Foreign Relations Of The United States 1969 1976 V 20 Southeast Asia 1969 1972
|Publisher||Government Printing Office|
|Release Date||11 April 2021|
|Rating||4/5 from 21 reviews|
The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. This volume is part of a subseries of the Foreign Relations of the United States that documents the most issues in the foreign policy of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. The subseries presents in multiple volumes a comprehensive documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the administrations of Presidents Nixon and Ford. This specific volume documents U.S. policy towards three important countries in Southeast Asia: Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia, 1969-1972, a period when the future of Southeast Asia was a major concern of American foreign policy makers. This is the last print volume to document U.S. policy towards Southeast Asia, other han those print volumes that document the Vietnam War during the Nixon-Ford administrations. For the January 1973 to January 1977 period, U.S. policy towards Southeast Asia (nations other than Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia is covered in an electronic-only volume. The decision to cover Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia for 1969-1975 in detail in this print volume was based on the fact that each country was a key ally - either formally or de facto - of the United States during the Vietnam war, and each played a specific role during the conflict. Thailand sent troops to fight in Vietnam, provided bases for U.S. airpower in Southeast Asia, and secretly provided training, troops, and arms to support U.S.-backed guerilla forces in Laos. The Philippines sent a 2,000-man civic action group to South Vietnam, and Filipinos made up many of the administrative contractors in South Vietnam. Indonesia provided key arms support to the Lon Nol government at a crucial time. In addition, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia were important countries in their own right, with key U.S. military and economic assistance programs, large embassies, and close relations with the United States. In each country, the United States had a considerable interest in their government''s success. The chapter on Thailand, the largest in the volume, has the most obvious and closest associations with the Vietnam War. A principal theme of this chapter is U.S. efforts to assure the Thais that unilateral withdrawal of U.S. troops in South Vietnam and a projected settlement of the war did not mean a lesser U.S. commitment to Thailand. A second key theme of the volume is the covert military role that Thailand''s military forces played in supporting the anti-communist forces in Laos and the potential role they could play in supporting the Lon Nol government in Cambodia. The second largest chapter in this volume documents U.S. policy towards the Philippines. The relationship between President Ferdinand Marcos and the Nixon administration is the dominant theme of this chapter. U.S. officials had to assure Marcos that they were neutral in the 1969 Philippines presidential elections and discourage his desire for a special channel to Washington. Corruption in the Marcos government, Marcos''s desire to revise the constitution to his benefit, and his eventual declaration of martial law in September 1972 in the face of student riots caused U.S. officials in Manila and Washington to assess whether he was the best man to lead the Philippines from the U.S. point of view. Other themes that are documented in the chapter are the ones that predate the Vietnam War, such as preference for Philippines exports to the United States, U.S. benefits for Filipino veterans who served in the Second World War, and U.S. bases in the Philippines. The final chapter in the volume deals with Indonesia, officially a non-aligned nation, but under strongman General Suharto, a de factor ally of the United States. The principal themes of this chapter are the question of Indonesia''s international debt left over from the Sukarno years and U.S. support for multilateral Indonesian debt relief among international lending organizations. A related theme is the amount of U.S. bilateral aid provided to Indonesia.