OVER THE FENCE
In 1954 the Geneva Peace Accords established Laos as an independent state led by the Royal Lao government. Shortly thereafter, opposing groups, including the North Vietnamese-supported communist Pathet Lao, started a civil war. The U.S. sent a small number of advisors to assist the Royal Lao government.
A 1962 peace treaty signed by the U.S., Soviet Union, North Vietnam and other nations, ended the fighting and declared Laos a neutral country. The treaty also called for the withdrawal of foreign forces. Although the U.S. pulled out its advisors, North Vietnam continued to send troops into the country. The war in Laos broke out again with a communist offensive across the Plain of Jars in the spring of 1964. Furthermore, the North Vietnamese continued using the Laotian Panhandle to supply insurgents in South Vietnam -- thereby tying Laos into the struggle for South Vietnam.
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