The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet

Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison

320 pages, 24 photographs, 9 maps, 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Modern War Studies
Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-1159-1, $34.95

Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison reveal how America’s
Central Intelligence Agency encouraged Tibet’s revolt
against China–and eventually came to control its
fledgling resistance movement. They provide the first
comprehensive, as well as most compelling account of
this little known agency enterprise.

The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet takes readers from
training camps in the Colorado Rockies to the scene of
clandestine operations in the Himalayas, chronicling
the agency’s help in securing the Dalai Lama’s safe
passage to India and subsequent initiation of one of
the most remote covert campaigns of the Cold War.
Conboy and Morrison provide previously unreported
details about secret missions undertaken in
extraordinarily harsh conditions. Their book greatly
expands on previous memoirs by CIA officials by
putting virtually every major agency participant on
record with details of clandestine operations. It also
calls as witnesses the people who managed and fought
in the program–including Tibetan and Nepalese agents,
Indian intelligence officers, and even mission
aircrews.

Conboy and Morrison take pains to tell the story from
all perspectives, particularly that of the former
Tibetan guerrillas, many of whom have gone on record
here for the first time. The authors also tell how
Tibet led America and India to become secret partners
over the course
of several presidential administrations and cite
dozens of Indian and Tibetan intelligence documents
directly related to these covert operations.

As the movement for Tibetan liberation continues to
attract international support, Tibet’s status remains
a contentious issue in both Washington and Beijing.
This book takes readers inside a covert war fought
with Tibetan blood and U.S. sponsorship and allows us
to better understand the true nature of that
controversy.

“The inside story of one of the CIA’s most tragic
covert operations. Agency officers in the Wild East;
nationalist, religious, and ethnic conflict–this is
the stuff of a great yarn, which the authors tell in
engaging detail.”–John Prados, author of Presidents’
Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations from
World War II Through the Persian Gulf

“A masterful account of how the CIA sought to play the
‘new great game’ on the roof of the world.”–David F.
Rudgers, author of Creating the Secret State: Origins
of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1943–1947

“An excellent and impressive study of a major CIA
covert operation during the Cold War.”–William M.
Leary, author of Perilous Missions: Civil Air
Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia

KENNETH CONBOY is a former policy analyst and deputy
director at the Heritage Foundation whose other books
include Spies and Commandos: How America Lost the
Secret War in North Vietnam and Spies in the
Himalayas: Secret Missions and Perilous Climbs.

The late JAMES MORRISON was a thirty-year Army veteran
and the last training officer for the CIA-sponsored
Unity project. He coauthored numerous books with
Conboy, including Shadow War: The CIA’s Secret War in Laos

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