The Secret Of The Vietnam War

1144 WordsMay 2, 20175 Pages
Most Americans are aware of the Vietnam war, but have never heard of the Secret War in Laos. The War in Laos was the first of it’s kind; it was the CIA’s first ever paramilitary operation during the Cold War. My family is connected to the time period of the Cold War because my grandfather was sent to a prison camp by the Communists after the US withdrew from Indochina. My family was affected by the event because after escaping the camp and seeking refuge in Thailand, my grandfather immigrated to the United States and most of our family is living here now. In the 19th century, France colonized “Indochina”- what is now known as Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia- to exploit the environment for economic gain, under the guise of wanting to spread…show more content…
The Hmong are an ethnic group of people who live in the mountains of Laos. They were seen as uncivilized barbarians by Laotians, Thai and Vietnamese people. The CIA hired them to become soldiers in the Secret War, due to their strength, fighting spirit, and expert knowledge of the terrain. As the war intensified, the US sent fighter-bombers to assist Hmong ground forces against the Pathet Lao (Lao Communist soldiers). According to Kurlantzick, by 1973 the US had conducted more than 580,000 bombing runs over Laos. “In 1969 alone,” writes Kurlantzick, “the United States dropped more bombs on Laos than it did on Japan during all of World War II.” Yet, due to lax congressional oversight and media ignorance the American people knew very little about any of this. When the US withdrew in 1975, the Hmong rightly felt betrayed. They were left without support, supplies, and nowhere to go. Most Hmong were hunted down by the Communists and thrown into reeducation camps along with anyone else who resisted the new Communist government. Immediately after the Communists took over, people were sent to what they called “seminars” or “reeducation camps”. These camps were the centerpiece of the new regime 's policy toward
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