Cambodian Civil War (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Control over the government and people of Cambodia. Result: Reunification of Cambodia under an internationally recognized government.
When Cambodia’s Prince Norodom Sihanouk decided to embark on a socialist program to build popular support, he raised taxes, which infuriated the peasants. After uprisings in the provinces during 1967 and 1968, Sihanouk rounded up communists for execution. Thereafter, the communists, known as the Khmer Rouge, went underground to organize the Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea (RAK).
Sihanouk also cut the defense budget, creating a restless military. In March, 1970, while Sihanouk was vacationing in France, his premier, Lon Nol, staged a coup and replaced the monarchy with the Khmer Republic. In the countryside, peasants formed pro-Sihanouk demonstrations, and recruitment efforts increased RAK strength from fewer than 1,000 to 12,000 by the end of the year.
Lon Nol greatly underestimated the threat of the Khmer Rouge, which set up self-sufficient security zones in which money and private property were abolished, land was collectivized, interzone travel and Cambodian...
(The entire section is 963 words.)
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