345. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Laos1
2005. 1. In order seek reduce tensions and avoid possible misunderstandings you might consider quiet US approach to Generals Phoumi and Ouane (together or separately) in manner you deem most effective and along following lines:
- Army’s preponderant role in elections has aroused considerable concern among friend of Laos abroad.
- It is feared that Army may seek to dominate next government, that NLHX and enemies of Laos finding all overt outlets for their activities closed may intensify armed insurgency, and that situation may evolve to point that it would be difficult obtain the full international backing Laos needs.
- It therefore appears most important that next government should not give appearance of Army domination, i.e. include too many generals or one as PM or Vice PM. New government should be broadly representative with inclusion figures well-known abroad.
- Approach made to generals since US continues have high regard for both and would hope they would use their great influence to work for reconciliation of anti-Communist elements.
- We remain deeply concerned by security situation. We hope generals could take initiative in Army to insure that training program be given maximum support and security threat tackled systematically and effectively.2
2. You may in your discretion inform British, French and Australians of foregoing approach making clear, however, that 1) we did not discuss proposed démarche to King with generals and 2) we believe this approach to be consonant with purpose of démarche and useful reminder of primary security function of Army.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.02/5–860. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Chapman, cleared by Anderson, and approved by Parsons. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD.↩
- According to telegram 2863 from Vientiane, May 10, Smith passed these points to Generals Ouan and Phoumi, neither of whom would rule out the possibility that Phoumi might become Prime Minister or Vice Premier in a CDNI-dominated government. (ibid., 751J.02/5–1060; included in the microfiche supplement)↩