By William J. Rust
In the last decade previous the 1st U.S. wrestle operations in Vietnam, the Eisenhower management sought to defeat a communist-led insurgency in neighboring Laos. even supposing U.S. overseas coverage within the Fifties concentrated totally on threats posed via the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, the yank engagement in Laos developed from a small chilly battle skirmish right into a superpower disagreement close to the top of President Eisenhower's moment time period. finally, the yankee adventure in Laos foreshadowed some of the error made by means of the U.S. in Vietnam within the 1960s.
In earlier than the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954--1961, William J. Rust delves into key coverage judgements made in Washington and their implementation in Laos, which turned first steps at the route to the broader battle in Southeast Asia. Drawing on formerly untapped archival assets, ahead of the Quagmire files how useless and occasionally self-defeating counsel to Laotian anticommunist elites mirrored primary misunderstandings in regards to the country's politics, heritage, and tradition. the yank target of forestalling a communist takeover in Laos used to be additional hindered via divisions between Western allies and U.S. officers themselves, who at one element supplied reduction to either the Royal Lao govt and to a Laotian common who plotted to overthrow it. ahead of the Quagmire is a bright research of a serious interval of chilly conflict historical past, filling a spot in our realizing of U.S. coverage towards Southeast Asia and America's access into the Vietnam War.
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Additional info for Before the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954-1961
Australians tended to gravitate to the more frugal British approach rather than the firepower and resource-intensive American approach to warfare. Interestingly, the cross-pollination of American and British experiences and approaches, facilitated by Australian officers being trained in US and UK military schools and sent on exchange postings, helped create a remarkably professional Army, despite the comparatively limited funding expended on the Army in Australia. The influence of the British and Americans was significant on a number of other armies as well, notably the New Zealand and Canadian armies.
Australian soldiers have fought at the direction of their government in many places ranging from South Africa from 1899 to 1902 (during the Anglo-Boer War), to Gallipoli in 1915 and Beersheba in 1917 (during the First World War), to Tobruk in 1941 and Kokoda in 1942 (during the Second World War). After the world wars, Australian soldiers also fought at such places as Kapyong in Korea in 1951 and Long Tan in Vietnam in 1966. Increasingly, they also have drawn inspiration from the large number of lesser-known military operations conducted between the time when Gough Whitlam took office and John Howard lost office as Prime Minister of Australia.
Nonetheless, there was a perception that Australia had to make a contribution when called upon as an ally and/or as a responsible UN member. It was with this in mind that Australia contributed forces to the war in Korea from 1950 to 1953, to operations in Malaya and later Malaysia in the 1950s and early 1960s, and subsequently to Vietnam. Despite Australia’s relatively small contribution, the Vietnam War experience had a searing effect on the Australian consciousness. Australia’s approach to military operations during the Vietnam War stood in stark contrast with the more aggressive tactics of Australia’s more casualty-tolerant American allies.