1960. President Eisenhower was focused on Laos, a tiny Southeast Asian nation. Washington feared the country would fall to communism, triggering a domino effect in the rest of Southeast Asia. In January 1961, Eisenhower approved the CIA's Operation Momentum, a plan to create a proxy army of ethnic Hmong to fight communist forces in Laos. Kurlantzick shows how the brutal war lasted nearly two decades, killed one-tenth of Laos's total population, and changed the nature of the CIA forever.