Defense, Containment, and Anti-Communism
A DECADE HAD PASSED SINCE JACKSON, DULLES, AND Correa had submitted their report to President Truman. Allen Dulles, a lawyer trained in the ways and traditions of the law, may well have been familiar with the famous concept of Dicey on "Law and Opinion". "The opinion," according to Dicey, "which changes the law is in one sense the opinion of the time when the law is actually altered; in another sense it has often been in England the opinion prevalent some twenty or thirty years before that time; it has been as often as not in reality the opinion not of today but of yesterday."
With a simple twist that quotation can be made to apply to the eventual outcome of the Dulles report. What he wanted and what he planned to do as a result of his work and his study in 1948 -- fully expecting that Thomas E. Dewey would be elected President and that he would then become the DCI -- had all come about anyhow by 1959. The opinion and hopes of yesterday had all but become the law of the day. If this was not entirely true as early as 1959, it was under way in the glacier-like movement of covert events, as we shall see in the next chapter, and by the winter of 1961 the new Kennedy Administration thought that the methods being used and exploited by Allen Dulles and the ST were, in fact and in practice, the law.
Dulles was the DCI, and his agency had grown to great strength and great power and influence in the Government. As a result of the intelligence oversight at the start of the Korean War, we have seen how his immediate predecessor had been able to turn that gross mistake into an advantage and to establish the concept of the Current Intelligence Estimate, and following that success, to develop the practice of the daily report to the President. Exploited as it was during the following seven years, this device became a most effective tool in the hands of Allen Dulles. By playing on what he called "security", he had been able to limit the National Security Council's working control of the CIA to a small, friendly, and hand-picked Special Group, which instead of "directing" the CIA from "time to time", had easily fallen into the practice of convening its meetings simply to put the stamp of approval on proposals made by the CIA for almost any Secret Intelligence-generated Peace-time Clandestine Operation. By 1959 there were almost no restraints. This permitted the CIA to avoid entirely the scrutiny of the OCB and to work outside the continuing monitorship of that board. In effect, by 1959 the Agency was able to run operations itself as it saw fit.
During this same decade Allen Dulles had been able to accomplish his goal to join within one organization the two power-packed elements of Secret Intelligence and Secret Operations. Dulles knew that when he could combine Secret Intelligence and Secret Operations, he could bring them together under conditions of his own choosing to create a force of unequaled power. By the time he had created an agency, which by bypassing all of the barriers of the law and of the NSC, and with the men, the money, and materials sufficient to carry out any operation anywhere in the world, he knew that he had succeeded in turning the tables completely. He was, for all intents and purposes, in control of the foreign policy and clandestine military operational power of the United States for combat in the Cold War. In this sense the vast military establishment, including much of its industrial supporting complex, had become his orchestra. By 1960, after Eisenhower had seen his hopes and dreams of peace crushed by the untimely disaster of the U-2 flight, he warned of this power and of its abuse.
During this formative decade Dulles had positioned CIA personnel and Agency-oriented disciples inconspicuously through out the Government and in many instances had positioned the CIA throughout the business world and the academic community as well. It will be recalled that many of the new Kennedy team came from some of these founts of power, such as The Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In fact, there were few places where the CIA had not taken advantage of covert positions, at home and abroad, for the ostensible purpose of gathering intelligence, and for the undercover purpose of making it possible for the CIA to mount any operation it chose to direct.
As in the case of the wayward C-118, the support of the rebellion in Indonesia, the paramilitary activities in Laos, and other such activities in Tibet, by the time the Agency had reached this position of power it had become somewhat insensitive to the usual and ordinary restraints that normally apply to covert operations. The Agency lost a plane, compromised a crew and the U-2 operations, and exposed its hand in Indonesia. But instead of halting such risky and fruitless operations, it ordered more planes and looked for more "subversive insurgents to counter". It was this attitude and this type of activity that led to many controversial events that have plagued this Government during the second decade of the CIA.
To understand why the CIA has become so controversial, one must understand its motivations and one must understand what happens when things are done clandestinely -- and by this we mean clandestinely within the Government of the United States. Recall that we pointed out how World War II ended with Truman's abolishing the OSS and demobilizing the military as fast as possible. Recall what is more important, that the great war against Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo had been won with the help of the Russians. No matter how anyone may feel about the ideological distinction between the Soviet Government and the United States, the incontrovertible fact is that the Russian people fought the might of Germany on their doorstep, and those people, with our material help as a factor, utterly destroyed the great German war machine. Those of us who have seen the destruction and havoc caused in Russia by that war can vouch for the fact that no conflict in history has ever been so massive and so total.
Then, with victory it was only realistic to have some feeling still for the people of Russia who had given so much to the common cause during that war. And from this feeling there arose in our Government the official view, stated on many occasions by the Secretary of State, among others, that we must establish peace in this world with the Russians and with all people, and that we must not do anything that would divide the world into armed camps and divisive forces. While the official spokesmen of this Government were pledging their faith in the United Nations and in the "one world" of 1946, only one short week passed until the aging Lion of Britain stood up on that platform in Missouri with President Truman beside him and uttered the great cry of the weak, "Beware!" Here in the greatest country on earth, with the greatest victory ever achieved in a major war, with armed forces equipped with the most advanced technology and production know-how, and with all of this increased by an unbelievable order of magnitude because of the possession of the atomic bomb and the proven means to deliver and detonate it, we were being told to beware of that other ally whose ideology we did not like, but certainly whose strength and even whose intentions could scarcely have been dangerous in that era.
But with that cry others were given heart. General Donovan, the Dulles brothers, and many others, including Clark Clifford, preached the doctrine of containment. Even in those days they saw the Soviet danger as a military threat against the United States. How could they support that openly? Even George F. Kennan, then in Moscow, warned of the Soviet danger; but the great distinction was that he saw Russia as a political threat; and the threat that he saw was, more correctly, that the Marxists expected that the United States would crumble in spite of itself. Their threat was not so much what Communism would do to us as what they expected we would do to ourselves. In other words, the Marxists felt that all they had to do was maintain the political pressure, and we would crumble under the weight of our own weaknesses.
Then, behind the curtain of secrecy, the Donovan, Dulles, and Clifford element began to win the day. No longer did the President stand behind his Secretary of State on that declaration that "we shall do nothing to divide the world into blocs." But now he listened to the counsels of the frightened and the weak as they rigged first the Iron Curtain, then the Truman Doctrine, with its shield over NATO, Greece and Turkey, on to the Northern Tier, and then to the Bamboo Curtain. By the end of 1947 the entire military establishment of this great country was technically, semantically, and philosophically reduced to an uncertain and cowering defensive posture. From this position it became dependent upon the eyes and ears and mentality of the intelligence community to tell it what was going on in the rest of the world and where the next threat was coming from. From that day to this, this country has been engaged in the most massive war of attrition ever fought.
By now, the terrifying truth of the matter is that in this last great total war we have been wiped out in every battle. There is no sense in trying to rate the intangibles such as, "We have made friends in Greece" or "We did pretty well in the Congo." The facts are that even though we say that we are engaged in a war with Communism, which at some point inevitably must mean Russia, we have paid all the losses in tens of thousands of men, hundreds of billions of dollars, and prestige beyond measure. On the other side, the Russians have done exactly what Kennan said they would do -- preside over our own demise and demoralization. In a war of attrition, the winner is he who holds his own position while his adversary wastes away. Whether the loser wastes away as a result of strategic moves on the part of the winner, or as a result of his own miscues is of no concern to the historian. All the historian will note is that like the dinosaur, the loser will become extinct in spite of the fact that he seems at the time to rule the world.
The shocking fact is the growth of the power of secret and clandestine actions. The legislators and the Administration that passed into law the National Security Act of 1947, and with it created the CIA, were the same men who most staunchly protested against and denied to the Agency the right to become involved in clandestine operations. Yet it was patently inevitable that the creation of such an agency would lead to its exploitation for just such purposes.
As the National Security Act visualized, the NSC might "from time to time direct" the Agency to carry out a clandestine operation and no more. Congress expected that there would be clandestine operations; but they saw them only as those operations which the highest echelon of the Government would plan and direct. On the other hand, as General Donovan and Allen Dulles had proposed, the very success of Secret Intelligence would from time to time create its own requirements for subsequent clandestine operations for no more reason than that the intelligence input had detected something somewhere. The legislators knew that clandestine operations would grow out of the findings of Secret Intelligence whether or not there was any national plan or policy to carry out in the first place. This is why the Donovan-Dulles-Clifford school of thought requires the existence, real or imagined, of a constant enemy -- Communism. With the constant enemy, every bit of Secret Intelligence that reveals the existence of Communism is its own reason for the development of an operation. Then the counterpunch becomes the action of a machine, not of minds.
Recall the area covered with sprung and set mousetraps we have mentioned before. The traps are there, covering every inch of the floor and every avenue of entree. All the master of the house has to do is wait until a trap has snapped. Then when one trap snaps it most likely activates others, which in turn activate others until all the traps go off. While all of this is going on, the master of the house comes to one preordained conclusion -- there are mice in the house and at least one of those mice has just entered his domain. His "machine" is ready to do the rest.
Throughout this period these were two opposing views. The 1st saw requirements for clandestine operations arising only after and as a result of planning and policy -- in other words, from a position of confidence and strength; the second saw such requirements as an inevitable result of and response to the product of Secret Intelligence -- or from a position of weakness uncertainty, and re-action. In either case, the resort to the use of clandestine operations would be an extremely serious business.
By 1959 there had taken place a rather sinister refocusing of such operations themselves. As we have said earlier, the impetus behind the creation of the CIA came from concern over the gross failures of intelligence during World War II and worry over the possibility that the Soviet Union might acquire the atomic bomb. When the CIA first started, it concentrated its limited efforts in those primary areas of interest in the heartland and contiguous periphery of the Soviet Union. The CIA in those days worked right along with the military as the military establishment developed its "new generation" war plans. As a result, all early targeting of the CIA was directed upon the Soviet Union as a military adversary and on the Iron Curtain countries as part of the primary target area. In other words, the CIA and the military were deeply committed to the "containment" philosophy and dedicated to the encirclement of the Soviet Union and the Communist world.
This action on a continuing basis taxes the counterpuncher severely. He must be always on the alert, always geared for maximum action, and unhesitatingly diligent lest the enemy make a move. The war of attrition was already beginning to take its toll, even in those early years. It would be impossible to maintain a posture of massive retaliation day after day, forever, and then to maintain an alert air defense force, as well as a total intelligence effort supporting both. The whole "defensive-posture system" needed to find some way to maintain its apparent vigilance, but in such a manner that would permit it to relax now and then.
By the end of the decade of the fifties the CIA had found a way to do this and at the same time to make it appear that it was as much in the center of the fray as ever. It began to find Communism in other areas. Rather than devoting all of its time and energies to the Soviet Union and its neighbors, the CIA began to see "problems" in the territories of our friends. By that time the CIA had spread itself all over Africa, Europe (that part that is in the Free World sector), Latin America, and Asia (again the part that is Free World). The CIA spent less and less time concentrating on Russia and its zone of influence and more and more time looking for the influence of Russia and the influence of Communism in our own back yard. As the host nations, among them most of our friends, became increasingly aware of this intrusion, often an unwitting one, they became more and more concerned over the foreign policy and activity of the United States because it was clothed almost everywhere in the black cloak of espionage and clandestine operations. This had become a serious problem. In time this intrusion looked as ominous and sinister as the possibility of Communist intrusion itself.
The change in the very character and traditional nature of this country bothered our friends. Historically, the United States has always professed to be an open society. This government is of the people, and since the power was in the hands of the people, there has always been a majority who believe there is no need for limiting that power. Even as Franklin D. Roosevelt had assumed more and more power, first to fight a terrible depression and then to fight the greatest war in history, few people believed that this usurpation of power by the President was anything more than evidence of the fact that this power was after all being used for the good of the public. Certainly, the American Dream in the minds of most foreigners, at least until 1960, seemed to mean that we lived in an open society and that the power in the hands of the Government was limited to that which could best be used for the good of all citizens.
But with the advent of the Truman Doctrine we heard the new voice of those who had taken the defensive. "The language of military power is the only language," it said in part, and "the main deterrent to Soviet attack on the United States, or to attack on areas of the world . . . vital to our security, will be the military power of this country." This was something Americans had always believed, whether they had in mind Russians, the Red Coats of the British, or the Blitzkrieg forces of Hitler. But then this traditional policy changed: "In addition to maintaining our own strength the United States should support and assist all democratic countries which are in any way menaced or endangered by the USSR." And then, "as long as the Soviet Government adheres to its present policy the United States should maintain military forces powerful enough to restrain the Soviet Union and to confine Soviet influence to its present area."
In 1947, as a part of the Truman Doctrine, this was the way the idea of containment was planted as a seed in the minds of the American people. This was followed by such things as the Marshall Plan and then the worldwide Military Assistance Programs of various kinds. What had begun as a plan to contain Russia and Communism with strong military force became not a barrier against Russia itself, but a creeping encroachment upon the sovereignty and territory of our own friends. Whether they wanted them or not, we have kept military forces on the soil of our friends for more than thirty years, and there is no end in sight. But even more important, we have developed in more than forty countries strong clandestine and paramilitary forces far more dangerous to the internal welfare of those countries than encroachment of Communism, which is supposed to be the reason for the existence of such action. And these covert forces exist. The "Communism" they are there to guard against is for the most part no more than an interpretation of intent.
Whether one believes in the inviolability of national sovereignty as the supreme power among nations -- unlimited, inalienable, indivisible, absolute, and the very essence of a state -- or whether one believes that sovereignty is an antiquated idea, its great importance in the community of nations cannot be disregarded. If the whole concept of sovereignty were to be abandoned, we would of necessity have to fill the void. We would then face the fact that we are dealing with raw power, and what is important in the nature of power is the end it seeks to serve and the way it serves that end. Whether we accept the concept of absolute sovereignty or whether we see a complex world riddled throughout with power centers and other binding, uncontrollable forms of human relationships, we must realize that these rights, in no matter what form, imply certain duties, such as the duty of non-intervention in the affairs of other nations and the duty to respect the rules and customs of international law. Forcible intervention, which was in less civilized times rather common in the relations of states, is now no longer either condoned or justified and is almost always met with violent condemnation, except where crimes have been committed or where international interests of great importance are endangered.
As this nation turned to a broad though quiet and generally covert campaign of worldwide anti-Communism, it pressed its military forces, economic forces, and its intelligence arm upon this group of more than forty countries. At the same time, it turned from the real Communist states such as Poland, Hungary, and others on the periphery, not to mention the heartlands of Russia and China. Thus the struggle took place in remote areas of the rim-land along the traces of the Iron Curtain. The struggle was hidden from the view of most Americans and from those countries where there was no activity at that time; but not from the countries that were active, such as the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, or Iran -- and certainly these actions were not hidden from the awareness of the Soviet Union. Although we may have cloaked an activity on the border of India in deepest secrecy, who in India and who in Russia would believe that such activity was being supported and directed by anyone else than the covert peacetime operational forces of the United States?
If the Dalai Lama is spirited out of Tibet in the face of an overwhelming Chinese army of conquerors, are the Chinese going to think he found his support in heaven? If the disorganized rebels on the scattered islands of vast Indonesia are suddenly armed with great quantities of modern and effective weapons, including transport aircraft to airdrop such weapons and the bombers to support their attacks, are the Indonesians and the Soviets going to be fooled for even one day by "secrecy" that is supposed to keep them from knowing where this all came from?
The entire position and policy of the United States Government turned to the defensive. It abandoned its position of real leadership in favor of creating a vast intelligence organization and the mightiest peacetime armed force of all time to react to and respond to the activity, real and imagined, of the men in the Kremlin. And we became totally dependent upon the inputs of intelligence from any and all sources, generally quite random, to activate this great force in what, by the time the Kennedy Administration came upon the scene, had come to be called "counterinsurgency".
By this time the entire might of the U.S. military had become a reservoir and magazine operating in support of the operational machinations of the ST and its paramount force, the CIA. Even though at first impact this may appear to be a totally unrealistic picture in terms of the disproportionate ratio of strength of the two organizations, it comes into focus when we consider the analysis by Colonel DuPicq. That is, the only forces that are in combat are those actually on the perimeter -- even on the three-dimensional perimeter as was Gary Powers in his U-2 and these forces not only bear the brunt of the action, but they make the victory or the defeat.
Now a small CIA operation in Laos, for example, involving only a few hundred CIA personnel, real and contract, and a few hundred more or a few thousand U.S. military in support, may seem too small an effort to support the statement that the entire might of the U.S. military existed in support of the ST. But if the ST activity becomes a runaway action, such as it did in Indochina, it is inevitable that the few hundred, and then a few thousand, all too easily became five hundred thousand.
Thus, in those crucial ten years, the clandestine activities of the CIA were redirected from those originally aimed at the Soviet Union and its neighboring states to the many nations of our friends, in which we saw the "rampant", dangerous forces of "subversive insurgency". And today they have been even further directed, along with other powerful arms of secret power, to seek the sources of subversive insurgency within this country itself. All during this refocusing of direction, the ST has increased its utilization of secrecy in order to keep the host nation from knowing what was gong on. Throughout this complex series of operations the Agency went out of its way to keep this information from the Congress and from the people of the United States. There is no doubt that the people of Taiwan, of the Philippines, of France, and of many other countries know more about what the CIA has been doing during the past twenty years than we do here in the United States.
Even as Congress debates whether or not it should be given more intelligence information by the CIA it can be seen that those august men are again being misled by the turn of events. Should Congress rule that the CIA must brief it on current intelligence matters, it will find itself more and more enslaved by the system, just as the President has been by the current intelligence briefings which are his frequent diet. Not only will the CIA then take over the daily indoctrination of key members of Congress, but it will also place them under the "magic" of its security wraps. Every day it briefs the Congress, in whole or in part, it will warn that what they are hearing is Super Red-Hot, Top Secret and that now that they have heard it, they must not mention it to anyone. Then, to provide them with a reasonable alibi, since most of those men have an occupational proclivity for free and easy speech, the CIA will provide them with suitable cover stories. Day after day they will hear about happenings around the world, as the ST wants them to hear about them, and day after day they will have less and less time to hear about real world events from any other source. Thus their own ideas and knowledge of the outside world will decrease from day to day. Then to finish what this process does not accomplish, consider what the day-by-day pabulum of cover story after cover story can do to otherwise intelligent and wholly rational men.
The record is full of the names of men appointed to high office who have come under the influence of the daily dosage of current intelligence. Look what it has done to them. At whose doorstep did men like Robert McNamara, John McCone, Earle Wheeler, Maxwell Taylor, and countless others learn about Vietnam. Their briefings came directly, or at the most once removed, from CIA sources, whether they were "in house" CIA men like Tracy Barnes and Desmond Fitzgerald, or "across the river" CIA men like Bill Bundy, Ed Lansdale, and Bill Rosson.
The course of these events did not just happen as a random or natural development. It was guided, sometimes quite deliberately, by the early work of Clark Clifford, or later by such relatively chance events as those that took place during the latter part of the fifties. It may be worthwhile to trace a course of events that played quite a role in this period just before the election of John F. Kennedy to the office of President.
In 1956, just before the Arab-Israeli War, the British, with Selwyn Lloyd in the Foreign Office, and the French, with Guy Mollet, had made covert plans to help the Israelis against Nasser for their own interests. Naturally, General Dayan wanted to defeat and roll back the Egyptians, and the British and French were more than willing to help re-establish some form of control over the Suez and to relieve Arab pressures on Algeria. These three interested partners planned in secret to strike at Egypt, defeat the Egyptian army, and depose Nasser. A French undercover unit of navy commandos disguised as Arabs was in Cairo for the express purpose of killing Nasser. All of this hinged upon careful timing and secrecy. Neither Britain nor France informed John Foster Dulles, the American Secretary of State, of their plans. As events progressed, Dulles played on this lack of formal coordination heavily, assuming the role of an unwitting and appalled outsider. However, Allen Dulles was providing Foster with all the information he needed in the form of regular and most revealing high-altitude U-2 pictures and other ferret-type intelligence. These revealed the arrival and off-loading of the French and British shipping in Haifa and the subsequent removal of these ships to pick up allied forces in Cyprus for the next phase of the operation.
As is frequently the case in such pressure situations, the partners got concerned about one another's sincerity and reliability, and they all knew that the CIA has long eyes and ears. Or perhaps Dayan had been tipped off that Dulles knew what was going on. For whatever reasons, Dayan jumped off against the Egyptians with crushing air attacks about forty-eight hours ahead of the joint plans. This locked the British and French into the action and called their hands. Dayan swept across the desert. Since the Egyptian air force had been utterly destroyed on the ground, he received little opposition from the unprotected Egyptian ground forces. The French navy commando elements operating under the skillful direction of the youngest admiral in France, Admiral Ponchardier, moved in swiftly to do away with Nasser. French and British forces steamed across the Mediterranean at top speed to join the action. It was certain that Nasser would be knocked out in a short time.
At this point several strange things happened. John Foster Dulles, seeing all this before him and knowing, despite his technical protestations, exactly what was taking place, demanded that the British and French stop where they were and ordered Dayan to a halt. Over the other horizon, Krushchev thundered that if the attack did not stop he would hurl missiles at all hostile targets in Europe. With pressure from Dulles, from Krushchev, and with the vociferous opposition of the Labor Party in England to contend with also, Selwyn Lloyd and Guy Mollet submitted. They called their troops to a halt. The magnificent plan, which might have done much to change the course of history during the past fifteen years, was shattered. This Suez affair has perhaps been one of the most unfortunate episodes of the past twenty-five years. It prevented the British from re-establishing an enlightened control over the Canal, and it created a situation that made further French action in North Africa untenable. And it has led to fifteen years of unrest on the Arab-Israeli border, not to mention what the weight of its failure had upon events in the Far East. One other thing that came out of this odd situation had a tremendous impact upon the United States.
The United States Army at that time had been going downhill since its glorious days in World War II and its slight though unsatisfactory resurgence in Korea. Then, in the pre-Sputnik era the Army had assembled a team around Werner von Braun in an attempt to regain some of its lost glory in space. Just at this time, Maxwell Taylor, the Army Chief of Staff, heard Krushchev's threat to hurl rockets across Europe, loud and clear. He and his staff sat down without delay and computed that this meant that the Russians must have in operational weapons delivery system that could deliver a warhead effectively about 1,750 miles. This was derived from the computation of the average distance from Russian launching sites to all European capitals. Using this as their battle cry, they set up a great clamor for an Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile with about l,800 miles range. The IRBM battle was under way to win supremacy for the Army over the Air Force and the Navy in the new missile and space era.
In the clamor of this battle the Suez crisis was nearly forgotten while the U.S. Army and the Air Force fought it out in the halls of Congress and before the eyes of the unwary public. The Army came up suddenly with an IRBM called the Jupiter and the Air Force with its own Thor. Actually there was very little difference between the two. In fact, they both utilized the same rocket motor and many other common components. However, the battle was on not only for the Jupiter or the Thor; but to determine which service would have the primary responsibility for IRBM warfare. Behind the scenes those who were in the know were aware that the Army and the Air Force were puppets for much more serious contenders.
All of the services were joined in a struggle that really involved the most powerful segments of the vast military-industrial combine. The war was not so much about which service would be supreme in the missile business; but it was about whether the great American automobile industry would get the majority of missile contracts or whether the powerful aviation industry would get these contracts. The Navy joined in the fray later and quietly, on the coattails of the steel industry and the conventional munitions makers, with its Polaris system. (The prime contract was through Lockheed for the missile structure; but the whole system was dependent upon submarines and submarine base support and with a solid propellant system that would utilize vast quantities of explosives, which would mean huge contracts for the munitions industries.) Forces were joined, and Maxwell Taylor was at the forefront, leading his Army contenders and fronting for the automobile industry. At that time the Secretary of Defense was the former president of General Motors, Charles Wilson. The ensuing decision from which there could be no escape was not for him to avoid or to make. How could a pre-eminent auto maker rule against his industry? On the other hand, how could he rule against aviation and its powerful industry? With every practice missile shot, the tensions mounted, and Maxwell Taylor was demanding a decision. He saw this as essential to the automobile industry, which had always been the friend of the Army; but he saw it more as a chance to spur his old commanding general, now his Commander in Chief, into making a decision in favor of the Army. This was something Eisenhower had not done for a long time.
Finally Eisenhower finessed the decision by accepting the resignation of Secretary of Defense Wilson and appointing a man from the soap industry, Neil McElroy of Proctor and Gamble, to make this decision. After more study and after working out a more or less acceptable compromise on the business front, McElroy ruled against Maxwell Taylor and his Jupiter crowd. This, along with other decisions that had made the Army the least of the three armed forces, weighed heavily on General Taylor. By 1959 he announced that he would resign from the Army before the expected termination of his assignment as Chief of Staff. On the first of July 1959 General Lyman L. Lemnitzer succeeded Maxwell Taylor as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
This was a most important time. We have discussed how the Agency had grown in size and in capacity so that it had become involved in a really major campaign in Indonesia and in the U-2 global operation. While the CIA grew the Army declined in strength as John Foster Dulles and Eisenhower shaped the world for a grand move toward lasting peace based upon the recognition of the power of nuclear weapons and upon the realization that because they were so powerful no reasonable nation would employ them. Even this was not enough. President Eisenhower was embarked upon a crusade for peace. He had mobilized his Administration with but one objective: to leave as a lasting monument enduring peace. However, there were many small clouds on the horizon.
Castro had come to power in Cuba, and he posed a threat to Latin America. Eisenhower went to Acapulco to meet with the President of Mexico and to win assurance that Mexico understood the Castro menace. De Gaulle had become President of France and had embarked upon a new era, with the Fifth Republic. De Gaulle was occupied with Algeria, which was then a losing cause as a result of the failure to defeat Nasser, and he had little time to work on matters other than French problems. There was continuing trouble in Laos; and each time it flared up the country would authorize more CIA activity and little else.
Early in 1959 the Dalai Lama had been forced to leave Tibet as the Chinese Communists swept across that barren country. This fantastic escape and its major significance have been buried in the lore of the CIA as one of those successes that are not talked about. The Dalai Lama would never have been saved without the CIA.
In the spring of 1959, John Foster Dulles resigned, and shortly thereafter he died of cancer. His successor was Christian Herter, who became Eisenhower's greatest ally in the quest for a permanent peace. At the same time, the Chinese Nationalists and the Chinese Communists worked each other over with aircraft and artillery in a contest for the offshore islands of Matsu and Quemoy. But even this sporadic hostility forecast no real problems for the peace offensive.
President Eisenhower sent his Vice President, Richard Nixon, to Russia to meet with Krushchev and to make arrangements for the impending summit meeting. It was at this time that Nixon and Krushchev engaged in the now famous "Kitchen Debate". Then Eisenhower himself went to London and Paris, and by late September he and Krushchev reported that they had "reached an understanding designed to relieve world tensions." Not long after that Eisenhower further reduced the role of the Army by ordering the transfer of all remaining Army ballistic missile programs to NASA. During November, the United States and the USSR announced "a joint nuclear research program", and a few days later, another joint announcement, this time by the United States, United Kingdom, and the USSR confirmed an agreement "on details of a control organization to be set up, with the signing of the nuclear test-ban treaty".
Then, in December President Eisenhower left on an eleven nation, three-week trip to Europe, Asia, and Africa. For a man of his age, who had suffered through a series of near-fatal heart attacks, this was a major undertaking designed to carry him further toward the pinnacle of his lifelong goal of lasting peace. Everywhere he went he was widely acclaimed. He drew the biggest crowd ever assembled in New Delhi, India. Looking back at such events in the light of present times and conditions makes one realize how far the situation has deteriorated since that time. In those halcyon days, whenever the President of the United States visited a foreign capital tremendous crowds of friendly people gathered to do him honor. Now, fourteen years later, this is not the case. The Vietnam war has done much to destroy the American Dream.
When Eisenhower returned, the Government announced in a most unusual and significant move a planned series of summit talks to be convened in Paris in late April and early May of 1960. Summit talks have seldom if ever been announced so far in advance, at least not in public and with so much prospect for real success. On Christmas Day of 1959, Krushchev accepted the invitation, and on New Year's Eve the date for the greatest summit meeting of all was set for May 16, 1960.
Since the collapse of the Indonesian campaign and the serious compromise brought about by the loss of the CIA C-118 aircraft, Allen Dulles had kept the Agency at a low profile. He had lost one of his closest lieutenants with the departure of Frank Wisner in the aftermath of the Indonesian effort. Although neither the Indonesian incident nor the C-118 loss had broken through security bounds enough to expose the CIA, as the Bay of Pigs episode was to do a few years later, he knew and President Eisenhower knew that the Agency had survived two close calls by the slimmest of margins. However, 1959 and 1960 were not quiet years. The CIA and Allen Dulles had a way of surmounting disaster and coming up ahead.
As 1960 began, two great pressure groups collided. President Eisenhower was steering his Administration to the climax of its final term in office. Everything done during the early months of 1960 was dedicated to the task of establishing a foundation for an era of peace and prosperity. The ultimate summit meeting was to be the prelude to his tour, his visit to Moscow and to other capitals of the world on his crusade for peace.
Although all mankind hoped for peace and few would oppose the noble objectives of the aging President, there were still those of the 'fear Communism' school who believed that the Kremlin could never be trusted, in spite of its public willingness to join with President Eisenhower and other leaders. Elements of this underground faction not only raised the banner of anti-Communism, but lived by it and traded upon its power. They played upon the baser motivation of fear that is in all elements of human society. For them it is easier to move men by that method than to attempt it by more noble means. This under ground faction gained strength from three major areas. The Maxwell Taylor school of Army dissidents, along with their powerful industry collaborators, openly opposed the Eisenhower doctrine of military and foreign policy supported by "massive retaliation", and they distrusted the peace offensive.
Another group -- ostensibly Army, Air Force, high-level Office of the Secretary of Defense and Executive Office Building (White House) personnel -- was working quietly on a vast education and reorientation program of civic action, nation-building, and such other ideas, which were in reality a cover for the extension of covert activities of the ST into the countries served by the Mutual Security Program and such other assistance projects. The regular military assistance program countries were the primary targets. The military cover personnel and their civilian disciples worked on this project with the zeal and energy of dedicated missionaries in support of a new and vital religion. (This is the subject of the following chapter.)
The third group was made up of the hard-core CIA and ST elite activists who were increasingly prepared and able to wage clandestine counterinsurgency anywhere in the world with forces of any size, at any time, and in response to intelligence inputs of all kinds and characteristics. For example, the inputs did not have to be anti-Communist when it did not suit the team. They could see danger to this country in almost any situation. The sudden dislike of the Latin dictator Trujillo certainly had nothing to do with anti-Communism, but he went the way of all "enemies" on charges of a special nature, just as Ngo Dinh Diem did in 1963.
Over the years this group had begun by defining the Soviet Union and World Communism as the enemy. Then it had pressed the idea of global containment of the world of Communism. Having built the wall from Norway on the North Sea to Turkey on the Black Sea, and from Iran on the northeast slopes of the Gordian Knot to India and Pakistan on the high Himalayas, and then on along the tenuous northern borders of Burma, Laos, and the 17th parallel in Vietnam, it began the cultivation and indoctrination of the idea that the real danger lay in the spread of Communism into the peripheral countries by means of subversive insurgency and support of wars of national liberation. To complete this fear-of-Communism syndrome, this movement contained a strong element that saw Communism and Communist subversion seeping into and permeating almost every area of the United States.
One of the greatest non-elective, non-ruling power forces of all time is this anti-Communist fanatic group, which rips through to the very heart and soul of the nation, playing upon fear and ignorance for its own selfish and in many cases ignorant, fear crazed interests. More harm has been done from l947 through 1972 to the United States and the world by this rabid and ruthless element than the Kremlin could have hoped to have accomplished itself by any other means short of nuclear war.
This combination of power elites did win its tremendous underground struggle against the peacemakers led by President Eisenhower when the U-2 reconnaissance spy-plane flown by Francis Gary Powers crash-landed in the heart of the Soviet Union only two weeks before the Paris summit conference. Powers' flight was a most unusual event. It was not part of the regularly scheduled series of routine U-2 operations. It was launched and directed by a small cell of inner elite for reasons which may never be possible for anyone to determine. If by any chance the thought had ever occurred to the four men who launched it that the failure of this relatively unimportant flight would completely wreck and vitiate all of the hopes and plans of the Eisenhower Crusade for Peace, they could not have chosen a more effective method or time to have done it. The very fact that what was done could have been done so easily according to a sinister plan, not an accident or Soviet act, serves only to fuel the thought that it might have been done on purpose. Such a simple thing as failure to supply the plane with sufficient hydrogen for the flight could have resulted, just as it did, in the certain flame-out of the engine and the subsequent failure of the mission -- or success of the mission, depending upon the secret intent of those who dispatched it.
This trend of thought is intriguing, because scarcely had the U-2 crashed into the daisy fields of central Russia than all three power groups mentioned above leaped into the void created by the demise of the Eisenhower initiative, to power a ground-swell upon which the Nixon campaign foundered and the Kennedy team rode to victory. The interesting part of all of this, even the ominous part, was that the ground-swell had started even before the collapse of the peace crusade and the summit conference. It would lead an observer, at least one who was very close to the inside activity, almost to believe that there is a great force somewhere that does not want to see a peace crusade succeed; or, to put it in active terms, that wants to promote professional anti-Communism and all that the term has come to mean during the past inglorious decade in Vietnam.
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