Laos: The Double Standard

Military men have long complained that Laotian soldiers will not fight. Political scientists have been exasperated by the Laotians' lighthearted attempts to govern themselves and by their queer habit of having two capitals, a political one at Vientiane and a royal one at Luangpra-bang. Last week it was the turn of diplomats to be amazed by the Laotians—and to discover that the two-capital system has some spectacular advantages.

While in Geneva, the international conference on Laos tried to work out a formal agreement on Laotian neutrality, the new coalition Cabinet of neutralist...

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