Orphans Of The Cold War: America And The Tibetan Struggle For Survival

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9781891620850: Orphans Of The Cold War: America And The Tibetan Struggle For Survival

"For decades, the United States ran covert operations into Tibet in an attempt to help Tibetan exiles take back their country from the Chinese. These operations have never been disclosed—until now."

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From the Chinese Revolution of 1911 until after the Second World War, Tibet enjoyed de facto independence from China. When China invaded Tibet in 1950, some in Washington saw support for the Himalayan nation's self-determination as a legitimate challenge to resurgent world communism.

Orphans of the Cold War is the inside story of America's clandestine support of Tibetan resistance, written by a 44-year veteran of the CIA who helped organize the training of Tibetan agents in Colorado and their deployment on the high Tibetan plateau. America's military aid to Tibet was much more substantial than generally realized, with airdrops of supplies into the interior and the maintenance of 2,000 guerrillas in Mustang, Nepal, throughout the '60s. John Knaus's description of these daring operations is contextualized by excellent analysis of the diplomacy of the period, especially at the UN. This is a colorful adventure story, supported by unique photographs of the "Roof of the World," with a cast of characters that includes presidents, ambassadors, Tibetan herdsmen, and the Dalai Lama. It is also a heartbreaking story of courage operating against ultimately impossible odds.

By 1974, after rapprochement with China, America ended its paramilitary support of Tibet. The Dalai Lama sees this as positive: before, American support was largely a cold-war tactic, but now, he says, "the help and support we receive from the United States is truly out of sympathy and human compassion." --John Stevenson

About the Author:

John Kenneth Knaus spent four decades as an operations officer in the Central Intelligence Agency. Knaus's last post was as CIA officer-in-residence at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he is now an Associate at the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research.

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