COVERT ACTION

Generally

2000s

A - J

Best, Richard A., Jr., and Andrew Feickert. Special Operations Forces (SOF) and CIA Paramilitary Operations: Issues for Congress. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 3 Aug. 2009. Available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22017.pdf; and at: https://opencrs.com/document/RS22017/2009-08-03/.

A judicious look at the issues surrounding the 9/11 Commission's Recommendation 32, which called for responsibility for all covert and clandestine paramilitary activities to be shifted to the Defense Department.

Buhle, Paul. "The CIA and the (Jewish) Liberals." Tikkun 15, no. 3 (May-Jun. 2000): 13-17.

This is a lament about the "corrupting" influence that the cooperation between "Cold War liberals" and the CIA had on Jewish liberal intellectuals of the 1950s and 1960s.

Carter, John J.

1. Covert Operations as a Tool of Presidential Foreign Policy in American History from 1800 to 1920: Foreign Policy in the Shadows. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2000.

2. Covert Operations and the Emergence of the Modern American Presidency, 1920-1960. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2002.

3. Covert Operations as a Tool of Presidential Foreign Policy: From the Bay of Pigs to Iran-Contra. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2006.

4. "Interbranch Conflict and the Early Evolution of Covert Action as a Presidential Tool of Foreign Policy." Southeastern Political Review 28, no. 4 (2000): 599-629.

Champion, Brian. "Spies (Look) Like Us: The Early Use of Business and Civilian Covers in Covert Operations." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 21, no. 3 (Fall 2008): 530-564.

The author covers from premodern times until 1939.

Clarke, Richard A. "Targeting Terrorists." Wall Street Journal, 18 Jul. 2009. [http://online.wsj.com]

"Since well over 90% of the CIA's personnel are not engaged in covert action, but are doing the important work of intelligence collection and analysis, this [current] cycle of contentiousness suggests that perhaps covert action should be done by someone else. We need a professional intelligence gathering and analysis organization and it would be better if that agency were not tied to, prejudiced by, and often tainted with a connection to covert action.... [W]e should also take this opportunity to decide that covert operations should be done rarely, and then only by a special component of the military and perhaps by a small, separate, civilian agency under the joint supervision of a group of experienced administration and bi-partisan Congressional overseers."

Daugherty, William J. "Approval and Review of Covert Action Programs since Reagan." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 17, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 62-80.

"Since the Reagan years, the covert action approval and review processes have been such that (a) there is no possibility of a 'rogue' operation by the CIA, and (b) lawyers are present at every stage to insure that constitutional requirements, federal statutes, executive orders, and internal agency regulations are fully complied with."

Daugherty, William J. Executive Secrets: Covert Action and the Presidency. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2004.

Clark comment: Although the author works much too hard in making his point that covert action is a tool of U.S. Presidents, not just of the CIA, this is a fine book of great value to any future discussion of the role of covert action in the making and implementing of American national security policy. It is, however, terribly thin on discussion of the Presidents since Reagan, an effect no doubt of the fact that Daugherty knew too much for the CIA to clear any references to unacknowledged actions. If I were teaching a national security or intelligence-related course at this time, Executive Secrets would be of great assistance.

Periscope 26.1 (2004), notes that the author "provides an overview of the nature and proper use of covert action as a tool of presidential statecraft and discusses its role in transforming presidential foreign policy into reality." For Brown, I&NS 20.4 (Dec. 2005), the author's "approach is logical and lucid." He argues that covert action operations represent "viable foreign policy options" undertaken at the direction of the President. This "is a very timely and useful examination of a controversial, but necessary[,] aspect of foreign policy."

Peake, Studies 50.2 (2006), notes that in examining "covert action policies and operations in each administration from Truman to Clinton," the author "shows that the level of activity varied more with international turmoil of the moment than with the party in power." Daugherty argues that covert action will "continue as an instrument of presidential policy when conventional methods short of war are unsuccessful," and he "provides ample justification for this position while illuminating this contentious topic with facts. This is a fine textbook and a valuable contribution."

Godson, Roy. "Dirty Tricks or Trump Cards?" Society 38, no. 6 (Sep.-Oct. 2001): 38-51.

Greenberg, Harold M. "Research Note: The Doolittle Commission of 1954." Intelligence and National Security 20, no. 4 (Dec. 2005): 687-694.

This is an effort to resurrect the Doolittle Commission's review of covert action from the dustbin of history, to which it has been consigned by many historians. The main point is that "the secrecy of its progress and the narrow dissemination of its report cast doubt that the Doolittle Commission was calculated simply to outmaneuver Congress."

Grose, Peter. Operation Rollback: America's Secret War Behind the Iron Curtain. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

Click for reviews.

Harclerode, Peter. Fighting Dirty: The Inside Story of Covert Operations from Ho Chi Minh to Osama Bin Laden. London: Cassell, 2001. Darby, PA: Diane Publishing Company, 2001.

The publisher calls this work "a comprehensive investigation of covert military operations from Vietnam to Afghanistan." It includes a "detailed analysis of why Russia failed to conquer Afghanistan, what we can learn from their experience, and the perils awaiting any invader."

Henriksen, Thomas. "Covert Operations, Now More Than Ever." Orbis, Winter 2000, 145-156. [http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/8098]

"With its increased reliance on high-tech 'smart' bombs, Washington seems to have forgotten a much less costly, more humane, and often more effective form of warfare -- the covert operation."

Hicks, D. Bruce. "Lifting the Arms Embargo on the Bosnian Muslims: Secret Diplomacy or Covert Action?" International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 18, no. 2 (Summer 2005): 246-261.

The author concludes that "[t]he activities of U.S. officials [in 1994] toward the arms pipeline came perilously close to constituting illegal covert actions."

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