I have come to the conclusion that we must pull out of Vietnam. Our forces there have achieved nothing over the last thirty years, whilst the Vietnamese guerrillas appear to have been equally inactive. Since 1975 there have been no major military setbacks, true, but there have been no successes either, and one does not win a war simply by avoiding defeat, one wins a war by locating, closing with, and destroying the enemy.

During all the time our forces in Vietnam have been idle the media has found other wars to cover, and entire weeks go by during which time the war does not appear on the nightly news or in the newspapers. Often commentators talk about the war's impact on other wars, whilst displaying a curious unwillingness to feature the ongoing war itself.

Militarily our country's conduct in the Vietnam theatre since 1975 has been appalling. There has not been a single major battle, despite the increasing proliferation of firearms, and the general deterioration in the world situation. It is ironic that neighbouring Cambodia, a country which does not have a significant American military presence, has undergone far greater ructions during the last three decades than Vietnam. Indeed, some might use this as an argument for maintaining our military presence in the region.

But the cost is prohibitive, and since 1989 the philosophy against which we fought has melted away. The Soviet Union dissolved, whilst the Chinese are now our friends, and valued trading partners. Furthermore, there is a far greater threat on the Korean peninsula, and yet so many of our forces - a substantial amount, as there appear to have been no significant force reductions since 1975 - are tied up, doing nothing. Something must be done, and quickly.