JFK's Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and the Sino-Indian War

JFK s Forgotten Crisis Tibet the CIA and the Sino Indian War Bruce Riedel provides new perspective and insights over Kennedy s forgotten crisis in the most dangerous days of the cold war The Cuban Missile Crisis defined the presidency of John F Kennedy But the

  • Title: JFK's Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and the Sino-Indian War
  • Author: Bruce Riedel
  • ISBN: 9780815726999
  • Page: 315
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Bruce Riedel provides new perspective and insights over Kennedy s forgotten crisis in the most dangerous days of the cold war The Cuban Missile Crisis defined the presidency of John F Kennedy But the same week the world stood transfixed by the possibility of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, Kennedy was also consumed by a war that has escaped hBruce Riedel provides new perspective and insights over Kennedy s forgotten crisis in the most dangerous days of the cold war The Cuban Missile Crisis defined the presidency of John F Kennedy But the same week the world stood transfixed by the possibility of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, Kennedy was also consumed by a war that has escaped history s attention, yet still reverberates significantly today the Sino Indian conflict As well armed and equipped troops from the People s Republic of China surged into Indian held territory in October 1962, Kennedy ordered an emergency airlift of supplies to the Indian army At the same time, he engaged in diplomatic talks that kept the neighboring Pakistanis out of the fighting The conflict came to an end with a unilateral Chinese cease fire, relieving Kennedy of a decision to intervene militarily in support of India Bruce Riedel, a CIA and National Security Council veteran, provides the first full narrative of this crisis, which played out during the tense negotiations with Moscow over Cuba He also includes another, nearly forgotten episode of US espionage during the war between India and China covert US support of Tibetan opposition to Chinese occupation of Tibet He details how the United States, beginning in 1957, trained and parachuted Tibetan guerrillas into Tibet to fight Chinese military forces The covert operation to help precipitate the conflict but the United States did not end its support of it until relations between the United States and China were normalized in the 1970s Riedel tells this story of war, diplomacy, and covert action with authority and perspective He draws on newly declassified letters between Kennedy and Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru along with the diaries and memoirs of key players and other sources make this the definitive account of JFK s forgotten crisis This is, Riedel writes, Kennedy s finest hour as you have never read it before.

    One thought on “JFK's Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and the Sino-Indian War”

    1. We all know about the Cuban Missile Crisis and how President Kennedy faced down the Soviet Union to resolve the matter. I was very surprised to learn that at the same time, their was another, equally dangerous, situation developing between China and India. This is the story of the Chinese invasion of Indian-held territory, almost leading the world into a war between the two most populous countries on Earth. Riedel masterfully covers how JFK dealt with the crisis, averting what may have become Wo [...]

    2. I’ve never read a book focusing exclusively on the Indo-China war ( though books on the Indo-China war spawned an industry for retired generals and has been politicians) though it did get its fair share of attention on a lot of books on India / Nehru that I have read. The general narrative is that China dinked us on our Hindi-Chini bhai bhai approach and very treacherously took parts of Eastern India / NEFA never to return it to us. Another popular (and at times senti and emotional) narrative [...]

    3. Riedel's account of this untold history is illuminating and expansive for the short book length. What is particularly interesting, and valuable, for the foreign policy wonk are the lessons of JFK's presidential leadership and decisionmaking for today's leaders. I appreciated the author's ability to convince the reader how formative the 1962 Sino-Indian War was for the modern contours and balance of power in Asia.

    4. JFK is known for solving the Cuban missile crisis which nearly started a war between the US and the Sovient Union, he was extremely cool while making negotiations and solving the crisis and as it turns out, we now have declassified documents which make us respect his decision making process even more. At the same time as the missile crisis, in another part of the world, there was a different crisis going on, also initiated by a communist dictatorship on the world's largest democracy, it was the [...]

    5. This book is some what let down for me. There is far more better content available on the built up of 1962 Indo-Sino war. JFK's involvement in this war is not detailed may be due to the fact that no more information exists. Plus Pandit Nehru contacted so many other countries including Israel during the crisis and did get help from others. Russia also flexed it muscles on Pakistan and threatened to open fronts if Pakistan got involved in this particular war. So, there are omissions! What is evide [...]

    6. Quick, interesting read about a war that is hardly known in the West (myself included). Riedel tells a classic Cold War story that involves a host of different players and the US trying to balance its relations with all of them. We were allies with Pakistan because of military ties, specifically the use of a base that we could use to project power in the region, including to support the Tibetan rebels. We were considering allying with India as well based on shared democratic values, only our mov [...]

    7. There is no Soviet Union. While it does not exist today, in the midst of the cold war for the such a strategic player to be missing is amnesia. You could count the number of times the Soviet Union appears in the book and that is all that there is to it.The book is predictably written from the perspective of the White House, especially JFK. In that respect the book holds true to its title. Also providing some new perspectives to the crisis of which less is know and even lesser written about, this [...]

    8. I thought the cover image and information sounded intriguing but I was turned off almost immediately by the prologue. The author's writing style is plodding and filled with irrelevant information (such as Mrs. Kennedy giving Dulles a copy of From Russia With Love). I also felt like some of the information was questionable. For example, Riedel mentions Kennedy settling in Camelot in his early days as president but I recall that his time as president was not referred to as Camelot until after his [...]

    9. This story about Sino-Indian War of 1962 has many strands running together, the geopolitics of South Asia within the global context of Cold War, Nehru's ideological commitment to anti-imperialism and apparent naivete in dealing with China, and indeed, the main focus of the book, Kennedy's leadership in the midst of twin crisis. This is a breezy read, full of great personalities, some known and celebrated, like Nehru and Kennedy, others less so, like BN Mullik, India's Intelligence Chief for many [...]

    10. Very well documented report on the Sion-Indian war and how the Kennedy administration responded to that while at the same time the Cuban missile conflict with the USSR was a huge crisis. The author has made a very good job in searching all available published information and reconstruct from that what happened. He succeeded to write a concise but very well understandable report which in addition is also easy to read. Although Chinese and USSR reports are not available he motivates why he thinks [...]

    11. BrilliantThis is an excellent and not so highlighted analysis of the events. Nehru and JFK in a new light. I recommend this book to everyone interested in history. Nehru was a great Indian leader and human being. And like any other human being, he had faults. This book is really excellent in depicting this great man tearing apart and re-organizing himself in the middle of a great crisis. Very well researched, easy to follow and like a fictionally non fiction.

    12. A bit fawning at times but a good account of a forgotten event in history. Had either the Sino-Indian or the Cuban Missile Crisis been handled differently by Kennedy it would have been catastrophic. This is how adults handle crises.

    13. Lots of fascinating behind-the-scenes info that I'd never heard before. I was too young at the time to have paid attention.

    14. A genuine piece of Historical Research and Analytical work. This is the first work of Bruce Riedel I read and I must say, it really took me back to the past. I was able to feel the stress, must have developed in the minds and hearts of leaders, may it be American or Indian, during the emergent years of so called Cold War. The simultaneous happening of the Indo-Sino war of 1962 and Cuban Crises shocked the leaders. My main motive behind it was to look back the first confrontation between India an [...]

    15. A very interesting parallel to the contemporary situation of a missile crisis facing the US (N Korea now, Cuba then), and a simultaneous stand-off between India & China (resulting in war October 1962 and nearly that, today). It shows how JFK learnt not too depend entirely on his military advisors (who said the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, planned before JFK took office in Jan 1961, should be launched, and it turned out to be a disaster). In the Cuban missile crisis game of chicken, Khrushch [...]

    16. Sound, well written and informativeI found this a very reliable and readable account of the Sino-India crisis and how and why the US became involved in it. I recommend it to anyone interested in exploring Cold War history beyond the usual highlights (Cuban Crisis, etc.) and to those wanting to understand how South Asia became so difficult and dangerousBruce Riedel argues that this crisis largely created the tangle of international relations in South Asia which have been so difficult for the US e [...]

    17. Excellent supplement to Brigadier Dalvi's Himalayan Blunder and B. N. Mullik's Memoir of those years to understand how crisis developed and culminated into disaster. From Indian perspective its a valuable insight to understand blunders that Nehru and his delusional foreign policy resulted in. Despite having chance to create a positive pivot to check China's duplicitous policies in tibet and later aksai chin.Indian administration played lama's wheel to mao. them with UNSC seat and living in fanta [...]

    18. What a great read! US's fear of the spead of communism led it to plan unrest in Tibet. Pakistan's fear of India led it to allow the use of its territory for US to run those covert operations in return of sophisticated weapons. India's fear of becoming a tool of the West resulted in its staying non-aligned and aloof from realities of the world. Chinese suspicion of US & India causing problems in Tibet and India's own missteps led to the 1962 war. In the end we can say that when shit hit the f [...]

    19. Mesmerizing dip stick into the India China crisisMesmerizing piece. For a millennial, there is a touch of curiosity on the wars with India from 60s to 70s and the apathy shown by US and USSR. This book allays those concerns. Trusting China becomes even more difficult. Trusting communism thereafter, impossible.

    20. We don't know it all.I was in the Navy in the 60s and was involved in Cuba. I missed the Sino Indian war. I guess we were so involved in Cuba we didn't hear about it. Well now I know.

    21. About india - china war in the 60's. Interesting book, well written about a significant but not widely known event.

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