Geneva Agreement on Laos
The administration of President John F. Kennedy believed that geography made Laos a poor place to use military force to stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. Pathet Lao advances, however, suggested that covert U.S. support would be insufficient to save General Nosavan or prevent Souvanna Pouma from falling under the sway of the Communists. Several military actions were considered to stem a Pathet Lao victory; the most drastic proposal called for 60,000 American soldiers to occupy southern Laos.
On 11 May 1961, Soviet and British officials defused the impending crisis in Laos by orchestrating a truce and by reactivating the International Control Commission (associated with the 1954 Geneva Agreement on Indochina that led to the division of Vietnam). Five days later, a second Geneva conference was convened by the PRC, Cambodia, France, Laos, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, India, Canada, Poland, Burma, and Thailand. The negotiations led to the 23 July 1962 Declaration and Protocol on the Neutrality of Laos. These second Geneva accords called for a peaceful, neutral, independent, and democratic Laos, and for the removal of foreign military units from Laotian soil.
Hope faded quickly that the accords would lead to real neutralization, although the agreement reflected a tacit understanding that conflict in Laos would remain limited. The North Vietnamese preferred to use the country to infiltrate soldiers and material into South Vietnam. The United States, which concentrated its efforts in Vietnam, used a CIA‐led army of Laotian Hmong tribesmen to harass North Vietnamese infiltrators in Laos. The Geneva accords helped turn Laos into a sideshow to the Vietnam War, but they did not save the Laotian people from years of bloodshed.
[See also Vietnam War.]
Timothy N. Castle , At War in the Shadow of Vietnam: U.S. Military Aid to the Royal Lao Government 1955–1975, 1993.
James J. Wirtz
"Geneva Agreement on Laos." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/geneva-agreement-laos
"Geneva Agreement on Laos." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved May 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/geneva-agreement-laos
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.