Association of Former Intelligence Officers

EDWARD LANSDALE:THE UNQUIET AMERICAN - by Cecil B Currey, 1998. Brassey;s, Washington (ISBN 1-57488-176-0) with a forewaord by William Colby. The subject is a retired Air Force general officer who earned his commision as a Reserve Officer from ROTC in 1931, and spent the pre-war years in the advertising business. During WW II he worked for OSS under cover of Army military intelligence, and later worked for the CIA, playing important roles in the Phillipines and Vietnam. The essence of Lansdale can be found in a dialogue he had with SecDEF McNamara on Vietnam. Lansdale advised the Secretary always to keep in mind that the struggle went far beyond the material things. "It takes ... ideas and ideals." McNamara scorned Lansdale's advice, more interested in 'statistical indicators' of success (e.g. body counts) to mark American progress - a mistake for which the nation would pay dearly. Based on interviews with Lansdale shortly before his death, this book provides both an important contribution to literature of the Vietnam war as well as a monument to a legend. (RJ)

Reviewed in AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #30-98, 10 August 1998

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