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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963, Volume XXIV, Laos Crisis

Edward C. Keefer
General Editor:
Glenn W. LaFantasie

United States Government Printing Office

Department of State
Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs


The editors included in this volume documents indicating the advice and recommendations on foreign policy issues from top-level military commanders and advisers. The editors also focused on the high-level discussion of military contingency planning regarding Laos. The Kennedy administration produced an inordinate amount of contingency plans for Laos, most of which were never implemented. The emphasis in this volume, however, is on the high-level consideration of contingency planning, rather than on the mechanics and details of the actual plans. Normal command and control activities of U.S. forces were not researched.

In focusing on the major lines of the development of the crisis, the editors have also presented a record of the U.S. reaction and response to the major political events within Laos since they figured directly in the formulation of policy and the political negotiations at the Geneva Conference.

Intelligence information regarding Pathet Lao, North Vietnamese, Chinese, and Soviet political and strategic intentions with respect to Laos is reflected in documents selected for publication here. The editors did not, however, attempt to document the operational activities by intelligence authorities in connection with Laos.