Observing Our Hermanos De Armas / Edition 1by Robert O. Kirkland
Pub. Date: 09/01/2003
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
This study analyzes the effectiveness of the U.S. military attaché corps in Latin America from the end of World War II to the Johnson administration.
- Taylor & Francis
- Publication date:
- Latin American Studies: Social Sciences and Law Series
- Product dimensions:
- 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.50(d)
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The military attaché system dates from the pre-World War II period. In those years, policymakers in Washington had limited information on the latest overseas military innovations. Attachés reported on these advances at selected embassies abroad. After the war, the U.S. substantially increased its diplomatic and military presence around the globe. This expansion included Latin America, where the U.S. had attachés stationed at every embassy in the Hemisphere. Attachés reported mostly on political-military developments because Latin American militaries were heavily involved in politics. Reporting accurately on these matters required attachés to possess language and cultural awareness which hitherto they had not necessarily needed. This study analyzes the effectiveness the military attaché corps in Latin America from the end of World War II to the Johnson Administration. Until now, there has not been a historical study on attaché effectiveness, their training and education, or utilitization of their reports by policymakers in Washington. This book uses the case studies of: Guatemala, 1950-1954, Cuba, 1954-1958, and Bolivia, 1960-1964, to draw its conclusions. This study finds that the training and education system of the U.S. Armed Forces did not prepare attachés to report accurately on complex political-military issues. The exceptions were those attachés who brought ¿skills to the table¿ that they obtained outside the services¿ training system--such as language fluency. The Washington bureaucracies which analyzed and disseminated attaché reports proved effective. However, this had more to do with the redundancy of information flow than the quality of one particular intelligence agency. Data for the book draw heavily on interviews with attachés and those who worked with them and on the diverse military archives located at National Archives, the Washington National Records Center, the DIA History Office Archive, the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Presidential Libraries, the Military History Institute, and the U.S. Air Force Air War College Library.