SEATO: Creaky Tiger

The exercise was billed grandly as SEATO's "first joint international sea, air and land maneuvers." Thailand, which thought it up, declared that all eight nations had been invited to participate. The Thais' idea was to show how fast SEATO power could come to the aid of Bangkok, in a demonstration that SEATO is no "paper tiger." The U.S. Navy called it "Operation Firm Link" and declared it was intended to "signify the close-knit ties among the SEATO nations."

Last week Operation Firm Link demonstrated that the links are far from firm. The Philippines and the U.S., which had been asked...

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