The Fall of Saigon, the rise of Asia


Thomas Lipscomb, writing in the New York Post, places in context the Fall of Saigon, thirty years ago today. America lost the battle and won the war:

Dulles wanted to save "essential parts" of Asia. America understood at the outset that it was unlikely to save all of it. And America succeeded brilliantly, both for its own interests and Asia's. It may have lost Vietnam and been unable to stop the Communist takeover that led to the death of a quarter of Cambodians in the "killing fields." But the dominos did not fall.

Only four years later, in 1979, American trade with Asia had surpassed trade with Europe. And now, 30 years later, the new "Asian tigers" have standards of living and booming economies that would astonish an old Asia hand like Dulles.

Asian prosperity is the wonder of the 21st century and particularly valuable to U.S. trade at a time when the stagnant European Union is becoming an increasing problem. And in this brilliant company of Asian states, full partners in the global economy, the People's Republic of Vietnam remains mired in irrelevancy.

America may have lost a tactical intervention in Vietnam, but the strategic consequences of that intervention were part of one of the most masterful exercises in foreign policy in modern history.