Frank N Trager

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Dr. Frank N. Trager: Director, National Security Program, New York University and member of the National Strategy Information Center. Biographies of his written works state that Trager was a full-time National Labor Secretary of the Socialist Party, U.S.A.[1], and during the war he was a Psychologist in the Air Force.[2] He is the author of Burma—From Kingdom to Republic: a Historical and Political Analysis, published by Frederick A. Praeger: New York, 1966. A CIA review of a Frances Stonor Saunders' essay which asserted that the CIA clandestinely subsidized the publishing of thousands of books, including an entire line of books by Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., does not deny this.[3] And it is also attested to by E. Howard Hunt's memoir.[4]

A biography from his essay on the US Security structure states that he was Director of Studies at the NSIC; general editor of the National Security Studies Series, editor of the Strategy Papers, and a member of the editorial boards of Orbis and Asian Affairs: An American Review; chairman of the American-Asian Educational Exchange; board member of the Foreign Policy Research Institute; chairman, Executive Committee, Chinese Cultural Center, Inc.; and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Burma Research Society, and the Siam Society. He has been on the faculties of Johns Hopkins and Yale Universities, the National War College, the Foreign Service Institute, Department of State, and has held various government positions. Trager has served as Director of the U.S. Economic Aid Mission to Burma and has frequently visited Southeast Asia. He has been a consultant to the Rand Corporation, Stanford Research Institute, Hudson Institute, and to the Departments of State and Defense. He is author of numerous books, monographs, and articles on Burma, Asia, and national security topics.[5]

Along with the NSIC's Frank Barnett, Trager was a signatory and member of the 1967 Citizens Committee for Peace With Freedom in Vietnam this included Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Dean Acheson) and argued that it:

...felt that popular opposition to the war in Vietnam did not, in fact, represent the feelings of America's "silent center": a majority of "independent and responsible men and women who have consistently opposed rewarding international aggressors."[6]

Lester H. Brune's (1996) The Korean War: Handbook of the Literature and Research, states that Trager gives a traditional view of the "Marxian threat in Asia" ignoring the complex mix of ideas contained in Third World radicalism an other studies examination which revealed that it resembled communist theory but "clashed with Moscow's interests" as Asia's national leaders tried to preserve their region's distinctive features and that this was "a fact that washington usually neglected". This adds:

One particular issue influencing research on Asian nationalism was the "Great Asian Conspiracy." During the 1950s, some U.S. scholars contended that Moscow's monolithic control over Asia's communist rebellions had been accepted during two left-wing conferences held in Calcutta during 1948. According to writers such as Walt W. Rostow (1954), A. Doak Barnett (1961), and Frank Traeger [sic] (1959), the Calcutta sessions were directed by Moscow's newly created Cominform (Communist Information Bureau), which ordered Asian delegates to begin rebellions. Subsequently when uprisings began in Malaya, Burma, Indochina, Indonesia, the Philippine Islands, and eventually Korea, the conspiracy theory appeared to be validated.


  1. This is supported by his obituary in the National Review: National Review (1984)Frank Trager, RIP - obituary, Oct 5. This adds that Trager served for two years as program director of the Anti-Defamation League
  3. Thomas M. Troy, Jr.(2000) The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters.
  4. Everette Howard Hunt's (2007) American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate, and Beyond, p.148. Francis Stonor Saunders (1999) Who Paid the Piper? (p. 244) states that:
    Frederick Preager, a propagandist for the American military government in post-war Germany, published between twenty and twenty-five volumes in which the CIA had and interest, either in the writing, the publication itself, or the distribution. Praeger said they reimbursed him directly for the expenses of publication, or guaranteed, usually through a foundation, the purchase of enough copies to make it worthwhile.
  5. Frank N. Trager (1977) The National Security Act of 1947: Its Thirtieth Anniversary, Air University Review. The Air University Review also has a history of the NSIC: Lieutenant Colonel David R. Mets (1977)Watching the Pendulum Swing: A Look at the Works of the National Strategy Information Center. This states that the keystone to the NSIC's "entire publishing effort" may be said to be Frank N. Trager and Philip S. Kronenberg, editors (1973) National Security and American Society: Theory, Process, and Policy (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas). Lieutenant Colonel Mets' essay is a literature review that states that the NSIC has an authorship that tends to be less associated with the armed forces and federal government. Based in New York and affiliated with New York University (NYU), although it does not publish a periodical. However, it is “very active in soliciting a variety of topical studies concerning national security and in conducting seminars and conferences on the subject throughout the nation.” By the mid-1970s the NSIC publications covered four principal areas: general studies, works on the use of the political instrument of national policy, books on military affairs, and essays on the economics sinews of national security policy; these took the form of general teaching tools, Strategy Papers, and Agenda Papers. Among the many prominent scholars associated with the organization are said to be Klaus Knorr, Frank Trager, Fred Sondermann, Gerald Steibel, and Bernard Brodie. Only a few of the participants are from the military world, the two cited were: General Harold K. Johnson, USA (Retired) and Major General Richard A. Yudkin, USAF (Retired), with the observation that more of the directors and advisers come from the business world. The NSIC is said to be dedicated to an educational program in international affairs based on the assumption "that neither isolationism nor pacifism can provide realistic solutions to the challenge of 20th century totalitarianism," and had a1974-75 budget close to $1m and “involved in a variety of activities designed to influence public opinion through the intellectual elite that leads the way”. Mets’ history of the NSIC provides a round up and assessment of its main publications, but again singles out Barnett's work:
    The entire tone of the National Strategy Information Center's work can be found in Frank Barnett's compact Alternatives to Détente. His is the voice of caution in a world of enthusiasm for détente. Barnett holds that there is a fundamental difference between the Russian and American definitions of détente, which could lead to disaster for us. The United States tends to look on détente as an end in itself, whereas the Russians see it as a means to an end—the goal of Communist World domination. He remarks that the Russians look on detente merely as the continuation of the old struggle by other, nonviolent means—or means without total war, anyhow.
    Mets observes that Lyman Kirkpatrick and Howland Sargeant (1972) Soviet Political Warfare Techniques: Espionage and Propaganda in the 1970s (New York: NSIC) argued the Soviets were expanding there efforts:
    Both their espionage and propaganda programs have an advantage in timeliness and cohesiveness that arises from centralized direction, but their interpretation of intelligence often misses the mark because of the sheer volume of material collected and the Russian tendency to look at things through Marxist-tinted glasses.
    Frank R. Barnett's (1975) Seven Tracks to Peace in the Middle East (New York: NSIC) is described as "a provocative little pamphlet that presents some imaginative ideas for solutions to those problems," which argues for greater military support and a US quasi-military presence:
    First, there is the underlying assumption that stability in the Middle East and the health of NATO are vital interests for the United States, and no price is too great for the protection of those interests. Barnett proposes solutions that would capitalize on one area, technology, in which the pendulum is still firmly on the American side of things—the technology of agriculture and, to a lesser degree, the technology of military security. He would have us use this advantage to build Israeli defensive systems that would assure their physical security in a way that diplomatic guarantees never could and use it to remove some of the base causes of the timeless conflict. Here he makes an assumption, it appears, that the chief roots of the problem are economic, an assumption that doubtless is partially correct but questionable to many. He would use technology to turn the Middle East into a garden that would support all and have us develop a kind of a peaceful foreign legion/Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to go to the Middle East and get between the antagonists. Through technology, sociology, and just plain brotherhood, the eternal struggle would be eliminated.
    In the wake of the first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks the NSIC also published Richard Pipes and (the IEDSS') Leonard Shapiro who argued that it "is the duty of all thinking Americans to educate their fellow citizens against the dangers of neoisolationism. Not only must this will to resist exist but it must also be perceived by the adversary."
  6. US History Encyclopedia:Statement by Committee Seeking Peace with Freedom in Vietnam.