Edward G. Lansdale
Saturday, April 8th 2017
Major General Edward G. Lansdale (1908-1987) – an Air Force intelligence officer whose career included service in the Philippines during the Huk Rebellion and in Vietnam during that war – was a major thinker and practitioner in counterinsurgency. He emphasized “hearts and minds,” psychological operations, and civic actions. When William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick wrote their influential novel, The Ugly American, “Colonel Hillendale” was modeled on Lansdale.
A memorandum that Lansdale penned in 1963 is frequently cited by scholars, but it has not been available on the web. Lansdale wrote the memorandum for military advisors in Vietnam, but its profile of the images, traits, and behaviors of Americans – touching on professional competence, language skills, accessibility, empathy, directness, enthusiasm, adaptability, patience, humor, temper, and politics -- is evergreen. So is his counsel to “know the country” and “be a good guest.”
Title: MEMORANDUM, From Maj. Gen. Lansdale, Subject: Through Foreign EyesRead More
Saturday, June 25th 2016
During the Vietnam war, Air Force Major General Edward G. Lansdale advocated a far greater emphasis on using “psychological operations” than did other military leaders in Saigon, Hawaii, and Washington. The legendary and controversial Lansdale has been the subject of biographies by Jonathan Nashel and Cecil Currey, and another book, by Max Boot, is in progress.
Here’s an excerpt from Lansdale’s comments at the Air Force Academy’s military history symposium on Air Power and Warfare in 1978. (These comments are on pp. 334-335.) I am confident that when Lansdale mentioned “Our main psychological operations agency,” he meant USIA.Read More