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ARMY, ASSOCIATED STATE OF LAOS

Between 1946 and 1950, Laos had no national army but rather maintained a gendarmerie or police force, while the French army took care of military matters. This changed with the creation of the Associated State of Laos in 1949. Shortly thereafter, on 6 February 1950 a Franco-Lao military convention was signed by which obligatory military service was instituted for Lao men and an army was initiated, though operational control remained under French command. In July 1954, with the end of the war, the Kingdom of Laos’ army numbered some 21,000 troops. See also ARMY, ASSOCIATED STATE OF CAMBODIA; ARMY, ASSOCIATED STATE OF VIETNAM; EXPEDITIONARY CORPS; PEOPLE’S ARMY OF VIETNAM.