Date of Award

Spring 5-1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Joan E. Supplee

Committee Member

Pia Christina Wood

Committee Member

G. William Whitehurst

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45B35


This thesis examines the purpose of U.S. military aid in the American Republics from 1951 through 1961 and proves that concern for internal security became dominant during that period. At first military aid supported hemispheric defense against communist aggression, which Washington orchestrated through mutual defense agreements, but by 1953 maintenance of internal security emerged as the major aim of aid to several Central American nations. In 1956 the National Security Council determined that internal security was a vital goal of the military aid program for Latin America. The ascendance of internal security concerns is described and analyzed in three parts: first as an appendage to the anticommunist Mutual Security Program, then as an expanding program element, and finally as the dominant objective for assisting the Latin American military. Recently released U.S. government document collections are used extensively in this study, which contributes to revision of the period.


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