It soon turned out . . . Gerald Ford [was] right in a speech he made on April 23rd 1975 in which he said that events in Indochina “tragic as they are, portend neither the end of the world nor of America’s leadership in the world.” Communism did not advance beyond Indochina to elsewhere in Asia . . . A de facto alliance with China against the Soviet Union left America’s supremacy in Asia uncontested. After the war, the region boomed. American intervention in Vietnam no longer looked such an unmitigated disaster. [Singaporean leader] Lee Kuan Yew portrayed it almost as a triumph: without it, South-East Asia would probably have fallen to the communists. America bought the region time and, by 1975, its countries were “in better shape” to stand up to them. The prosperous emerging-market economies they have become “were nurtured during the Vietnam war years”.