Location of Repository

'When the people are made the enemy': Human Rights, Military Doctrine and the Path to Atrocity in Vietnam and El Salvador

By Andrew Stead

Abstract

The Vietnam and Salvadoran wars were marked by examples of some of the worst atrocities committed during the course of twentieth century conflict. The massacres at My Lai in Vietnam and El Mozote in El Salvador came to be regarded by many as the defining actions of those wars. These tragedies, however, were not isolated examples, and civilians in each war often bore the brunt of military operations designed to defeat the leftist insurgencies that had erupted in these countries. This thesis will examine why soldiers committed such war crimes in Vietnam and El Salvador.\ud \ud Inextricably linked by the presence of the United States, the conflicts in Vietnam and El Salvador book-ended a period of intense division within American society, politics and the military. Intense debate over the direction of American foreign and military policy had resulted in shifting political tides over the decade between the two wars. This thesis will place the topic of war crimes within this context of a changing political scene in the United States.\ud \ud In doing so, this thesis will break from more narrowly defined investigations of atrocities in Vietnam and El Salvador. It will reject the more common analyses of these conflicts that too often see them in isolation. Instead, the continuation of policies from one to the other will highlight the fact that American foreign and military policy did not simply end with one war and start again with the next.\u

Publisher: History (York)
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:1299

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (1997). 1, Special Issue: US-Latin American Relations
  2. (1980). 154 „El Salvador:
  3. (1990). A Bright Shining Lie
  4. (1975). A Hero’s Welcome: The Conscience of Sergeant James Daly Versus the United States Army (New York, The Bobbs-Merrill Company,
  5. (1977). A Rumor of War
  6. (1994). Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character
  7. (2004). Acts of War: The Behaviour of Men in
  8. (1972). Advising Indigenous Forces: American Advisors
  9. (1959). Advocates in Vietnam: Army Lawyers in Southeast Asia,
  10. (1978). America in Vietnam
  11. (2000). An Intimate History of Killing (London, Granta Books,
  12. (1983). Annual Integrated Assessment of Security Assistance for El Salvador‟,
  13. (1981). Approach to Duarte on Military Assistance‟, Secret,
  14. (2004). Armies of Compassion? U.S. Military Training in Counterinsurgency Doctrine at the School of the Americas‟ (Unpublished MA Thesis,
  15. (2004). Army School of the Americas: Mission and Policy During The Cold War‟ (Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Texas at Austin,
  16. (1981). Assistance to El Salvador - Fact Sheet‟,
  17. (2003). Atrocity, Authenticity and American Exceptionalism: (Ir)rationalising the Massacre at My Lai‟,
  18. (2002). Avoiding Vietnam: The U.S. Army’s Response to Defeat in
  19. (1980). Background Information on the Security Forces in El Salvador and U.S.
  20. (2006). Barbarity and Strategy‟
  21. (1982). Certification] Report on the Situation in El Salvador with Respect to the Subjects Covered
  22. (1978). Congressional Presentation Security Assistance Program FY1979‟, Non-Classified,
  23. (1984). Continuity and Change in U.S. Foreign Policy: Carter and Reagan on El Salvador‟,
  24. (1982). Conversation with Atlacatl Battalion Officers Concerning;
  25. (2006). Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practise
  26. (1976). Crossroads: Congress, the President, and Central America,
  27. (1980). Deteriorating Political Situation‟, Confidential,
  28. (1982). El Salvador 1932. Peasant Revolt and Massacre‟,
  29. (1988). El Salvador at War: An Oral History
  30. (1988). El Salvador: Counterinsurgency Revisited‟
  31. (1985). El Salvador: The Forgotten War‟, The Threepenny Review,
  32. (1996). El Salvador’s Civil War: A Study of Revolution (Boulder, Lynne Rienner,
  33. (2007). Fighting Outnumbered: The Impact of the Yom Kippur War on the U.S.
  34. (1973). Foreign Assistance Act of
  35. (1974). Foreign Assistance Act of 1974: Report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, on S. 3394 to amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and for other purposes‟, 29
  36. (1977). Foreign Assistance and Related Programs Appropriation Bill,
  37. (1984). Foreign Assistance from Nixon to Carter‟,
  38. (1981). Government Documents (El Salvador) The following documents were accessed from the Digital National Security Archive, available at „Annual Integrated Assessment of Security Assistance for El Salvador‟,
  39. (1956). Guerrillas & Revolution in Latin America: A Comparative Study of Insurgents and Regimes since
  40. (1980). Helicopters for El Salvador‟,
  41. (1981). Human Rights and the U.S. Military Training Program: Alternatives for Latin America‟,
  42. (1981). Human Rights and United States Policy Towards Latin America (Princeton,
  43. (2006). If I Die in a Combat Zone (London, Harper Perennial,
  44. (1993). Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central
  45. (1940). Instruments of Statecraft: U.S. Guerrilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism,
  46. (1981). International Military Education and Training (IMET) FY
  47. (1983). Investigation of Domestic Support for Violence in El Salvador‟,
  48. (1998). Learning from Conflict: The U.S.
  49. (2005). Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from
  50. (2002). Making War, Thinking History: Munich, Vietnam and Presidential Use of Force from Korea to Kosovo (Annapolis,
  51. (1932). Matanza: El Salvador’s Communist Revolt of
  52. (1980). Meeting with Salvadoran High Command on Mobile Training;
  53. (1964). Military Aid to Latin America in the U.S.
  54. (1982). Military Assessment‟,
  55. (1989). Military Rule in Latin America (London, Unwin Hyman,
  56. (2004). Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America (Ithaca,
  57. (1982). Mozote Massacre‟, Classification Excised, Briefing Paper,
  58. (1981). Near-Term Military Prospects in El Salvador, [Includes Annex, Figure, and Maps; Pages 2, 8 Missing]‟, Classification Excised, Interagency Intelligence Memorandum,
  59. (1969). No Exit from Vietnam (London, Chatto & Windus,
  60. (1998). Obeying Orders: Atrocity, Military Discipline, and the Law of War‟,
  61. (1981). Observations on the Deteriorating Situation in El Salvador‟,
  62. (1980). Oligarchs and Officers: The Crisis in El Salvador‟,
  63. (1996). On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to
  64. (1982). On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (Novato,
  65. (1979). Organizational Structure and Activities of ORDEN]‟,
  66. (1977). Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America,
  67. (1981). Paper on El Salvador, [Includes Cover Memorandum from L. Paul Bremer]‟, Secret, Briefing Paper,
  68. (1987). Partners in Conflict: The United States and Latin America (Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins
  69. (1983). Performance on Certification Issues‟,
  70. (1981). Plans by the Salvadoran Left to Adopt Classic Guerrilla Tactics in Its Continuing Offensive Against the Government‟, Classification Excised, Cable,
  71. (1980). Politics within the Armed Forces‟,
  72. (1981). Preparation of the Congressional Presentation Document (CPD) for FY1983 Security Assistance Program‟,
  73. (1990). Raymond French Collection, The Vietnam Archive,
  74. (1981). Report of LTG Gordon Sumner to El Salvador‟,
  75. (1981). Report on the Situation Affecting U.S. Military Personnel in El Salvador for the Period July-August 1981; Update on Guerrilla Activities]‟,
  76. (1981). Report to El Salvador--9-11
  77. (1983). Resource Exploitation Training Manual
  78. (1973). Sales and Assistance Act: Report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate together with minority views on S. 1443 to authorize furnishing of defense articles and services to foreign countries and international organizations‟, 4
  79. (1980). SCC Meeting on El Salvador‟, Secret, Briefing Paper,
  80. (1978). Security Assistance Act of
  81. (1981). Security Force Officer Comments on Sheraton Murders,
  82. (1981). Self-Destruction – The Disintegration and Decay of the United States Army during the Vietnam Era
  83. (1982). Senate Foreign Relations Committee Questions on Human Rights Related Topics‟,
  84. (1962). Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Harmondsworth,
  85. (1982). Sharpening the Combat Edge: The Use of Analysis to Reinforce Military Judgement (10/8/2010)
  86. (1981). Statement on El Salvador by the Honorable Walter
  87. (1981). Terms of Reference, [Restrictions on U.S. Military Personnel in El Salvador]‟,
  88. (1985). The American Connection Volume One: State Terror and Popular Resistance in El Salvador (London, Zed Books,
  89. (2001). The American War: Vietnam,
  90. (1986). The Army and Vietnam
  91. (1987). The Bad War: An Oral History of the Vietnam War
  92. (2006). The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the
  93. (2005). The Culture and Politics of State Terror and Repression in El Salvador‟
  94. (1995). The Effectiveness of U.S. Training Efforts in Internal Defense and Development: The Cases of El Salvador
  95. (1968). The following documents were accessed from Texas Tech University, Vietnam Archive, available at<http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu> „Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam – Monthly Summary
  96. (1982). The General (Garcia) Who Came To Lunch‟,
  97. (1994). The Last Years of the Monroe Doctrine
  98. (1994). The Massacre at El Mozote: A Parable of the Cold War
  99. (1964). The Military and Society in Latin America (Stanford,
  100. (1994). The Pacification of Central America:
  101. (1996). The Protection Racket State: Elite Politics, Military Extortion, and Civil War in El Salvador
  102. (1993). The Real Diplomacy of Violence: United States Military Power in Central America,
  103. (1981). The Right Wing‟, Classification Excised,
  104. (1981). The Salvadoran Officer Corps and the Final Offensive of
  105. (2005). The United States and Latin America's Armed Forces: A Troubled Relationship‟,
  106. (1995). The United States Army‟s Long March From Saigon to Baghdad: The Development of War-Fighting Doctrine in the Post-Vietnam Era‟ (Unpublished PhD Thesis,
  107. (2002). The Vietnam War on Trial:
  108. (1981). The War in Morazan: An Eyewitness Report‟, Confidential,
  109. (2006). The Warrior‟s Dishonour‟
  110. (2005). Timothy P. Vail Collection, The Vietnam Archive,
  111. (1980). Training at the School of the Americas‟,
  112. (1981). Training Teams in El Salvador as of 30
  113. (1982). Training Teams in El Salvador as of 31
  114. Violence Week in Review:
  115. (1982). Violence Week in Review: January 23-29‟, Unclassified, Cable San Salvador,
  116. (2000). Voices from Vietnam: Veterans‟ Oral Histories in the Classroom‟,
  117. (2002). We Were Soldiers Once... And Young (London, Corgi Books,
  118. (2006). Why there is no Barbarization but a lot of Barbarity in Warfare‟,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.