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Sunday, January 21, 2007

January 18, 1961: Eisenhower Farewell Warning, US 'Uneasy' Over Congo, Laos Wants French Out

"President Eisenhower cautioned the nation in a farewell address from the White House tonight to be vigilant against dangers to its liberties implicit in a vast military establishment and a permanent armaments industry unparalleled in peacetime," the New York Times reports.

"The United States is becoming increasingly uneasy over the trend in the Congo and the performance of the United Nations there," the Times reports. "It seems certain that the Kennedy Administration which assumes its responsibilities Friday, will be told by its political and military advisers that it must act quickly to redress a bad situation."

"The Laotian Government of Premier Boun Oum has demanded that some French advisers be withdrawn from the country," the Times reports. ... "The Laotian-French dispute has complicated the already complex situation in Laos and has contributed to the inability of the Allied powers to arrive at a unified stand, diplomats acknowledge. ... withdrawal of the French would imperil the existence of the small United States Military Advisory Group in Laos. This group, it was said, is in Laos only uner agreement with the French, ostensibly to instruct the Laotian Army in the use of arms and equipment supplied by the United States."

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