The “Secret Operations” Plans of the 14 U.S. Presidents
The US “covert operations” program spawned by the Cold War is long-term and has so far spanned the tenures of 14 US presidents. Such actions have mature routines, are characterized by policy concealment and diverse means, making them difficult to prevent and more dangerous.
In the summer of 1982, a large explosion occurred suddenly on the Pan-Siberian gas pipeline in the Soviet Union. The explosive equivalent reached 1/4 of the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima. Could it be that the Soviet Union carried out nuclear tests? The news sparked concern over the establishment of the North American Aerospace Defense Command in the United States and Canada.
But the US CIA quickly spoke to its colleagues calmly: “Don’t worry about anything, this explosion is a ‘masterpiece ‘ that we have secretly prepared for half a year.” one. Coincidentally, 40 years later, the Russian “Beixi” pipeline, which also bears the heavy responsibility of gas transmission, was bombed.
“The ‘secret action’ plan spawned by the Cold War is long-term and has so far spanned the terms of 14 US presidents. Such actions have mature routines, and the United States often hides behind the scenes and uses various means to manipulate overseas developments.” Nanjing University Shu Jianzhong, professor of the Department of World History, said.
Propaganda War: Polish “Operation Spotlight”
In May 1948, within the US National Security Council (hereinafter referred to as the National Security Council), which was established less than a year ago, a document “Initiating Organized Political Warfare” drafted by George Kennan was widely circulated. The document states that the struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union was an “ideological battle between the principles of liberal democracy and communism.” Therefore, the United States should launch a new type of “political warfare” against the Soviet Union, including overt and covert operations.
This is the first time the term “covert operation” has appeared in an official US document. After graduating from Kennan University, he entered the US diplomatic service and was one of the US experts on the Soviet Union. In 1947, he became the first director of the Policy Planning Office of the US State Department. After the establishment of the National Security Council and its subordinate CIA, Kennan formulated the “covert operation” rules.
The largest and most successful “covert operation” during the Cold War was the propaganda war launched by the United States against the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
In the early 1950s, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty started broadcasting successively. The former is responsible for broadcasting to Eastern European countries, and the latter is responsible for broadcasting to the Soviet Union. These two stations actually receive secret financial support from the CIA, and each department has staff installed by the CIA.
In 1955, under the deployment of the CIA, Radio Free Europe and Free Europe Press launched a new propaganda campaign against Poland, code-named “Operation Spotlight”. They carefully crafted a propaganda agenda, using Joseph Swiottoro, a Polish intelligence officer who had defected to the United States, to make a big fuss.
Swiottorow originally worked for the Polish Ministry of Public Security. In the winter of 1953, he was ordered to perform a mission in the East Germany (East Germany), but took advantage of the opportunity of passing through the West Germany (West Germany) to escape his colleagues and fled to the US office in West Berlin. Due to Swiottoro’s special background, the content of his confession was packaged as evidence that the Polish government “set up secret police and carried out political suppression”. In the “Operation Spotlight”, Radio Free Europe produced 30 programs about Swiottoro, broadcast more than 140 interviews with him, and also used balloons to drop a large number of leaflets in Poland.
Swiottoro disgraced the Polish government and planted the seeds of suspicion of the government and communism in the hearts of the Polish people. In 1956, the “Poznan Incident” broke out. The demonstrators chanted the slogans “Down with the Secret Police” and “Bread and Freedom” and launched a large-scale strike. The incident killed at least 74 people, including a 13-year-old boy. Shu Jianzhong believes that “Operation Spotlight” played an important role in disturbing the situation in Poland and boosting the “Poznan Incident”.
Political Warfare: Chile’s “9.11 Coup”
“The hardest-hit area for the United States to implement ‘secret operations’ is Latin America.” Shu Jianzhong said that in the 1960s and 1970s, a series of coups in Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala, Peru, Chile and other countries There is a shadow of America behind it. Most leftist party leaders were forced into exile or placed under house arrest after their resignation. Among them, the fate of Chilean President Salvador Allende was the most tragic.
In 1970, Allende ran for election on behalf of the left-wing party “People’s Unity Front”. The United States took this opportunity to act, and the “40 Committee”, a special group responsible for approving the CIA’s “secret operations”, made a decision: requiring relevant departments to assess the possibility of organizing the opposition against Allende and instigating a coup.
According to this decision, the CIA contacted 21 senior military officials in Chile, intending to use military means as an alternative to prevent Allende from coming to power. Rene Schneider, then commander of the Chilean army, opposed the plan and was assassinated shortly thereafter. The Americans did not expect to be self-defeating. The assassination incident ignited anti-American sentiment among the Chilean people, and Allende received more support.
Seeing that the intervention failed, the US CIA took multiple measures: providing financial support to the opposition parties and the military; buying Chilean media to create negative news about Allende; dividing the alliance of left-wing parties; infiltrating Chilean trade unions, instigating demonstrations and strikes… According to the list of resources provided by the CIA, several US military advisers entered Chile to woo military personnel, and finally selected the Chilean army commander Augusto Pinochet, expressing his support for his coup d’état.
In the early morning of September 11, 1973, Pinochet led the Chilean military to openly attack Allende and demanded his resignation. Before the military seized the presidential palace, Allende broadcast his farewell speech live on radio. In the afternoon, he shot himself in the Independence Hall on the second floor of the Presidential Palace. This event was called the “9.11 coup” in Chile.
Economic Warfare: The Soviet Union’s “Operation Farewell”
In 1981, Republican Ronald Reagan became President of the United States. “During his tenure, the United States concentrated its secret economic operations against the Soviet Union the most, and played a role that cannot be ignored in promoting the disintegration of the Soviet Union.” Shu Jianzhong said.
At the end of January 1981, Reagan chaired the first meeting of the National Security Planning Group in the White House. William Casey, the new director of the CIA, emphasized at this meeting that the Soviet Union’s economy was already quite sick and fragile, and the goal of the United States was to weaken the Soviet Union’s strength in an absolute sense. Therefore, he tailored the “Farewell Operation” and “Saudi Operation” for the Soviet Union.
The pan-Siberian gas pipeline explosion was part of Operation Farewell. The pipeline transports natural gas from Siberia to western Ukraine. Countries in Western Europe, lacking in energy resources, took a positive attitude towards the construction of the pipeline and provided project loans. After the funds were in place, the Soviet Union was unable to solve the technical problem: the design of the pipeline was very complicated, and it required an advanced software to monitor the data and realize the automatic control of components such as valves. The Soviet government first thought of buying from the United States, but it was quickly rejected.
In 2004, Thomas Reid, a senior official of the former Reagan administration, disclosed in his memoirs the inside story of the pan-Siberian gas pipeline explosion: the Soviet Union hoped to obtain software from the United States through spies, and Casey immediately proposed a plan to make the software “work first and then fail.”
”The plumbing software programs that governed the operation of gas pumps, turbines, and valves pre-planted design errors in order to disrupt the USSR’s gas supply, prevent it from earning hard currency from the West, and disrupt the USSR’s domestic economy. After a reasonably good period of time, The software then resets the pump speeds and valve settings, creating pressures that far exceed the capacity of the pipe joints and welds,” Reed wrote, “[which resulted in] a massive non-nuclear explosion, unprecedented The fire spreads for hundreds of kilometers, so that it can be observed from space.”
At the same time, Casey went to Saudi Arabia to actively carry out “Saudi Operations”. In 1985, Saudi Arabia increased its daily oil output from 2 million barrels to 9 million barrels. The international oil price plummeted, and the foreign exchange income of the Soviet Union further dropped sharply. The two-pronged approach of “Farewell Operation” and “Saudi Operation” led to increasingly prominent economic problems in the Soviet Union.
“U.S. ‘secret operations’ have the characteristics of policy concealment and diverse means, so they are difficult to prevent, and they are also more dangerous.” Shu Jianzhong said, “These histories remind the world that the relevant countries must treat the U.S.’s continuation to this day with mature routines. “Secret Operations” attaches great importance to it and should be dealt with appropriately.”