A Century of Spies: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century

By Jeffrey T. Richelson | Go to book overview

15
Secret Wars

World War II had seen a wide variety of special operations conducted by both Allied and Axis powers -- including black propaganda, paramilitary operations, and assassinations. Nations would develop their own terminology and euphemisms for such activities. United States officials would talk in terms of "covert action," "special activities," and, in extreme cases, "executive action." In Britain one euphemism was "secret political action." In the Soviet Union there were "active measures" and "wet affairs."

However they might be referred to, such techniques would continue to be employed in the postwar era to achieve foreign policy objectives. Not only the superpowers but a variety of other nations would employ such techniques. Some operations would advance a nation's interest, others would prove to be failures, and still others would backfire in dramatic and embarrassing fashion.


Special Procedures

When the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) convened for the first time on December 19, 1947, the battle for Europe was already under way, and it was feared that Italy and France were both vulnerable to the appeal of their Communist parties. With Secretary of State George Marshall refusing to let the State Department conduct covert activities, the council turned to the CIA. Under the provisions of NSC directive 4/A, the CIA was authorized to undertake a broad range of covert activities to prevent a Communist party victory in the upcoming Italian elections. DCI Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoeter assigned the task to the CIA's Office of Special Operations, which established a Special Procedures Group (SPG) on December 22. 1*

____________________
*
Hillenkoeter asked CIA general counsel Lawrence Houston if the National Security Act authorized the CIA to engage in such activities. Houston replied that the CIA's fifth function according to the National Security Act, which would often be cited as an authorization for covert operations, was clearly intended only as an authorization for espionage. Hillenkoeter proceeded anyway.

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A Century of Spies: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • I - 1900-1939 1
  • 1 - A Shady Profession 3
  • 2 - The Great War: Spies and Saboteurs 18
  • 3 - Spies in the Great War: Eyes and Ears 31
  • 4 - Lenin's Spies 47
  • 5 - Spies between the Wars: 1919-1929 64
  • 6 - Spies between the Wars: 1930-1939 79
  • II - The Second World War 101
  • 7 - Intelligence and the Onset of War 103
  • 8 - Spies and Counterspies 124
  • 9 - The Wrecking Crews 145
  • 10 - Aerial Spies 157
  • 11 - Black Magic 173
  • 12 - Knowing the Enemy 197
  • III - The Cold War Era and Beyond 213
  • 13 - New Adversaries 215
  • 14 - New Players 232
  • 15 - Secret Wars 244
  • 16 - Superpower Espionage 256
  • 17 - Spies and Moles 272
  • 18 - Technological Espionage 293
  • 19 - Crisis Intelligence 310
  • 20 - The Technical Revolution Continues 328
  • 21 - Penetrations, Sunken Subs, and Sudden Death 342
  • 22 - Elusive Truths 360
  • 23 - A New Decade 373
  • 24 - The Year of the Spy 388
  • 25 - End of an Era 404
  • 26 - A New World of Disorder 416
  • Abbreviations Used in the Notes 433
  • Notes 435
  • Index 511
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