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Roger Hilsman (born November 23, 1919) is an author and political scientist. He served as an American soldier in Merrill's Marauders and then the Office of Strategic Services in China-Burma-India Theater of World War II during World War II and as an aide and adviser to President John F. Kennedy. He left government in 1964 to teach at Columbia University.
Hilsman attended the United States Military Academy and graduated in June 1943. He served with the Detachment 101 of the OSS and in August 1945, went on an OSS mission into Manchuria to liberate American prisoners of war held in a Mukden Japanese POW camp and there found his father.
During the Kennedy Administration Hilsman became director of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), and in 1963 became the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs. He resigned in March 1964 in a disagreement with President Johnson's Vietnam policy and was replaced at the Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs by William Bundy.
In the 1972 Congressional elections, he ran for election to the United States House of Representatives as the Democratic Party nominee for Connecticut's 2nd congressional district. He lost the general election to the Republican incumbent, Robert H. Steele, by a wide margin (66 to 34 percent).
Hilsman is married to the former Eleanor Hoyt.
Hilsman has written at least 11 books about 20th century American foreign policy. They include:
- Foreign Policy in the Sixties: The issues and the instruments (1965)
- To Move a Nation: The Politics of Foreign Policy in the Administration of John F. Kennedy (1967)
- Politics Of Policy Making In Defense and Foreign Affairs: Conceptual Models and Bureaucratic Politics (1971)
- The Crouching Future: International politics and U.S. foreign policy – a forecast (1975)
- To Govern America (1979)
- Strategic Intelligence and National Decisions (1981)
- The Politics of Governing America (1985)
- George Bush Vs. Saddam Hussein: Military Success! Political Failure? (1992)
- The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Struggle Over Policy (1996)
- From Nuclear Military Strategy to a World Without War (1999)
- American Guerrilla: My War Behind Japanese Lines (2005)
- Interview with Roger Hilsman on the U.S. Involvement in Vietnam, 1981 
- Roger Hilsman Personal Papers, JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM 
- Roger Hilsman has been interviewed as part of Frontline Diplomacy: The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, a site at the Library of Congress.
- 1963 South Vietnamese coup
- Arrest and assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem
- Reaction to the 1963 South Vietnamese coup
- Cable 243
- Buddhist crisis
- Krulak Mendenhall mission
- McNamara Taylor mission
- Vietnam War
Hugh S. Cumming, Jr.
|Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research
February 19, 1961 – April 25, 1963
Thomas L. Hughes
W. Averell Harriman
|Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs
May 9, 1963 – March 15, 1964