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Title: Disorder over design : strategy, bureaucracy and the development of U.S. political warfare in Europe, 1945-1950
Author: Long, Stephen John
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 5377
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2009
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This study explores factors behind the development of a covert political warfare capability by the United States government from 1945-1950. Specifically, it examines the place of political warfare within U.S. policy and bureaucracy towards Europe and the Soviet Union. Political warfare was defined expansively to comprise psychological, political, economic and paramilitary actions. External factors are significant, above all the deterioration of relations between Washington and Moscow and the onset of the Cold War. But specific emphasis is given to internal aspects. In particular, strategic and bureaucratic factors are examined that shaped the inauguration of an unprecedented peacetime capability of subversive foreign intervention. The central hypothesis is that disorder prevailed over design as a political warfare programme was developed against the Soviet bloc. Institutional conflicts overshadowed a unified national approach, while coordination between departments and agencies hampered effective implementation. Furthermore, the position of political warfare within broader U.S. foreign policy remained ambiguous and problematic. Washington failed to formulate a workable, unified strategy towards the east integrating political warfare. This undermined the fundamental American objective in the early Cold War to retract Soviet power peacefully from Eastern Europe. A legacy of strategic incoherence beyond 1950 resulted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JZ International relations ; E151 United States (General)