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Diplomacy in Action

Laos: Security Assistance


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Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Washington, DC
October 20, 2008

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[This material is no longer current.  Updated data will be posted.]

Map and flag of Laos

Background: Modern-day Laos has its roots in the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, established in the 14th Century under King FA NGUM. For 300 years Lan Xang had influence reaching into present-day Cambodia and Thailand, as well as over all of what is now Laos. After centuries of gradual decline, Laos came under the domination of Siam (Thailand) from the late 18th century until the late 19th century when it became part of French Indochina. The Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 defined the current Lao border with Thailand. In 1975, the Communist Pathet Lao took control of the government ending a six-century-old monarchy and instituting a strict socialist regime closely aligned to Vietnam. A gradual return to private enterprise and the liberalization of foreign investment laws began in 1986. Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997. (Source: CIA—The World Factbook)

Security Assistance Funding: (Source: 2009 Congressional Budget Justifications for Foreign Operations)

($ in thousands)

Account FY 2007 FY2007 FY 2008 FY 2008 FY2009

Actual Supp Estimate Supp Request
IMET 40 -- 67 -- 100
NADR 2,550 -- 2,550 -- 1,900

Direct Commercial Sales: (Source: 2007 Section 655 Report)

In FY 2007, the Department of State authorized no exports of defense articles or services to Laos.



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