Since the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk in March 1970, there has been a rapid build up in the armed forces in the Khmer Republic.
Since the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk in March 1970, there has been a rapid build up in the armed forces in the Khmer Republic. The Lon Nol Government is opposed to Communism and wants the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong out of the country.
President Nixon's administration has already asked the American Congress to give the Khmer Republic two hundred million dollars in military assistance, but Congress is opposed to any significant American military presence in the country.
The Khmer army is still in the training stage and to avoid any protest in the United States, the Americans are spending vast sums training the Cambodians in South Vietnam.
SYNOPSIS: Building an army is a new experience for the Khmer Republic. Since the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk in March last year, there has been a rapid build up and the army has grown from a force of 30,000 to more than 200,000. Since the build up began, the army has showed some signs of progress....several units have completed a course in parachute training which the Government admits there is not much use for, but they say it is good for morale. The Nixon administration has asked Congress to give the Khmer forces two hundred million dollars to pay for military assistance and training -- but money cannot buy experience.
The Lon Nol Government is anti-Communist, but Congress is opposed to any significant American military presence in the country, fearing the beginnings of another Vietnam. So American military men stationed here have strict orders to stay out of sight. Much of the Khmer army consists of teenage girls, old men and children -- some of them less than 12 years old - and the American military authorities would like to help build up this army into an effective fighting force.
To put people like these against a tough and well-trained army like the Vietcong would not brig any outstanding success for the Khmer Government.....the whole army is still in its infant stage and at the moment they are playing for time. Much of the training is done in South Vietnam, and the Khmer recruits are trucked off daily to train out of sight of American critics.