COVERT ACTION

By Region

Asia

Included here:

1. Generally

2. Cambodia

3. China

4. India

5. Japan

6. Philippines

7. Thailand

 

1. Generally

Ali, S. Mahmud. Cold War in the High Himalayas: The USA, China and South Asia in the 1950s. New York: Palgrave, 1999.

From publisher: "The book examines elite-insecurity perceptions in India, Pakistan and the USA in the 1950s, the consequent linkages in alliance-building efforts, and subsequent triangular covert collaboration against Communist China."

U.S. Department of State. Office of the Historian. Ed. Edward C. Keefer. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968.

Vol. XXVII. Mainland Southeast Asia; Regional Affairs. Washington, DC: GPO, 2000. Available at: http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/vol_xxvii/index.html.

The editors' introductory note, "U.S. Covert Actions and Counter-Insurgency Programs" is available at: http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/vol_xxvii/covert.html.

2. Cambodia

Bitar, Mona K. "Bombs, Plots and Allies: Cambodia and the Western Powers, 1958-59." Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 4 (Winter 1999): 149-180.

In 1958 and 1959, Sihanouk learned that he could use neutrality in the struggle against Thai and Vietnamese influence in Cambodia. Henceforth, he assumed that "he could score points against his neighbours by carefully balancing East against West."

Conboy, Kenneth. The Cambodian Wars: Clashing Armies and CIA Covert Operations. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2013.

From publisher: The author "chronicles the violence that plagued Cambodia from World War II until the end of the twentieth century and peels back the layers of secrecy that surrounded the CIA's covert assistance to anticommunist forces in Cambodia during that span."

Sihanouk, Norodom, and Wilfred Burchett. My War with the CIA: Cambodia's Fight for Survival. London: Penguin, 1973.

 

3. China

Holober, Frank. Raiders of the China Coast: CIA Covert Operations during the Korean War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1999.

Clark comment: The author, who served with Western Enterprises Incorporated (WEI) on Quemoy in 1951-1952, details the activities of CIA-sponsored anti-Communist guerrillas along China's southeastern coast in the early 1950s. Except for an annoying tendency to use made up conversations from the past to advance some of his story, Holober provides a good read. This reader even guffawed several times. Ever the instructor, Holober provides little snippets of Chinese along the way. Nevertheless, you need to be interested in learning about this little-known covert action to get full enjoyment from this book.

Sulc, CIRA Newsletter 23.2, comments that Raiders of the China Coast "should be greeted with great interest by historians.... Holober has done a very good job" in his writing about "the forgotten war within the 'forgotten war.'" Similarly, Copper, IJI&C 13.3, says that "Holober is to be credited for telling a story that needed to be told." For Jonkers, AFIO WIN 35-99 (3 Sep. 1999), this book "can be read as a rousing story or as history, celebrating an exceptional cast of American characters involved in these clandestine operations.... Highly recommended."

4. India

Pullin, Eric D. "'Money Does Not Make Any Difference to the Opinions That We Hold': India, the CIA, and the Congress for Cultural Freedom, 1951–58." Intelligence and National Security 26, no. 2 & 3 (Apr.-Jun. 2011): 377-398.

From Abstract: "During the 1950s, the United States conducted both overt and covert propaganda activities in India.... [D]omestic opposition composed primarily of members of the Praja Socialist Party worked closely with US-backed groups, in particular the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom, to generate a political alternative to the ruling Congress party. Although receiving covert money from the Americans, these Indians did not believe that foreign money determined or shaped their opinions. On the other hand, their close association with the Americans undermined their claims to represent a legitimate domestic opposition."

5. Japan

Kyodo News. "U.S. Admits CIA Gave LDP Money in 1950s, 1960s." Japan Times, 20 Jul. 2006. [http://www.japantimes.co.jp]

This report quotes the newly released Foreign Relations of the United States, Vol. XXIX, Part 2, Japan that "[t]he CIA secretly sent money to the Liberal Democratic Party in the 1950s and 1960s to help stabilize the LDP-led government and prevent a leftist administration from emerging... The document ... also suggests that some of the CIA money went to moderate members of the now-defunct Japan Socialist Party, the LDP's rival at the time, apparently to help them form a moderate breakaway."

U.S. Department of State. Office of the Historian. Gen. ed., David S. Patterson. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968.

Vol. XXIX, Part 2. Japan. Ed., Karen L. Gatz. Washington, DC: GPO, 2006. [Available at: http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v29p2]

From "Summary": "During the Johnson administration, U.S. officials became concerned that the covert programs of supporting key pro-American Japanese officials, begun in the late 1950s and continuing into the early 1960s, and splitting off the moderate wing of the leftist opposition, was neither appropriate nor worth the risk of exposure. As a result, these programs were phased out in 1964, but broader covert programs -- propaganda and social action -- to encourage key Japanese elements to reject the influence of the left continued at moderate levels through 1968."

Weiner, Tim. "C.I.A. Spent Millions to Support Japanese Right in 50's and 60's." New York Times, 9 Oct. 1994.

"In a major covert operation of the cold war, the Central Intelligence Agency spent millions of dollars to support the ... Liberal Democratic Party and its members in the 1950's and the 1960's.... Since then, the C.I.A. has dropped its covert financial aid and focused instead on gathering inside information on Japan's party politics and positions in trade and treaty talks....

"The C.I.A.'s help for Japanese conservatives resembled other cold war operations, like secret support for Italy's Christian Democrats. But it remained secret -- in part, because it succeeded. The Liberal Democrats thwarted their Socialist opponents, maintained their one-party rule, forged close ties with Washington and fought off public opposition to the United States' maintaining military bases throughout Japan."

6. Philippines

Greenberg, Lawrence M. The Hukbalahap Insurrection: A Case Study of a Successful Anti-Insurgency Operation in the Philippines, 1946-1955. Historical Analysis Series. Washington, DC: Analysis Branch, U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1987. [Available at: http://www.history.army.mil/books/coldwar/huk/huk-fm.htm]

Lansdale, Edward Geary. In the Midst of Wars: An American's Mission to Southeast Asia. New York: Harper & Row, 1972. [Reprint] New York: Fordham University Press, 1991.

According to Surveillant 2.1, Lansdale "recounts his missions with CIA in the Philippines and, later, in Vietnam during the 1950s and 1960s." For biographies of Lansdale, see Cecil B. Currey, Edward Lansdale: The Unquiet American (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988); and Jonathan Nashel, Edward Lansdale's Cold War (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2005).

Valeriano, Napoleon D., and Charles T.R. Bohannan. Counter-Guerrilla Operations: The Philippine Experience. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2006.

7. Thailand

U.S. Department of State. Office of the Historian. Gen. ed., David S. Patterson. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968. Vol. XXVII. Mainland Southeast Asia; Regional Affairs. Ed., Edward C. Keefer. Washington, DC: GPO, 2000. [http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v27]

See introductory note, "U.S. Covert Actions and Counter-Insurgency Programs," at: http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v27/actionsstatement.

For materials on "Covert U.S. Government Financial Support to Thai Elections," see especially document numbers 305-306, 381, 383, 396-398, 400-402, and 404.

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