On the downside, inaccurate intelligence gained from an exiled political figure can warp the host country’s interpretation of events in another country. Machiavelli’s warning that exiles are biased in their own ways and often want to return to their homeland above all else still rings true. Before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Ahmed Chalabi, an Iraqi exile who founded the Iraqi National Congress and was considered a leading Iraqi political dissident, promised eager U.S. policymakers that Iraq — in which he had not stepped foot for decades — was ripe for democracy. American planners were convinced of his influence in Iraq and partly relied on his claims in their preparations. But when the troops went in, the United States discovered a reality very different from what Chalabi had sold them.
A drawback to accepting a controversial exiled leader is the potential blowback a host country can face. Certain fallen leaders are perceived to be untouchable by a patron state — no matter the strength of past relations. A notable example is Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the deposed shah of Iran who was forced into exile in 1979. The controversy surrounding his reign prompted the administration of U.S. President Jimmy Carter to deny him an extended stay (apart from temporary medical trips), forcing the ailing monarch to travel from country to country — including stays in Morocco, the Bahamas, Mexico and Panama — until Egyptian President Anwar Sadat finally granted him a reprieve in 1980, not long before Pahlavi’s death. In a similar case, Mobutu Sese Seko, the former leader of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) who plundered billions of dollars from his country before being forced out in 1997, first fled to Togo, where he was coldly received by the government, before ending up in Morocco, where he died. Saudi Arabia has given refuge to exiled leaders unwelcome in their former patron states, helping to sweep situations under the rug while gaining favors from the powerful patron nations. When Ugandan dictator Idi Amin sought exile abroad, the kingdom stepped forward, offering the fallen strongman a gilded refuge in exchange for staying out of politics.
Your first visit to a foreign country essays