Archives par mot-clé : Ngo Dinh Diem

US Internal Security Assistance to South Vietnam : Insurgency, Subversion and Public Order

Avis de parution.

Rosenau, William, US Internal Security Assistance to South Vietnam. Insurgency, Subversion and Public Order, London – New York, Routledge, Cold War History, 2012, 232 p.

Editor’s presentation

This new study of American support to the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam illuminates many contemporary events and foreign policies.

During the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, the United States used foreign police and paramilitary assistance to combat the spread of communist revolution in the developing world. This became the single largest internal security programme during the neglected 1955-1963 period. Yet despite presidential attention and a sustained campaign to transform Diem’s police and paramilitary forces into modern, professional services, the United States failed to achieve its objectives.

Given the scale of its efforts, and the Diem regime’s importance to the US leadership, this text identifies the three key factors that contributed to the failure of American policy. First, the competing conceptions of Diem’s civilian and military advisers. Second, the reforms advanced by US police training personnel were also at odds with the political agenda of the South Vietnamese leader. Finally, the flawed beliefs among US police advisers based on the universality of American democracy.

This study also shows how notions borrowed from academic social science of the time became the basis for building Diem’s internal security forces.

This book will be of great interest to all students and scholars of intelligence studies, Cold War studies, security studies, US foreign policy and the Vietnam War in general.


Preface and Acknowledgements



1. Einsehower, US Foreign Internal Security Assistance, and the Struggle for the Developing World

2. Shoring up America’s Man: The Origins of Police and Paramilitary Assistance to South Vietnam, 1954-56

3. The Struggle for Reform: The United States and Diem’s Internal Security Forces, 1956-58

4. Competing Conceptions: The United States, Diem, and the Civil Guard, 1955-1961

5. John F. Kennedy, Foreign Internal Security Assistance, and the Challenge of ‘Subterranean War’

6. ‘Ridiculous Representatives of Mr. Diem’: Paramilitary Forces and the Strategic Hamlet Programme, 1961-1963

7. American Universalism and the ‘Triumph of Technique’: The Kennedy Administration and Civilian Police Reform in South Vietnam


Appendix: Intelligence Documents Denied under the Freedom of Information Act



Two Hamlets in Nam Bo: Memoirs of Life in Vietnam by David Lan Pham

David Lan Pham, Two Hamlets in Nam Bo: Memoirs of Life in Vietnam Through Japanese Occupation, the French and American Wars, and Communist Rule, 1940-1986, Jefferson (NC) – London, McFarland & Co., 2000, 299 p.

The author was born in 1940 and spent his childhood in two small villages, the paternal and the maternal, in southern Vietnam: Binh Chuan and Tuy An (An Phu). The villages were deeply affected by the powerful political events of the next fifty years. In this memoir (first sentence: “I was born as the Japanese Troops were invading northern Vietnam”), the author writes of what he saw, heard and knew, providing an invaluable social history of the country. Readers will learn about a people who have endured separation, dictatorship, carnage, persistent suffering and poverty, all the while yearning for independence and prosperity. Included are many stories-some funny, some heartbreaking-that reveal how the Vietnamese people lived, as well as their thoughts on war, on the French, Japanese and Americans, on the Nationalist and Communist governments, and on escape. The result is a heartfelt “social painting” of the nation. [editor’s presentation]

David Lan Pham was born in Thudaumot, South Vietnam, and left the country clandestinely with his son and two brothers in 1986. He worked for the refugee program in Alabama and created the bilingual Bulletin/Tin Viet and Dac San Que Huong. He lives in Toledo, Ohio.

Aperçu sur Google Books (2008 edition)