Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with William Primosch
PRIMOSCH: It's not only the leaders, but it's also the troops. At some point, they don't believe that the orders will be carried out and at that point the game is over.
Q: In '81, whither?
PRIMOSCH: In '81, I had a transition to the mid-level economics course and from there out to Thailand in January of '82. This mid-level course was for people who had been in five or six years.
Q: How did you find the course?
PRIMOSCH: I thought it was pretty good. We had more economic training, and the program was better focused there. There was public speaking training and leadership training. Overall, it was pretty good. Others felt differently about it, but I drew upon some of the training later on, so I thought it was useful.
Q: You were in Thailand from '82 to when?
PRIMOSCH: 1982 to mid 1985
Q: What was your job when you went out there in '82?
PRIMOSCH: I had a rather unique position within the embassy. There is a UN regional economic commission located in Bangkok called the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). It is a regional UN center whose purpose is to promote economic and social development mainly in the developing countries. Following World War II, the United States along with Britain, France, and Japan were the founding members. Half to three quarters of the time was to attend meetings at the UN body there and to meet with officials and try to get U.S. agencies involved in some of their activities. I did have some contact on internal Thai issues. I picked up a number of different portfoliothings like minerals and some of the oil industry development, which were important for Thailand's economy at the time. But I spent much of my time involved in the UN activities.
Q: With the UN activities, how did that mesh with ASEAN?