Vietnam War Dictionary


Known as Meo by Americans throughout the war in Laos, the Hmong were a tribal group that inhabited the mountains surrounding the Plaine des Jarres. Led by Vang Pao, the Hmong received training, weapons and ammunition from the CIA to help them defend their homeland against the communist Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese. The CIA operation gradually expanded from its small-scale beginnings in January 1961 and Vang Pao’s forces were increasingly supported by U.S. airpower. American support began to be withdrawn after the Laotian government and Pathet Lao signed a peace agreement in February 1973. The CIA evacuated Vang Pao in May 1975 and though some Hmong managed to escape to Thailand many were hunted down and persecuted by the communists.

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Shooting at the Moon