Deliberate uncertainty : the South Asian Crisis of 1971, the Nixon White House, and the U.S. State Department

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2012-08

Authors

Bunch, Patrick Dean

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the events surrounding the South Asia Crisis of 1971, beginning in when the Pakistani government launched its military crack-down in East Pakistan in the spring and extending to the conclusion of the Indo-Pak War by the year's end. It examines how President Nixon's administration and the US State Department viewed the events in South Asia, what they saw as being the appropriate response, and the differences in what they thought the US should do in response to what was happening on the other side of the globe. The analysis will reveal that the President and his primary foreign policy advisor, Dr. Kissinger, deliberately misled and misinformed the US State Department and its Ambassadors abroad in Pakistan and India in an effort to keep secret from them and the American public, the President's desire to support Pakistan and to blame India as the source of the conflict. The resulting confusion and misunderstanding by the diplomatic community raised tensions in the region, lengthened the conflict, and weakened America's credibility in the sub-continent.

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