SCARCELY any country on earth is less fitted to serve as a pivotal point in the struggle against Communism than Laos, a land of blue mountains, green jungles and affably unambitious people. Roughly the size of Oregon, Laos is shaped like a pistol with the butt pressing against Red China and the barrel aimed at Cambodia. Statistics are foreign to the Laotian mind, and the population can only be guessed at; estimates range from 1,000,-ooo to 4,000,000. Though it possesses two capital cities—Luangprabang for the royal family. Vientiane for the civil government—Laos has no railroad. Except for jungle paths, navigable rivers...

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