The United States and Cambodia, 1960–1991
After Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s ouster in 1970 (which the United States did not regret), the Americans worked closely with Lon Nol’s government and resisted calls to help Sihanouk return to power. Tragedy engulfed Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge took over in 1975, but the United States quietly saw diplomatic advantages in their rule and objected when Vietnam invaded in 1978 to remove the murderous regime. The United States opposed the Vietnamese-installed government and provided support to the non-communist opposition movements, while encouraging Thailand and China to resuscitate the Khmer Rouge remnants. This led to much domestic criticism, and toward the end of the period the United States began to change its policy and supported a compromise peace.