bring it. Squeezed between China and the United States, Vietnam is mired in a state of uncertainty. It can formally ally with its neighbor to the north—the primary antagonist in the South China Sea maritime and territorial disputes—or the US.