Secret Intelligence in the Twentieth Century

By Heike Bungert; Jan G. Heitmann et al. | Go to book overview

7

US Intelligence, COCOM, and the Trade War During the Cold War, 1947-55: The French Problem

Frank Cain

Unlike most lengthy wars, the conclusion of the Cold War has no identifiably fixed ending point nor, we must remind ourselves, has it a clear date of commencement. The trade war conducted under the US aegis by the West against the East, under the title of the Co-Ordinating Committee for the Control of East-West Trade (COCOM), was an important element in the conduct of this war. Many of the records of this US-inspired body, particularly the intelligence dossiers, have not been released, but there are other records sufficient to allow us to construct the outline of this important Cold War organization. Most countries reluctantly fell in with the USA’s demands to adhere to the COCOM regulations. The French demonstrated their reluctance to do so, and much of this chapter focuses on how the French authorities were able to frustrate the large US intelligence bodies in implementing this Cold War trade-war body. Some small insight into the vast scope of the enormous US intelligence apparatus can also be seen in this brief study. The huge US resources of the war years were remobilized in this early stage of the Cold War and much of the wartime intelligence expertise reappeared to fight a new enemy on a global basis.


THE USA REARMAMENT

Late 1947 marks the decision in US governmental ranks for the rebuilding of the country’s military forces. Plans then were laid to

-92-

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