History of Thailand: the Vietnam war

During the 1960s Thailand increasingly was drawn into the conflict in Indochina. The Thai government sent a military contingent to fight in South Vietnam, lent considerable covert military support to right-wing forces in Laos, and established Thailand as a major air power base. Numerous military bases were built in Thailand to house U.S. military contingents.

New roads, improved railroad service, and telecommunications linked the bases. All of Thailand, but especially Bangkok, benefited economically from the heightened activity the war produced.

Thailand’s increasing involvement in Indochina stimulated Vietnamese and Chinese Communists to support rebellion among rural Thai, which engulfed most of Thailand’s outer provinces in the 1960s. As direct American involvement in Vietnam began to diminish beginning in about 1969, Thailand was left with considerable involvement in Indochina (especially in Laos) as well as persistent internal problems.

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