Military Review

“Uniforms” in contrast with “jackets”

“Uniforms” in contrast with “jackets”During World War II, the United States had a number of intelligence units operating in isolation and performing various functions. The most famous of them was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), where the future directors of the CIA, A. Dulles, R. Helms, W. Casey, and other senior officials of Central Intelligence (CR) worked. The organizer and head of the OSS was a New York lawyer, former Assistant Secretary of Justice, Colonel, and later Major General William Donovan, who at one time was the US representative under the “Supreme Governor of the Russian State,” Admiral Alexander Kolchak.


After Hitler’s Germany captured a number of European countries in the summer of 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt, under the guise of a businessman, sent Donovan with a reconnaissance mission to Western Europe in order to assess the situation on the continent and in the UK in particular, at the insistence of William Donovan’s friend, the Navy Minister Frank Knox. The result of this trip was an analytical work "Lessons of the fifth column for America."
William Donovan. 1945 Photo of the Year

At the end of 1940 — the beginning of 1941, Roosevelt asked Donovan to go on an even longer tour of Western Europe and the Balkans. The British, who were aware of the goals of the Donovan visit, considered it necessary in their own interests to acquaint the “American businessman” with the principles and methods of their intelligence activities both in London and in the field, which later facilitated Donovan’s task in organizing CSS.

The concept of central, coordinated intelligence was the best gift to America from the UK - such an opinion was expressed already in the 80-ies of the twentieth century by the former deputy director of the CIA Ray Kline. Thus, the so-called Information Coordination Directorate, headed by General Donovan, was originally formed. 13 June 1942 was divided into the Strategic Services Directorate (led by Donovan) and the Military Information Office (UWI), but after a few years, with the formation of Central Intelligence, the functions of both directorates were again combined into one organization. Thus was determined the nature of the activities of the centralized intelligence structure of the United States - a combination of a special operation with the collection of information. The CIA still adheres to this principle.


The creation of the OSS led by Donovan was ambiguously perceived in the bodies of military special services. By this time, the leadership of military intelligence, led by Major General George Strong, having gained some experience at the strategic level, considered it necessary and possible in this situation to create its own, military equivalent of the OSS. In October 1942, Strong ordered his subordinate, Brigadier General Haynes Kroner, to study the matter and take steps to form a strategic secret service in military intelligence. For this work, he was invited, and in fact was “seduced by the high position” by the OSS officer John Grombach, who formed the next reconnaissance structure, as the military hoped, the OSS competitor, which in the future should have “eclipsed civilian colleagues”. However, due to the workload of the US military intelligence on solving the problems of the tactical and operational level in the theater of war, as well as the lack of due attention from the military-political leadership of the country, the new structure gradually lost its importance, although historians of the US intelligence services, proved to be in demand later in the organization of interaction within the national intelligence community (RS).

American researchers stories NCT points out that Donovan’s service was not limited to the struggle against Hitler’s Germany and its allies. “Even after the Battle of Stalingrad,” writes T. Powers, a researcher of the American special services, “the focus of attention of an employee of the management A. Dulles (the future head of the CIA), who was in Bern, moved from Germany to Russia.” It should be emphasized that NCT concentrated its actions mainly in Europe. This was due to several reasons. In particular, the Commander-in-Chief of the American troops in the Pacific zone, General Douglas MacArthur, openly expressed his dislikes against the OSS and forbade the administration to conduct any operations in the Pacific theater of war, ostensibly "to the detriment of the work of military intelligence officers." For his part, FBI Director Edgar Hoover did not allow Donovan intelligence officers to enter Latin America, which was allocated by the US president to the bureau as an operational action arena. In Europe, in agreement with the leadership of the CNS, the OSS acted in close coordination with military intelligence. This situation, from the point of view of Donovan, reasonably led to the neglect of the potential capabilities of the special services.

In November 1944, he submitted a memorandum to the president, outlining his views on intelligence in general. In principle, they boiled down to the need to create a centralized intelligence service of the country, including including the subordination to it and all military intelligence structures. Nevertheless, after the end of the Second World War, the OSS was disbanded, and its employees were mostly dismissed or transferred to work in the country's few special services. Instead of the OSS, in accordance with the presidential directive, at the very beginning of 1946, a reconnaissance advisory body was set up, which included Secretary of State D. Byrns, Minister of the Army R. Pitterson, Minister of the Navy J. Forrestal and Chairman of the Council Committee Admiral U. Leghi. But President Truman’s decree regarding the abolition of the OSS, as shown by subsequent studies, was not fully implemented. Some regional heads of management considered it rational not to dismiss experienced intelligence officers, but to reorient them to other tasks or form new structures that were not formally tied to the disbanded CSS. For example, the residency office in China was transferred under military cover and received the name "Division of External Security."

Fundamental Law

In the meantime, the debate on the successor to the Office of Strategic Services continued in Washington. It was the views of the head of the OSS during the Second World War, a reputable General Donovan, according to a number of researchers of the American special services, who allegedly later formed the basis of that part of the fundamental “Law on National Security” signed by the President of 15 on September 1947 of the year in which with the article 108, the goals and functions of the CIA were formulated. Other experts refer to the memoirs of US President Harry Truman, who initiated the adoption of this law. He also did not approve of the lack of close contacts between the intelligence services of the ground forces, the Navy and the State Department, who often presented to the country's leadership "different and contradictory assessments on the same topics."

However, Truman, in his own words, did not consult with Donovan on this matter, but followed his intuition and the advice of other specialists, in particular, the recommendations of the Director of the Budget Bureau Harold Smith. But the latter’s views also boiled down to the formation of a single intelligence system in the country, precluding unnecessary rivalry between various special services. It was assumed that the newly created intelligence service should have a national character and be essentially a civilian institution (as opposed to disjointed military intelligence agencies). At the same time, many feared that the new centralized intelligence structure would be endowed with too much power and dissolve into politics, that is, it would acquire a purely opportunistic character and would fall under the influence of one or another political group.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the KNSH, Admiral William Leahy, informed the president that the military had a counter-proposal, which was to keep them more independent in presenting intelligence information to the leadership of the country. In turn, the State Department also put forward a proposal to subordinate the created centralized intelligence service of the country to itself. But Truman, having supported the proposal of the military as a whole, obliged his apparatus to make some amendments initiated by the State Department and Budget Bureau, and on January 26 of 1946 had already signed an administrative order on the creation of the Central Intelligence Group (RTF) headed by the former deputy chief of the Navy intelligence Admiral S. Sawers. After some time, Sawers was dismissed from service by age, but a representative of the Air Force General H. Vanderberg was again appointed to replace him. Back in May 1947, was replaced by Rear Admiral R. Hillenkotter, a veteran of Pearl Harbor, who had solid experience in naval intelligence.

After the transformation of the Central Central Assembly of Central Asia 18 September 1947, the director of the new structure (he is the director of Central Intelligence) almost daily reported intelligence information to the president, while the chairman of the Central Committee of Foreign Affairs Lehi was present at the meeting. After his resignation, Truman appointed retired Admiral Sawers as his special intelligence assistant. Thus, the influence of the military on the decisions taken by the president continued to persist.

In general, representatives of the Pentagon and the State Department were not enthusiastic about the implementation of the idea with the creation of a centralized national intelligence unit. Moreover, despite the resistance of the influential director of the FBI, E. Hoover, the White House allowed the CIA to act in Latin America. Before the powerful intelligence network of the CIA in Europe was established, said analyst T. Powers points out, two-thirds of the information from this region was provided by the British to the Americans. And only by the beginning of 60, Powers continues, the Americans allegedly managed to do away with the superiority of the British in the field of intelligence and become completely independent in providing their leadership with the necessary information. Former leaders of American intelligence frankly write that the growing influence of the US special services on the decisions taken by the country's leadership is connected with the forced administration of G. Truman’s Cold War policies against the USSR and its allies.


Suddenly, the question of the personnel of the CIA rose sharply. After long debates, it was decided to recruit staff of the new department, primarily from among former CSS officers. However, this was not enough for the implementation of ambitious management plans of management. Therefore, it was decided to promptly staff the units of the new department at the expense of personnel officers of the armed forces, and in this case some flexibility was shown by leaving some of the officers in the personnel of the Armed Forces from which they were seconded to the CIA transferred to the new department with a "complete separation" from the armed forces.

As a positive moment, the fact that so-called military order and discipline was introduced into the “civil intelligence agency” was considered. Already in the first year of the CIA’s existence, about 200 officers of the US Armed Forces who had experience in special structures such as military intelligence, counterintelligence, police, etc. were transferred to its personnel. Subsequently, based on the interests of national security and operational necessity, the CIA residency leaders abroad representatives of military special services were periodically appointed, including in the rank of general. Walter Bedell Smitt, the director of Central Intelligence (1950 – 1953), was the first to introduce this practice, himself a former general in the past, recommending General L. Trescott, an authoritative figure in military circles, for the post of management resident in Germany.

From time to time, friction within the intelligence community regarding the powers of the new centralized intelligence agency caused the need to specify the tasks of the CIA. Therefore, in the spring of 1949, after a brief debate in both chambers of the congress, a special law was passed on the CIA, which was given the broadest authority for this body and for which very substantial funds were allocated. At the same time, the secret budget of the department was discussed and, accordingly, approved at a meeting of the small in number of members of the Senate Subcommittee on Armed Forces Affairs.

Truman did not seek to monopolize the leadership of intelligence. He was fully satisfied with the work of the National Security Council's office under his control, in close contact with the CIA. Moreover, in accordance with the practice adopted at that time, the director of the CIA reported this or that document, which “took into account the judgments of all intelligence advisory councils”, which meant the intelligence services of the Army, Naval Forces and Air Forces energy.

Despite the fact that formally the White House, the State Department and the Ministry of Defense set "information priorities", that is, the main and priority tasks for the CIA, the latter quickly began to seize the initiative in filling the information flow to the White House and Congress. This fact eventually caused the open discontent of competing departments, which forced Truman to create a mechanism that could balance the flow of intelligence information.

For a start, he instructed A. Dulles to lead a small group set up to survey the activities of the CIA and make recommendations for its improvement. However, a group of former USS officer U. Jackson and Assistant Secretary of Defense M. Correa, who is close to Dulles, prepared a report that advocated that the CIA should have priority in the collection and a report to the country's leadership on intelligence, and, to the surprise of many specialists expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that there are too many military officers among senior management officers. Despite this, instead of former CIA director Admiral Roscoe Hillenkotter, who retired in 1950, the military was once again at the head of Central Intelligence - General Walter Bedell Smith, who with undisguised distrust belonged to Allen Dulles' elder brother - John Foster, who was appointed Secretary of State. But Truman did not remain completely indifferent to criticism and appointed one of the authors of the report, W. Jackson, as deputy director. And in January, 1951, Allen Dulles came to the CIA, under which a key position in management was created - deputy director for planning. In August of the same year, A. Dulles replaced Jackson as first deputy, and with the victory of the Republicans in the presidential election 1952 of the year from February of next year, he headed the CIA. Thus, Allen Dulles became the first civilian to become the head of the CIA.


It should be emphasized that from the first days of the CIA's existence and until the beginning of the 50-s, it was formally oriented in its activities, primarily in relations with the presidential administration and legislators, to support the military leadership of the country, almost always “finding” allies in it. It was not by chance that Air Force General Charles Pierre Cabell, who earlier headed the Air Force intelligence service, was appointed First Deputy of Dulles. These features began to take shape in the years of G. Truman’s presidency and became stronger as his successor, D. Eisenhower, strengthened the policy of interfering in the sovereign affairs of the states of the world, whether they were geopolitical opponents or allies. For example, in the middle of the 70, information that during the time Eisenhower held the post of US president, the CIA carried out 170 major secret operations in the 48 states of the world became public. At the same time, in the overwhelming majority of cases, “civilian intelligence agents” used the services of their military colleagues. And allegedly Dulles himself repeatedly appealed to the military for help in the implementation of certain plans of the CIA.

The new US president, D. Eisenhower, appointed Dulles' predecessor as head of the CIA, General B. Smith, as deputy secretary of state. Such a move was due to the president’s desire to have his own man in the State Department. Smith, who during the Second World War was chief of staff at Eisenhower, was like no other the most acceptable candidate for this post, especially since the president was not yet familiar with the new Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, the elder brother of the CIA director, a protege of the leadership winning the Republican Party. Under these conditions, Smith constantly kept in touch with the President about what was being planned at the State Department and at the same time gaining experience in the field of foreign policy.


In the presidential administration, Eisenhower created the atmosphere of a large military headquarters and initially surrounded himself with mostly military men. He appointed generals S. Adams and W. Persons as his closest assistants. More than 6 thousand officers, among whom were about 200 generals and admirals, were taken to civilian positions in various departments of the state apparatus. For example, the position of the White House administrative secretary was taken up by General A. Goodpaster, the future Supreme Commander-in-Chief of NATO in Europe. This kind of militaristic atmosphere prevailing in the first period of the Eisenhower presidency in the upper echelons of Washington was "encouraging" to affect the country's military establishment, including military intelligence, promising large dividends in rivalry with civilian rivals.

On the eve of the next presidential election, President Truman endorsed a secret memorandum (from 24 in October 1952) on the formation of a new federal intelligence agency, the National Security Directorate (NSA), whose functions included the implementation of comprehensive radio and radio intelligence. A feature of this department was that it was subordinate to the Minister of Defense and accumulated in itself essentially all the technical means of intelligence of the country, with the exception of a relatively small amount of funds remaining under the jurisdiction of the CIA and other intelligence organizations that were part of the intelligence community at that time.

President Truman waiting for a meeting
with admiral fleet William Leigh.

This fact, which in a short period of time became the property of the legislators and, accordingly, the leadership of the CIA, caused undisguised irritation of “civilian intelligence officers”, since it clearly indicated the strengthening of the military segment of national intelligence.

However, gradually, as evidenced by American military experts in the history of intelligence services, relations in the format of the CIA - military intelligence began to change in an unfavorable direction for the latter. The situation was such that the head of Central Intelligence did not succeed in obtaining privileges from the presidential administration in the sense that henceforth the foreign policy of the country and related supporting activities were in the hands of the Dulles brothers, who gained unprecedented prestige from President Eisenhower. Practically all the rest of the special services, their leaders and consultants turned into extras, whose opinion on certain issues was taken into account only when necessary, although the question of transferring technical intelligence equipment to the CIA was not raised. Under Truman, the director of the CIA personally reported "a condensed intelligence appraisal, but on the basis of a discussion with the heads of all intelligence services." Dulles chose a different way of bringing information to the country's leadership, based not on the “collective wisdom” of the heads of intelligence agencies, but on his own intuition. Moreover, the leadership of the CIA, realizing the fact of the inevitability of receiving information by the country's leadership and from other special services, developed a tactic of “silencing and silencing information from the field and protruding intelligence information favorable to it”. All this over time could not but cause discontent of other special services of the country, including first of all military intelligence.

Meanwhile, contrary to the originally formulated main tasks of the CIA, namely “obtaining confidential information to help the higher authorities making political decisions”, the leadership of Central Intelligence has increasingly become to focus on the implementation of special, essentially disruptive actions in the states, domestic and foreign policy whose course did not "fit" into the general policy of Washington in the international arena. The impulse for this kind of activity was the directive of the National Security Council No. 10 / 2 of 18 June 1948 of the year, according to which it was prescribed to create a special structure for the implementation of such actions. Despite the fact that initially the head of this structure, known as the Office for Policy Coordination (PPC), was formally appointed by the Secretary of State, was subordinate to him and the Minister of Defense, funding and personnel were allocated from the CIA. Naturally, this structure gradually became fully integrated into the CIA and began to depend on the will and plans of the Central Intelligence director.

At the beginning of 50, the decision was made to merge the TFU and the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) within the CIA, resulting in a significant increase in the effectiveness of the sabotage operations conducted by the department. The specificity of the “semi-military work” of this structure and high official salaries caused “many members of the military in the past,” including military intelligence agencies, to “overflow” into it, which also caused repeated frictions about the CIA’s leadership and the military. However, a number of successful CIA operations, including coups in Syria in 1948, in Iran in 1953, and in Guatemala in 1954, made A. Dulles' authority in the eyes of Washington’s political establishment unshakable. It is noteworthy that in all three cases, the residency of the CIA worked closely with the residency of military intelligence, which, however, remained "in the shadow".

Special mention should be made of the operation led by CIA resident Kim Roosevelt (a close relative of former US presidents - T. Roosevelt and F. Roosevelt) to remove "out of control of Prime Minister Mossadek" from power in Iran. This operation, intelligence analysts emphasize, would not have been successful without the involvement of US intelligence officer Brig. Gen. Robert A. McClure, head of the US advisory group in Tehran, who allegedly managed to correctly assess the domestic political situation and personally recruit the leadership of the Iranian armed forces that played a key role in The success of the coup in this country.


Contradictions between civil and military intelligence could not help surface. In order to promote the normalization of interdepartmental relations, by the decision of President Eisenhower, the “resolution of conflict issues” was postponed from the agenda of NSC meetings to the CIA. In parallel, in 1955, rather for the visibility of the transparency of the decisions made, two directives No. 5412 / 1 and No. 5412 / 2 decided to form a special committee under the National Security Service for Intelligence (Committee 5412 or Group 54 / 12) with the inclusion of representatives of the president, state secretary , director of the CIA and defense minister in charge of military intelligence. Thus, the White House, on the recommendation of A. Dulles, tried to appease the military, who were claiming more active participation in ensuring political decisions.

However, the military from time to time showed their disagreement with certain actions of the CIA. For example, when A. Dulles decided in 1954 to support his henchman recruited by the high-ranking Nazi intelligence officer General R. Gehlen as head of the West German intelligence service during the war years, Lieutenant-General A. Trudeau, head of the US Army intelligence, spoke out sharply against pointing out that gehlen was an active nazi in the past. The American general was supported by US Secretary of Defense C. Wilson and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But the authority of Dulles was so high that the case ended with the removal from his post of General Trudeau and the appointment of Gehlen to the desired position.

The activity of the CIA, along with the work of other executive bodies, was constantly subject to investigation by various commissions. As part of the so-called large commission, which worked in 1955 year and was headed by former US President Herbert Hoover, General M. Clark was put in charge of the intelligence group to study intelligence activities. As one of the recommendations of the commission, there was a provision on the need to strengthen control over the CIA by creating a permanent joint congressional intelligence commission. In response, President D. Eisenhower, who formally rejected this recommendation, created the Council for Intelligence Activities (SRD) in 1956, including the military in it. However, the council, although on the whole, was under the control of the presidential administration, occasionally expressed a negative opinion that the CIA "did not always follow the recommendations of the State Department, thus complicating the foreign policy activities of the country's leadership." On the other hand, points out the well-known American historian of the special services A. Schlesinger, the CIA in its formation almost always found an ally in the face of the Pentagon and military intelligence subordinate to it. The CIA, led by Dulles, stresses another American researcher G. Rozitske, throughout all the 50-s, was taking responsibility for conducting “paramilitary” subversive actions, thereby saving the military, who did not want to attract too much attention.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 17 July 2016 07: 19
    Thanks, interesting review ..
  2. Beefeater
    Beefeater 17 July 2016 11: 28
    The article is not uninteresting, but ...
    It would be much more interesting to learn about some operations of the special services.
    For example, Koretsky's novel "Rock and Roll Under the Kremlin" is based in part on real events.
  3. Knizhnik
    Knizhnik 17 July 2016 15: 32
    The rivalry went for influence on the president. As a result, the CIA usurped him. However, they had to join forces. Since 2005, the CIA has nevertheless been removed from the president by 1 step.
  4. Normal ok
    Normal ok 17 July 2016 20: 15
    Well, finally, an article on the profile of VO. Just a vent)) Thanks to the author.