The World: Was It Worth It?

IN the blackboard-crisp terms favored by its Pentagon planners, the Laotian operation is deep into its third and final phase. Having slashed across some tendrils of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and choppered into Tchepone, South Viet Nam's troops are beginning to pull back to the border. As the withdrawal gathered speed last week, the question was increasingly asked: Was it worth it? The answer will not be known in full until the operation is over, but it can be partly determined by comparing the ARVN struggle in Laos with the invasion's original goals....

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