America’s Secret War

As the United States publicly engaged in the Vietnam War, there was a secret conflict raging right next door in the country of Laos. Under the direction of the CIA, a full-blown military operation took hold of Laos, with just a select few of the U.S. Armed Forces participating.

The CIA was actively training an army of allied guerilla fighters at Long Tieng, a secret airbase located in the heart of Laos. Among these guerilla fighters there were a large number of the Hmong people (an ethnic group from the mountainous regions of southern China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand), to assist in destroying enemy supply lines.

In this hour-long PBS special we learn of the history behind this covert war through the stories of Hmong elders and a rich collection of never-been-seen archival images, maps, and documents, including recently declassified CIA intelligence.

Directed by: Lisa Blackstone

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