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1.
(HISTORY-VIETNAM, LAOS, CAMBODIA, USA) War between Communist forces native to the region and anti-Communists from several countries. Waged 1955 to 1975; ended in complete Communist victory. Probably 2.5 to 3.5 million people were killed, mostly in Vietnam, but also in Cambodia (1968-1975) and Laos (1953-1965).

US forces sent to prop up totally artificial "republic" in the south of Vietnam; helped Ngo Dinh Diem fake elections and suppress the population until he tried to cram Catholicism down throats of the Buddhist majority. Killed during coup d'etat 3 weeks before Kennedy assassinated. Military junta ran South Vietnam until it was defeated by the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN). The US military referred to the PAVN as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), and resistence in South Vietnam itself as "Viet Cong."

In Cambodia, war crept across the border as a result of Ho Chi Minh Trail; ruler, Norodim Sihanouk, tried to contain it through negotiation but in 1970 overthrown by a CIA coup; military junta totally useless and Khmer Communist Party formed an alliance with supporters of the monarchy (GRUNK). Named "Khmer Rouge" by Sihanouk before 1970.

In Laos, pitted Pathet Lao (Communist) against Royal Lao Army. RLA extremely poor, and Western assistance was much less than that of Communist Vietnam. Heavy US bombing there & in Cambodia.

The collapse of South Vietnam in early '75 allowed a total rout of the anti-Communist forces in Indochina.
At the time, journalists tended to speak of the Second Indochina War as three different civil wars, but in reality it was three local movements fighting a foreign occupation (and local collaborators). After the war, a third conflict erupted between Cambodia and Vietnam; the rulers of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge, murdered an unknown but enormous number of their own people, then were crushed when they went to war with Vietnam.

Laos, tragically, remains horribly affected by huge numbers of unexploded mines.
by Primus Intra Pares July 21, 2010