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President Orders 4,000 More Troops to Thailand

May 15, 1962 - President Kennedy moved today to back up his diplomatic efforts to preserve the independence of Laos by ordering 4,000 more U.S. troops to be stationed in neighboring Thailand. There are now 1,000 American soldiers in Thailand. In a statement, the President said he was dispatching troops to Thailand because of the recent attacks by Communist forces on Royal Laotian troops in northwest Laos and because of “the subsequent movement of Communist military units toward the border of Thailand.” On the diplomatic side, Secretary of State Dean Rusk met for 35 minutes today with the Soviet Ambassador, Anatoly F. Dobrynin. Afterward, Lincoln White, State Department spokesman, said that the two sides had emphasized the need to maintain a cease-fire and to establish the neutral coalition government for Laos agreed to by President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev in Vienna last June.


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