The Lessons of the CIA’s War in Laos: An Interview With Joshua Kurlantzick

Trucks laden with troops and ammunition await helicopter transportation in Long Tieng, a staging area for the CIA-backed clandestine army of Hmong tribesmen, Laos, Oct. 3, 1972 (AP photo).
Trucks laden with troops and ammunition await helicopter transportation in Long Tieng, a staging area for the CIA-backed clandestine army of Hmong tribesmen, Laos, Oct. 3, 1972 (AP photo).
SUBSCRIBE NOW
Free Newsletter

The U.S. war in Laos began in early 1961, when President Dwight Eisenhower, on one of his last days in office, approved a paramilitary CIA mission known as Operation Momentum to arm the ethnic Hmong population against communist forces. Under Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, the proxy war grew to become the largest CIA paramilitary operation in U.S. history. In his new book, “A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA,” drawing on declassified CIA files and interviews with key players, Joshua Kurlantzick reframes the Laos war […]

TO READ MORE

Enter your email to get instant access to this article and to receive our free email newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Become a member now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Weekly in-depth reports, including features on important countries and issues.
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.

And all of this is available to you — right now for just $1 for the first 3 months.

More World Politics Review