Often asked: What Does The Hmong Refugee Experience Tell Us About The History Of The Secret War In Laos?

How did the Hmong become refugees What was their role in the Vietnam War?

Displaced from their villages, which were either bombed out or burned by the North Vietnamese and the new Lao communist regime, many Hmong became refugees in their own country. U.S.-sponsored food drops – fifty tons of rice a day – fed more than 100,000 Hmong, whose land and livestock had been destroyed by the war.

What did the Hmong do in the secret war?

In 1961, four years before the Vietnam War, the CIA funded a Secret War in Laos. The Hmong became CIA’s surrogate army, fighting and preventing Communism from consuming the country of Laos.

How did the CIA’s secret war in Laos impact Hmong people?

Among the hardest hit by this “Secret War” were the Hmong of northern Laos. Tens of thousands were killed during the war, and even more lost their lives while attempting to escape to freedom after the war ended.

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What happened to the Hmong after the Vietnam War?

Hmong in Thailand After the Vietnam War At the end of the Vietnam War in the early 1970s as many as a third of the Hmong population left Laos and fled across the Mekong River to Thailand. In Thailand, the Hmong were housed in a series of refugee camps. About 130,000 made their way to United States.

What caused the Secret war in Laos?

The U.S. bombing of Laos (1964-1973) was part of a covert attempt by the CIA to wrest power from the communist Pathet Lao, a group allied with North Vietnam and the Soviet Union during the Vietnam War.

Which side did the Hmong fight for in the Vietnam War?

The Hmong are an ethnic group from the highlands of Laos. When a communist movement called the Pathet Lao began to gain power in Laos during the Vietnam War, the Central Intelligence Agency recruited the Hmong to fight the communists and attack North Vietnamese supply lines.

Why did Hmong leave Laos?

Since 1975, after the U.S. pulled out of South Vietnam, thousands of Hmong have moved out of Laos to seek asylum in many European and Western countries including Australia, France, Canada, Germany, and the United States.

What did the Hmong do for the CIA?

The CIA particularly organized Hmong people to fight against the North Vietnamese-backed Pathet Lao. The Pathet Lao were the communists in Laos. The CIA-backed Hmong guerrillas used Air America to “drop 46 million pounds of foodstuffs.

What does Hmong mean?

Best of Newsweek via email. The Hmong American Center, a nonprofit based in Wisconsin, explains that the Hmong are defined as an ethnic group of people who originally came from China. With a history spanning over 4,000 years, Hmong have a unique culture and language.

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Why was Laos such an important area during the Vietnam War?

The Pathet Lao occupied large areas in the mountainous north and remained a significant political force. During this period the North Vietnamese military entered Laos to establish the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a remote track for peopling and supplying the Viet Cong in South Vietnam.

How large was the Hmong army in 1963?

In 1963 the Kennedy Administration had the CIA increase the secret Hmong army in Laos to 20,000 soldiers. Significant battles occurred as the North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao occupied major areas in northern Laos in 1964.

What was the war in Vietnam over?

The Vietnam War pitted communist North Vietnam and the Viet Cong against South Vietnam and the United States. The war ended when U.S. forces withdrew in 1973 and Vietnam unified under Communist control two years later.

How many Hmong died as a result of the war?

By the war’s end, between 30,000 and 40,000 Hmong soldiers had been killed in combat, and between 2,500 and 3,000 were missing in action. An estimated one-fourth of all Hmong men and boys died fighting the Communist Pathet Lao and the North Vietnamese Army.

Why did the Hmong move to Thailand?

The earliest written accounts show the Hmong living in China since 2700 B.C. However, following conflicts with the Han Dynasty, during the 19th century, some Hmong migrated in large numbers to the highlands of Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand in an effort to maintain their cultural identity (Quincy, 1995).

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