Portrait of a Psychological Warrior: The Challenges Facing Robert Blum and the Asia Foundation in Establishing a U.S. Public Diplomacy Program

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In April 1953, Robert Blum was serving as a Director of Staff for the President’s Committee on International Information Activities (PCIIA), a committee which President Dwight D. Eisenhower had tasked with producing a comprehensive report on the state of U.S. psychological warfare at the time. About two months before the completion of the PCIIA’s report, more commonly referred to as the Jackson Report, when Blum corresponded with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Allen Dulles on a list of questions in preparation for a meeting between the CIA and the PCIIA,[1] Blum’s final question was, “[i]s [psychological warfare] a technique in its own right or an illusion that risks distorting the proper conception of foreign policy as a whole?”[2] The CIA seemed to be on the side of the former. Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick wrote to Dulles stating, “[i]t should not distort foreign policy if properly conceived and executed.”[3] Chief of Political and Psychological Operations Tracy Barnes, who would serve as the principal case officer for the CIA’s role in Guatemalan Coup of 1954,[4] asserted that psychological warfare was a “technique,” and, while acknowledging “the psychological bonus or ‘extra’ to any official government action,” did not address any risk it might pose to foreign policy.[5] Given such an optimistic response on the part of CIA leadership, it is worth asking how seamlessly policymakers were able to integrate psychological warfare into the U.S. foreign policy apparatus. Blum’s own career may provide a useful lens into the practical application of this strategy. His experience conducting international relations in Asia highlights how difficult it was to actually use psychological warfare as a “technique” to win the Cold War. This paper will look at three roles Blum served with regards to U.S.-Asian diplomacy : as a civil servant for the U.S. economic aid mission in Southeast Asia, as President of the Asia Foundation (AF), and as the author of a book on American relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In each position, Blum observed the complications of challenging communism through the manipulation of public opinion. 

Robert Blum’s career in Asian affairs sheds light on two different discourses within the study of Cold War diplomacy: the dissection of the Eisenhower administration’s philosophy on psychological warfare, and the various historical analyses of specific AF projects. Regarding the former, historians tend to analyze Eisenhower’s failure to use psychological warfare to gain decisive Cold War victories as the outcome of widespread political movements. From his experience as a WWII General and Commander of NATO forces, Eisenhower believed that the propaganda strategies that had worked well in hot wars could be adapted to the peacetime ideological competition with the Soviet Union.[6] In the 1952 election, Eisenhower campaigned on the promise of overhauling American public diplomacy, a policy area to which incumbent Harry Truman had not given much attention.[7] Following through on this promise, Eisenhower established the President’s Committee on International Information Activities, more commonly known as the Jackson Committee. Blum was, of course, working for the Jackson Committee when he asked about the risk psychological warfare might pose to American foreign policy. The Committee’s final product, the Jackson Report, which set the guidelines for at least a decade of propaganda initiatives, gave an optimistic response to Blum’s concern. The Jackson Report, submitted in June of 1953, argued that winning the political or ideological component of the Cold War was consistent with all other national security goals.[8] As such, it proposed that all government programs take into account their impact on public opinion[9]and that American propagandists intensify their impact by deciding on a few simple and memorable messages that would benefit from constant repetition.[10] One of the key specific recommendations of the Jackson Report was that the CIA covertly oversee “private organizations” which would take on projects that would seem too much like propaganda were the U.S. government to claim authorship.[11] As future president of one of these organizations – the Asia Foundation – Blum would thus serve as an on-the-ground observer of the Jackson Report’s proposals in action. Historians analyzing the Jackson Report, though, tend to focus more on the political inconsistencies in the program than the practical challenges in its implementation. For instance, Ned O’Gorman looks at the way C.D. Jackson, an architect of the report, both failed and succeeded at solidifying his vision of an American Cold War rhetoric that was centred on the idea of “liberation” rather than containment,[12] while Kenneth J. Osgood analyzes how the principles set out in the Jackson Report influenced Eisenhower’s negotiations with the Soviet Union.[13]  With regard to 1950s psychological warfare, historians like Jason Parker and Kenneth Osgood discuss the “gap between word and deed,” arguing that policies like racial segregation invalidated U.S. proclamations of solidarity with what was then called the Third World.[14] [15] Although in Hearts Minds Voices, Parker does look at specific cases, he focuses mainly on how “propaganda can never be better than policy” in winning the public’s trust within former colonies. [16] These discussions usually examine the evolution of given policies’ overall guiding principles, not the policies’ practical effects. The experiences of the bureaucrats implementing the Eisenhower psychological warfare program, however, allow for critique of not only the coherence (or lack thereof) of political framework/ideological consistency of 1950s psychological warfare, but also for critique of its feasibility as an implemented ground policy. 

As for this second critique, much scholarship on the organization tends to co-opt a given AF initiative to define the foundation’s nature of the whole itself. Analyses that do that often contribute to our understanding of the historical context surrounding research pertaining to that project. For example, Audra Wolfe uses the case study of the AF’s biology textbook program in her book, Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science, to point out the role of scientists in U.S. diplomacy.[17] Other historians have examined the U.S. perception of Asian culture and politics through cases study, such as Grace Ai-Ling Chou’s article on how American NGO support for New Asia College in Hong Kong promoted a certain notion of Chinese identity.[18] These works do not attempt to locate patterns in the broader scope of AF initiatives; studying the AF as a whole allows for a fuller understanding of America’s Cold War strategy, as in this era, the AF essentially operated as an arm of the U.S. government. The AF began as the Committee for Free Asia (CFA), created in 1951 by the Office of Policy Coordination.[19] In 1953, the CFA changed its name to the Asia Foundation, set up offices in various non-communist Asian states, and incorporated itself as a non-profit in California with a mandate to “cultivate democratic institutions, foster economic growth, and strengthen relationships between Asian and American elites.”[20] Nevertheless, the CIA still covertly funded the AF, paying $8.5 million a year to the organization by 1967.[21]

Furthermore, historians who study the AF place little weight on Blum himself, with few mentioning his approach to managing the organization and essentially none taking into account his career in Asian diplomacy before and after serving as AF President. Blum began working for the U.S. government in 1942 and, in his various early civil service positions, played an influential role in the intelligence community.[22] In 1950, he joined the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA), the State Department agency responsible for all post-war foreign aid projects.[23] Subsequently, Blum joined Eisenhower’s psychological warfare team as a Director of Staff for the Jackson Committee.[24] In September of 1953, Blum’s knowledge of both Asian affairs and U.S. ambitions in psychological warfare intersected as he became President of the AF, a position he held until 1962.[25] This career trajectory serves as a lens into the development of American public diplomacy in the early to mid-Cold War. 

Therefore, we can begin our analysis of Blum’s career in Asian diplomacy, before the AF, with the ECA. The Jackson Report asserted that “there are no ‘national psychological objectives’ separate and distinct from national objectives.”[26] However, in 1951, there seems to have been at least two separate occasions in which Blum prioritized Southeast Asian public opinion while more senior State Department officials placed greater weight on other foreign policy considerations. Both instances suggest that Blum’s work for the ECA may have informed his skepticism towards the idea that public diplomacy could always comfortably coexist with more traditional foreign policy priorities. 

The first of these disputes occurred when Blum was working for the ECA as the Chief of the Special Technical and Economic Mission to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. At an Office of the Historian conference on the Vietnam War, Jean-Marc LePage, presenting research he conducted with Elie Tenenbaum, stated, “(Blum’s) views were on the verge of Francophobia,” leading French military commander in Indochina, General Jean Delattre to insist Blum be re-posted.[27]Primary evidence does support the claim that the French in Indochina mistrusted Blum. At the time, the Guardian reported that Delattre called Blum “the most dangerous man in Indochina,” referring to Blum’s efforts to “(build) a base for (American) intervention” along with his deep ties to the CIA.[28] It is telling that one of Blum’s reasons for his disinclination to cooperate with the French seems to have been that the French forces restricted U.S. publicity of its aid in Vietnam, as evidenced by a 1951 memorandum on his meeting with Emperor Bao Dai, the then French-backed leader of Vietnam.[29] Blum reported that Bao Dai had insisted American economic assistance remain discreet, which Blum believed was because Bao Dai feared that American interference would anger French officials.[30] Still, Blum reportedly told Bao Dai that an American label on American aid could “(make) the Vietnamese realize that America was interested in their welfare.”[31] However, other State Department officials were concerned not just with America’s relationship to the Vietnamese public but to other international actors, in this case, Western European governments. A few months after Blum’s meeting with Bao Dai, Donald Heath, the Minister at Saigon, wrote to the Secretary of State to propose taking a more “consultative approach” with the French in Indochina.[32] Although expressing gratitude for Blum’s work in the field,[33] Heath implicitly acknowledged that Blum would likely disagree with this foreign policy shift. Heath conceded that “(American) publicists” would think this policy a transition in “an undesirable direction” because the Vietnamese public was so anti-French that they would turn against close friends of France as well.[34] Nevertheless, Heath wrote, America needed to support the French because no other regime or international body would devote the necessary resources to preventing communist insurgency in Indochina and because France was a key ally on Cold War issues outside of Asia.[35] It is worth noting that Blum was not the only psychological cold warrior to encounter the same problem. During the preparation of the Jackson Report in 1953, C.D. Jackson tried and failed to convince Eisenhower’s National Security Advisor Robert Cutler that the U.S. needed to compel the French to come up with a plan for Indochinese independence.[36] America’s public relations aims in the burgeoning Vietnam War were not the same as, nor were they compatible with, other foreign policy priorities such as a strong alliance system in Europe.

Consistent with Tenenbaum’s account, Blum was reposted later in 1951 to the ECA’s Indonesia program. In December, the ECA and the State Department began to discuss a major scale-back of the U.S. aid program in Indonesia,[37] a country which was politically divided but without a strong indigenous communist group.[38] Blum then wrote to Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs John Allison, defending the need for continued foreign assistance;[39] he insisted that while Indonesia was financially secure and unlikely to fall to communism, the country still required American “technical and administrative know-how” in “administrative, economic and educational” fields.[40]Communist forces, Blum warned, might take advantage of the reduction of essential aid dollars to accuse the U.S. of indifference to the issues of the Third World.[41] Two weeks later, Allison rejected this proposal, however.[42] Part of the Blum-Allison dispute stemmed from priorities. Blum simply put more weight on the benefits of the aid project,[43] while Allison was concerned with fiscal responsibility, citing the need to cut State Department expenses.[44]  Allison and Blum also disagreed on whether the aid itself was useful. Allison explained that the Indonesian government was already anti-communist, but was under domestic pressure to affirm its autonomy from American influence.[45] Under these circumstances, the U.S. could better support its ally by facilitating the purchase of American services, which would demonstrate Indonesian sovereignty.[46] On the other hand, Allison did not address Blum’s claim that it was the presence of aid, not the magnitude of that aid, that was detrimental to the Indonesian government’s popularity, so that reducing assistance would only “embitter” the Indonesians who would otherwise have appreciated U.S. aid.[47] Blum and Allison were at odds because Blum had more faith in the potential of direct U.S. government interaction with foreign populations while Allison was more concerned with ensuring the success of friendly governments.

When Blum served as Director of Staff of the Jackson Committee and raised doubts as to whether or not a psychological warfare campaign was consistent with other foreign policy goals, it is likely he had his ECA experience in mind. The Jackson Report stated that there was no difference between the “national psychological objective” and the “national objective.”  Nevertheless, in Indochina and in Indonesia, Blum seems to have observed tension between these two “objectives,” and would likely have been skeptical about the feasibility of conducting a psychological warfare campaign alongside traditional foreign policy. 

Once Blum became President of the AF, he likely observed a new dimension of the difficulty in waging psychological warfare: establishing platforms for public diplomacy. The Jackson Report called for greater consolidation in American propaganda, pointing to the Soviets’ strategy of “consistently (hammering) home a few carefully selected central themes.”[48] During his presidency of the AF, however, Blum seems to have concluded that for the American message to be effective, it needed more nuance. In a 1957 article, Blum described how the AF did not impose any one way of thinking but helped Asians “adapt Western knowledge” to suit their own vision of progress.[49] While clearly a biased report, Chou does confirm that the AF, and a few of its contemporaries operating in the same region, did go beyond giving simple warnings of the dangers of communism to arguing that communism was incompatible with the traditions of different Asian cultures.[50] The AF’s method of partnering with indigenous elites and intellectuals to facilitate a long-term exchange of ideas would be an example of what Osgood refers to as “cultural diplomacy.” [51] Osgood considers cultural diplomacy to be a more sophisticated approach to psychological warfare than the direct, heavy-handed propaganda of the early 1950s.[52] The following three case studies illustrate this approach and suggest that even a more refined psychological warfare strategy proved difficult in practice. 

First, Shuang Shen’s analysis of the AF’s support for Union Press (UP), a transnational Chinese publishing company known for its Hong-Kong based magazine, Chinese Student Weekly (CSW),[53] gives the impression that Blum accepted the ambiguity inherent in the U.S. psychological agenda in Asia. Shen argues that the significance of the AF’s work in print culture lay not necessarily in content but in the establishment of an “infrastructure…of information.”[54]Correspondences between UP and AF, she explains, reveal that AF staff, especially those as senior as Blum, barely read the CSW, which, although anti-communist, was often critical of American policies such as intervention in Vietnam.[55]Blum seems to have acknowledged the trade-off between cultivating anti-communist intellectual voices and giving a platform for unfavourable opinions of the U.S. government. For instance, in 1957, the United States Information Agency (USIA), the main government body that was coordinating many of the proposals set out in the Jackson Report, was organizing for Maria Yen, a major critic of PRC authoritarianism, to visit the U.S.[56] However, she then published several critiques of U.S. racial segregation in a UP magazine.[57] Having worked closely with Yen to establish UP, AF officials had to convince the reluctant USIA that Yen was still a valuable partner.[58] They argued that her skepticism of the U.S. strengthened her anti-communist message because it demonstrated to Asian audiences that she was not a puppet of the American government.[59] It is especially significant that the AF took this approach in Hong Kong because, according to Chou, Hong Kong was the most important base from which American public diplomacy could reach both Chinese citizens and members of the Chinese diaspora.[60] Therefore, for AF leadership to have taken such a decentralized approach, they would have had to be particularly confident that the kind of simplistic messaging advocated by the Jackson Report would not have worked.

The Malaysian and Singaporean, rather than the Cantonese, version of CSW serves as another example of how the AF rejected the Jackson Report’s streamlined approach.[61] Soon after its creation, the publication began focusing on regional issues so frequently that it had “morphed into a local text by tapping into local networks of writers and readers.”[62] In this way, Shen argues that under Blum’s leadership, the AF’s mission was in creating a “network” of diverse viewpoints, not in developing a channel to advocate U.S. interests.[63]

Cinema historian Sangjoon Lee’s research into the AF’s film project is a case study that suggests why Blum may have arrived at such a conclusion. Upon arriving at the AF, Blum accelerated the completion of the production of the film, The People Win Through.[64] The AF had secretly financed the film through Cascade Pictures, a production company specializing in non-fiction instructional and propaganda films.[65] However, this motion picture, which captured a young Burmese revolutionary coming to understand the corrupt nature of the Burmese communist movement, had abysmal audience turnout on the Asian continent–even in Burma–due to its poor quality.[66] From this experience, Blum concluded that a more effective way to use cinema in anti-communist messaging would be in supporting anti-communists who were already making films in Asia.[67] Notably, the AF supported the creation of the Federation of Motion Picture Producers in Asia (FPA).[68] The AF appeared to have chosen a more advanced, culturally diplomatic approach by forging ties with indigenous artists rather than attempting to disseminate a specific message themselves. For instance, the FPA’s annual film festival explicitly prohibited “political or ideological propaganda.”[69] However, Lee argues that these projects still failed to draw a large audience, because the AF’s film-maker partners produced dogmatic anti-communist movies that lacked aesthetic appeal themselves.[70] This analysis highlights how the AF’s decentralized approach of cultural diplomacy came to fruition, as well as how difficult it was to produce propaganda with this strategy. 

The AF’s biology textbook initiative, as laid out in Wolfe’s Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science, is another example of the challenges in using local partners to create more sophisticated public diplomacy apparatuses. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the National Science Foundation’s Biology Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) created three high-school biology textbooks for American students to teach an evidence-based scientific method, which they associated with free-thinking and democracy.[71] [72] The AF partnered with BSCS to distribute the books in Asia.[73] To avoid accusations of American imperialism, BSCS insisted that foreign institutions who wanted to use one of the textbooks needed to update the book’s content to directly reflect the regional environment and culture.[74] The plan to adapt the American message to better suit Asian audiences through collaboration with locals appears consistent with the AF’s typical approach. However, given the textbook’s rather strenuous “adaptation” process, some Asian educators found it easier to simply translate the whole pre-existing textbook themselves.[75] In Taiwan, educators began using a pirated version of one of the BSCS textbooks that made no attempt to disguise its American origin,[76] and once again, the AF had run into practical challenges to its cultural diplomacy. This particular case highlights the complications posed by a diverse public with diverging interests, including educators who had little stake in whether or not the U.S. was accused of meddling in Third World affairs.

In the three years between Blum’s departure from the AF in 1962, and his death in 1965, Blum didn’t practiced formal or public diplomacy, but rather served as director of the Council of Foreign Relations’ project, “The U.S. and China in World Affairs.” The initiative consisted of commissioning five policy experts, including Blum himself, to each write a book about the U.S.-China relationship. Blum passed away while still working on the final manuscript in the series, so political scientist A. Doak Barnett edited Blum’s volume for publication in 1966.[77] Despite the fact that this volume, titled The U.S. and China in World Affairs, was a piece of scholarship mainly about American strategic interests, Blum still included a reflection on the complications of U.S. psychological warfare initiatives. 

During the Kennedy era, when this book was published, despite shifting domestic opinions toward the PRC, there was little change in policy. President John F. Kennedy’s election in 1960 initially promised a softening of hostility between the U.S. and the PRC, with many anticipating a new policy of “containment without isolation,” a phrase coined by Barnett himself.[78] However, these reforms proved modest in practice given impediments such as China’s attempt to develop nuclear weapons, and Kennedy’s personal mistrust of the PRC.[79] After Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration defined the Vietnam War as a fight against Chinese influence in the region, making rapprochement with the PRC publicly impossible to defend.[80] While there were no major policy changes at this time, there was a shift in the discourse on the magnitude of the danger posed by the PRC. The Eisenhower administration had painted the PRC as a “Red Menace” in such strong language that any bilateral cooperation was thought to strengthen the PRC’s ability to de-stabilize U.S. influence in Asia.[81] However, many American bureaucrats in the 1960s began to doubt whether the PRC could truly threaten the U.S. given its poor economic performance and broken alliance with the Soviet Union.[82]

In The U.S. and China in World Affairs, Blum engaged in this discourse but framed it in the context of psychological warfare. In his assessment of Kennedy and Johnson’s continuation of U.S. ostracism of the PRC, Blum concluded that the U.S. made an insufficient effort to try to bridge the divide between the two states.[83] Blum rooted the causes of such inflexibility towards the PRC in U.S. propaganda. In his first chapter, Blum aligned himself with the bureaucrats who believed that far from being a “Red Menace,” the PRC was an  inefficient and overpopulated state in the early stages of modernization.[84] Furthermore, he expressed skepticism about the ability of Chinese communists to export their ideology, commenting on their then low success rate.[85] However, he wrote, the U.S. based its China policy on “attitudes” rather than on “dispassionate objectivity.”[86] Both American and Chinese officials, Blum claimed, hated each other more than they did any other states with similar ideologies.[87] Blum argues that this bias was so deep that the Kennedy and Johnson administrations were more willing to negotiate with the Soviet Union than with the PRC.[88] On this topic, he wrote, “When propaganda and policy become entangled, countries risk falling victim to their own propaganda and being caught in the trap of their own oversimplifications.”[89] Blum seems to have answered his question from 1953. When the U.S. government vilified the PRC in the public sphere, its formal diplomatic stance towards the PRC reflected this propaganda rather than a strategic assessment of the actual situation. Thus, under Blum’s logic, by bringing about a foreign policy position that defied rationality, psychological warfare did “[distort] the proper conception of foreign policy as a whole.” This repeated emphasis on inconsistency suggests that Blum held onto his skepticism as to how seamlessly psychological warfare could fit into the U.S. foreign policy apparatus.

In his critique of American-Chinese relations, Blum then remarked that both the U.S. and PRC governments declared themselves in solidarity with the people of the other state.[90] However, Blum argued, such statements had “limited significance” because both governments viewed the American and Chinese public in opposite ways.[91] He characterized the American perception of the Chinese as “the hard-working, thrifty, Chinese peasant” and characterized the Chinese perception of Americans as oppressed lower classes and racial minorities looking for the chance to overthrow their capitalist regime.[92] Both stereotypes were, of course, gross oversimplifications. While Blum did not reference the AF, his awareness of the dangers of underestimating the complexity of Asian society seems to echo the AF’s challenges in developing methods to reach the civilians of the PRC’s neighbour countries. Regardless, the comment still suggests that, through oversimplifying its audience, the U.S. would find public diplomacy more difficult in practice than in theory. 

The conclusion Blum drew in all three cases in which he engaged with Asia is that public diplomacy was more difficult in practice than in theory. Such a pattern has historical significance given the Jackson Report’s optimistic conclusions about the possibility of implementing psychological warfare. While the Jackson Report asserted that psychological objectives aligned completely with national objectives, at the State Department, Blum saw that this was not always the case, prompting him to raise relevant concerns to the CIA. Furthermore, the Jackson Report posited that an effective propaganda campaign could be centralized around a few simple messages. However, while managing the AF, Blum acknowledged the need for a more complex strategy. However, even then, he ran into major hurdles in developing platforms to promote anti-communist values. Lastly, Blum seems to have reflected on these experiences in The United States and China in World Affairs, and had concluded that policymakers overestimated their ability to conduct foreign relations through public opinion. Looking at Blum’s individual career, we can see a narrative emerge that highlights the unique challenges posed by psychological warfare in the broader context of the Cold War. 


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Parker, Jason C. Hearts, Minds, Voices: US Cold War Public Diplomacy and the Formation of the Third World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Shen, Shuang. “Empire of Information: The Asia Foundation’s Network and Chinese-Language Cultural Production in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.” American Quarterly 69, no. 3 (Fall 2017): 589-610.

Thompson, Michael. “Thoughts Provoked by The Very Best Men: The Need for Integrity.” Central Intelligence Agency, United States of America. Web. Last modified April 14, 2007.https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/96unclass/bestmen.htm.

Wolfe, Audra J. Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2018. 


[1] “Letter to Mr. Allen W. Dulles from Robert Blum,” CREST, General CIA Records, Page 1, CIA-RDP80B01676R004300070004-6, April 3, 1953. Central Intelligence Agency, United States of America. Web, accessed April 6, 2019,https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP80B01676R004300070004-6.pdf.

[2] ibid.

[3] “Briefing of Jackson Committee on 29 April,” CREST, General CIA Records, Page 2, CIA-RDP80B01676R004300070003-7, April 16, 1953. Central Intelligence Agency, United States of America. Web, accessed April 6, 2019, https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP80B01676R004300070003-7.pdf.

[4] Michael Thompson, “Thoughts Provoked by The Very Best Men: The Need for Integrity,” Central Intelligence Agency, United States of America. Web, last modified April 14, 2007,https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/96unclass/bestmen.htm.

[5] “Appearance of Mr. Dulles Before the PCIIA Scheduled for Wednesday, 29 April 1953,” CREST, General CIA Records, Page 5, CIA-RDP80B01676R004300070002-8, April 28, 1953. Central Intelligence Agency, United States of America. Web, accessed April 6, 2019, https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP80B01676R004300070002-8.pdf.

[6] Kenneth A. Osgood, “Form Before Substance: Eisenhower’s Commitment to Psychological Warfare and Negotiations with the Enemy,” Diplomatic History 24, no. 3 (2000), 411-412. 

[7] Jason C. Parker, Hearts, Minds, Voices: US Cold War Public Diplomacy and the Formation of the Third World, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 65.

[8] “Report to the President by the President’s Committee on International Information Activities,” Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954, National Security Affairs, Volume II, Part 2, Page 1854.

[9] Ibid. 

[10] “Report to the President by the President’s Committee on International Information Activities,” Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954, National Security Affairs, Volume II, Part 2, Page 1840. 

[11] Ned O’Gorman, “‘The One Word the Kremlin Fears’: C. D. Jackson, Cold War ‘Liberation,’ and American Political-Economic Adventurism,” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 12, no. 3 (Fall 2009), 402. 

[12] Ibid. 

[13] Osgood, “Form Before Substance,” 405 – 433. 

[14] Jason C. Parker, Hearts, Minds, Voices: US Cold War Public Diplomacy and the Formation of the Third World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 174.

[15] Kenneth A. Osgood, “Words and Deeds: Race, Colonialism, and Eisenhower’s Propaganda in the Third World,” in The Eisenhower Administration, the Third World, and the Globalization of the Cold War, ed. Kathryn C. Statler and Andrew L. Johns (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), 3-25.

[16] Parker, Hearts, Minds, Voices, 77.

[17] Audra J. Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2018). 

[18] Grace Ai-Ling Chou, “Cultural Education as Containment of Communism: The Ambivalent Position of American NGOs in Hong Kong in the 1950s,” Journal of Cold War Studies 12, no. 2 (2010): 3-28. 

[19] Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory, 144. 

[20] Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory, 146. 

[21] Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory, 164.

[22] Emma Best, “Robert Blum, the Spy who Shaped the World Part 1,” Muckrock. Web, last modified August 17, 2017, https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/aug/17/robert-blum-spy-who-shaped-world-part-1/.

[23] Emma Best, “Robert Blum, the Spy who Shaped the World Part 2,” Muckrock. Web, last modified August 18, 2017. https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/aug/18/robert-blum-spy-who-shaped-world-part-2/.

[24] ibid. 

[25] ibid. 

[26] “The Report of the President’s Committee on International Information Activities, June 30, 1953,” Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954, National Security Affairs: Volume II, Part 2, Page 1854, June 30, 1953. Office of the Historian, Department of State. Web, accessed April 6, 2019,https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1952-54v02p2/d370.

[27] Jean-Marc LePage speaking in “The Battle for Hearts and Minds: Counterinsurgency and Reconstruction Programs in Vietnam,” The American Experience in Southeast Asia, 1946-1975: East Auditorium, George C. Marshall Conference Center, Washington, D.C., September 30, 2010. Office of the Historian, Department of State, United States of America. Web, accessed April 6, 2019, https://history.state.gov/conferences/2010-southeast-asia/battle-for-hearts-and-minds.

[28] “Green Berets Held in Viet Killing,” CREST, General CIA Records, Page 1, CIA-RDP75-00001R000100040031-9, August 23, 1969. Web, accessed April 6, 2019, https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/cia-rdp75-00001r000100040031-9.

[29] “Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the United States Special Technical and Economic Mission at Saigon (Blum),” Foreign Relations of the United States, 1951, Asia and the Pacific: Volume VI, Part 1, Page 406-7, March 19, 1951. Office of the Historian, Department of State, United States of America. Web, accessed April 6, 2019.https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1951v06p1/d212.

[30] “Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the United States Special Technical and Economic Mission at Saigon (Blum)” Foreign Relations of the United States, Page 406-7. 

[31] ibid. 

[32] “The Minister at Saigon (Heath) to the Secretary of State,” Foreign Relations of the United States, 1951, Asia and the Pacific: Volume VI, Part 1, Page 436, June 29, 1951. Office of the Historian, Department of State, United States of America. Web, accessed April 6, 2019, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1951v06p1/d232.

[33] ibid. 

[34] “The Minister at Saigon (Heath) to the Secretary of State,” Foreign Relations of the United States, Page 437-8,

[35] ibid.

[36] O’Gorman, “The One Word the Kremlin Fears,” page 403/15 of 40

[37] “The ECA Assistant Administrator for Program (Cleveland) to the ECA Acting Administrator (Bissell),” Foreign Relations of the United States, 1951, Asia and the Pacific: Volume VI, Part 1, Page 121-3, December 5, 1951. Office of the Historian, Department of State, United States of America. Web, accessed April 6, 2019, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1951v06p1/d26

[38] Timothy P. Maga, “The New Frontier vs. Guided Democracy: JFK, Sukarno, and Indonesia, 1961-1963,” Presidential Studies Quarterly 20, no. 1 (Winter 1990): 91-2.

[39] “Mr. Robert Blum, Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Programs, Economic Cooperation Administration (Cleveland) to the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison),” Foreign Relations of the United States, 1951, Asia and the Pacific: Volume VI, Part 1, Page 759-762, December 17, 1951. Office of the Historian, Department of State, United States of America. Web, accessed April 6, 2019. https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1951v06p1/d452

[40] ” Mr. Robert Blum, Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Programs, Economic Cooperation Administration (Cleveland) to the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison),” Foreign Relations of the United States, Page 760. 

[41] ibid.

[42] “The Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison) to Mr. Robert Blum, Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Program, Economic Cooperation Administration (Cleveland),” Foreign Relations of the United States, 1951, Asia and the Pacific: Volume VI, Part 1, Page 771, December 31, 1951. Office of the Historian, Department of State, United States of America. Web, accessed April 6, 2019, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1951v06p1/d463

[43] ” Mr. Robert Blum, Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Programs, Economic Cooperation Administration (Cleveland) to the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison),” Foreign Relations of the United States, Page 761. 

[44] “The Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison) to Mr. Robert Blum, Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Program, Economic Cooperation Administration (Cleveland),” Foreign Relations of the United States, Page 775.

[45] “The Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison) to Mr. Robert Blum, Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Program, Economic Cooperation Administration (Cleveland),” Foreign Relations of the United States, Page 772. 

[46] “The Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison) to Mr. Robert Blum, Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Program, Economic Cooperation Administration (Cleveland),” Foreign Relations of the United States, Page 773. 

[47] “Mr. Robert Blum, Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Programs, Economic Cooperation Administration (Cleveland) to the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison),” Foreign Relations of the United States, Page 762. 

[48] “Report to the President by the President’s Committee on International Information Activities,” Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954, National Security Affairs, Volume II, Part 2, Page 1840. 

[49] Robert Blum, “The Work of The Asia Foundation,” Pacific Affairs 29, no. 1 (Spring 1956): 46.

[50] Chou, “Cultural Education as Containment of Communism,” 3-28.

[51] Osgood, “Words and Deeds,” 15-8.

[52] Ibid. 

[53] Shuang Shen, “Empire of Information: The Asia Foundation’s Network and Chinese-Language Cultural Production in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia,” American Quarterly 69, no. 3 (Fall 2017): 591. 

[54] Shen, “Empire of Information,” 592. 

[55] Shen, “Empire of Information,” 605.

[56] Shen, “Empire of Information,” 596.

[57] ibid. 

[58] ibid. 

[59] ibid. 

[60] Chou, “Cultural Education as Containment of Communism,” 3-28.

[61] Shen, “Empire of Information,” 604.  

[62] ibid.

[63] Shen, “Empire of Information,” 589-610. 

[64] Sangjoon Lee, “The Asia Foundation’s Motion-Picture Project and the Cultural Cold War in Asia,” Film History 29, no. 2 (2017): 108-137.  

[65] ibid. 

[66] ibid.  

[67] ibid.  

[68] ibid.  

[69] ibid.  

[70] Sangjoon Lee, “Creating an Anti-Communist Motion Picture Producers’ Network in Asia: The Asia Foundation, Asia Pictures, and the Korean Motion Picture Cultural Association,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 37, no. 3 (2017): 531. 

[71] Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory, 140-2.

[72] Note that Wolfe analyzes a period in the mid-1960s, but that Blum ceased to serve as AF president in 1962. It is unclear to what extent Blum contributed to the TAF-BSCS partnership or how much he knew about the project’s results. Nevertheless, the case study is still relevant because it highlights a challenge TAF faced in this era and was likely the product of mechanisms and philosophies Blum established as President only a short time before. 

[73] Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory, 145-8. 

[74] Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory, 148. 

[75] Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory, 149-151.

[76] Ibid. 

[77] A. Doak Barnett, preface to The United States and China in World Affairs, by Robert Blum, ed. A. Doak Barnett (New York: Published for the Council on Foreign Relations by McGraw-Hill, 1966), xii-xiii.

[78] Rosemary Foot, “Redefinitions: The Domestic Context of America’s China Policy,” in Re-Examining the Cold War: U.S.-China Diplomacy, 1954-1973, ed. Robert S. Ross and Jiang Changbin, (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2001), 266. 

[79] Foot, “Redefinitions,” 281-2. 

[80] Foot, “Redefinitions,” 284-5.

[81] Foot, “Redefinitions,” 276.

[82] ibid. 

[83] Blum, The United States and China in World Affairs, 151.

[84] Blum, The United States and China in World Affairs, 12. 

[85] Blum, The United States and China in World Affairs, 15.

[86] Blum, The United States and China in World Affairs, 21.

[87] Blum, The United States and China in World Affairs, 20.

[88] Ibid. 

[89] ibid. 

[90] Blum, The United States and China in World Affairs, 21.

[91] ibid. 

[92] ibid. 

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