97. Letter From the Ambassador to Thailand (Unger) to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green)1

Dear Marshall:

[1 paragraph (4 lines of source text) not declassified]

I agree that the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] role in Thai counterinsurgency operations should be limited to training and [Page 200]advice designed to improve Thai institutional capabilities to deal with this problem. This principle, I assure you, is reflected in the Mission CI Guidelines and governs our activities here. I am particularly alert to this principle because of my testimony before the Symington Committee when I assured the Committee that US personnel do not participate in counterinsurgency operations in Thailand.

The importance of adhering to this principle has been repeatedly reviewed with the senior personnel [less than 1 line of source text not declassified], and I have stressed the need to err on the conservative side in such matters. On the other hand, I want to be very careful that in the interests of maintaining this principle we do not imbue [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] personnel with a frame of mind and attitude that becomes too restrictive and unintentionally limits their performance in their advisory role with the Thais [1 line of source text not declassified].

From time to time it will probably be necessary [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] to undertake specific [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] operations within general program approvals that I have given them to satisfy requirements that have been levied by Washington. Such operations may become involved with some aspect of the counterinsurgency effort of the RTG. When this type of situation can be foreseen I have asked [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]to bring these specific operations to my attention so that I can determine whether we should go beyond the role we have set for ourselves in the counterinsurgency field.

Finally, I wish to assure you that I have and will continue to do my utmost to see that [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] agencies leave the initiative in the counterinsurgency field to the Thais and that our activities here are such that there is no question in anyone’s mind about our non-involvement in Thai counterinsurgency operations.


Leonard Unger
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 30 THAI. Secret; Official-Informal.