By Daniel Fineman
The improvement of the Thai-American alliance from 1947 to 1958 dramatically remodeled either nations' involvement in Southeast Asia. Bounded by means of very important political occasions in Thailand, a military coup in 1947 and the military's assumption of whole keep watch over of presidency in 1958, the interval witnessed either the entrenchment of authoritarian army govt in Thailand and a revolution in U.S.-Thai family members. in the course of those years the fashionable Thai political procedure emerged, and the USA verified its curiosity and impression in mainland Southeast Asian affairs. The advancements of the interval made attainable American's later, extra vast, involvement in Indochina.
A specified Relationship presents the main finished research of this serious founding interval of the Thai-American alliance. It finds spectacular new info on joint covert operations in Indochina, American help for suppression of presidency rivals, and CIA involvement in Thai family politics.
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Extra resources for A Special Relationship: The United States and Military Government in Thailand, 1947-1958
Phin, a relatively obscure general until he appeared as chief of the Coup Group, had led the troops occupying the Shan States of Burma during World War II. He had never held political office. Col. Phao Siyanon, though not a senior member of the Coup Group, played a major role because of his personal connections. A long-time aide and close associate of Phibun and married to Phin’s daughter, Phao was responsible for maintaining contacts with Phibun. Because of such ties—and American favor— Phao would later become one of the two or three most powerful men in the country.
He hoped that evidence of American support for his government would aid the processes. Pridi struck his first alliance with the navy. With its emphasis on technical expertise, the navy had long attracted a more patrician officer corps than the army, and a deep-seated rivalry developed between the two services in the prewar years. When World War II divided the ranks of the ruling clique, the navy sided with Pridi against the army’s champion, Phibun. In return, Pridi not only spared the navy from troop cutbacks in the postwar years but also funneled to the navy many of the modern arms the oss had provided for the fight against Japan.
Within Southeast Asia itself, Thailand ranked in importance below the Philippines and Indonesia and no higher than Indochina. The most that senior State Department officials such as Secretary of State George C. Marshall and Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson hoped for from Thailand was that it would stay as quiet as possible. They resisted any involvement in its internal affairs. Senior officials’ lack of interest in Thailand created a unique situation within the State Department. In making policy concerning the other countries of the region, the newly formed Division of Southeast CH1 Page 25 Thursday, September 13, 2001 11:56 AM p re l u d e to t h e c o u p 25 Asian Affairs had to contend with the Office of European Affairs’ advocacy of the colonial interests of America’s European allies.