Dennis Gray, the veteran Associated Press correspondent and bureau chief in Southeast Asia, has a powerful piece looking back at the U.S. withdrawal from Cambodia 40 years ago.
For the general public, the pullout is largely forgotten, overshadowed by the mass, hysteric flight from Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War three weeks later. But for historians and political analysts, the withdrawal from Cambodia signifies the first of what then-US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger termed “bug-outs.”
“It was the first time Americans came anywhere close to losing a war. What worries me and many of us old guys who were there is that we are still seeing it happen,” says Frank Snepp, a senior CIA officer in Saigon and author of “Decent Interval,” which depicts the final years of the Vietnam War. After Cambodia and Vietnam came Laos; there would be other conflicts with messy endings, like Central America in the 1980s, Iraq and — potentially — Afghanistan.
Read the full story here: Ambassador: US handed Cambodia to the ‘butcher’ 40 years ago American envoy, a German-born Jew, recalls horrors of Pol Pot’s regime, regrets Washington’s ‘abandonment’ of allies