Publication Date

April 2012

Advisor(s)

William Pinch

Major

History (HIST)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

In 1971, West Pakistan engaged in a military crackdown to suppress the East Pakistani populace after the country's first free and democratic election in 1970 resulted in a resounding victory for Awami League, East Pakistan's dominant political party. The American diplomats stationed in the Dhaka Consulate witnessed the horror of the military crackdown and were appalled by the American government's inaction faced with such atrocities. Their reports were ignored and distrusted by the policy makers in Washington causing them to write a famous letter of dissent on April 6,1971. My thesis explores the structural explanations for the origins of the dissent letter to better understand the problematic policy America pursued in 1971.

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