The World: Indochina: The Soft-Sell Invasion

FOR days, the biggest force assembled in South Viet Nam since Richard Nixon fell heir to the war was poised on the rugged Laotian frontier. When the signal came from Washington early last week, hundreds of American helicopters lifted into the dust-choked sky at Khe Sanh, then darted off to landing zones, where South Vietnamese troops awaited them. At the same time, South Vietnamese tanks and armored personnel carriers rumbled westward on Route 9 and thrust across the border into the jungles of Laos. A new and possibly perilous phase was beginning in the long struggle for Indochina.

The Laos invasion may...

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