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Laos -neutraliteitsverklaring Geteken in Genève - Geskiedenis

Laos -neutraliteitsverklaring Geteken in Genève - Geskiedenis

Laos -neutraliteitsverklaring Geteken in Genève

Landelike Laos

'N Ooreenkoms is in Genève geteken vir die heropbou van die Laotiese neutraliteit. Volgens die ooreenkoms moet prins Souvanna Phoumato as premier van Laos heringestel word. Die ooreenkoms wat die VSA en die Sowjetunie ooreengekom het, het die burgeroorlog in Laos tydelik beëindig.


Toe president Kennedy sy amp beklee, was Laos sy grootste bekommernis, waar 'n burgeroorlog tussen kommunistiese en nie -kommunistiese magte gewoed het. Die Genève-ooreenkomste wat die Franse Indo-China-oorlog beëindig het, het die grootste deel van die land aan die koninkryk Laos toegewys terwyl twee provinsies aan die Pathet-Lao gegee is. In 1956 keer prins Souvanna Phouma weer aan bewind en stig 'n koalisieregering wat die Pathet Lao insluit. Die VSA het beswaar aangeteken teen die staking van hulp. Die regste opposisie het aan bewind gekom en die twee provinsies wat kortliks by die sentrale regering geïntegreer geraak het, het weer onder Pathet Lao beheer gekom. Die VSA en die Sowjetunie het tydens die konferensie van Genève in 1962 ooreengekom dat Laos in werklikheid neutraal sou wees en Phouma as leier sou terugkeer. Hulle VS was hierdie keer tevrede met die uitslag wat die Noord -Viëtnamese wat 'n deel van die Laos as toevoerlyn gebruik het, nie was nie.


Genève -ooreenkomste van 1962 op Laos

dokumente onderteken in Genève, Switserland, tydens 'n internasionale konferensie (16 Mei 1961-23 Julie 1962) oor die oplossing van die Laotiese vraag. Aan die konferensie het verteenwoordigers van Laos, die USSR, die Volksrepubliek China, die Demokratiese Republiek Viëtnam, Pole, die VSA, Frankryk, Groot -Brittanje, Indië, Birma, Kambodja, Kanada, Thailand en die Saigon -regering deelgeneem. Verteenwoordigers van die drie politieke magte in Laos is op gelyke basis na die konferensie genooi (prins Souvanna Phouma van die neutraliste, prins Souphanouvong van die Patriotic Front of Laos [Neo Lao Hak Yat], en prins Boun Oum en generaal Phoumi Nosavan van die regse groepering).

In Junie 1962 bereik die drie Laotiese politieke groeperings 'n ooreenkoms om 'n koalisieregering in Laos te stig. Die voorsitters van die konferensie was die verteenwoordigers van die USSR en Groot -Brittanje. Die Genève -ooreenkomste van 1962 bevat die verklaring oor die neutraliteit van Laos, waarvan 'n deel die verklaring van die regering van Laos oor neutraliteit (9 Julie 1962) is, en 'n protokol by die verklaring, wat bepaal dat die deelnemers aan die konferensie die soewereiniteit, onafhanklikheid, neutraliteit, eenheid en territoriale integriteit van Laos.

Die VSA het die Genève-ooreenkomste van 1962 flagrant oortree deur ekonomiese en militêre hulp te verleen aan die regse groepering in Laos in sy militêre operasies teen die patriotiese magte van Laos, wat in April 1963 gelanseer is. en gebiede in die bevryde gebied gebombardeer. As gevolg hiervan was die implementering van die interne politieke skikking in Laos ontsteld en het die koalisieregering opgehou om te werk. In Februarie 1971 het Amerikaanse en Saigon -troepe die suide van Laos vanuit Suid -Viëtnam binnegeval, maar hulle is teruggegooi deur die patriotiese Laotiese magte. In Februarie 1973 is 'n ooreenkoms onderteken oor die herstel van vrede en die bereiking van 'n nasionale konsensus in Laos.


Die Laos -krisis, 1960–1963

Die eerste buitelandse beleidskrisis waarmee president-president John F. Kennedy te kampe gehad het, was nie gesentreer in Berlyn nie, ook nie in Kuba nie, ook nie op die eilande langs die Chinese vasteland of in Viëtnam nie, en ook nie in een van die beter bekende brandpunte van die Koue nie Oorlog, maar in 'n landlose, armoede geteisterde Laos. Dit was die belangrikste kwessie waarop Kennedy en sy span van buitelandse beleid - die minister van buitelandse sake, Dean Rusk, minister van verdediging, Robert S. McNamara, en nasionale veiligheidsadviseur McGeorge Bundy - gefokus het gedurende die dae wat gelei het tot die inhuldiging van Kennedy op 20 Januarie 1961.

Kennedy het die dag voor sy inhuldiging met president Eisenhower vergader met twee doelwitte in gedagte. Hy het verwag dat die vergadering ''n spesifieke doel sou dien om die publiek te verseker oor die harmonie van die oorgang. Daarom versterk ons ​​ons hand. ” Sy inhoudelike fokus was op Laos. 'Ek was angstig', het hy aan sy sekretaris gesê, 'om 'n mate van toewyding van die uittredende administrasie te kry oor hoe hulle met Laos sou omgaan wat hulle aan ons oorhandig. Ek het veral gedink dat dit nuttig sou wees om 'n idee te hê van hoe voorbereid hulle op intervensie was. "

Die Eisenhower -administrasie laat Kennedy 'n verwarde, komplekse en ondraaglike situasie agter. Laos was 'n slagoffer van aardrykskunde: 'n RAND -studie van die tydperk het die land opgesom as 'Amper 'n nasie behalwe in die juridiese sin, het Laos nie die vermoë gehad om sy onlangse onafhanklikheid te verdedig nie. Die ekonomie daarvan was onontwikkeld, sy administratiewe kapasiteit primitief, die bevolking was etnies en regionaal verdeeld, en die elite was verdeeld, korrup en ongeskik om te lei. ” Maar hierdie uiters swak toestand was die "kurk in die bottel", soos Eisenhower in sy ontmoeting met Kennedy saamgevat het, het die uittredende president verwag dat die verlies "die begin van die verlies van die grootste deel van die Verre Ooste" sou wees.

Die Eisenhower-administrasie het jare lank gewerk om 'n sterk anti-kommunistiese bastion in Laos te skep, 'n skans teen die kommunistiese China en Noord-Viëtnam. Alhoewel dit op 'n kaart aantreklik was, was hierdie strategie heeltemal in stryd met die kenmerke van die Laotiese staat en mense. Teen 1961 was Laos polities gefragmenteer, met drie faksies wat om beheer geveg het. Die Verenigde State het sy steun agter generaal Nosavan Phoumi gegooi, wie se magte in 'n geveg met 'n neutralistiese mag onder Kong Le gewikkel was. Sowjetvliegtuie het hervoorsienings vir Kong Le se magte uitgevoer. Neutralistiese leier en voormalige premier Souvanna Phouma het in Kambodja in ballingskap gegaan, maar was steeds invloedryk en aktief in die Laotiese politiek. Sy halfbroer, Souphanouverong, het gelei deur die kommunisties-gedomineerde Pathet Lao, wat beheer oor 'n uitgebreide gebied langs die grens tussen Laos en Noord-Viëtnam gevestig het. Phoumi se magte het weinig volksondersteuning gehad, was ondoeltreffend in gevegte en blykbaar goed op pad na 'n militêre nederlaag.

Die Eisenhower -administrasie het gelei tot die stigting van die Suidoos -Asië -verdragsorganisasie vir presies hierdie soort gebeurlikheid. In hierdie eerste groot toets kon die Verenigde State egter nie die alliansie se steun vir ingryping verseker nie. Sy groot Europese moondhede, Groot -Brittanje en Frankryk, het Phoumi as 'n buite -egtelike heerser beskou en sou Souvanna Phouma ondersteun, maar hulle was ten sterkste gekant teen militêre optrede in Laos. 'N Interagency -analise wat in Januarie 1961 opgestel is, het saamgevat:' Aangesien SEATO geskep is om op te tree in omstandighede soos wat tans in Laos bestaan, maar nie opgetree het nie, twyfel dit nie net oor sy eie geloofwaardigheid nie, maar ook oor die betroubaarheid van die Verenigde State as oorsprong . . . SEATO word 'n manier waarop ons bondgenote ons terughoudend stel. " Toe die Eisenhower -administrasie sy laaste dae bereik het, het die Verenigde State die vooruitsig gehad van eensydige militêre ingryping in 'n desperate poging om die situasie te red. Buiten die groot logistieke kwessies wat met ingryping verband hou, het die invoeging van Amerikaanse magte die aansienlike risiko van 'n Amerikaanse-Sowjet-militêre konfrontasie verhoog.

Kennedy staan ​​voor 'n keuse tussen twee onbeloofbare strategieë: streef na 'n militêre oplossing, en eis waarskynlik 'n eensydige ingryping deur Amerikaanse magte of pas 'n groot verandering in beleid aan, op soek na 'n skietstilstand en 'n neutralisering van Laos. Hy het die militêre opsie verwerp, hoewel hy 'n offensief deur Phoumi aangemoedig het om sy onderhandelingsposisie te versterk. Dit het skerp misluk. Kennedy het sy perskonferensie op 23 Maart 1961 geopen met 'n uitgebreide bespreking van Laos, waarin 'n einde gemaak word aan vyandelikhede en onderhandelinge wat lei tot 'n geneutraliseerde en onafhanklike Laos. Die Pathet Lao het op 3 Mei die wapenstilstand -aanbod aanvaar. Hierdie vertraging het die Noord -Viëtnamese weermag (NVA) die tyd gegee om 'n offensief in die suide van Laos te voer en die kruispad Tchepone vas te lê en die terrein wat nodig is om die Ho Chi Minh -roete tot by die westekant van die Annamitiese berge op die grens tussen Laos en Suid -Viëtnam. Laos was 'n belangrike onderwerp op die beraad van Wene op 4 Junie, met Kennedy en die Sowjet -premier Nikita Khruschev wat saamstem oor 'n gemeenskaplike doelwit van 'n skietstilstand, neutraliteit en 'n koalisieregering, soos Khruschev saamgevat het, 'die basiese vraag is om ooreenkoms tussen die drie magte in Laos, sodat die vorming van 'n werklik neutrale regering verseker kon word. " Kennedy beskou Laos as 'n toets vir die vooruitsigte van VS-Sowjet-samewerking, in gebiede waar die supermoondhede gemeenskaplike doelwitte kan bereik en konfrontasie kan vermy.

Kennedy het W. Averell Harriman in die eerste dae van sy administrasie as ambassadeur in die groot aangestel, en formuleer daarna Harriman se beleidsrol om hom die volgende November as assistent -minister van buitelandse sake vir die Verre Ooste aan te stel. Harriman het die voortou geneem in die orkestrasie van die Amerikaanse beleid teenoor Laos as 'n internasionale konferensie oor Laos wat op 16 Mei in Genève belê is. Frankryk, die Verenigde Koninkryk, Indië, Birma, Kambodja, Kanada en Thailand. Intussen het die drie Laotiese faksies onderhandel oor die samestelling van 'n koalisieregering. Teen die daaropvolgende Maart het Harriman ontnugter geraak met Phoumi en het die Amerikaanse beleid beslissend verskuif na 'n koalisieregering onder leiding van Souvanna Phouma. Die Laotiese groepe het op 12 Junie 1962 ooreenkoms bereik oor die samestelling van die koalisieregering, en die konferensie in Genève het ooreengekom oor die verklaring oor die neutraliteit van Laos op 23 Julie.

Hierdie ooreenkomste het voorsiening gemaak vir 'n koalisieregering in Laos onder Souvanna Phouma, met kabinetsposisies onder die drie faksies. Die verklaring oor die neutraliteit van Laos en die gepaardgaande protokolle het gevra dat alle "buitelandse gereelde en onreëlmatige troepe, buitelandse para-militêre formasies en buitelandse militêre personeel" onder toesig van die Internasionale Kommissie vir Toesig en Beheer in Laos (ICC) onttrek word , bestaande uit verteenwoordigers van Indië, Pole en Kanada. Die ICC werk volgens die beginsel van eenparigheid, 'n verandering van sy praktyk van 1954 tot 1958, toe dit onder meerderheidsreëls werk. Die koalisieregering sou die integrasie en demobilisasie van die drie Laotiese leërs uitvoer, sonder dat die ICC of ander internasionale partye toesig gehou het oor hierdie kritiese aktiwiteite.

Hierdie ooreenkomste het vinnig gebreek, met blywende gevolge vir Laos en sy bure. Die NVA het op 27 Augustus 'n simboliese onttrekking van 15 troepe uitgevoer, en op 9 Oktober het Noord -Viëtnam die Laotiese ministerie van buitelandse sake in kennis gestel dat hul troepe teruggetrek is in ooreenstemming met die Genève -ooreenkoms. Noord -Viëtnam het egter sy advies, logistiek en stryd voortgesit ter ondersteuning van die Pathet Lao in stryd met die ooreenkomste. Noord -Viëtnam het ook sy territoriale beheer in die suide van Laos uitgebrei om sy logistieke lyne na die gevegsgebiede in Suid -Viëtnam te beveilig. Die Verenigde State het sy militêre adviespanne onttrek in ooreenstemming met die Genève -ooreenkoms, maar het in die nadraai gereageer op die skending van Noord -Viëtnam deur Meo en Thaise magte te ondersteun en deur die Phouma -regering en sy weermag ekonomiese en militêre ondersteuning te bied.


Laos -neutraliteitsverklaring Geteken in Genève - Geskiedenis

Na die oorgawe van die Japannese in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, het die Franse probeer om die heerskappy oor Laos en die res van die Franse Indochina, wat Viëtnam en Kambodja insluit, te herbevestig. Die Kommunistiese Laotiaanse nasionalistiese beweging, die Pathet Lao, was 'n bondgenoot van die Viëtnamese in die stryd met Frankryk. Nadat die Franse deur die Viëtnamese verslaan is, het die Genève -ooreenkomste van 1954 die soewereiniteit van Laos gevestig. Burgeroorlog het egter gou uitgebreek, terwyl die Royal Lao -regering, ondersteun deur die Verenigde State, opstanders van Pathet Lao beveg het, ondersteun deur die kommuniste in die naburige Noord -Viëtnam.

Die Eisenhower -regering het miljoene dollars aan hulp en spanne militêre adviseurs toegewy om die oorname van Laos deur die Pathet Lao te voorkom. Kort voor die inhuldiging van John F. Kennedy, het president Eisenhower sy opvolger gewaarsku dat die poging op die randjie van mislukking is en dat die Amerikaanse weermag moontlik moet ingryp.

Kennedy beweeg versigtig. Hy verwerp 'n verskeidenheid voorstelle om Amerikaanse magte te stuur en kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat 'n onderhandelde skikking met die Sowjetunie en ander belanghebbende partye die beste was wat hy kon bereik. 'N Vredeskonferensie in Genève in 1962 lewer 'n verklaring oor die neutraliteit van Laos op en 'n driedelige koalisieregering verdeel tussen pro-Amerikaanse, pro-kommunistiese en neutrale faksies. Vanuit Washington se oogpunt was die reëling skraal, maar dit was die beste van onaantreklike opsies.

Kort nadat die ooreenkoms bereik is, het die burgeroorlog hervat. Namate die Amerikaanse militêre betrokkenheid by Viëtnam toegeneem het, het Laos nog 'n slagveld in die streek geword. Deur die oostelike Laos was die Ho Chi Minh -roete 'n belangrike Noord -Viëtnamese toevoerroete vir kommunistiese magte in Suid -Viëtnam. Om die voorraadvloei te ontwrig, het die Verenigde State byna 'n dekade lank dele van Laos gebombardeer totdat 'n skietstilstandooreenkoms in 1973 bereik is. In 1975 neem die Pathet Lao beheer oor die land.


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Vlak van vertroulikheid: Topgeheim

Ministerie van Buitelandse Sake Dokument


Verslag van gesprek tussen die adjunk van buitelandse sake van die Sowjetunie [Georgiy Maksimovich] Pushkin en ambassadeur Liu Xiao


& mdash Met betrekking tot die Sowjet -verteenwoordigende groep wat die Konvensie van Genève bywoon en soortgelyke kwessies & mdash

[Georgiy Maksimovich] Pushkin: [& hellip] Eerstens glo ons dat Beijing, Hanoi en Warskou in die praktyk eintlik saamstem dat ons tydens hierdie konferensie die situasie in Laos moet benut om tot die gevolgtrekking te kom wat die beste baat die konsolidasie en ontwikkeling van die mag van die Laotiese volk. As ons dit vanuit hierdie hoek benader, glo ons dat ons 'n ooreenkoms met die Westerse moondhede sal kan bereik.

Tweedens behels die Laos -probleem twee sake: binnelands en internasionaal. Kwessies wat onder die binnelandse kategorie val, moet nie tydens hierdie konferensie bespreek word nie. Hierdie kwessies sluit in: sake rakende die organisasie van die Laos -regering, die herorganisasie van sy weermag, die mag van verteenwoordiging van drie politieke partye, verkiesings, ens. op die gebied van bevordering en hulp. Kwessies van internasionale aard sluit in: die neutraliteit van Laos, die versekering daarvan, die verwydering van buitelandse militêre en militêre personeel, voorkoming van inmenging in Laos se interne politiek, ens. Daar is baie aspekte van hierdie aard. Natuurlik val diegene wat onder die jurisdiksie van die International Supervision and Control Commission val, soms in hierdie kategorie en kan dit bespreek word.

Daar is egter 'n paar kwessies wat gelyktydig onder beide kategorieë val. As hulle na vore kom, kan ons dit bespreek. Byvoorbeeld kwessies rakende 'n skietstilstand. Dit is 'n huishoudelike probleem, want dit vereis onderhandeling en gevolglike ooreenkoms tussen verwante partye in Laos, maar die Internasionale Toesig- en Beheer -kommissie moet toesig hou oor die uitvoering van die verdrag. 'N Ander voorbeeld is kwessies rakende 'n verkiesing. Dit behoort 'n huishoudelike probleem te wees, maar as alle partye 'n begeerte uitspreek dat 'n internasionale kommissie toesig moet hou oor die verkiesing, kan ons die verantwoordelikhede van so 'n kommissie bespreek en bepaal. Daar is 'n hele aantal kwessies wat hiermee verband hou.

Wat die kwessie van Laos -neutraliteit betref, hoop ons dat ons tydens die konferensie 'n dokument kan deurgee wat verseker dat Laos permanente neutraliteit is, nie net deur Laos nie, maar deur alle deelnemende lande. Ons het egter ook 'n ander situasie verwag, wat [Souvanna] Phouma al voorheen uitgespreek het. Laos is moontlik nie bereid om tot 'n verdrag van neutraliteit gedwing te word nie, maar gee eerder 'n eie verklaring van neutraliteit uit. Hy hoop dat Laos neutraliteit kan verklaar in 'n dokument soortgelyk aan dié wat deur Oostenryk gepubliseer is. Ons glo egter dat ons onder hierdie omstandighede hul verklaring van neutraliteit en verwante dokumente moet insluit in die dokumente wat voortspruit uit die konferensie van Genève. Op hierdie manier word Laos nie net aangekla van die handhawing van sy eie neutraliteit nie, maar sal alle deelnemende lande gedwing word om hul neutraliteit te respekteer. Op hierdie manier hoef hulle nie self 'n verklaring van neutraliteit af te lê nie.

Wat sommige militêre aangeleenthede betref, is daar verskeie sake van hierdie aard. In werklikheid hou dit verband met die versekering van Laos -neutraliteit, byvoorbeeld die uitskakeling van militêre basisse en die verwydering van buitelandse weermagte. Aan hierdie kant van sake dink ons ​​dat 'n paar besluite geneem moet word en 'n dokument opgemaak moet word, waarvan 'n deel 'n omskrywing van die omvang van die jurisdiksie van die Internasionale Toesig en Beheerkommissie in hierdie aangeleentheid moet bevat.

Afgesien hiervan, is daar ook 'n aantal sake van prosedurele aard.

Volgens die menings van ons Chinese kamerade, meen ons dat hierdie konferensie met die vorige een verbind moet word. Die Geneefse Konvensie van 1954 was 'n grondslag vir die konsolidasie en ontwikkeling van die mag van die Lao -mense.

Ons dink dat ons, met betrekking tot die vraag wie die voorsitter van die konferensie is, kan saamstem met die voorstel van Engeland dat die konferensie deur hulle en die Sowjetunie gelei word. As ons hierdie keer die aantal stoele verander, sal daar beslis diegene wees wat 'n neutrale nasie wil byvoeg, en hulle sal Indië voorstel. Terwyl Indië neutraal pronk, is dit in werklikheid glad nie polities neutraal nie. Terselfdertyd, as dit ter sprake kom, kan ons dit nie gerieflik teenstaan ​​nie, aangesien ons daarop aangedring het dat derde neutrale partye by die voorsitter van verskeie internasionale organisasies en vakbonde gevoeg word. Ons voel ook dat Brittanje as een van die voorsitters gepas en voordelig vir ons is omdat Brittanje se standpunt oor die Laos -kwessie in stryd is met die VSA en sommige ander Westerse lande. Brittanje is meer bereid om die probleem op te los. Hulle het ontevredenheid uitgespreek oor die onttrekking van Amerika aan die Phouma -regering en geglo dat hulle 'n nog erger situasie vir Westerse lande geskep het deur hom te ontneem. Hulle brom gereeld hieroor oor Amerika. Die Britse voorstel het 'n mate van wysheid, aangesien Brittanje nie altyd bereid is om na Amerika te luister nie. Uit my persoonlike gesprekke met die Britse ambassadeur glo ek dat die Britte geneig is om meer buigsaam te wees, makliker te oortuig en gewilliger te wees. Soms stem hy dadelik saam oor sake wat hy eers met Amerika kan bespreek. Te oordeel na sulke situasies, sal Brittanje soms uit eie belang onafhanklik optree eerder as om dit eers met Amerika te bespreek. Miskien sal hulle hul probleme en redes vir ooreenkoms beklemtoon nadat hulle hul ooreenkoms uitgespreek het en teruggegaan het om dit met Amerika te bespreek.

Wat die kwessie van die International Supervision and Control Commission betref, het ons daaroor besin of dit die moeite werd is om die lede van die kommissie te verander, of dit beter is om 'n ander kant te oorweeg: beperk die jurisdiksie van die kommissie of nie. en maak dit vir hulle onmoontlik om in te meng by die binnelandse regering van Laos. Dit is 'n formidabele taak, en ons dink dat ons besluit voordelig sal wees vir die ontwikkeling van die mag van die mense van Laos. As hierdie kwessie ter sprake kom, kan ons twee aksies voorstel: die kommissie kan bestaan ​​uit twee lede uit elke sosialistiese, imperialistiese en neutrale lande, of verteenwoordigers van sosialistiese en imperiale nasies kan elk twee mense benoem en neutrale nasies kan benoem een. Verwante probleme kan nog bespreek word.

Wat die vraag betref wie Laos gaan verteenwoordig, is ons standpunt natuurlik dat Phouma se regering erken moet word as die enigste wettige regering in Laos. Slegs hierdie regering kan Laos verteenwoordig, maar sy verteenwoordigende afvaardiging kan lede van ander politieke moondhede insluit, soos die Lao Patriotic Front, of lede van die rebellefaksie.

As ons van wettige regerings praat, aangesien daar verskeie lede van die Phouma -regering is wat aan die rebellie deelgeneem het, wil ons noem dat die term 'ldquolegal government' verwys na Phouma en die kabinetslede wat teen die rebellie is. Ons moet nadink oor wat ons sal doen as Amerika instem om die regering van Phouma te erken, maar daarop aandring dat dit uit die oorspronklike lede moet bestaan. Hierdie moontlikheid is beslis nie ter sprake nie. As dit gebeur, sal die Phouma -regering 'n groot rebellefaksie as meerderheid insluit en sal daar nie 'n verteenwoordiger van die Patriotic Front wees nie. Dit is gevaarlik vir ons. Onder hierdie situasie moet ons volhou dat óf die Patriotic Front -lede óf 'n derde party betrokke moet wees by die Phouma -regering.

Ons het 'n boodskap van Hanoi ontvang dat ons Vietnamese kamerade hoop dat ons nie sal vergeet om vir die Patriotic Front -verteenwoordiging te veg nie. Hulle hoop dat die twee voorsitterlande 'n uitnodiging sal stuur. Met betrekking tot hierdie kwessie het ons ook daaraan gedink. Brittanje sal nie instem om namens beide voorsitterlande 'n uitnodiging aan die Patriotic Front uit te reik nie. Hulle sal nie oortuig word nie. Ons sal egter steeds daarvoor baklei. Vanmiddag het die Britse ambassadeur met my kom praat. Aan die begin het ek gedink aan die volgende manier om hierdie saak aan die orde te stel: As ons nie toelaat dat die regsregering sy eie afvaardiging stuur nie, moet ons 'n derde politieke mag uitnooi om aan die konferensie deel te neem. Die kwessie van deelname aan die konferensie sal natuurlik op die konferensie self bespreek word, maar as ons daaroor praat, moet hierdie verteenwoordigers in Genève kan wag, anders is hul koms tydmors. Afgesien hiervan, wil ek die Britse ambassadeur nog subtiel daarop wys dat hy kennis moet neem van die kwessie van die bywoning van die Patriotic Front. Ek bring hierdie dinge nie met die hoop dat hy dadelik sal saamstem nie, maar ek wil hom ten minste 'n bietjie ooreenkoms laat uitspreek en dan 'n ophef maak oor klein dingetjies. Ons is bewus daarvan dat as ons hard hiervoor veg, ons beslis die vermoë sal wen om die Patriotic Front toe te laat om die konferensie by te woon en hulle te laat wag in Genève, Praag of Moskou. Wat die verteenwoordigers van die rebelle betref, sal die Westerse moondhede hulle beslis na Switserland bring. Dit is baie gerieflik vir hulle. As hulle nie die Patriotic Front -verteenwoordigers toelaat om dit by te woon nie, sal ons beslis die teenwoordigheid van die rebelle teenstaan.

Die Internasionale Kommissie vir Toesig en Beheer het reeds 'n vergadering in Duitsland gehou en 'n resolusie aangeneem om slegs twee voorsitterlande toe te laat. Die Britte en ons het reeds hierdie verslag ontvang, en ons ondersoek tans saam met die Britte en bespreek die kwessie van die opdrag van die kommissie. Voordat die Poolse verteenwoordigers na Duitsland gegaan het, het ek in detail met hulle gepraat en vir hulle gesê oor watter kwessies ons moet bly en waarop ons kan bekostig om buigsaam te wees. Dit blyk dat ons Poolse kamerade daar goed gevaar het. Hierdie vergadering was baie goed gedoen en daar was slegs 'n paar plekke wat minder as ideaal blyk, maar dit is nie 'n groot probleem nie. Die Britse ambassade was nie tevrede met die verslag wat hulle oor instruksiekonsepte gebring het nie. Tydens bespreking het ons gekant teen die idee om twee dokumente deur te gee, en hulle het uiteindelik ingestem om slegs een deur te gee. Ek het hulle daarop gewys dat die konsepte te lank en vervelig is en dat daar aan verskeie besonderhede weggedoen kan word. Ons gaan vandag onderhandel. Ek skat dat ons vandag die kwessie van die kommissie se instruksies moet kan oplos. Indien wel, kan die komitee môre na Laos vertrek. Sodra alles afgehandel is rakende die kommissie se verslag en instruksies, sal ons Beijing onmiddellik daarvan in kennis stel.

Die Britse ambassadeur het gevra of ek weet dat Sihanouk al gesê het dat hy nie hierdie konferensie sal bywoon nie, en wat ek daarvan dink. Ek het geantwoord dat 14 lande minus 1 gelyk is aan 13. Ek het geen ander mening nie. Ek het toe geantwoord: "Ek moet vra hoe u daaroor voel, want hy was nie ons gas nie, maar u s'n." Die ambassadeur het onmiddellik geantwoord dat Sihanouk se onlangse gedrag niks met Brittanje te doen het nie. Ek het gesê: as dit regtig niks met u te doen het nie, dan het dit beslis iets met u bondgenote te doen. Dit blyk dat Engeland 'n bietjie ongemaklik voel met Sihanouk en hulle was bang dat ons die konferensie hieroor sou heroorweeg.

Ambassadeur Liu [Xiao]: Wat dink u van die verklaring van Sihanouk?

Pushkin: Dit is kinderagtig! Sy gedrag is nie ernstig nie, hy speel 'n nar! Hier is die situasie: die koning van Laos voel ongemaklik omdat die krag van die Lao Patriotic Front voortdurend toeneem. Hy het 'n paar truuks bedink. Hy wou 'n konferensie hou op die 1ste, die regering ontbind en 'n regering organiseer sonder dat Phouma deelneem. Dit blyk ook 'n paar deelnemers te hê wat nie aan die opstand deelgeneem het nie. In werklikheid was hulle ook sy mense. Hy het druk op Sihanouk geplaas, en Sihanouk het moontlik tot sommige van sy voorstelle ingestem; hy het moontlik dwase dinge onder die druk gedoen. Dit is egter onbelangrik dat die konferensie steeds betyds gehou kan word. Sy weiering om deel te neem, het geen invloed op die konferensie nie. Ons kan drie sitplekke vir hulle bespaar wat hulle kan inneem as hulle wil.

Ambassadeur Liu: Volgens die jongste inligting, hoe is Amerika se houding teenoor die Geneefse konferensie?

Pushkin: Amerika het reeds gesê dat hulle die konferensie sal bywoon. Daar is geen nuwer inligting nie.


Internasionale ooreenkoms oor die neutraliteit van Laos

Die Internasionale ooreenkoms oor die neutraliteit van Laos is 'n internasionale ooreenkoms wat op 23 Julie 1962 in Genève onderteken is tussen 14 state, waaronder Laos. Dit was die gevolg van die Internasionale Konferensie oor die Skikking van die Laotiese Vraag wat van 16 Mei 1961 tot 23 Julie 1962 geduur het.

Birma, Kambodja, Kanada, die Volksrepubliek China, die Demokratiese Republiek Viëtnam, Frankryk, Indië, Pole, die Republiek Viëtnam, Thailand, die Sowjetunie, die Verenigde Koninkryk en die Verenigde State het 'n verklaring onderteken wat saam met die verklaring van neutraliteit deur die koninklike regering van Laos van 9 Julie 1962, het op die datum van ondertekening op 23 Julie 1962 as 'n internasionale ooreenkoms in werking getree. [1]

Die 14 ondertekenaars het toegesê om die Laotiese neutraliteit te respekteer, om te onthou van inmenging - direk of indirek - in die interne aangeleenthede van Laos en om daarvan af te sien om Laos in 'n militêre alliansie aan te trek of om militêre basisse op Laotiaanse grondgebied te vestig. Die Laotiese regering het belowe om grondwetlik sy verbintenisse af te dwing wat regsbevoegd sou wees.

Die ooreenkoms is egter oortree toe die Demokratiese Republiek van Viëtnam 'n toevoerlyn deur 'neutrale' Laotiese gebied gevestig het om die opstand van die Viëtkong teen die regering van Suid -Viëtnam te voorsien.

Meer spesifiek, tydens die Tweede Indochina -oorlog het die Noord -Viëtnamese die samewerking van die Lao People's Revolutionary Party (Pathet Lao) verkry om die Ho Chi Minh -roete wat oor Laos se lengte is, te bou en te onderhou. Duisende Viëtnamese troepe was in Laos gestasioneer om die padnetwerk in stand te hou en vir die veiligheid daarvan te sorg. Viëtnamese militêre personeel het ook langs die Pathet Lao geveg in sy stryd om Laos se neutralistiese regering omver te werp. Samewerking het voortgeduur na die oorlog en die Lao -kommunistiese oorwinning.


Verskillende opsies

Harrison Manlove is 'n kadet in die US Army's Reserve Officer Training Corps aan die Universiteit van Kansas en studeer tans geskiedenis en vrede en konflikstudies. Harrison het ook geskryf vir The Strategy Bridge, waar hy Rusland se strategie in Sirië en die Midde -Ooste ondersoek het. Die inhoud van Divergent Options bevat nie amptelike inligting nie, en die inhoud verteenwoordig ook nie die amptelike standpunt van enige regering, organisasie of groep nie.

Titel: Evaluering van Amerikaanse teenopstandspogings in Laos 1954-1962

Datum oorspronklik geskryf: 21 Junie 2019.

Datum oorspronklik gepubliseer: 30 September 2019.

Skrywer en / of outeur se standpunt: Hierdie artikel is geskryf uit die oogpunt van die Amerikaanse Nasionale Veiligheidsraad na die Genève -ooreenkoms van 1962 om die doeltreffendheid van programme in Laos en die gebruik daarvan in toekomstige buitelandse beleidsaksies te bepaal.

Opsomming: Vanaf 1954-1962 het die ontplooiing van die Amerikaanse weermag se spesiale magte, amptenare van die Central Intelligence Agency, ekonomiese en militêre hulp 'n kommunistiese oorname van Laos verhoed, wat as 'n strategies belangrike land in Suidoos-Asië beskou word. Onder Eisenhower was 'n pro-West-Laos verlang, maar die oorgang na 'n neutrale koalisieregering is uiteindelik deur die Kennedy-administrasie ondersteun om Laos nie 'n kommunistiese vastrapplek in Indochina te word nie.

Teks: Counterinsurgency (COIN) kan gedefinieer word as regeringsaksies om die "georganiseerde gebruik van ondermyning en geweld om politieke beheer van 'n streek te gryp, te vernietig of uit te daag" [1] teë te werk. Amerikaanse muntstukke in Laos het 'n breë fokus gehad om die volgende in te sluit: die opbou van die kapasiteit van die Forces Armées du Royaume (FAR) en die Lao Royal Armed Forces, opleiding van 'n duisendmagtige paramilitêre mag van Hmong, pakkette vir ekonomiese en militêre hulp en die verslaan van opstandelinge bedreigings in Laos. Ten spyte van min strategiese waarde, het die Franse oorlog in Indochina die Eisenhower -administrasie oortuig dat Laos die eerste moontlike 'domino' kan wees wat Kambodja, Thailand en Viëtnam tot die kommunisme kon lei [2].

In 1954 het ekonomiese hulp na Laos begin vloei deur 'n operasionele missie van die Verenigde State (USOM) in Vientiane [3]. Die 1954 Genève -ooreenkoms het die geveg tot 'n (relatiewe) einde gebring, 'n onafhanklike en neutrale Laos tot stand gebring en 'n onttrekking van Franse militêre eenhede en Viet Minh -elemente uitgevaardig, wat slegs 'n klein Franse mag laat om die FAR op te lei. Die Pathet Lao, 'n kommunistiese politieke beweging en organisasie in Laos, sou na die noordooste verhuis vir uiteindelike demobilisasie [4].

The Programs Evaluation Office (PEO) was established in 1955 as an element of USOM to facilitate defense aid to the FAR, supporting the fight against the Pathet Lao and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) presence in northeastern Laos. Laotian neutrality meant the PEO was staffed and led by civilians who were almost all former military[5]. The Vientiane Agreements, signed in 1957, incorporated the Pathet Lao into the FAR. However, a 1959 coup conducted by Laotian General Phoumi Savanna signaled the continued tenuous situation in Laos[6].

In 1959 U.S. Army Special Forces (SF) personnel deployed to Laos as part of Project Hotfoot to train FAR personnel. Hotfoot was spread across the five military regions within Laos. Led by U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Arthur ‘Bull’ Simons of the 77th Special Forces Group, training responsibilities for Hotfoot were divided in two. “France would provide the tactical training to Laotian forces while non-uniformed U.S. SF would equip and provide technical training[Emphasis in original][7].” Hotfoot transitioned and expanded after Kennedy took office.

In August 1960, Laotian Captain Kong Le led an FAR airborne battalion to Vientiane in a coup against the Royal Lao Government (RLG) to form a neutralist government. Lack of pay and the burden of continuous operations led to the coup[8]. While U.S. efforts under Hotfoot became Operation White Star in 1961, SF began Operation Pincushion, a training program for the Kha tribal areas with village defense units each up to 100 strong[9]. The PEO also became a Military Assistance Advisory Group with personnel donning uniforms, signaling the transition to an overt military presence[10]. During French rule the Auto Defense Choc (ADC), or self defense units, were established at the village level and filled by local populations. CIA began a covert operation, called Momentum, to build off the ADC program and establish a large paramilitary force of ethnic Hmong to fight the Pathet Lao insurgents and Kong Le’s forces[11].

Vang Pao was a Hmong officer in the FAR who had earlier received assistance from SF to create an irregular Hmong force. In 1961, CIA paramilitary officer James W. Lair approached Vang Pao to expand the operation which became Momentum. The second White Star rotation in the spring of 1961 became part of Momentum. The operation would equip and train nearly 10,000 recruits who proved extremely effective in the field[12].

CIA used its proprietary airline – Air America – to support operations taking place throughout Laos. H-34 helicopters (replacing the weaker H-19), C-46, C-47, C-123 transport aircraft, and single-engine short take-off and landing aircraft provided airlift capabilities to CIA officers moving throughout the country, and FAR and Hmong units who received supplies through airdrops[13].

U.S. activities were critically challenged by Pathet Lao radio broadcasts (with Soviet support) which “were convincingly portraying the U.S. as obstructing peace and neutrality in Laos (while downplaying their own efforts to do so)[14].” The U.S. Information Agency field office in Laos “had two main objectives: improve the credibility of the Laotian government in the eyes of the population, and counter-Communist propaganda[15].” Small radios were distributed to provide pro-government messages in the Lao language, which was limited by the various local dialects around the country. In 1961 the U.S. Army deployed the 1st Psychological Warfare Battalion consisting of 12 men, whose “primary role was augmenting the U.S. Information Service (USIS).” and their under-resourced staff[16].

Under U.S. policy from 1954-1962, COIN efforts to support the RLG were a relative success. In 1962 a neutralist-majority coalition government was formed including rightists (from the RLG) and members of the Pathet Lao. The 1962 Geneva Accords again declared Laotian neutrality and barred any re-deployment of foreign forces to Laos. Fighting had slowed, but the Kennedy administration was disappointed with the political result. Neutrality was not a complete policy failure for the Kennedy administration, as a communist government would not be in place[17]. In accordance with the agreement SF teams withdrew from Laos, while Air America flights slowed[18]. However, future American operations would be covert, and conducted primarily by the CIA beginning after the coalition collapse in 1964 to the Pathet Lao defeat of the RLG in 1975.

From a policy perspective, the American commitment to Laos was consistent with containment and halting the global spread of communism. The covert nature of U.S. operations reflected not only the declarations of neutrality by the RLG, but the larger possibility of U.S. embarrassment on the domestic and world stages if U.S. objectives did fail. Even with no discernible strategic interests in the region, particularly Laos, “National prestige was, as always, closely linked to its apparent success or failure in foreign policy[19].”

[1] United States, Joint Chiefs of Staff. (2018). Joint Publication 3-24 Counterinsurgency (p. ix)

[2] Mcnamara, R. S. (1996). In retrospect. Random House Usa. (pp. 35-37)

[3] Leeker, J. F. (2006). Air America in Laos II – military aid (p. 1, Rep.). Deel I

[4] Adams, N. S., & McCoy, A. W. (1970). Laos: War and revolution. New York: Harper & Row. (p. 128). United Nations. (1954). Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Laos 20 July 1954.

[5] Castle, T. N. (1991). At war in the shadow of Vietnam: United States military aid to the Royal Lao government, 1955-75 (Doctoral dissertation).

[6] Adams, N. S., & McCoy, A. W. (1970). Laos: War and revolution. New York: Harper & Row. (p. 147).


Blood on His Hands: JFK’S Costly Blunders

Although Vietnam War historians have been quick to criticize Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon for their errors in strategy, policy and judgment regarding America’s involvement in the war, John F. Kennedy often gets a “pass”—his name seldom appears on the “short list” of presidents who “lost” Vietnam. Geoffrey Shaw’s The Lost Mandate of Heaven, however, makes a solid case that Kennedy and his top advisers—particularly W. Averell Harriman’s influential State Department clique—orchestrated “a political disaster that led America into a protracted and costly war.” Shaw’s book reveals Kennedy’s disastrous blunders that may have lost the Vietnam War before the United States began fighting it in earnest.

As its subtitle promises, Shaw’s book principally focuses on the Kennedy administration’s “betrayal” and collusion—at the very least its acquiescence—in the Nov. 1-2, 1963, military coup that resulted in the assassination of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.

Shaw’s image of Diem, based on extensive research, original sources and declassified documents, sharply contrasts with the widely accepted view of South Vietnam’s first president. Diem has typically been portrayed as a corrupt despot who, stubbornly ignoring American advice, mercilessly persecuted the country’s Buddhist majority in favor of his fellow Catholics. Critics also pointed to his heavy-handed rule, which alienated South Vietnam’s population and increased the risk that the war would be lost to North Vietnamese–sponsored Communist guerrillas. According to this conventional view—notably, as Shaw shows, relentlessly promoted at the time by Saigon’s American press corps, which despised Diem—the South Vietnamese president had to go and therefore the Kennedy administration justifiably colluded in his removal.

Shaw presents Diem as a dedicated leader of integrity, a popular Vietnamese nationalist deeply committed to his Catholic faith’s tenets, firmly resolved not only to protect his country against North Vietnamese aggression but also to resist becoming merely a figurehead and pawn of the Americans. Calling Diem’s murder “a mistake of unparalleled proportion,” Shaw asserts that it robbed South Vietnam of the only leader whose fame, stature and nationalist credentials rivaled those of the North’s Ho Chi Minh. No subsequent South Vietnamese leader proved capable of inspiring the country’s population with the fervor necessary to successfully resist North Vietnam.

Even if you are unswayed by Shaw’s revisionist presentation of Diem’s character and leadership, you have to question the Orwellian logic of the Kennedy administration’s support for his removal: Led by the Harriman faction, Kennedy’s top advisers concluded that Diem was not “democratic enough” to suit them, so they colluded in a bloody coup d’état that murdered Diem and replaced his elected government with a military dictatorship! The Kennedy administration’s complicity in the military cabal’s coup was hardly a shining example of democracy in action. Even North Vietnam’s leadership was astonished that the United States had conspired to eliminate the South Vietnamese leader the Communists most feared.

Shaw also recounts another inexcusable Kennedy blunder that arguably was his administration’s worst mistake directly influencing the war: the egregiously inept decision binding the United States by international treaty to officially honor the “neutrality” of Laos. Signed in Geneva on July 23, 1962, by the United States and 14 other nations—notably North Vietnam and its principal Communist supporters, China and the Soviet Union, who enthusiastically approved it—the one-sided treaty, based on “unenforceable neutrality,” was a farce from inception.

Hanoi immediately violated the agreement, sending thousands of North Vietnamese Army troops (joining Laotian Communist allies, the Pathet Lao) to occupy Laos’ entire eastern half and construct the extensive logistical network, known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which was vital for North Vietnam’s prosecution of the war. North Vietnam had maintained logistical routes and bases in Laos since at least 1958 to supply Viet Cong guerrillas in South Vietnam.

It is hardly an exaggeration to state that every American killed in ground combat in South Vietnam during the war died from a bullet, rocket-propelled grenade, mortar round, artillery shell or hand grenade brought south via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. There was no other practical means for Hanoi to get the instruments of death south other than through “neutral” Laos.

Thanks to Kennedy’s unconscionably foolish Laos treaty—“forged by Harriman,” Shaw points out—North Vietnam had free rein to exploit this monumental advantage. Although the United States bombed the Laotian trails, the massive effort was disappointingly ineffectual. And the ill-fated 1971 Laos incursion by U.S.-supported South Vietnamese ground troops proved far too little and much too late.

Shaw’s insightful book shows that Vietnam War historians must stop giving Kennedy a pass. Clearly, Kennedy has blood on his hands—Diem’s and that of an untold number of American GIs.

First published in Vietnam Magazine’s August 2016 issue.


Presidents and the Vietnam War

The road that led to the Vietnam War started before World War II even ended. Franklin Roosevelt supported national self determination in Indochina and was apposed to France reclaiming its former colonies after the war, but when Roosevelt died, and Harry Truman became president, that support died with him. State Department officials in Asia warned Truman that French rule of Vietnam would lead to “bloodshed and unrest”. Truman did not share his Roosevelt’s anti-colonialism and ultimately accepted France’s reestablishment it’s prewar empire. Truman thought that by retaking Indochina, France would shore up it’s economy and buoy its national pride. At the 1945 Potsdam conference in Germany, the Allies agreed that France was the rightful owner of French Indochina, and they would help the French re-establish control over their former colonial possession. Once the Soviet Union and Communist China started aiding North Vietnam, Truman started funding the French war effort.

By the time Dwight Eisenhower became president, the United States already had advisors in Vietnam and they were paying over half of the cost for France’s war there. When the French were on the brink of collapse in Indochina at Dien Bien Phu they begged the United States to intervene. Most of Eisenhower’s advisors wanted him to enter the war, some even suggested the use of nuclear weapons to save the French. Eisenhower was dead set against going to war in Vietnam, stating “This war in Indochina would absorb our troops by divisions!” After France’s failure at Dien Bien Phu, the 1954 Geneva Accords were signed that split Vietnam along the 17th parallel. Elections were supposed to take place to reunify Vietnam, but Ho Chi Minh would not allow any monitoring of elections in the north, even refusing the United Nations. Knowing that the communist barring the UN from monitoring elections in the north was likely a pretense for fraud, South Vietnam decided to not hold elections on the referendum. Eisenhower continued to aid South Vietnam in their struggle against the Communist North, but he bequeathed to John Kennedy pretty much the same situation in Vietnam that Truman left to him. Eisenhower wisely stayed out of war in Vietnam, unfortunately those that followed him weren’t as wise.

Though not a part of Vietnam, the country of Laos held the key to it’s defense. It bordered both North and South Vietnam to its east. During the Eisenhower administration the United States government had been sending aid to Laos to keep it from falling under Communist control. Kennedy failed to see the importance that Laos played in Vietnam’s defense and he agreed to the Declaration on the Neutrality of Laos, which created a three party coalition government of Laos. The United States withdrew support from Laos as part of the agreement, but North Vietnam soon broke the agreement, which eventually led to the fall of Laos to Communism. The loss of Laos to communism allowed North Vietnam to set up the Ho Chi Minh trail, which allowed communist troops and aid to flow through the back door into South Vietnam.

Whereas Eisenhower was smart enough to buck his military aides and avoid sending combat troops, Kennedy listened to his military aides, and sent the first combat troops to Vietnam under the guise that they were “advisors”. Kennedy increased the presence in South Vietnam from 800 advisors to 16,000 troops by the time of his death. Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem had told the United States that he didn’t want U.S. troops sent to his country, as he felt it would make it look like he was bowing to colonialism. Kennedy sent General Maxwell Taylor and Deputy National Security Advisor Walt Rostow to Vietnam to assess the situation. Despite Diem insisting against U.S. soldiers, Taylor and Rostow advised Kennedy to send combat troops. Diem was right, and the introduction of American troops eroded his popularity. In October of 1963, Kennedy told U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. to give General Duong Van Minh covert assistance in a coup to overthrow Diem. On November 1st 1963, Diem was overthrown and eventually assassinated by Minh. The overthrow of Diem is one of the key events in the war, as it put the United States on a path to much deeper intervention, which would be very difficult to extract itself from. Before Diem’s overthrow, Kennedy had approved NSAM (national security action memorandum) 263 on October 11, 1963, which called for the withdraw of 1000 troops by the end of 1963, with most U.S. personnel removed by the end of 1965. Historians use NSAM 263 to state that Kennedy had decided to remove the combat troops from Vietnam, but that was before the November 1st coup. It is a great unknown what Kennedy would have done in Vietnam, but one cannot assume he would have made the colossal mistakes the Lyndon Johnson did. By the end of 1963, however, 1000 troops were removed from Vietnam in accordance with NSAM 263.

Kennedy’s death led to a major change in Vietnam policy much the same way that Roosevelt’s did nearly two decades earlier. Lyndon Johnson went all in on Vietnam. When Johnson took office there were only 16,000 troops in Vietnam, but by the time he left office that number had ballooned to over 500,000. During the 1964 presidential campaign Johnson promised the American people that he wouldn’t go to war in Vietnam stating “We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves. ” Johnson’s used the Gulf of Tonkin incident of August 4th 1964 as justification to declare war. The Destroyer, the USS Maddox, thought that it was being attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats, and radioed in reporting the attack and asking for air support. The air support verified that there were no torpedo boats in the area. Even Captain Herrick of the Maddox determined that there were no torpedo boats there and that his sonar operators had made a mistake. Herrick sent a high priority message that stated “Review of action makes many reported contacts and torpedoes fired appear doubtful. Freak weather effects on radar and overeager sonarmen may have accounted for many reports. No actual visual sightings by MADDOX. Suggest complete evaluation before any further action taken.” When Johnson presented the public and Congress with the “attack” he deliberately omitted the evidence that proved that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was nothing more than a phantom attack. Johnson and his staff knew that no attack happened, but they used it as a pretext to go to war, and the Gulf of Tonkin resolution passed through congress on August 7th. Johnson put domestic political considerations ahead of military concerns in Vietnam. He didn’t want to look weak in the eyes of his political opponents or be seen as “losing Vietnam” the way Truman was seen as “losing China”. He also felt that a loss in Vietnam would hurt his reelection chances in 1968. In February of 1965 Johnson authorized Operation Rolling Thunder, which was a sustained bombing campaign of Northern Vietnam. Johnson steadily increased troop levels until the end of his term. Even though Johnson saw the war as unwinnable, he persisted due to fear of the possible political fallout. The war became so unpopular that it led to a peace movement and it cost Johnson any chance at reelection.

In 1971 Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and The Washington Post. The Pentagon Papers demonstrated that the Johnson Administration systematically lied to both the American people and Congress about the war in Vietnam. The Pentagon papers covered the U.S. involvement in Vietnam from 1945-1963. They revealed many things that were hidden from the press about the war, including Kennedy’s involvement in the 1963 coup, as well as bombings in Laos and Cambodia. Since the war was ongoing at the time, President Richard Nixon wanted to stop their publication for national security reasons.

Nixon entered the White House with the promise to end the war in Vietnam with an honorable peace. Having a large number of troops in an ongoing war made safe and quick extraction impossible. Nixon’s plan in Vietnam was to drawn down US troops while replacing them with Vietnamese troops in what was called Vietnamization, while negotiating a peace agreement with North Vietnam. In 1969 Nixon began a campaign bombing Cambodia due to it’s allowing the North Vietnam and the Viet Cong to use the Ho Chi Minh trail to funnel soldiers and supplies into the south. The bombing of Cambodia was controversial, but justified as part of a strategy to end the war. It was also the right thing to do to support the American soldiers on the ground. In January of 1973 the Paris Peace Accords were signed between the United States, North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the Viet Cong. The agreement included a cease-fire, a promise to remove all US soldiers and advisers and the North Vietnamese agreed to release all POWs. Nixon got the best settlement possible considering the war had long been lost due to Lyndon Johnson’s total lack of a winning strategy. The agreement was meant to end the war between the north and the south, but in December of 1974 North Vietnam broke the agreement and launched an invasion of South Vietnam. By this time Gerald Ford had taken over as President after Nixon’s resignation. As North Vietnamese forces advanced, Ford asked for a $722 million aid package from Congress. The proposal was voted down by a wide margin. Saigon fell in April of 1975, with the United States evacuating over 1300 U.S. citizens and over 5500 Vietnamese nationals. The final fall of South Vietnam was a bitter pill for many to swallow after all the blood and treasure spent to save it. Over 100,000 Vietnamese refugees emigrated to the United States to escape the evils of communism.

The Vietnam war left a scar on the psyche of many Americans. Many veterans were mistreated by portions of the public upon returning home and several suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome. Every time there was a new foreign confrontation would come up there would be cries of “another Vietnam”. Johnson’s misuse of the Gulf of Tonkin incident also led to congress passing the War Powers Act, which is a constitutional infringement upon a presidents power as commander in chief.


Lao People&aposs Democratic Republic - History

Although archaeological evidence indicates that settlers along the Mekong had learned agriculture, metallurgy, and pottery making by 3000 V.C. , little is known about the early history of the land that today bears the name of Laos. The lowland Lao are believed to be the descendants of Thai tribes that were pushed southward in the 8th century. According to tradition, the kingdom called Lan Xang (Ȫ million elephants") was established in 756 by King Thao Khoun Lo. In 1353, it was reunified by Fa-Ngoum, who had been raised at the court of Angkor in Kampuchea and returned with a force of Khmer troops. He is also credited with the introduction of Hinayana Buddhism into Laos. Lan Xang waged intermittent wars with the Khmers, Burmese, Vietnamese, and Thai and developed an effective administrative system, an elaborate military organization, and an active commerce with neighboring countries. In 1707, internal dissensions brought about a split of Lan Xang into two kingdoms, Luangphrabang in the north (present-day upper Laos) and Vientiane in the south (lower Laos). Strong neighboring states took advantage of this split to invade the region. Vientiane was overrun and annexed by Siam (Thailand) in 1828, while Luangphrabang became a vassal of both the Chinese and the Vietnamese. In 1893, France, which had already established a protectorate over what is now central and northern Vietnam, extended its control to both Vientiane and Luangphrabang, and Laos was ruled by France as part of Indochina. Although French control over Luangphrabang took the nominal form of a protectorate, the French colonial administration directly ruled the rest of Laos, legal justification being ultimately provided in the Lao-French convention of 1917.

During World War II, Laos was occupied by Japan. After the Japanese proclaimed on 10 March 1945 that "the colonial status of Indochina has ended," the king of Luangphrabang, Sisavang Vong, was compelled to issue a declaration of independence. The nationalist Free Lao (Lao Issarak) movement deposed the monarch soon after, but French forces reoccupied Laos, and on 27 August 1946, France concluded an agreement establishing him as king of Laos and reimposing French domination over the country. In May 1947, the king established a constitution providing for a democratic government. On 19 July 1949, Laos nominally became an independent sovereign state within the French Union. Additional conventions transferring full sovereignty to Laos were signed on 6 February 1950 and on 22 October 1953. All special economic ties with France and the other Indochinese states were abolished by the Paris pacts of 29 December 1954. In the meantime, Vietnamese Communist (Viet-Minh) forces had invaded Laos in the spring of 1953. A Laotian Communist movement, the Pathet Lao (Lao State), created on 13 August 1950 and led by Prince Souphanouvong, collaborated with the Viet-Minh during its Laotian offensive. Under the Geneva cease-fire of 21 July 1954, all Viet-Minh and most French troops were to withdraw, and the Pathet Lao was to pull back to two northern provinces, pending reunification talks with the national government under the leadership of Souvanna Phouma (Souphanouvong's half-brother). The negotiations were completed on 2 November 1957, and the Pathet Lao transformed itself into a legal political party called the National Political Front (Neo Lao Hak Xat). However, a political swing to the right that led to the ouster of Souvanna Phouma as prime minister, coupled with the refusal of the Pathet Lao forces to integrate into the Royal Lao Army, led to a renewal of fighting in May 1959.

A bloodless right-wing coup in January 1960 was answered in August by a coup led by paratroops, under the command of Capt. Kong Le in the ensuing turmoil, Souvanna Phouma returned to power. After a three-day artillery battle that destroyed much of Vientiane, right-wing military elements under Gen. Phoumi Nosavan and Prince Boun Oum occupied the capital on 11 December. A new right-wing government under Prince Boun Oum was established, but further military reverses, despite a heavy influx of US aid and advisers, caused the government to ask for a cease-fire in May 1961. An international conference assembled in Geneva to guarantee the cease-fire. All three Laotian political factions agreed on 11 June 1962 to accept a coalition government, with Souvanna Phouma as prime minister. On 23 July, the powers assembled at Geneva signed an agreement on the independence and neutrality of Laos, which provided for the evacuation of all foreign forces by 7 October. The United States announced full compliance, under supervision of the International Control Commission (ICC), set up in 1954. Communist forces were not withdrawn. Fighting resumed in the spring of 1963, and Laos was steadily drawn into the role of a main theater in the escalating Vietnam war. The Laotian segment of the so-called Ho Chi Minh trail emerged as a vital route for troops and supplies moving south from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), also known as North Vietnam, and was the target for heavy and persistent US bombing raids. While the Vientiane government was heavily bolstered by US military and economic support, the Pathet Lao received key support from the DRV, which was reported to have 20,000 troops stationed in Laos by 1974. Efforts to negotiate a settlement in Laos resumed with US backing in 1971, but a settlement was not concluded until February 1973, a month after a Vietnam peace agreement was signed in Paris. On 5 April 1974, a new coalition government was set up, with equal representation for Pathet Lao and non-Communist elements. Souvanna Phouma, 73 years old and in failing health, stayed on as prime minister, while Prince Souphanouvong was brought closer to the center of political authority as head of the newly created Joint National Political Council.

The Pathet Lao had by this time asserted its control over three-fourths of the national territory. Following the fall of the US-backed regimes in Vietnam and Cambodia in April 1975, the Laotian Communists embarked on a campaign to achieve complete military and political supremacy in Laos. On 23 August, Vientiane was declared "liberated" by the Pathet Lao, whose effective control of Laos was thereby secured. On 2 December 1975, the Lao People's Democratic Republic (LPDR) was established, with Prince Souphanouvong as president and Kaysone Phomvihan as prime minister. King Savang Vatthana abdicated his throne, ending the monarchy that had survived in Laos for 622 years. Elections for a new National Assembly were called for April 1976 however, voting was put off indefinitely, amid reports of civil unrest and sabotage. A Supreme People's Council was convened, meanwhile, with Prince Souphanouvong as chairman, and was charged with the task of drafting a new constitution.

During the late 1970s, the Communists moved to consolidate their control and socialize the economy. Private trade was banned, factories were nationalized, and forcible collectivization of agriculture was initiated. "Reeducation" camps for an estimated 40,000 former royalists and military leaders were established in remote areas as of 1986, the government maintained that almost all the inmates had been released, but Amnesty International claimed that about 5,000 remained. A 25-year friendship treaty with Vietnam, signed in July 1977, led to closer relations with that country (already signaled by the continued presence in Laos of Vietnamese troops) and with the former USSR, and also to the subsequent dismissal from Laos of all Chinese technicians and advisers. China, for its part, began to give support and training to several small antigovernment guerrilla groups. With the economy in 1979 near collapse, in part because of severe drought in 1977 and flooding in 1978, the Laotian government slowed the process of socialization and announced a return to private enterprise and a readiness to accept aid from the non-Communist world. Throughout the 1980s armed opposition to the government persisted, particularly from the Hmong hill tribe rebels. At the Fourth Party Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), in December 1986, a "new economic management mechanism" (NEM) was set up, aiming at granting increased autonomy in the management of formerly state-run enterprises to the private sector.

In 1988 the Lao national legislature, the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), adopted new election laws and the first elections since the formation of the LPDR in 1975 were held. Local and provincial elections were held in 1988, and on 27 March 1989 national elections took place for an enlarged Supreme People's Assembly. In March 1991 the Fifth Party Congress of the LPRP changed Kaysone Phomvihan's title from prime minister to president, elected a new 11-member politburo, pledged to continue economic reforms in line with free-market principles while denying the need for political pluralism, and changed the national motto by substituting the words ⋞mocracy and prosperity" for "socialism." The newly elected SPA drafted a constitution adopted on 14 August 1991. The constitution provided for a national assembly functioning on principles of ⋞mocratic centralism," established the LPRP as the political system's "leading organ," created a presidency with executive powers, and mandated a market-oriented economy with rights of private ownership.

President Kaysone Phomvihan, longtime LPRP leader, died on 21 November 1992. A special session of parliament on 24 November 1992 elected hard-line Communist Nouhak Phoumsavan as the next president. Gen. Khamtai Suphandon, who had been prime minister since 15 August 1991, remained in that post. National Assembly elections were held in December 1992. One day before these elections, three former officials who called for a multiparty democracy and had been detained in 1990 were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. The National Assembly convened in February 1993 and approved government reorganization designed to improve public administration. On 9 January 1995, longtime leader Prince Souphanouvong died, unofficially marking an end to Laos' long dalliance with hard-line Marxism. Although the NEM had initiated an opening up to international investment and improved relations with the rest of the world, there remained elements of the old guard in positions of power. With the death of Souphanouvong, the only old-time hard-line Marxist still in power as of 1996 was the country's president, Nouhak Phoumsavan. Khamtai Siphandon, prime minister and party chief, was more powerful than Nouhak and is largely credited with exerting a moderating influence on the hardliner. Nonetheless, there remains a strongly conservative mindset among the politboro members that still pulls the government back from economic flexibility or any hint of political liberalization.

Laos has actively improved its already "special relations" with Vietnam and Cambodia, while always seeking to improve relations with Thailand, the People's Republic of China (PRC), and the United States. Periodic meetings are held to promote the cooperative development of the Mekong River region by Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Laos and the People's Republic of China restored full diplomatic relations in 1989 and are now full-fledged trading partners. Mutual suspicions, characterizing the relationship between Laos and Thailand, improved with agreements to withdraw troops and resolve border disputes, and agreements between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to repatriate or resettle nearly 60,000 Lao refugees in Thailand. Laos has cooperated with the United States in recovering the remains of US soldiers missing in action in Laos since the Vietnam War and in efforts to suppress drug-trafficking. The US Department of State objects to Laos' restrictions on free speech, freedom of assembly and religious freedom. US Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth commented in March 2000 that Laos is unlikely to gain Most Favored Nation trading status unless it accounts for the fate of two naturalized US citizens, Hmong activists who disappeared in Laos during 1999. The debate over whether to grant Laos normal trade relations status was ongoing as of early 2003.

On 26 February 1998, Khamtai Siphandon was elected president, and he was reelected in March 2001. Beginning in 2000, Vientiane was hit by a series of bomb blasts, attributed to anti-government groups based abroad. Beginning in the late 1990s, tensions emerged between rival groups of ethnic Hmong in the highlands. Triggered by Thailand's closing of refugee camps on its side of the Laos-Thai border, tens of thousands of exiles were forced to return home. Most were expected to be jailed or executed for their anti-government activities, but instead, the government encouraged their peaceful settlement among the lowland population. Certain right-wing guerrilla factions among the Hmong, long fighting the Pathet Lao, subsequently reacted violently to the government's pacification efforts to integrate moderate Hmong villagers. On 6 February 2003 near Vang Vieng, a bus and 2 Western bicyclers were attacked by gunmen, who killed twelve people. Militant Hmong were blamed for the attack.

On 24 February 2002, parliamentary elections were held, but all but one of the 166 candidates were from the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP). The LPRP won 108 of 109 seats in the National Assembly.


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