Why US Army did not join Invasion of Laos, 1971 : Lam Son 719 operation ?
Many people wondered why the Americans did not participate in the Invasion of Laos 1971 : Lam Son 719 operation with the target to cut the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos territory
Invasion of Laos, 1971 also called Lam Son 719 operation was a limited objective offensive campaign to cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail conducted in the southeastern portion of the Kingdom of Laos. The campaign was carried out by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) between 8 February and 25 March 1971, during the Vietnam War.
From 1959 to 1970, the Ho Chi Minh Trail or Truong Son Road became an marterial road when the human, food, weapons and gas fields were continuously supplied to the Southern battlefield. This route originates from Quang Binh, which runs through the southeastern part of Laos, which is commonly known as Lower Laos, then passes through Cambodia and the last in the vicinity of Tay Ninh.
The US military as well as the ARVN has long understood the importance of this path and has deliberately attempted to stop it. In the search and rescue campaigns of 1965-1969, the US military launched many troops as well as set up special forces’ bases to hunt down and destroy this route, especially the A Sau valley area like A Sầu, A Luoi, Ben Het, Polei Kleng, …
By 1970, the US military had invaded Cambodia, now led by General Lon Non, who fled to the United States, so the level of opposition was not high. James Olson writes:
“Reaction to the Cambodian invasion, conducted by the Nixon administration, did not consult the US Congress, Senators J.Cooper (Republic, Kentucky) and F.Church (Democrat, State Idaho) proposed a bill prohibiting spending without the approval of Congress … “
The faction agrees that the proposal is still too slow in the process of the US Legislature reclaiming control of the Constitution over the US administration’s war. Richard Nixon administration accused the Cooper and Church Senators of being an unconstitutional violation of the president’s power – the commander-in-chief.
After a fierce debate, one of the two Houses of Parliament, the Senate, at the rate of 58/37, approved the proposal, called the Cooper-Church Amendment on June 30, 1970.
If the Cooper-Church Amendment becomes legally effective, total US military intervention in Laos and Cambodia will be significantly reduced. The two institutes approved the revised Cooper-Church amendment, formally known as Public Law 91-652, effective January 5, 1971. Just before the Invasion of Laos 1971 : Lam Son 719 operation began on February 8, 1971. Therefore, in the Lam Son 719 operation, US troops can only participate in the field of road construction, bridge construction …. and to the border is terminated. After that, we only participated in bombardment missions from Khe Sanh, Lao Bao, … to support or in bombing missions, aerial support.
It can be seen that the US did not take part in the Invasion of Laos 1971 because of fears of violating the Cooper-Church terms and as the American anti-war movement was climbing, if fighting and suffering were possible, it would be possible Influencing Nixon’s campaign strategy, the United States was forced to stand outside in the campaign. As a result, in the 9th road South Laos 1971 battle, without the support from US army, the South Vietnamese army suffered massive losses and had to withdraw as soon as he reached Tchepon