The Secret Wars of Southeast Asia


Southeast Asia during the US escalation, 1965

This document-heavy session deals with intelligence aspects of the US involvement in Vietnam. We begin with Andrew providing an overview of the issue and historian William Leary examining an operation exclusively handled by the CIA.


We then move on to five CIA documents that explore various aspects of CIA analysis of the conflict at various stages between 1955 and 1969. Should we view Vietnam as an intelligence failure?


Finally, we'll be looking at how LBJ used (and misused) intelligence. Please print out these transcripts.

READING:

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Andrew, For the Presidentís Eyes Only, pp. 257-349

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William Leary, "CIA Air Operations in Laos, 1955-1974," Studies in Intelligence (Winter 1999-2000), pp. 71-86

OCUMENTS:

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One of the first CIA estimates of the situation in Southeast Asia, shortly after the Geneva Accords

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The CIA gives a comprehensive view of the situation in Southeast Asia, 1962

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A joint CIA-Defense Intelligence agency memo on the military situation as the Johnson administration expanded the number of US ground troops, spring 1965

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A  CIA analysis of Tet, 1968; the State Department interprets the situation a few months later