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 international locations' involvement in Southeast Asia. Bounded by means of vital political occasions in Thailand, a military coup in 1947 and the military's assumption of entire regulate of presidency in 1958, the interval witnessed either the entrenchment of authoritarian army govt in Thailand and a revolution in U.S.-Thai kinfolk. in the course of those years the trendy Thai political approach emerged, and the U.S. confirmed 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 serious founding interval of the Thai-American alliance. It finds impressive 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 resources for A Special Relationship: The United States and Military Government in Thailand, 1947-1958

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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. Gen. Sinat Yotharak commander of the army in 1944 (Police General Adun Detcharat replaced Sinat in July 1946) and in 1945 named Rear Adm.

Phibun, however, refused Phao’s offers. Although Phao informed him of the plans for the coup, Phibun neither joined the Coup Group nor seems to have participated in the preparations for the coup. In the days leading up to Thamrong’s overthrow, Phibun tried to block any use of force, and, once that failed, he withstood pressure to associate himself with the coup until after the Coup Group had already attained effective control of the capital. On November 6, two days before the conspirators acted, Phibun informed Prime Minister Thamrong that a coup was in the making and advised him to resign in favor of the present army commander, Gen.

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. Kat Katsongkhram, unlike Phin, had a long history of political involvement, including participation in the 1932 “revolution” and service as Phibun’s deputy minister of finance in 1942–1943.

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