Northern Cheyenne internal conflicts

Tom Riley (triley@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU)
Mon, 30 Jan 1995 10:25:39 +0000

In answer to Mike Salovesh's comments about Project Camelot and Operation
Phoenix, they were two separate programs. Both were early 1960's programs
in their inception but there was interchnge in their fallout between SE
Asia and the New World. Camelot was South American,and it depended to a
certain extent on information derived from Anthros as well as anthros who
actively provided information to the government. The information value was
more structural than personal- like who would be where when, what political
parties were represented in a village, and traditional info that anthros
gather, so I understand. Most anthros refused to participate and the
project was damned in the late 60's as we became more aware of the kinds of
research that could be used by the military. Info from the Hill Tribes
Research Center in Thailand, which was a storehouse of data recovered by
anthros, geographers was used by the Thai military in at least one
instance to stage a bombing of a dissident village, although I am unclear
on whether the village was bombed when most people would be away from it or
when they would be there to maximize casualties.

I believe that Operation Phoenix was a counter terror operation that was
invented by William Colby when he was in Southeast Asia in 1962 or so. It
was definitely used for a time in the conduct of the war there, and
consisted, not of killing potential leaders, but leaders who had been put
in place by the Viet Cong only after they had assassinated RVN leaders.
Otherwise VC suspect leaders were arrested. After our increasing
involvement in the war, our advisors were often sent with ARVN troops to
supervise the activity and keep it from getting out of hand. If killing
were done, it was supposed to be done in relation to the depradation
carried out by VC. If headman or scribe were killed by VC, then headman or
scribe that they put into place were killed. If headman and family were
killed, then same to their side. Operation Phoenix was not, I believe,
carried on to the end of the war, but abandoned as brutal and not meeting
its objectives, but I may be wrong.

I believe that this set of ideas was copied, but I am unclear whether it
was copied from British or from Philippines reaction to HUK rebellion.

Thomas J. Riley
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign