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Eisenhower and CambodiaDiplomacy, Covert Action, and the Origins of the Second Indochina War$
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William J. Rust

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813167428

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813167428.001.0001

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“Forebodings and Potential Opposition”

“Forebodings and Potential Opposition”

(p.255) Epilogue “Forebodings and Potential Opposition”
Eisenhower and Cambodia

William J. Rust

University Press of Kentucky

When John F. Kennedy became president, Cambodia was a relatively peaceful front in the cold war. The basic policy objective was to prevent the country from joining the communist side of the cold war. Despite an apparent improvement in Cambodia’s relations with South Vietnam and Thailand, plotting against Sihanouk by his neighbors continued. Although Washington considered such plotting impractical and hazardous, there was little enthusiasm within the State Department or the embassies in Saigon and Bangkok for taking a firm stand with Diem and Sarit. Like US officials at the end of Eisenhower’s presidency, Kennedy’s foreign policy advisers wanted South Vietnam and Thailand to stop conspiring against Sihanouk, but they refused to back their ineffectual diplomatic appeals with stronger threats or action. The prince’s security concerns were always subordinated to fighting communism and to maintaining good relations with Diem and Sarit.

Keywords:   John F. Kennedy and Cambodia, Kennedy and South Vietnam, Kennedy and Thailand

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