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Disorder over design: strategy, bureaucracy and the development of U.S. political warfare in Europe, 1945-1950

Long, Stephen John (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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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.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Lucas, W. Scott
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Department of American and Canadian Studies
Subjects:JZ International relations
E151 United States (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:1786
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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