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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Volume XXVIII, Laos

Editor:
Edward C. Keefer
General Editor:
David S. Patterson

United States Government Printing Office
Washington
1998

Department of State
Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs



Overview

The editor of volume XXVIII developed eight areas of specific focus for the selection. (1) Formulation of policy in Washington on providing U.S. support for the air and ground war in Laos either by U.S. support of Lao Armed Forces or by U.S. direct actions. (2) U.S. policy decisions in Washington in conjunction with U.S. officials in Laos to support the neutralist Souvanna Phouma government against both its right-wing and Pathet Lao opponents. (3) Unsuccessful efforts to reach a new negotiated settlement on Laos to replace the failed Geneva settlement of 1962, especially through the influence and good services of the Soviet Union. (4) The campaign to interdict logistical supplies traveling down the Laos portion of the Ho Chi Minh Trail destined to support Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam and the bureaucratic battle for control of the ground intelligence on and harassment of these interdiction operations that was fought between the Ambassador in Laos and the Military Assistance Commander, Vietnam. (5) The Central Intelligence Agency 's support and direction of Meo (H'mong) and other tribal anti-North Vietnamese guerrillas. (6) The intelligence assessment controversy over the amount of North Vietnamese infiltration down the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the effectiveness of U.S. interdiction efforts. (7) The campaign by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to apply technology to the campaign against infiltration and to apply appropriate technology in the controversy over whether jet aircraft or propeller driven aircraft were more suited to the warfare in Laos. (8) The establishment and then the loss to North Vietnamese forces of U.S.-manned site 85 at Phou Pha Thi, the major navigation aide in northern Laos for the bombing campaign against North Vietnam.

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