Born out of the ashes of World War II, the covert action arm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was created to counter the challenge posed by the Soviet Union and its allies and bolster American interests worldwide. Drawing on a wide range of activities that included propaganda, psychological warfare, political and economic operations and paramilitary action, the CIA aided wider American containment policy through the deployment of 'democracy-propping' operations in Western Europe. It took action to prevent developing countries that were allied to neither superpower from succumbing to Russian control and it engaged in rollback campaigns designed to weaken Moscow's hold over its Eastern European satellites. An eclectic and well-resourced organisation, the agency also provided a substitute for overt military action when the need arose and afforded essential backup when the Cold War turned hot in Korea and Vietnam. The end of the Cold War opened the way for a partial lifting of the veil of secrecy that surrounded the CIA's activities and the key role it played as an instrument of US national security policy. Using an extensive range of unpublished government records and documents, James Callanan traces the growth of the agency's covert action mission chronologically, focusing on a number of crucial but previously overlooked dimensions of the CIA's modus operandi. This comprehensive examination of a still controversial subject sheds valuable new light on the undercover operations mounted by the CIA in all corners of the globe during the Cold War. It digs deep into the arcane world of the CIA's operations directorate and determines how its activities impacted on American interests and influenced wider perceptions, both of the agency itself and of the United States as a whole - perceptions that have often been inaccurate and misinformed but that nevertheless remain popularly held to the present day. Offering a powerful perspective on a pivotal period in American history, Covert Action in the Cold War makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of global politics during the Cold War.
Covert Action in the Cold War
US Policy, Intelligence and CIA Operations