Laos: Battle of the Neckerchiefs

The Laotian army, such as it is, is divided into three parts: 1) neutralists, under General Kong Le, 2) Communist Pathet Lao, under Red Prince Souphanouvong, and 3) rightists, whose nominal leader has been General Phoumi Nosavan. Last week, like self-dividing amoebae, the right-wing troops split into warring factions.

Licenses for Trouble. At issue, as the smoke gradually cleared, were family rivalry and the spoils system. The potent Sananikone clan has never forgiven Phoumi Nosavan for kicking out their patriarch, Phoui Sananikone, as Premier six years ago. One of the clan, General Kouprasith Abhay, is military governor of Vientiane, and...

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