By Daniel Fineman
The improvement of the Thai-American alliance from 1947 to 1958 dramatically reworked either international locations' involvement in Southeast Asia. Bounded via 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 family. in the course of those years the fashionable Thai political process emerged, and the U.S. validated its curiosity and effect in mainland Southeast Asian affairs. The advancements of the interval made attainable American's later, extra wide, involvement in Indochina.
A distinctive Relationship presents the main accomplished research of this severe founding interval of the Thai-American alliance. It unearths magnificent new details 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
To a large extent, whoever controlled Bangkok, controlled the country. The army’s First Division maintained—as it has up to this day—the largest number of troops in the city. By favoring so conspicuously the army’s rivals, therefore, Pridi was antagonizing even further the most important military force in the country. To neutralize the threat from the army, Pridi tried, in succession, two separate approaches. In his first effort, he tried to assume control of the army from within. He appointed Lt.
5 Just as the Japanese occupation had boosted Phibun, however, Allied victories in the Pacific and Europe in 1943 and 1944 allowed Pridi and his civilian allies to turn the tables on Phibun and the army. By that point, Phibun and Pridi realized that Britain and the United States would determine who would rule Thailand, and a contest began between the two rivals for the Allies’ affections. Both secretly sent representatives to China to make contact with Chiang Kai-shek, and both laid plans for armed resistance against Japan.
Active as well as inactive officers remained restless and dangerous. In 1947, therefore, Pridi modified his tactics. Now, instead of merely hitting army officers with the stick, he also showed them the carrot. The navy and Free Thai, as before, supplied the stick. S. military aid would now provide the carrot. The political impact of American aid almost certainly occupied most of Pridi’s attention at this time. The Thai army, then as afterward, behaved as much more of a political institution than a fighting force.
A Special Relationship: The United States and Military Government in Thailand, 1947-1958 by Daniel Fineman