August 9, 2005: Headlines: COS - Nepal: Military: Intelligence Issues: Personal Web Site: Nepal RPCV Scott Allan Wallick dicusses Peace Corps & the U.S. millitary

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Nepal: Peace Corps Nepal : The Peace Corps in Nepal: August 9, 2005: Headlines: COS - Nepal: Military: Intelligence Issues: Personal Web Site: Nepal RPCV Scott Allan Wallick dicusses Peace Corps & the U.S. millitary

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 5:35 am: Edit Post

Nepal RPCV Scott Allan Wallick dicusses Peace Corps & the U.S. millitary

Nepal RPCV Scott Allan Wallick dicusses Peace Corps & the U.S. millitary

"Anyhow, the most recent U.S. government-Peace Corps controversey is that more aggressive recruitment by the U.S. armed forces of returned Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs hereafter) is that the local communities where they serve will begin to suspect the present PCVs of being spies or part of the U.S. armed forces. "

Nepal RPCV Scott Allan Wallick dicusses Peace Corps & the U.S. millitary

Peace Corps & the U.S. millitary
Posted by Scott Allan Wallick on August 05th 2005 to Uncategorized(t)

Recently I got a mass e-mail. Actually, I got it three times from three different people. All were kind enough to share the email address of every person who was lucky enough to get the email. I mean, when the body of the email has to compete in length with the headers, then you know it’s got to be good. The email was sent by different Peace Corps volunteers who I’d served with in Nepal at one point or another. Check out the details of my Peace Corps experience.

Anyhow, the most recent U.S. government-Peace Corps controversey is that more aggressive recruitment by the U.S. armed forces of returned Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs hereafter) is that the local communities where they serve will begin to suspect the present PCVs of being spies or part of the U.S. armed forces. I guess the paranoia stems from Peace Corps volunteers, like it not, being a part of the U.S. State Dept. This has nothing to do with the work of individual volunteers. Hardly so. Just look at what happened in Russia.

Russia kicked out Peace Corps at the end of 2002. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Russia first claimed that Peace Corps volunteers were engaging in collecting information and sharing it with the U.S. government. Well, sure. Second, Russia wasn’t interested in being clumped along with the other host countries for Peace Corps volunteers—mostly the poorest nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Third, well, Peace Corps volunteers were mostly drunken, carousing recent college graduates that did jack shit. Which one? A little of all three? You choose.

This actually has nothing to do with what I’m talking about—except that nothing that millitary recruiters are doing now has any relevance to a Peace Corps volunteer buiding smokeless stoves in Malawi. If establishing trust is an issue, I doubt it is because of anyone’s knowledge that the millitary is trying to get Arabic-speaking returned Peace Corps volunteers to join their ranks. The country director of the Peace Corps program in Nepal while I was there, a nice man named David, told me once that even his headsir at the school where he was teaching asked him if he was a part of the CIA. Now, this is in 1962 in Nepal. Nepal had only been open to travelers for barely ten years. This place was remote, very much so.

I really like how on the NPCA website they have a link to the memo that they submitted to Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. After downloading the memo document, however, I was prompted for a password by MS Word. Lovely. Here, look, check out what we wrote to Vasquez on Peace Corps volunteers behalf. Well, actually, no. Typical of those affiliated with the U.S. government. I guess I just didn’t have the security clearence.

6 Responses to “Peace Corps & the U.S. millitary”

August 8th, 2005 | 8:22 am

Actually you can open the letter. Try it again and when the dialog asks you for a password, hit the button that says “Read Only.” You only need a password if you want to modify the letter.
Scott Allan Wallick
August 8th, 2005 | 9:29 am

Well, he’s correct. I went back and specified to open it as a “read only” file, and was able to look at it. Also, I found the contents of the memo on the NPCA on the site. See, we’re well-edited indeed.
August 8th, 2005 | 12:42 pm

Just a couple of other observations:
1. The Peace Corps is not and has never been part of the US State Department. The Peace Corps is an independent agency of the US government. The Director of the Peace Corps reports to the office of the President.
2. The issue is not “recruitment by the U.S. armed forces of returned Peace Corps volunteers.” It’s the other way around.
The issue is that the US military is promoting a program whereby individuals are recruited to join the armed forces with the understanding that after they complete their active service and go on inactive status (”ready reserve”) then they can complete their two year “ready reserve” requirement by serving as Peace Corps Volunteers.

If they can get accepted to the Peace Corps that is. What nobody mentions is that military veterans have always been able to serve in the Peace Corps. The difference here is that individuals will be able to use their Peace Corps service to comply with a “ready reserve” enlistment requirement.

BTW—love your blog on your service in Nepal - it’s one of the best PCV blogs. Especially the part about suspending your site in December, 2003 at the Peace Corps’ request for “security” reasons. In retrospect, do you think you would have been terminated if you had refused to take it down and if you had it to do over again would you still take it down?
Scott Allan Wallick
August 8th, 2005 | 1:16 pm

The best fans are critical ones. Point taken on 1 and 2. Thanks for the correction; however, it still stands that the US Peace Corps is an extension of the US gov’t. No way around that.

And haven’t Peace Corps volunteers always enjoyed benefits of ’special’ status if taking a job in the US gov’t? “Non-competetive” status is different, but the intent is the same—lure Peace Corps volunteers into gov’t service—usually in the foreign service.

Regarding your BTW, yes, I would take down my site again. In reality, I mean, my office was bombed, so perhaps they had a point with security concerns. All the garbage I wrote and collected online, as I knew then, would outlast my physical presence in the country in a lot of ways, so yeah, take it down for three and a half months, no regrets.

I used a listserv service to send out the same updates that I would have posted, so for the most part I was still able to communicate wtih my audience. Other volunteers who were using blogs at the same time I was there were told by the office that their blogs were OK. So it was most likely that the content was the issue.

Sometime I should write about the two Peace Corps security analysts who came to Nepal just before the program was suspended. Ex-CIA and and Ex-US millitary intelligence. So it does go both ways.
August 8th, 2005 | 3:09 pm

If you are saying that you met with two employees of the Peace Corps (”Peace Corps Staff”) and that one of them was a former employee of the CIA, then you are making a very serious allegation of a violation of US law. Please refer to the Peace Corps web site at:

Are you sure that this is an accurate statement?
Scott Allan Wallick
August 8th, 2005 | 3:50 pm

It was a hot summer in Jhapa district. A friend and I ended up having dinner in a place where a Peace Corps jeep was passing through—carrying the Peace Corps Nepal security officer and two folks sent by Peace Corps Nepal to check out the security situation. Maoists had confronted the PST staff and told them that Americans weren’t welcome at were not safe. Peace Corps put us on standby. We had been out of the country and told we might not be able to return.

The two fellows with our security officer may or may not have been officially “sent by Peace Corps.” The country had been swarming with US millitary fellows training the Nepali armed police and army in counter-terrorism tactics. I’d seen some US Airforce planes flying around and sitting on the tarmac at the Kathmandu airport. It wasn’t uncommon to be told by the Nepali army and armed police (as encounters were daily) that they “knew our bother,” meaning a Marine. The US Embassy in Kathmandu had also had a couple CIA people come and do analysis on the country’s situation, which produced a document or two that were passed around, mainly stating what had been going on a year ago.

The first guy said that he had just left the US millitary, where he had worked in intelligence (Pentagon?), originally starting in Vietnam, where he, as he said, “drew red x’s on maps for bombers.” The other fellow, well, I can’t remember too well. I just rang a friend to see what he could remember—100% remember—and I’ll let you know when he gets back to me. He talked about the CIA—that I’m for sure. But for the sake of the discussion and mistating myself even more than I have, I’m relunctant to say.

I do remember that while they were in the flatlands and outside of Kathmandu, they weren’t talking to Nepalis, but did sit down with volunteers here and there. At least not directly or formally. I hitched a ride with them as they were heading in my direction. They wanted to know about whether or not I “felt safe” and how the situation in Birganj had changed. Actually, it was just a few weeks after they left Nepal that the word came down that I should suspend my blog. Coincidence.

In conclusion, I can’t say 1. he said he had worked directly for the CIA, and, 2. he was in Nepal but may or may not have been “sent by Peace Corps.” I will say this, considering the situation and how quickly they showed up, they were dodgy. And after looking at the pdf link you gave me, I am able to say, if that fellow had been sent by Peace Corps (he was riding around in Peace Corps jeeps), he hadn’t been out of US millitary for more than a few years.

Of course, my memory on this is obviously dodgy and I wouldn’t take a bit of credit for my ability to remember someone else’s employment history. Especially that far away and that long ago. In conclusion, probably not and who knows.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Nepal; Military; Intelligence Issues


By JARED MUTTAI ( on Saturday, September 30, 2006 - 11:17 am: Edit Post

I am a kenyan born of 20 years and have since liked to join the US millitary.Kindly assist me on the procedure of attaining my dream.I have since liked the heart of maintaining world peace.God bless you as you go forward to helping me.

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