As chairman of the US Senate’s Arms Control Subcommittee, Larry Pressler advocated the now-famous Pressler Amendment, enforced in 1990. Aid and military sales to Pakistan were blocked, including a consignment of F-16 fighter aircraft, changing forever the tenor of the United States relationships with Pakistan and India, and making Pressler a temporary hero throughout India and a devil in Pakistan. This book reveals what went on behind the scenes in the years when the Pressler Amendment was in force, through a cast of characters that include presidents, prime ministers, senators and generals in the US, India and Pakistan. It exposes the enormous power wielded by the military-industrial complex, which the author terms Octopus, and how it controls significant aspects of the American presence in the Indian subcontinent.


Admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, New York Bar, and District of Columbia Bar

[Member US Senate (R-SD), 1979-1997]

[Member US House (R-SD), 1975-1979]


  • Born March 29, 1942, Humboldt, South Dakota
  • Harvard Law School- Juris Doctor, 1971
  • Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government- Masters in Public Administration
  • Oxford University, Oxford, England – Oxford Diploma in Public and Social Administration, Rhodes Scholar, 1964
  • University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD – B.A. Government, 1964; President of Student Body; Phi Beta Kappa
  • Lieutenant, U.S. Army: 1966-1968
    • Served two tours of combat duty in Vietnam
    • Awarded the following Vietnam Service Medals: Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with Device (1960), Overseas Svc Bars (2), and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/Palm Unit Citation Badge
  • Foreign Service Officer (Geneva, Switzerland): 1971-1974
  • Legal Advisor's Office, Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland


U.S. Senator Larry Pressler was born in Humboldt, South Dakota on March 29, 1942. After completing his studies as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Senator Pressler – the first Vietnam veteran elected to the U.S. Senate – served two combat tours in Vietnam as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army between 1966-1968.

After the War, Senator Pressler graduated from Harvard Law School, and eventually served in the U.S. Congress for twenty-two years. He completed three six-year terms in the U.S. Senate between 1979-1997, and two two-year terms in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1975-1979.

Since his time in Congress, Senator Pressler has pursued a legal career, and is currently a member of both the Washington D.C. Bar Association, and the New York Bar Association. In recognition of his achievements, Senator Pressler was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame on September 11, 2021.