By William J. Rust
Within the decade previous the 1st U.S. strive against operations in Vietnam, the Eisenhower management sought to defeat a communist-led insurgency in neighboring Laos. even though U.S. international coverage within the Fifties concentrated totally on threats posed by means of the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, the yank engagement in Laos advanced from a small chilly struggle skirmish right into a superpower disagreement close to the top of President Eisenhower's moment time period. finally, the yank adventure in Laos foreshadowed some of the error made via the us in Vietnam within the 1960s.
In sooner than the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954--1961, William J. Rust delves into key coverage judgements made in Washington and their implementation in Laos, which grew to become first steps at the route to the broader struggle in Southeast Asia. Drawing on formerly untapped archival assets, ahead of the Quagmire records how useless and infrequently self-defeating information to Laotian anticommunist elites mirrored primary misunderstandings concerning the country's politics, background, and tradition. the yank target of forestalling a communist takeover in Laos was once additional hindered via divisions between Western allies and U.S. officers themselves, who at one element supplied reduction to either the Royal Lao govt and to a Laotian basic who plotted to overthrow it. ahead of the Quagmire is a bright research of a severe interval of chilly warfare background, filling a spot in our realizing of U.S. coverage towards Southeast Asia and America's access into the Vietnam War.
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Extra resources for Before the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954-1961
Yost reminded his Washington colleagues that, thus far, the Americans in Vientiane had done everything in their power to prevent the Katay government from falling apart. The envoy now discussed whether Katay’s The Most Difficult Post in the Entire Foreign Service 25 “downfall would be advantageous” to US objectives. ”26 Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, one of the few foreign ministers to set foot in Laos, arrived in Vientiane on February 27, 1955, following a SEATO meeting in Bangkok and a brief visit to Rangoon.
71 When he had served as defense minister in the Katay government, Souvanna appeared to be a proponent of more forceful action in the northern provinces. 72 A respected and authoritarian royal, Phetsarath had been the “supreme chief” of the Lao Issara provisional government. Unlike Souvanna, who reconciled with the French, and Souphanouvong, who aligned himself with the Vietnamese, Phetsarath was a Lao nationalist hostile to both the French and the Viet Minh. Dynamic and more accessible to Laotians than either the king or the crown prince, Phetsarath was said to possess supernatural powers.
The Pathet Lao force, reported to be three battalions, or approximately eighteen hundred men, controlled a semicircle of high ground above the village. On July 7 the ANL commander in Muong Peun radioed that his post was under attack and requested reinforcements, who parachuted into the area the next day. Three additional ANL The Most Difficult Post in the Entire Foreign Service 35 infantry battalions were placed on alert for deployment to Sam Neua. ”56 In Washington, the dire reports from Laos prompted Admiral Arthur W.