Who Pays for 'The Last Helicopter'?
Amir Taheri's important article, 'The Last Helicopter', is required reading that most here likely have already consumed. Add to that Judith Apter Klinghoffer's Who Pays When the Last Helicopter Leaves?.
The new strategy adopted by the Middle Eastern powers that be is to wait out the presidency of George W. Bush in the expectation that his successor will follow the examples of his predecessors, i.e., pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan just the way the US did from Vietnam, Iran, Lebanon and Somalia. The real question is who will lose the most when that last helicopter leaves? If the history is our guide, it would not be the US but those countries left behind. Future American president may figure out a different way to fight and win the war on terror just as they figured out a different way to fight and win the Cold War. But the same cannot be said about the places left behind. Each one of them paid an enormous price which is further magnified by comparing them to countries which enjoyed the benefits of decades of American presence.
Let us start with South Vietnam....