KCBD.com (Lubbock, TX). "CIA Releases Newly Declassified Assessments of Vietnam War-era Intelligence." 17 Mar. 2009. [http://www.kcbd.com]
On 13 March 2009, the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence released "six volumes of previously classified books detailing various aspects of the CIA's operations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the '60s and '70s. The works were distributed and discussed at a conference hosted by Texas Tech University's Vietnam Center and Archive. The documents [were] penned by CIA historian Thomas L. Ahern Jr."
Keith, Thomas H. [MCHF/USN (Ret.)], and J. Terry Riebling. SEAL Warrior: Death in the Dark--Vietnam, 1968-1972. New York: Thomas Dunne, 2009.
Burnham, Proceedings 135.12 (Dec. 2009), notes that this work "is neither autobiography nor sweeping historical essay.... It focuses on Keith's three deployments ... in South Vietnam's Mekong Delta." The book "is a solid read," but it "is not perfect. Though it flows well..., he refers to too few outside events to give the reader context or a sense of what was happening in the combat theater. The lack of dates and maps eventually becomes confusing."
Kelly, Francis John [COL/USA].
1. Vietnam Studies: U.S. Army Special Forces, 1961-1971. CMH Publication 90-23. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 1989 (first printed, 1973). Available at: http://www.history.army.mil/books/Vietnam/90-23/90-23C.htm.
2. The Green Berets in Vietnam, 1961-71. McLean, VA: Brassey's, 1991. [reissue]
This book surveys counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam, which for the period 1961-1963 were CIA managed.
King, Dan. "What Is a Promise Worth?" CIRA Newsletter 23, no. 2 (Summer 1999): 30-32.
A former CIA officer remembers the chaos and the pain of the final days of the U.S. evacuation of Saigon. Tom Polgar, "Saigon 1975," CIRA Newsletter 23, no. 3 (Fall 1999), 21-24, offers his perspective on the trauma of the fall of Saigon. He concludes: "I am convinced those of us in Vietnam did the best we could under desperate conditions."
Krall, Yung. A Thousand Tears Falling: The True Story of a Vietnamese Family Torn Apart by War, Communism, and the CIA. Marietta, GA: Longstreet Press, 1995.
Surveillant 4.4/5 identifies Yung Krall as the daughter of an NFLSV official and a spy for the CIA, who also worked with the FBI for which she helped break up the Humphrey-Huong spy ring.
Lansdale, Edward Geary.
1. 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 Currey, Edward Lansdale (1988); and Nashel, Edward Lansdale's Cold War (2005).
2. "Vietnam: Do We Understand Revolution." Foreign Affairs 43, no. 1 (1964): 75-86.
Larson, Doyle [MAJGEN/USAF (Ret.)] "Direct Intelligence Combat Support in Vietnam: Project Teaball." American Intelligence Journal 15, no. 1 (Spring-Summer 1994): 56-58.
Larson discusses the success of "rapid exploitation of the enemy's COMSEC vulnerabilities coupled with direct and timely delivery of information to pilots." TEABALL is also discussed in Dan Hearn, "A Career Built on SIGINT," American Intelligence Journal 15, no. 1 (Spring-Summer 1994), 67-70. "The current version of TEABALL is called FASTBALL and uses the F-16." Hearn refers to Earl H. Tilford, Crosswinds (1993) and Setup (1991), on U.S. Air Force operations in Vietnam.
Leary, William M. Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1984. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institute Press, 2003.
According to Motley, IJI&C 1.1, Perilous Missions is an "important and penetrating account that unites CAT's airline history, intelligence activities, and the Cold War." CAT operated 1946-1959 when it became Air America. Tovar, IJI&C 8.3, calls it "a serious study of the operations of CIA proprietary airlines" (fn. 5).
For Goulden, Washington Times, 8 Jun. 2003, Leary's is a "sound work, based on CAT's corporate archives." It serves as "a palliative for the wild yarns circulated about CAT and its successor organization, Air America, over the years." Bath, NIPQ 20.2, gives this work a "highly recommended" rating. The new edition has "a helpful new preface that summarizes CIA's proprietary air operations subsequent to the transformation of CAT into Air America.... Perilous Missions remains the best study of CAT and CIA's early involvement in the air over Asia."
Lee, Alex [LTCOL/USMC (Ret.)]. Force Recon Command: A Special Marine Unit in Vietnam, 1969-1970. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.
From publisher: The author "commanded the Third Force Reconnaissance Company in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. Made up of small units of specially trained U.S. Marines, the company conducted long-range patrols deep in northern I Corps -- including the infamous Ashau Valley -- to gather intelligence about the North Vietnamese Army." Campbell, WIR 16.3, finds this to be "an excellent book," the value of which "rests on its elucidation of the intelligence functions of a reconnaissance unit."
LeGro, William E. [COL/USA (Ret.)] "Intelligence in Vietnam after the Cease-Fire." INSCOM Journal 20, no. 2 (Mar.-Apr. 1992).
The author covers the period from his arrival in Vietnam on 2 December 1972 to the fall of Saigon on 29 April 1975. His account of the Intelligence Branch, Defense Attaché Office, Saigon, successor to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, is authoritative.
Lomperis, Timothy J.
1. From People's War to People's Rule: Insurgency, Intervention and the Lessons of Vietnam. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Berger, et al, I&NS 22.6 (Dec. 2007), see the author sliding "too easily from one time in place in history to another." He "explains the Vietnam War as a crisis of political legitimacy," but his "argument lacks depth and the centrality of political legitimacy is hardly a new insight." Overall, "Lomperis raises more questions than he answers."
2. The Vietnam War from the Rear Echelon: An Intelligence Officer's Memoir, 1972-1973. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2011.
House, Proceedings 138.9 (Oct. 2012), notes that as a junior intelligence officer [at MACV], the author "had a priviledged view of the war." In this work, he combines his "personal experience with his subsequent career as an academic expert on the conflict to give the reader numerous insights into the failure of 'Vietnamization.'" His work "is both a significant contribution to our understanding of the war and an entertaining story." Peake, Studies 56.2 (Jun. 2012), says that Lomperis provides "a candid and unusual view of staff intelligence in Vietnam."
For Richards, H-War, H-Net Reviews. Jan. 2012, Lomperis's "compendium on the history of the war intertwined with his personal account offers a new, dynamic source of information to Vietnam War scholars concerned with day-to-day intelligence activities at the ground level." Brush, http://www.historynet.com, Mar. 2012, comments that this work combines "memoir and history. The memoir is the best part. The history relies too much on a few revisionist secondary sources and contains numerous errors." Nonetheless, "[i]n spite of his occasional missteps, Lomperis' keen observations and wit makes for a good read."
Long, Lonnie M., and Gary B. Blackburn. Unlikely Warriors: The Army Security Agency's Secret War in Vietnam 1961-1973. iUniverse, 2013.
For Peake, Studies 58.3 (Sep. 2014), this "story of the ASA's combat and operational roles" in Vietnam "is a significent tribute to the ASA's little-known role in the war."
Manning, Robert, ed. War in the Shadows: The Vietnam Experience. Boston: Boston Publishing Co., 1988.
McGehee, CIABASE January 1995 Update Report, comments that in many respects this "is the most informative, concise and accurate of many of the books on Vietnam in regard to the clandestine operations of the Special Operating Groups (SOGs) and the CIA's various programs."
Maximov, William J. "The Metal Traces Test." Studies in Intelligence 11, no. 4 (Fall 1967): 37-44.
Developing a test and implementing a process [the Trace Metal Detection Kit] for identifying insurgents in Vietnam through "the deposit of metal traces from handling metal objects."
McChristian, Joseph A. [MGEN/USA] The Role of Military Intelligence, 1965- 1967. Washington, DC: GPO, 1974.
According to Pforzheimer, the author, who later headed Army Intelligence, relates his experiences as J-2 MACV. Constantinides finds that the work is "of greatest value on the organization of military intelligence." Because the material is unclassified, many subjects are omitted.
McNamara, Robert S., with Brian VanDeMark. In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam. New York: Times Books/Random House, 1995.
Choice, Sep. 1995, notes that McNamara "kept his silence for almost 30 years. Now that he has spoken -- in this extraordinary book -- he has reinflamed all the old passions and ignited a media extravaganza. The issue and controversy of Robert McNamara's mea culpa aside, this is one of the most important books on Vietnam in years.... McNamara's perspective is one of the most important on the complex and enigmatic Lyndon Johnson.... This is the most forthright memoir about culpability, error, and moral failure that this reviewer knows."
Polgar, CIRA Newsletter, Summer 1995, and Surveillant 4.2, expresses strong distaste for McNamara's In Retrospect, terming the work "misleading and disingenuous." According to Polgar, McNamara blames Vietnam "on the uncritical acceptance of the prevailing foreign policy concepts and the lack of expertise on East Asia in the State Department. This is nonsense." Polgar concludes that "McNamara's book is an example of his pervasive bad judgment, arrogance and vanity."
For Ford, Studies 39.5, McNamara's account is "ambiguous, debatable, and, above all, selective.... In Retrospect is nonetheless worth absorbing for the contributions it makes concerning the Vietnam policymaking process and the role therein that US intelligence did and did not play.... McNamara does not give CIA judgments specific credit for helping him change his basic attitude toward the war, but the inference is clear that he ... came increasingly to respect CIA's reporting candor and good track record."
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