Ford, Carter and Cambodia: US foreign policy and the Khmer Rouge

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dc.contributor.advisor Ryan, David en
dc.contributor.author O'Donoghue, Barbara
dc.date.accessioned 2016-01-06T12:54:11Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.date.submitted 2015
dc.identifier.citation O'Donoghue, B. 2015. Ford, Carter and Cambodia: US foreign policy and the Khmer Rouge. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/2160
dc.description.abstract This thesis is an investigation into the US response to the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia between 1974 and 1981. It argues that the US experience in the Vietnam War acted as a causal factor in the formulation of its Cambodian policy during the presidencies of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. From taking power in April 1975 to their removal by the Vietnamese in January 1979, the Khmer Rouge initiated a revolution unrivalled in the 20th Century for its brutality and for the total eradication of modern society. This thesis demonstrates that the Ford administration viewed Cambodia only as it pertained to their strategy in Vietnam and, following US disengagement from Indochina all but ignored the atrocities occurring there as they instead pursued informal relations with the Khmer Rouge as a means of punishing the Vietnamese. The Carter administration formulated a foreign policy based on human rights yet failed to adequately address the genocide that occurred in Cambodia due to its temporal and regional proximity to Vietnam. Instead, this collective reluctance to reengage with the region and the resulting anti-Vietnamese attitude reinforced Brzezinski’s broader global strategy that allied the US with China in support of an independent Cambodia to further isolate Hanoi. Thus this thesis argues that the distorting impact of the Vietnam War, as well as global Cold War calculations, undermined any appreciation of the Cambodian conflict and caused both administrations to pursue policies in Cambodia that ultimately supported the Khmer Rouge regime. This project incorporates declassified material from the Ford and Carter Presidential Libraries, supplemented by the material from the National Archives and Library of Congress, and relevant newspapers and periodicals. It demonstrates that the limitations placed upon US foreign policy by their experience in the Vietnam War may be used to reveal unexplored elements in US-Cambodian relations. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2015, Barbara O'Donoghue. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject History en
dc.subject Cambodia en
dc.subject Khmer Rouge en
dc.subject US foreign policy en
dc.subject International relations en
dc.subject Vietnam War en
dc.title Ford, Carter and Cambodia: US foreign policy and the Khmer Rouge en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Arts) en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en
dc.check.info Indefinite en
dc.check.date 10000-01-01
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.contributor.funder Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school History en
dc.check.reason This thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this material en
dc.check.opt-out Yes en
dc.thesis.opt-out true
dc.check.entireThesis Entire Thesis Restricted
dc.check.embargoformat Both hard copy thesis and e-thesis en
dc.internal.conferring Spring Conferring 2016 en


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© 2015, Barbara O'Donoghue. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2015, Barbara O'Donoghue.
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