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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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“Not a Happy Omen” (1954)

“Not a Happy Omen” (1954)

(p.39) 2 “Not a Happy Omen” (1954)
Eisenhower and Cambodia

William J. Rust

University Press of Kentucky

Although Western delegates to the Geneva conference in 1954 to restore peace in Indochina thought that Vietnam posed the most difficult military and political challenges, issues related to Cambodia and Laos threatened to paralyze the conference. Cambodia opposed any settlement limiting the kingdom’s capacity for self-defense, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) insisted that Cambodia’s self-defense plans exclude US military assistance. Of the three so-called Associated States, only Cambodia emerged from the conference intact, without a regrouping zone for the country’s communist-led forces. The Geneva conference, which enhanced Sihanouk’s reputation as a defender of his kingdom’s independence, was the high point of US approval of Sihanouk and his government. The US government agreed to provide direct economic and military assistance to Cambodia and appointed Robert M. McClintock as the first resident ambassador in Phnom Penh.

Keywords:   Geneva conference of 1954, Robert M. McClintock, US military aid to Cambodia

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