TITLE

COVERT ACTION AND OPEN SOCIETY

AUTHOR(S)
Treverton, Gregory F.
PUB. DATE
June 1987
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Summer87, Vol. 65 Issue 5, p995
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article analyzes the U.S. government's covert action policy in the wake of the Iran-Contra Affair. Spying may be the world's second oldest profession, but for the U.S. it was only the cold war that led to the creation of an intelligence service in peacetime, and to covert operations. Wartime success and postwar threat were the backdrop for the creation of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The first line of U.S. response to the onset of the cold war was covert: the surge of assistance to Europe through the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. But the second line was renewed interest in what was then called covert psychological warfare as a way to respond to the Soviet Union by means that were less than war but more than nothing. Evaluating covert action in retrospect is speculative, for it is bedeviled by the imponderable of what might have been. In all likelihood, covert operations will become known, and the U.S. will be judged for having undertaken them. Thus, the practical lessons lead into moral issues. The issues are hardly unique to covert intervention, though they are powerfully present there, and they are often obscured in policymaking by the presumption that covert actions will remain secret. Overt interventions raise similar moral and instrumental concerns. These concerns are not absolute, they must be considered against the gravity of the threat and the adequacy of other available responses.
ACCESSION #
12479395

 

Related Articles

  • COVERT NO MORE? McLaughlin, John // National Review;8/28/1987, Vol. 39 Issue 16, p22 

    Examines the future of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency under the directorship of Allen Dulles and in the aftermath of the Iran-Contra hearings in the 1980s. Emergence of a stronger agency after the Iran-Contra hearings; Ability of the agency to keep covert operations secret; Chances of...

  • COVERT NO MORE? McLaughlin, John // National Review;8/28/1987, Vol. 39 Issue 16, p22 

    Examines the future of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency under the directorship of Allen Dulles and in the aftermath of the Iran-Contra hearings in the 1980s. Emergence of a stronger agency after the Iran-Contra hearings; Ability of the agency to keep covert operations secret; Chances of...

  • Regime Change in Iran? One Man's Secret Plan. Hosenball, Mark // Newsweek;12/22/2003, Vol. 142 Issue 25, p6 

    Reports that Manucher Ghorbanifar, a former Iranian spy who helped launch the Iran-contra affair, has revealed details of meetings he had with U.S. Defense Department officials in December 2001, during which Ghorbanifar says they discussed organizing a peaceful revolution against the ruling...

  • Mena spirited.  // American Spectator;Dec94, Vol. 27 Issue 12, p14 

    Reports on the covert operation established by former President George Bush and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the 1980s at the Mena airport in southwest Arkansas to ship arms to the contras during the Iran-Contra affair. Query made by journalist Sarah McClendon about the issue during...

  • Who Are We Mad At? Buckley Jr., William F. // National Review;8/12/1991, Vol. 43 Issue 14, p62 

    Editorial. Protests the absurdity of investigations into the role played by Robert Gates in the Iran-Contra affair. Inability to determine what exactly happened; Why Gates should be approved to head the CIA, rather than subjected to vague accusations.

  • The banality of scandal. Landau, Saul // Progressive;Dec93, Vol. 57 Issue 12, p42 

    Reviews the book `The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History,' edited by Peter Kornbluh and Malcolm Byrne and CIABASE: A Computerized Data Base on the CIA, assembled by Ralph McGehee.

  • SPIES OUT IN THE COLD. McLaughlin, John // National Review;3/13/1987, Vol. 39 Issue 4, p24 

    Reports on Robert Gates's appointment as director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Achievements of his predecessor, William Casey, appointee and campaign manager of President Ronald Reagan; Discovery of the Iran-Contra affair; Gates' educational attainment and career history.

  • PEACE IN CENTRAL AMERICA? Robinson, Linda // Foreign Affairs; 

    The article on a regional peace plan signed by the Central American countries. The Nicaraguan rebels, or contras, continued to receive a $100 million, congressional approved aid package to escalate their war. The surprise conclusion of the pact in Guatemala resulted from extensive...

  • CONFUSION ABOUNDING. Buckley Jr., Wm.F. // National Review;12/31/1986, Vol. 38 Issue 25, p62 

    Comments on an editorial published in the "Wall Street Journal," claiming that U.S. President Ronald Reagan did not order the transfer of funds from the sale of arms to Iran over to the Nicaraguan Contras in 1985. State of U.S. relations with Nicaragua; Criticisms against Reagan's intelligence...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of VIRGINIA BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY AND SYSTEM

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics