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The Universe UnravelingAmerican Foreign Policy in Cold War Laos$
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Seth Jacobs

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801445477

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801445477.001.0001

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“ A Long Country Inhabited by Lotus Eaters”

“ A Long Country Inhabited by Lotus Eaters”

Washington Encounters Laos

(p.21) Chapter 1 “ A Long Country Inhabited by Lotus Eaters”
The Universe Unraveling

Seth Jacobs

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses how the Eisenhower administration reacted to the recognition of Laos and Cambodia as independent nations. After the defeat of France in the Franco-Viet Minh War, a multinational conference of communist and noncommunist powers in Geneva worked out the details of what would be known as the Geneva Accords: recognition of Laos and Cambodia as independent nations, withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lao and Cambodian territory, and partition of Vietnam until elections could be held to unify the country in 1956. President Eisenhower declared at his weekly press conference that the accords contained “features which we do not like.” Nevertheless, after years of either ignoring Laos and Cambodia or conceptually conflating them with Vietnam, U.S. geopoliticians began to consider their merits as cold war battlefields.

Keywords:   Eisenhower administration, Laos, Cambodia, Franco-Viet Minh War, Geneva Accords, U.S. geopoliticians, cold war battlefields

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