LAOS: The Twilight Zone

The total budget for the Kingdom of Laos this year is a paltry $36.6 million. To fight a war there, the U.S. in fiscal 1971 spent $284.2 million—or $141 for every one of the approximately 2,000,000 men, women and children under government control. (The gross national product totals only $66 per capita.)

These bizarre statistics are contained in a once secret staff report released last week by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after five weeks of haggling with the Administration over declassifying its salient points. The figures become even more bizarre when the cost of air operations—one of the figures...

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