A Special Relationship: The United States and Military by Daniel Fineman

By Daniel Fineman

The improvement of the Thai-American alliance from 1947 to 1958 dramatically remodeled either nations' involvement in Southeast Asia. Bounded by way of very important political occasions in Thailand, a military coup in 1947 and the military's assumption of entire keep an eye on of presidency in 1958, the interval witnessed either the entrenchment of authoritarian army executive in Thailand and a revolution in U.S.-Thai family members. in the course of those years the fashionable Thai political process emerged, and the U.S. verified its curiosity and effect in mainland Southeast Asian affairs. The advancements of the interval made attainable American's later, extra large, involvement in Indochina.

A designated Relationship presents the main complete research of this severe founding interval of the Thai-American alliance. It unearths striking new info on joint covert operations in Indochina, American help for suppression of presidency rivals, and CIA involvement in Thai household politics.

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Additional resources for A Special Relationship: The United States and Military Government in Thailand, 1947-1958

Example text

The two secret services, the oss and the British Special Operations Executive, competed for influence with the Thai resistance, the State Department and the Foreign Office argued over whether to treat postwar Thailand as a defeated enemy or a Japanese conquest, and the British resisted American pressure to disavow any intention to take back more land after the war than Thailand had captured. Although the need to placate and strengthen the United States’ noncommunist European allies led the State Department after the war to soften its anticolonial stance in other parts of the region, with regard to always-independent Thailand, the policy continued in force.

Kahn, in his capacity as Prime Minister Khuang’s informal adviser, recommended that, as part of the process of freeing Thailand’s trade, Khuang loosen government control over the country’s foreign commerce and allow domestic demand, not the government’s financial status, to determine Thailand’s imports. At the time, the Finance Ministry carefully managed the country’s trade. Keeping a close eye on the country’s capital accounts, the ministry made sure to direct purchases toward those areas dealing in the currencies Thailand held.

An opposition party as irresponsible as the Democrats proved downright disastrous. The split with Khuang also threatened Pridi personally. Until Khuang’s resignation, Pridi had held only the position of special adviser to the government under the title of “senior statesman” (ratthaburut awuso). In that capacity, he enjoyed the prestige of national leadership without having to involve himself in the dirty world of everyday politics. With his assumption of formal control of the government in March 1946, however, Pridi became personally identified with all the government’s troubles, both small and large.

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