11 Facts About SEATO


The formal institution of SEATO was established on 19 February 1955 at a meeting of treaty partners in Bangkok, Thailand.

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SEATO was dissolved on 30 June 1977 after many members lost interest and withdrew.

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President Dwight D Eisenhower's Secretary of State John Foster Dulles is considered to be the primary force behind the creation of SEATO, which expanded the concept of anti-communist collective defense to Southeast Asia.

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Organizationally, SEATO was headed by the Secretary General, whose office was created in 1957 at a meeting in Canberra, with a council of representatives from member states and an international staff.

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However, with the lingering threat coming from communist North Vietnam and the possibility of the domino theory with Indochina turning into a communist frontier, SEATO got these countries under its protection – an act that would be considered to be one of the main justifications for the U S involvement in the Vietnam War.

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SEATO was unable to intervene in conflicts in Laos because France and the United Kingdom rejected the use of military action.

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SEATO sponsored the creation of the Teacher Development Center in Bangkok, as well as the Thai Military Technical Training School, which offered technical programs for supervisors and workmen.

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SEATO provided research funding and grants in agriculture and medical fields.

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In 1959, SEATO set up the Cholera Research Laboratory in Bangkok, later establishing a second Cholera Research Laboratory in Dhaka, East Pakistan.

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SEATO was interested in literature, and a SEATO Literature Award was created and given to writers from member states.

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South Vietnam was defeated in war by North Vietnam and France withdrew financial support in 1975, and the SEATO council agreed to the phasing-out of the organization.

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