Laos: Escalation in the Air

The U.S. last week became involved in a minor but significant air war with the Communists in Laos.

When the Red Pathet Lao overran Laos' embattled Plain of Jars last month, the U.S. replied by sending unarmed jets swooping low over Pathet Lao territory. The purpose was partly to photograph troop movements, partly to demonstrate U.S. resolve to stand firm in the Red-threatened little kingdom. But last week, after Communist gunners shot down two American planes in two days, the U.S. decided that shooting back with cameras was not enough—and in a small...

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