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Studies in Intelligence 67, No. 4 (Extracts, December 2023)

Intelligence and Diplomacy in China’s Civil War: George C. Marshall as Special Envoy to China, December 1945 to January 1947

David Robarge


This article is an adaptation of a chapter drawn from CIA Chief Historian David Robarge's book The Soldier-Statesman in the Secret World: George C. Marshall and Intelligence in War and Peace (Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2023, which is available in Books and Monographs section of CSI's web site. This chapter describes Marshall’s continuing service to the United States after he retired more than 40 years, including two world wars, after first pinning on his second lieutenant’s bars in 1902.

The challenge Marshall accepted just months after the war against Japan ended in September 1945 was to attempt to negotiate an end to the civil war that had been raging between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the ruling Nationalist Party, the Kuomintang (KMT), since the early 1920s.
During his 13 months of effort, he would be frustrated by both sides and, although he was aware that the CCP had planted agents in KMT organizations, he could not have known how his efforts were damaged by at least one secret CCP operative, a stenographer in the KMT’s Executive Secretariat.

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