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No FOIA Request Needed: The Edward G. Lansdale Papers Collection

December 10, 2009

An October 7, 1963, memorandum from Major General Lansdale to the Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric regarding Bolivia.

Our series about the Archive’s unpublished document collections continues by highlighting the “Edward G. Lansdale Papers Collection.” Edward G. Lansdale (1908 – 1987) was an intelligence officer for the Office of Strategic Services, the US Army, and the US Air Force. Lansdale served in several hot spots, including Indochina, the Philippines, Vietnam, and South America. In February 1961, he was appointed Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Operations; his primary duties involved operations of an extremely sensitive nature. He was recognized as a specialist in counterinsurgency and guerilla warfare. According to his official United States Air Force biography, “Lansdale was an early proponent of stronger US actions in the Cold War, as expressed in a number of speeches and articles on counter-insurgency, psychological operations, and civic action.”The Lansdale Collection consists of two banker-sized boxes of documents obtained by the Archive in the 1990s in response to a FOIA we filed with the US Department of Defense. The documents are arranged chronologically and dated between 1951 to 1968. One document from the collection, an October 7, 1963, memorandum from Major General Lansdale to the Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric, illustrates how closely the US was monitoring Bolivia’s economic, social, and military progress during a critical period of the Cold War. It provides a backdrop for US interest in Bolivia from the early 1960s to today.

For more information about the Archive’s unpublished collections, visit our web site at or contact our Public Service department.

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