The Cold War

The Clandestine Cold War in Asia, 1945-65

Aldrich, Richard J., Gary Rawnsley, and Ming-Yeh Rawnsley, eds.

"Special Issue on 'The Clandestine Cold War in Asia, 1945-65: Western Intelligence, Propaganda and Special Operations.'" Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 4 (Winter 1999): entire issue. Also published as The Clandestine Cold War in Asia, 1945-65. Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2000.

Cohen, FA 79.6, calls this a "dense but fascinating collection of essays.... Not a book for the general reader, but one definitely of interest to students of the subject."

1. Richard J. Aldrich, Gary Rawnsley, and Ming-Yeh Rawnsley, "Introduction: The Clandestine Cold War in Asia, 1945-65," 1-14.

2. Matthew M. Aid, "US Humint and Comint in the Korean War: From the Approach of War to the Chinese Intervention," 17-63.

U.S. intelligence "performed poorly during the early stages of the Korean War.... The American Humint collection program in the Far East and in North Korea itself was severely fragmented and poorly coordinated.... The Comint collection and processing efforts of the three American services in Asia were not integrated into the Far East Command's intelligence structure, and were not coordinated."

3. Johannes R. Lombardo, "A Mission of Espionage, Intelligence and Psychological Operations: The American Consulate in Hong Kong, 1949-64," 64-81.

Hong Kong "became a very important location for American intelligence operations and propaganda policy in Asia.... [S]ome of the American Consulate's activities ... at this time put a strain on the Anglo-American relationship."

4. Gary D. Rawnsley, "Taiwan's Propaganda Cold War: The Offshore Islands Crises of 1954 and 1958," 82-101.

"[M]ost of the ROC's propaganda at this time was designed for American, rather than Chinese audiences."

5. Philip H. J. Davies, "The SIS Singapore Station and the Role of the Far East Controller: Secret Intelligence Structure and Process in Post-War Colonial Administration," 105-129.

The author uses his analysis of the role of the FEC to support his argument that the relationship between the SIS and the British government is characterized by a "pull" (demand-driven) architecture for the SIS. This arises out of the "fundamental decentralisation of intelligence in the British state." (Emphasis in original)

6. Richard J. Aldrich, "Legacies of Secret Service: Renegade SOE and the Karen Struggle in Burma, 1948-50," 130-148.

During World War II, it proved relatively easy for secret services to foment insurgencies. However, in the postwar period, the issue became one of how to handle such forces. The Karens had worked loyally alongside SOE during the war, and in its aftermath some former SOE officers returned in a "private" capacity to aid the hill tribes against the central Rangoon government.

7. Mona K. Bitar, "Bombs, Plots and Allies: Cambodia and the Western Powers, 1958-59," 149-180.

In 1958 and 1959, Sihanouk learned that he could use neutrality in the struggle against Thai and Vietnamese influence in Cambodia. Henceforth, he assumed that "he could score points against his neighbours by carefully balancing East against West."

8. Eva-Lotta E. Hedman, "Late Imperial Romance: Magsaysay, Lansdale and the Philippine-American 'Special Relationship,'" 181-194.

This deconstructionist essay did not advance the reader's understanding of either Magsaysay or Lansdale -- and certainly not of the U.S.-Philippine relationship.

9. David Easter, "British and Malaysian Covert Support for Rebel Movements in Indonesia during the 'Confrontation,' 1963-66," 195-208.

Aid to the dissidents, especially rebel groups in the outer islands, was "one of the very few tools that Britain could use against [Djakarta's] Confrontation campaign.... [Nevertheless,] Britain's aims in supporting the rebels were cautious and limited."

10. Karl Hack, "Corpses, Prisoners of War and Documents: British and Communist Narratives of the Malayan Emergency, and the Dynamics of Intelligence Transformation," 211-241.

Abstract: "British accounts of the Malayan Emergency argue intelligence underwent a major transformation in 1952-54, as part of a campaign-winning infusion of new leadership. This article uses the recent statements of Chin Peng, Secretary-General of the Malaysian Communist Party from 1947, to construct a contrasting Communist analysis ... which sees the insurgent campaign as flagging by 1951.... It then tries to reconcile these contradictory ... narratives."

11. Kumar Ramakrishna, "Content, Credibility and Context: Propaganda, Government Surrender Policy and the Malayan Communist Terrorist Mass Surrenders of 1958," 242-266.

"[T]he potency of government surrender policy in the form of the Merdeka [independence] amnesty was explicable because after 21 December 1957, the three crucial factors of government credibility, the attractive content, and the favourable political and strategic contexts, finally intersected."

12. Brian Stewart, "Winning in Malaya: An Intelligence Success Story," 267-283.

The author served throughout the Emergency in the Chinese Affairs Department, as a Malayan Civil Service officer. He argues that the successful development of the Malayan government's intelligence community owed much to Gen. Sir Gerald Templer.

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