First Advisor

Friedrich E. Schuler

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Military Intelligence Division, United States -- Military relations -- Mexico, Mexico -- Military relations -- United States



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, 153 p.)


The Military Intelligence Division (MID) was the U.S. Army's intelligence agency that reported to the Chief of Staff within the War Department. During the years 1917- 1927, the MID routinely conducted surveillance of Mexico, including: espionage, mail censorship, radio intercepts, intelligence gathering, and development of plans for the invasion of Mexico. This study utilizes a tripartite model to evaluate the production and analysis of military "intelligence" by the MID in Mexico during the period 1917-1927. First, the organization and development of the Military Intelligence Division from its origins in 1885 through the year 1927 is explored with sections on institutional history and objects of investigation. Second, a quantitative analysis of intelligence documents identifies the focus and priorities of the MID in Mexico. Third, a textual analysis of intelligence documents makes use of a cross-cultural framework to demonstrate the prevailing attitudes, perspectives and world views of the MID toward the Mexican state and its peoples. The thesis question as to whether the U.S. Military Intelligence Division created an accurate and complete picture of "reality" of Mexico is answered in the negative. The MID perspective was colored by cultural bias, ignorance, and misunderstanding. Ultimately, the MID failed to grasp the reality of Mexico because it failed to ask the right questions. It seriously misunderstood the nature of Mexico and its peoples, especially in its relationship with the United States .. The particular model developed for this study lends itself to the possibility of further research in the area of international history and cross-cultural studies. The use of multiple analysis techniques provides a more comprehensive picture of the various factors involved that influence historical events.


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