By Daniel Fineman
The improvement of the Thai-American alliance from 1947 to 1958 dramatically reworked either nations' involvement in Southeast Asia. Bounded by means of very important 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 fashionable Thai political procedure emerged, and the U.S. verified its curiosity and impact in mainland Southeast Asian affairs. The advancements of the interval made attainable American's later, extra vast, involvement in Indochina.
A distinct Relationship offers the main entire research of this serious founding interval of the Thai-American alliance. It finds magnificent new info on joint covert operations in Indochina, American help for suppression of presidency rivals, 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
Having sworn in the 1932 coup never to do each other bodily harm, Phibun and Pridi still saw more reason in 1939 for partnership than enmity. The outbreak of World War II abruptly ended the two men’s alliance. Pridi had shown his sympathies, in the years leading up to the war, for the British, while Phibun had actively courted Japanese embassy officials. 3 In December 1941 and January 1942, after the Japanese had occupied Thailand in conjunction with their attacks on Pearl Harbor and Southeast Asia, Phibun overrode Pridi’s vehement protests and entered an alliance with Japan against Britain and the United States.
Though well-armed, the navy and Free Thai were dispersed and based largely upcountry. Thailand, at the time, functioned as a city-state. 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.
Stanton’s display of favoritism for the Democrats signaled to all concerned that the Americans would accept or even applaud Pridi’s replacement by Khuang. S. rejection of Pridi’s request for military aid and refusal to take a stronger stand against Phibun’s political resurrection, Stanton’s involvement in Thai domestic politics impressed potential coup-makers with the lack of American resolve. The Americans would verbally oppose a military coup, the events of the past year taught Thais, but would shy away from the joint measures with the British required to thwart it.
A Special Relationship: The United States and Military Government in Thailand, 1947-1958 by Daniel Fineman