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Kennedy, Tibet and the Sino-India War


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How many people even knew about this angle with supporting the independence of Tibet?  I didn't and for abut the last three years, this is what I have been studying, the hidden ins and outs of Kennedy's foreign policy,  the stuff that does not appear in JFK assassination books.  But who has written about Tibet?

And there has been very little written about the India/China war of 1962 and how Kennedy started an airlift to rival Berlin to save Nehru.

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-reviews/bruce-riedel-jfk-s-forgotten-crisis

And needless to say, LBJ and RMN then switched and tilted toward Pakistan.

Anyway, there is also good stuff about Galbraith in here.

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Jim, I covered it in considerable detail in Shadow Warfare which came out in 2014; Chapter 8 deals with The Tibet Project. There is extensive documentation available in The Foreign Relations of the State Department Vol XIX and one of the best books totally devoted to the subject is The CIA's Secret War in Tibet by Conboy and Morrison. Lots of relevant covert military support info is available as well.   I also go into the revival of relations with India, the airlift and the use of NATO deployed resources for that - but in less detail than the Tibet operations.

Edited by Larry Hancock
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That's certainly true Jim, but of course if you want the full picture you really have to go more broadly, and beyond just JFK.  There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the overall Tibet/India affair, certainly including JFK's approach and his effort to change the total relationship with a neutral India. The State Department material is particularly important since it gets into not only the details of the funding, the casualties and but exposes internal administration debates over the project itself.  State Department records often discussed issues that the CIA preferred not to document for itself...imagine that.

I've come to appreciate JFK's international involvement more by being able to put it in comparative terms not at a high level but in regard to actual projects and interventions both before and after - since in most cases the areas where he was involved have been ones where the U.S. involved itself over and over...and over...and...

 

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 12/2/2016 at 11:08 AM, James DiEugenio said:

there is also good stuff about Galbraith in here

I just finished reading the Riedel book and thought it was really interesting and well written. The JFK / Galbraith relationship gives you a good sense of who Kennedy really was. There's not much on the book out there other than your in-depth review, but I did find this brief interview in which Riedel is even more forthright in his praise of Kennedy. A few key quotes:

"Had that crisis not have been resolved the way it was, it would have meant the end of mankind. The risk of failure in the Cuban Missile Crisis was nuclear Armageddon. It tended to push out everything else." "It would have been worse had Kennedy not intervened. If you look at the two, you think the Cuban Missile Crisis was John F. Kennedy’s finest hour, but [considering the two crises together] makes the finest hour even more fine. That’s the real message of the book. The guy multitasked…at a level that was extraordinary."  That's high praise indeed coming from an author who spent 30 years working for the CIA.

Then there's his appraisal (in this same interview, link posted below) of why Kennedy was wise to turn to Galbraith:
"What’s interesting is that in dealing with Cuba, Kennedy turned to a collection of aides, his Cabinet and senior former officials to get advice—the ExComm. The advice was very hawkish, and in the end, he rejected the advice—he did not go for a preemptive strike, but a naval quarantine, and behind the scenes he was offering Khrushchev a way out. In the China-India, crisis, he relied almost exclusively on his ambassador in India, John Kenneth Galbraith, a personal friend, a person he’d turned to for advice for years. He relied on Galbraith’s advice. I speculate in the book that I suspect by the end of October, when the Cuban Missile Crisis was fading out, Kennedy came to the conclusion that the wisdom of collective advice was not wisdom, and that he was better off relying on somebody he could trust. The two decision-making processes reflect a learning curve. If you ask a group of people for advice, you get group-think."

http://deborahkalbbooks.blogspot.com/2016/01/q-with-bruce-riedel.html

Thanks again for calling our attention to this book in your review, Jim.

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11 minutes ago, Rob Couteau said:

I just finished reading the Riedel book and thought it was really interesting and well written. The JFK / Galbraith relationship gives you a good sense of who Kennedy really was. There's not much on the book out there other than your in-depth review, but I did find this brief interview in which Riedel is even more forthright in his praise of Kennedy. A few key quotes:

"Had that crisis not have been resolved the way it was, it would have meant the end of mankind. The risk of failure in the Cuban Missile Crisis was nuclear Armageddon. It tended to push out everything else." "It would have been worse had Kennedy not intervened. If you look at the two, you think the Cuban Missile Crisis was John F. Kennedy’s finest hour, but [considering the two crises together] makes the finest hour even more fine. That’s the real message of the book. The guy multitasked…at a level that was extraordinary."  That's high praise indeed coming from an author who spent 30 years working for the CIA.

Then there's his appraisal (in this same interview, link posted below) of why Kennedy was wise to turn to Galbraith:
"What’s interesting is that in dealing with Cuba, Kennedy turned to a collection of aides, his Cabinet and senior former officials to get advice—the ExComm. The advice was very hawkish, and in the end, he rejected the advice—he did not go for a preemptive strike, but a naval quarantine, and behind the scenes he was offering Khrushchev a way out. In the China-India, crisis, he relied almost exclusively on his ambassador in India, John Kenneth Galbraith, a personal friend, a person he’d turned to for advice for years. He relied on Galbraith’s advice. I speculate in the book that I suspect by the end of October, when the Cuban Missile Crisis was fading out, Kennedy came to the conclusion that the wisdom of collective advice was not wisdom, and that he was better off relying on somebody he could trust. The two decision-making processes reflect a learning curve. If you ask a group of people for advice, you get group-think."

http://deborahkalbbooks.blogspot.com/2016/01/q-with-bruce-riedel.html

Thanks again for calling our attention to this book in your review, Jim.

 

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