A Window on the Development of Modern Intelligence
Claire L. Chennault and the Problem of Intelligence in China
Claire Chennault went to China in 1937 as a military adviser to Chiang Kai-shek as Japan’s war on China expanded. During late 1940–41 he would organize and command the American Volunteer Group (AVG), popularly known as the “Flying Tigers,” an air unit supported covertly by the United States before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Chennault understood the value of intelligence and wrestling with the problems of acquiring it during most of his career. Most of what has been written about Chennault has focused on his leadership of the Flying Tigers, his relationship with the Republic of China, and his service during World War II. This article draws from his memoirs and other material to specifically address Chennault’s approach to intelligence.
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