Strategy, Security, and Spies: Mexico and the U.S. as Allies in World War II

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Faced with the possibility of being drawn into a war on several fronts, the United States sought to win Mexican support for a new strategy of Hemispheric Security, based on defense collaboration by governments throughout the Americas. U.S. leaders were concerned that Mexico might become a base for enemy operations, a scenario that, given the presence of pro-Axis lobbies in Mexico and the rumored fraternization between Mexico and Germany in World War I, seemed far from implausible in 1939-41.

Strategy, Security, and Spies tells the fascinating story of U.S. relations with Mexico during the war years, involving everything from spies and internal bureaucratic struggles in both countries to all sorts of diplomatic maneuverings. Although its focus is on the interactions of the two countries, relative to the threat posed by the Axis powers, a valuable feature of the study is to show how Mexico itself evolved politically in crucial ways during this period, always trying to maintain the delicate balance between the divisive force of Mexican nationalism and the countervailing force of economic dependency and security self-interest.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“[T]his is a well-crafted study worthy of serious attention from the scholarly community.”

—W. Dirk Raat, Journal of American History

Discusses US-Mexican relations between 1940 and 1945, focusing on security dimensions<-->namely defense, raw materials, and intelligence. The author describes military and diplomatic steps taken in the framework of hemispheric security, the evolution of the policy of hemispheric defense, and Mexican adjustment to the policy. She maintains that the US was unconvinced of Mexican commitment, and that Mexico feared imperialist designs on the part of their neighbor. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
“[T]his is a well-crafted study worthy of serious attention from the scholarly community.”

—W. Dirk Raat, Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271016665
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 8/12/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

María Emilia Paz, who has a doctoral degree from the London School of Economics, is an independent scholar who prepared this book with the aid of a grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 The Advent of Hemispheric Defense 9
2 Mexico and the Axis Threat 25
3 1940: First Steps Toward Military Partnership 47
4 1940-1941: The First Defense Deals 61
5 The Strategic Role of Mexican Minerals 74
6 Mexico, the Reluctant Ally 103
7 Mexico Moves Against the Axis 123
8 Mexico Declares "A State of War" 135
9 Axis Intelligence Activities in Mexico 146
10 U.S. Counterintelligence in Mexico 181
11 An Impasse on Defense Cooperation 209
12 Closing the Circle 226
Epilogue: The Dawn of a New Era 235
Bibliography 245
Index 255
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