As World War II drew to a close, the Imperial Japanese military seized control of Laos, a French protectorate, and encouraged nationalist movements to forestall the revival of French power in the region. Despite these efforts the French re-entered Indochina and methodically retook the protectorate. By 1957, the government of Laos and the core of the Communist Laotian forces, known as the Pathet Lao, entered an uneasy truce, which plunged the country into 15 years of war. This text explores the resulting war, providing a summary of events and profiling the Laotian government forces, the government Allied forces and the Communist forces.
Kenneth Conboy was educated as an undergraduate at Georgetown University and did his graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University. He also studied at Sophia University in Tokyo. He is the country manager of Risk Management Advisory, a Jakarta-based security consultancy, and has travelled extensively throughout South-East Asia. Ken has written widely on the military forces of South-East Asia.