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 reworked either nations' involvement in Southeast Asia. Bounded by way of vital political occasions in Thailand, a military coup in 1947 and the military's assumption of whole 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 relatives. in the course of those years the trendy Thai political process emerged, and the U.S. confirmed its curiosity and impression in mainland Southeast Asian affairs. The advancements of the interval made attainable American's later, extra wide, involvement in Indochina.

A certain Relationship presents the main complete research of this severe founding interval of the Thai-American alliance. It finds fantastic new details on joint covert operations in Indochina, American help for suppression of presidency competitors, and CIA involvement in Thai household politics.

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

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S. 16 In response, Pridi showed his own readiness to play political hardball. He declared a short state of emergency, censored the press attacks, and briefly arrested two editors and two opposition members of Parliament. In the end, though, the controversy forced Pridi to resign in favor of a supporter from the Constitutional Front Party, Thamrong Nawasawat (Rear Admiral Luang Thawan Thamrong-nawasawat). As Pridi bungled this series of crises, a restless and bitter army confronted the civilian government with a more serious danger.

S. rebuff of Pridi acquires added significance. As with the Americans’ mild response to Phibun’s March announcements, this support for the Democrats arose out of the competition with Great Britain for influence in the country. Britain, for years, had maintained close relations with Pridi. 59 Doll returned to the Thai treasury after the Japanese departure, exerting, as before, considerable influence over both Thai and British officials. The Americans, on the other hand, developed ties in the years leading up to 1947 with Khuang Aphaiwong and Seni, another future leader of the Democrats and the very man Pridi and the British had offended by bypassing in the peace negotiations.

Britain depended on Thai and Burmese rice to feed Malayan rubber and tin workers. The Foreign Office feared that, if Phibun came to power, he would disrupt the rice procurement scheme drawn up with such difficulty by Thamrong and the British in December 1946. More expensive Thai rice would then raise the cost of production of Malayan tin and rubber and possibly create unrest in the colony. British officials also worried about prospects of including Thailand in a general defense system London was contemplating for the region.

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