WI: No Khmer Rouge

The Khmer Rouge lose the war and never take control of Cambodia. How this happens doesn't matter (though you can add it if you want). Just what would Cambodia look like today? From what I saw, it was a modestly successful country and was on the rise before Pol Pot seized control. Would it be the South Korea of Southeast Asia or would it just be a modestly successful country?
 
Well, for a full quarter of Cambodia's population to survive the 1970's... which they didn't do IOTL... could only be a good thing.
I'm not sure if Cambodia would quite become another "Asian Tiger", but there'd be a lot of potential there... Tourism (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom) for one thing...
"Cultural exports" could be interesting too... I've been to Vietnamese, Lao, and Thai restaurants, but never to a Cambodian restaurant....
 
Does No Khmer Rouge mean no Vietnamese invasion, and hence a reduction of Vietnamese influence in Cambodia?

Or does it mean an earlier onslaught of Vietnamese influence, because the Khmer Rouge isn't around to keep them at bay for a few years?
 
Without Khmer Rouge, Cambodia would become Thailand if they had liberalized its economy. Otherwise, Cambodia would be similar to today's Laos. I think there is a great chance that it would be the second case.
 
Vietnam invades and installs a puppet government. Vietnam's post unification objective was to establish an Indochina federation with Cambodia and Laos as it’s satellites.
 
Maybe there would be 20 million people in Cambodia?

If the Khmer Republic is the force beating Pol Pot, it will probably be made to become democratic in the 80s or 90s due to the USA's influence. If the monarchy is the force beating Pol Pot, the outcome is less clear.
 
Maybe there would be 20 million people in Cambodia?

If the Khmer Republic is the force beating Pol Pot, it will probably be made to become democratic in the 80s or 90s due to the USA's influence. If the monarchy is the force beating Pol Pot, the outcome is less clear.

Population is plausible. But there is no way Cambodia isn’t under Vietnam’s control. There wont be US influence.
 
Population is plausible. But there is no way Cambodia isn’t under Vietnam’s control. There wont be US influence.

The pre-Khmer Rouge government of Cambodia, the Khmer Republic, was pro-US and was not a friend of Vietnam. If the Khmer Republic beat the Khmer Rouge, I don't see why it would become an ally of Vietnam.

And a Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia would be a lot more difficult if a more sane government was in charge of Cambodia at the time.
 
The pre-Khmer Rouge government of Cambodia, the Khmer Republic, was pro-US and was not a friend of Vietnam. If the Khmer Republic beat the Khmer Rouge, I don't see why it would become an ally of Vietnam.

And a Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia would be a lot more difficult if a more sane government was in charge of Cambodia at the time.
A Vietnamese invasion of the Khmer Republic would probably draw in overt Thai intervention.

Carter (or whomever is POTUS at the time) would probably encourage Deng to really draw out the Sino-Vietnamese War.
 
A Vietnamese invasion of the Khmer Republic would probably draw in overt Thai intervention.

Carter (or whomever is POTUS at the time) would probably encourage Deng to really draw out the Sino-Vietnamese War.

The Sino-Vietnamese war was the intervention to stop the invasion of Cambodia, and China couldn’t do it. In this scenario China probably doesn’t intervene at all, since the Khmer Republic is not an ally. Thailand wont be able to do anything about it.
 
Goodness gracious, we are suspicious of the Vietnamese. The reason the government of Vietnam invaded Cambodia on Dec. 25, 1978, was because the Khmer Rouge had been crossing the border, attacking Vietnamese villages, and killing Vietnamese citizens. Almost any government would respond militarily to this.

And even though stopping genocide was not the reason, Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia still probably stands within the top five best examples of straight-up military action to stop genocide in its tracks, let’s say within the last hundred years. The top example is the Allies defeating Nazi Germany in WW2.

LATER EDIT: Yes, it was highly fortunate that Vietnam invaded and defeated the Khmer Rouge in most, but not all, of Cambodia within just a few short weeks. However . . . Vietnam then misplayed their hand by continuing to occupy the country all through the 1980s. They should have made a big deal out of asking for UN peacekeepers, and taken abundant photos of starving Cambodians.
 
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Goodness gracious, we are suspicious of the Vietnamese. The reason the government of Vietnam invaded Cambodia on Dec. 25, 1978, was because the Khmer Rouge had been crossing the border, attacking Vietnamese villages, and killing Vietnamese citizens. Almost any government would respond militarily to this.

And even though stopping genocide was not the reason, Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia still probably stands within the top five best examples of straight-up military action stop genocide in its tracks, let’s say within the last hundred years. The top example is the Allies defeating Nazi Germany in WW2.
There’s a reason why US, China, Thailand all allied against Vietnam. Their strategic goal of controlling former French Indochina is not an opinion of mine.

Cambodians would have been way better off without the Khmer Rouge there’s no doubt. But either way they were going to be subjugated by Vietnam. National interest drives “border incidents” not the other way around.
 
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The Sino-Vietnamese war was the intervention to stop the invasion of Cambodia, and China couldn’t do it. In this scenario China probably doesn’t intervene at all, since the Khmer Republic is not an ally. Thailand wont be able to do anything about it.
It was intended more to screw with Hanoi about the reliability/utility of Soviet aid (of which the success depends upon who you ask) than any actual attempt to force a withdrawal from Cambodia.

Thailand could at least mess up any Vietnamese advance west of Phnom Penh with the surviving Khmer Republic forces (the Vietnamese won't have an support network that far west, and locals are likely to be rather hostile).
 
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