Country Listing

Laos Table of Contents


Structure and Administration of the Armed Forces

As of mid-1994, the most powerful military officer in Laos was Lieutenant General Choummali Saignason, concurrently minister of national defense and commander in chief of the LPA. In addition to his military position, he was also the seventh highest ranking member of the ruling LPRP Political Bureau (Politburo). He took over as chief of the LPA in 1991 when General Khamtai Siphandon was elevated to prime minister (see The Lao People's Revolutionary Party , ch. 4). As a ranking member of the Politburo, Choummali is responsible for formulating both government and military policy. As commander in chief, he has absolute power over all internal and external security matters. All state security personnel, commanders of the air and naval forces, and police officials report to Choummali.

Data as of July 1994