Secret Army, Secret War: Washington's Tragic Spy Operation in North Vietnam

By Willbanks, James H. | Military Review, November/December 1997 | Go to article overview

Secret Army, Secret War: Washington's Tragic Spy Operation in North Vietnam


Willbanks, James H., Military Review


SECRET ARMY, SECRET WAR: Washington's Tragic Spy Operation in North Vietnam by Sedgwick D. Tourison. 389 pages. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD. 1995. $29.95.

This book is one of the first in a special warfare series from the Naval Institute Press. The author spent eight years in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam as a US Army linguist and intelligence analyst. From 1983 to 1988, he served in the Defense Intelligence Agency's special office for prisoners of war (POWs)/missing in action (MIA) affairs and became the chief analyst. In November 1991, he joined the Senate Select Committee's staff on POW/MIA affairs and was a major contributor to its final 1993 report.

In Secret Army, Secret War, Tourison focuses on Operation Tiger, a series of little-known covert operations conducted against North Vietnam in the early days of US involvement in Southeast Asia. Beginning in 1961, the CIA began infiltrating small teams of South Vietnamese undercover agents into North Vietnam. These teams were a mix of South Vietnamese army officers and civilians, many of whom originally came from North Vietnam and knew the terrain and dialects. The teams slipped into North Vietnam by night on junks, sampans and speedboats; parachuted in with help from the South Vietnamese air force; or were dropped into Laos by the CIA from Air America planes and walked into the war zone.

Strong evidence suggests these operations were compromised from the beginning, and by 1964, the Pentagon was certain team members had been killed, captured or "turned" to work for North Vietnam. A new effort, dubbed Operation Plan 34-Alpha, was launched as part of a shadowy covert action force known as the Studies and Observation Group, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACVSOG). These operations were no more successful than the initial efforts, and by 1968, some 500 agents had been lost in North Vietnam. US officials told their families the men were dead, and nothing was done to find them, yet 20 years later more than 300 of the agents were released from North Vietnamese prisons, exposing the dark secret of the abandoned commandos.

Using recently declassified government files and personal interviews with the commandos and CIA and SOG participants, Tourison examines the tragically flawed operation from two perspectives. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Secret Army, Secret War: Washington's Tragic Spy Operation in North Vietnam
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.