LAOS (10)

Submitted by Glen Aaron on February 10, 2012

As George and his partner continued their CIA work, under the State Department cover of aid observers, along the Laos/Vietnamese border, they found the same condition in each Montagnard village, a willing Auto-Defense group of fighters whose weapons were archaic and who had no communication equipment.

It would be only a matter of time before the Vietnamese and Pathet Lao invaded Laos and the commencement of Asian countries falling like dominoes to Communism. While the Laos/Vietnamese border was a concern, the very long border between Laos and Thailand was perfectly safe. Fortunately, the North Vietnam border was located in an extremely difficult mountainous area covered with dense jungle brush, passable only with great difficulty from either side of the border. This made the training and equipping of the Montagnard tribes even more important, however.

George and his partner would continue climbing and hacking through jungles up and down the border. Their goal was to visit every Montagnard village and establish and equip Auto-Defense groups within each. The political situation in Laos between Communist and non-Communist was not stable, and the men had to be careful who they talked to and how and when they made their jungle trips. If the U.S. did become involved in a war with the North Vietnamese, these Montagnard tribes, who were loyal to no one but themselves, could be valuable allies. In every village, George and his partner were well received. The villagers and their chiefs were anxious to protect their villages from outside attacks, and if the Americans were going to help them do that with training, firearms, ammunition, and communication equipment, they would be loyal and ready to fight and scout for the Americans.

I write of George’s service in Laos in my book:  Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranking military officer convicted of spying

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