Analysis of Characters in Ugly American by by Burdick and Lederer

1790 Words4 Pages

The next character I will mention is Honorable Gilbert MacWhite, who replaced Ambassador Sears in Sarkhan. This character functioned in complete contrast to Sears. He understood the sensitivity of the US mission in Sarkhan and how vulnerable the Sarkhanese government was to potential communist influences. He also understood the communist threat and did not underestimate it. MacWhite’s understanding of the operational environment was clear from the beginning and made constant efforts in understanding the people of Sarkhan.
MacWhite arrived in Sarkhan well versed on the customs, language, and threats faced by the country; this aided him in everything that followed through his tour. Understanding the operational environment is critical in the proper application of all other Special Operations Imperatives. Failure to understand the environment may increase the possibility of applying other imperatives erroneously. By understanding the latter, MacWhite was able to face successfully the challenges through his time as Ambassador to Sarkhan.
MacWhite became aware early in his time as an Ambassador that the ability of the communists to gain intelligence extended beyond the local territory and into the walls of his own house. This was evident once he became aware that his own servants were actually collecting information. After he confirmed that his servants were deceptive, he realized that the communists had indeed succeeded in developing successful intelligence agents, who were able to collect firsthand information. In order to become more aware and to better analyze communist tactics, MacWhite requested permission to travel to the Philippines and Vietnam.
Through his time in both locations, MacWhite demonstrated an SO Imperative in ...

... middle of paper ...

...state. Failure to include local forces immensely reduces our span of influence and increase dependency between the host nation and the USG.
Through this essay, we have depicted three characters of “The Ugly American” and highlighted the Special Operations imperatives displayed by such characters. We saw how characters such as Ambassador Sears displayed negatively the use of such action and contrasted them against those of MacWhite. I also included a politically independent character, Atkins, who provided us with imperatives who are more personally embedded in his character. The SO imperatives provide us with the guidance to succeed through their application. Through the novel we saw multiple examples of the benefits and consequences of their application, and lack of. Clearly understanding their purpose and application is paramount for the success of our forces.

Open Document