A Great Place to Have a War by Joshua Kurlantzick is a book about the history of Laos. The synopsis caught by eye since I lived and worked in Laos for a year as an English teacher. The book is about the conflict which occurred in Laos roughly during the same period of the Vietnam War. This is an interesting and impressive book, yet depressing. Details the rise of the CIA as a war machine during the Vietnam War, which was fought to a great extent in Laos. It looks at some of people involved in building the war to epic proportions, and then withdrawing, leaving the country to collapse into yet more suffering.
This is a fascinating look at the shadow war in Laos, staged by the CIA, during the Vietnam War. It’s an extremely interesting history of the how that war came to be, some of the main people involved in that war, and the rise of the CIA as an organization conducting paramilitary operations, not just spy missions. It also relates the political intrigues of the time, and the fate of Hmong who fought for Laos, and with and for America.
I learned a lot about the history of the conflict itself, and the characters on both sides of the war. This war which has been hidden in the shadows, and the author has given the people involved a chance to have their deeds, or misdeeds aired in the light of day. As with most of the little wars that occurred during the Cold War period, there is a lot of political manoeuvring which occurs in the background.
I received this book from Simon & Schuster via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.