Robert Grainger Ker Thompson

Infobox Military Person
name= Robert G. K. Thompson
lived=


caption=
nickname=
placeofbirth=
placeofdeath=
allegiance=
branch=
serviceyears=
rank=
unit=
commands=
battles= Burma Campaign during World War II
Malayan Emergency
awards= Order of the British Empire (KBE)
Order of St Michael and St George (CMG)
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Military Cross (MC)
relations=
laterwork=
Sir Robert Grainger Ker Thompson KBE CMG DSO MC (1916–1992) was a British military officer and counter-insurgency expert.

Thompson was commissioned into the Royal Air Force Reserve in 1936. He fought as a Chindit in the Burma Campaign during World War II, being promoted Flight Lieutenant in 1943 and Squadron Leader in 1945. He was senior RAF air support adviser to the brigade commander. In the 1950s he served as Permanent Secretary of Defence for Malaya with the local rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and, working closely with General Gerald Templer, was a major player in the defeat of the communist insurgency during the Malayan Emergency.

In September 1961 Prime Minister Harold Macmillan appointed him head of the newly established BRIAM (British Advisory Mission) to South Vietnam - and by extension Washington. Thompson conceived of an initiative he called the Delta plan but when he saw the effects of the strategic hamlets initiative, begun in February 1962 he became an enthusiastic backer, telling President Kennedy in 1963 that he felt the war could be won. Under Thompson's leadership BRIAM put economic pressure on the South Vietnamese government that Thompson described as "an invitation to a coup".

Kennedy was receptive to Thompson's ideas but the American military establishment were extremely reluctant to implement them. His warning not to bomb villages went unheeded and his dismissal of American air supremacy was ignored. "The war [will] be won by brains and on foot", he told Kennedy but competing interests in Washington and Saigon acted to marginalise Thompson and ultimately his strategies had no real effect on the conflict. He stepped down from BRIAM in 1965 and the organisation, deprived of the man who was essentially its raison d'etre, folded up around him.

Despite his relatively acrimonious criticism of United States policy in Vietnam, Thompson returned to a post assisting the American government in 1969 when he became a special advisor on "pacification" to President Nixon.

In later life Thompson wrote extensively about the use of commandos and counter-insurgency operations in Asymmetric warfare.

Published works

* "Judgement on Major General O C Wingate, DSO", written on behalf of the [http://www.chindits.info/COCA/Main.htm Chindits Old Comrades Association] in collaboration with Brigadier P. W. Mead ( [http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lhcma/guides/fareast.shtml Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives] )
* "Defeating Communist Insurgency: Experiences in Malaya and Vietnam (Study in International Security)", Chatto & Widus, 1966, ISBN 0-7011-1133-X
* "America fights the wrong war", The Spectator, 12 August 1966
* "Royal Flying Corps (Famous Regts. S)",L Cooper, 1968, ISBN 0-85052-010-X
* "Squaring the Error" in Foreign Affairs April 1968. (An issue with 4 articles on Vietnam the other three authors were by Roger Hilsman, Chester L. Cooper and Hamilton Fish Armstrong).
*"No Exit From Vietnam", David McKay company, Inc., New York, 1969 ,ISBN 0-7011-1494-0
* Interviewed by Frank Reynolds on ABC-TV December 17 1969
*"Revolutionary Warfare in World Strategy", Taplinger Publishing Co., 1970
*" [http://www.bibl.u-szeged.hu/bibl/mil/vietnam/konyv/t/thompson_i.html Peace Is Not At Hand] " New York: David McKay,London: Chatto and Windus, 1974, ISBN 0-7011-2057-6
* Chapter "Read Bases and Sanctuaries" in "Lessons of Vietnam", editors Thompson, W. Scott and Donaldson D. Frizzell, Pub Taylor & Francis, Incorporated, 1977
*"War in Peace: An Analysis of Warfare Since 1945",(consultant editor) 1981, Octopuss Publishing Limited, London, ISBN 0-85613-341-8
*"Make for the Hills", an autobiography, London, Pen & Sword Books/Leo Cooper, 1989, ISBN 0-85052-761-9

External links

* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1990/PFD.htm Chapter IV: Sir Robert Thompson's Counterinsurgency Concepts] [http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmc/pelli.pdf PDF] is an analysis of his "Defeating Communist Insurgency"
* [http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lhcma/cats/menaul/mn0710.htm King's College London Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives] reference to some newspaper articles published by Sir Robert Thompson.
* [http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/vietnamcenter/events/2002_Symposium/2002Papers_files/peoples.htm British resettlement village model during the Malayan Emergency, and early American involvement in Vietnam] Relies heavily on Sir Robert Thompson's analysis


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Robert Thompson — Robert or Bob Thompson may refer to:*Robert A. Thompson (1805 1876), American politician, U.S. Representative from Virginia *Robert B. Thompson (1811–1841), Latter Day Saint leader, historian, and newspaper editor *Robert M. Thompson (1849… …   Wikipedia

  • Grainger (name) — Grainger is a surname of English origin. [http://www.ancestry.com/facts/Grainger name meaning.ashx Grainger Name Meaning and Origin] Retrieved on 2007 12 01] It is a variant of the surname Granger which is an occupational name for a farm bailiff …   Wikipedia

  • Thompson (surname) — Thompson is an English patronymic surname with a variety of spellings meaning son of Tom (or Thomas) . According to the 1990 United States Census, Thompson was the seventeenth most frequently reported surname, accounting for 0.27% of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Aufstandsbekämpfung — Ein Wall des Strategic Hamlet Programmes im Vietnamkrieg das auf den Theorien von Sir Robert Thompson basierte Unter Aufstandsbekämpfung oder auch englisch Counterinsurgency (COIN) versteht man verschiedene Taktiken und Strategien zur Bekämpfung… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Counter-insurgency — Police question a civilian during the Malayan Emergency. Counter insurgency involves action from both military and police authorities …   Wikipedia

  • List of World War II topics (R) — # R planes # R Adams Cowley # R boat # R. Burnett Miller # R. D. Oliver # R. F. Patrick Cronin # R. G. Waldeck # R. Harmon Drew, Sr. # R. Horne # R. Norris Williams # R4M rocket # Raab Katzenstein RK 26 # RAAF Station Bairnsdale # Rab battalion # …   Wikipedia

  • Malayan Emergency — Part of British decolonization and the Cold War Australian Avro Lincoln …   Wikipedia

  • Contenu:Australie — Projet:Australie/Liste des articles Liste mise à jour régulièrement par MyBot (d · c · b) à partir des articles liés au bandeau {{Portail Australie}} Modifications récentes des articles ayant le bandeau de ce portail… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • List of Conservative Party (UK) MPs — This is a list of Conservative Party MPs. It includes all Members of Parliament elected to the British House of Commons representing the Conservative Party from 1834 onwards. Members of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly or the European… …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford period poetry anthologies — These are Oxford poetry anthologies of English poetry, which select from a given period. See also The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse. Contents 1 New Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse (1991) 2 New Oxford Book of Eighteenth… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.