Behind the Scenes

William J. Rust

in Before the Quagmire

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780813135786
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813136844 | DOI:
Behind the Scenes

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Following the November 1957 Vientiane agreement between the RLG and Pathet Lao, Prime Minister Souvanna Phouma traveled to Washington, D.C., to defend his coalition government before skeptical Eisenhower administration officials. To assist conservative Lao candidates in the May 1958 elections, U.S. policymakers put the CIA in charge of a village-aid program called Booster Shot. Like the agency's civic action program, a counter-subversion initiative with an ostensibly humanitarian purpose, Booster Shot is hampered by misunderstandings and poor coordination among U.S. and Lao officials. Central Intelligence Director Allen W. Dulles is profiled, and his emphasis on covert action is discussed. Another focus of the chapter is the toxic relationship between U.S. and French officials, who disagreed sharply over Lao political leadership, military assistance to the kingdom, and other issues.

Keywords: Vientiane Agreement; Booster Shot; Civic action; Allen W. Dulles; Covert action

Chapter.  8129 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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