Speaking of Asia

What next for Afghanistan's neighbours?

As US troops prepare to pull out of Afghanistan, security calculations in the region will also require a review

Although nearly 2,500 have indeed died in Afghanistan over the past two decades, it has been months since a US serviceman died there.PHOTO: AFP

Among the enduring images of Asian history is one of the Afghan Taleban leader Mullah Omar fleeing on the back of a Honda motorcycle into the Kandahar mountains as coalition forces closed in on him in December 2001, in savage retaliation for harbouring Al-Qaeda, the group that organised the Sept 11 attacks on the United States.

As a picture of surrender it ranks alongside the picture of then-Indonesia President Suharto, his economy devastated by the Asian financial crisis, signing on to a programme dictated by the International Monetary Fund under the watchful gaze of the fund's managing director at the time, Michel Camdessus.

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