Question: What does Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq and the former Republic of South Vietnam have in common? Answer: They all take, or took as in the case of Vietnam, U.S. aid, both financial and military. How, then, do they differ? Afghanistan, Iraq and South Vietnam fought with direct U.S. military involvement, including troops on the ground and the latest use of our massive air power. Indeed, many times the indigenous troops halted advances unnecessarily, until our air power was called in. More likely as not, as soon as the U.S. presence withdrew, their will to fight disappeared. In the last decade and a half that has meant more training, more rearming, more troops and of course more money, replicating a vicious, never-ending cycle.
Israel differs because while they take financial and military aid, they fight their own battles. They do not fade away when engaging the enemy. Israel represents our only true ally in the Middle East.
Tom Donnell, O’Fallon