Laos and Cambodia

The war in Indochina has been proved to be of one piece; it cannot be cured by treating only one of its areas of outbreak

Address by the President,
October 7, 1970

Enduring peace will come for Vietnam only when there is peace for its neighbors.

Hanoi has made the war an Indochina conflict. In South Vietnam there are some one hundred thousand North Vietnamese troops. In Laos there are about ninety thousand. In Cambodia there are over fifty thousand North Vietnamese and Viet Cong. These troops challenge the legitimate governments of Laos and Cambodia, and they menace South Vietnam from within and without. The situations in Laos and Cambodia are comparable:
Neither one poses any threat to North Vietnam.
North Vietnam, nevertheless, has for years been violating their neutrality and independence, guaranteed in international accords which Hanoi and its allies signed.

In both countries North Vietnamese regular troops strip away any pretense of civil war. in Laos indigenous Pathet Lao play an insignificant military role, while in Cambodia only small numbers of Cambodians help the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong.

In both countries Hanoi has two aims. First, and primarily, to use them as infiltration routes, staging bases and sanctuaries for attacks against South Vietnam. Secondly, to erode governmental control in order to aid their efforts in South Vietnam and perhaps take over Laos and Cambodia themselves.