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Anderson, Elizabeth E. "The Security Dilemma and Covert Action: The Truman Years." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 11, no. 4 (Winter 1998-1999): 403-427.

The author applies the "security dilemma" theory (which essentially postulates an arms race fueled by a threat/buildup/reaction/threat/buildup spiral) from the field of international relations to covert action as a tool of state policy in the Truman admnistration (1945-1953). Although this is perhaps a little too "IRish" for some tastes, the article's application of the security dilemma to actions short of war is interesting and worth some consideration.

Banks, C. Covert Action: An Instrument of Foreign Policy. Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force War College, 1995.

Surveillant 4.2 identifies this as a "brief [19-page] introduction to covert action..., using open source information."

Barry, James A. "Managing Covert Political Action." Studies in Intelligence 36, no. 5 (1992): 19-31. [Revised version] "Covert Action Can Be Just." Orbis 37, no. 3 (Summer 1993): 375-390.

ProQuest: "The role of covert action following the end of the Cold War is addressed, particularly in the framework of the just-war theory. US covert action in Chile in 1964 and 1970 is evaluated."

Barry, John. "Covert Action Can Be Just." Orbis (Summer 1993): 375-390.

Berkowitz, Bruce D., and Allan E. Goodman. "The Logic of Covert Action." The National Interest 51 (Spring 1998): 38-46.

Best, Richard A., Jr. Covert Action: An Effective Instrument of U.S. Policy? Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 1996. Available at:

Bloomfield, Lincoln P., Jr. "The Legitimacy of Covert Action: Sorting Out the Moral Responsibilities." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 4, no. 4 (Winter 1990): 525-537.

Blum, William. "Ronald Reagan's Legacy: Eight Years of CIA Covert Action." Covert Action Information Bulletin 33 (Winter 1990): 8-11.

Petersen: "Critical of CIA and U.S. policy."

Boissier-Sporn, Monique. "Precepts for Covert Action." National Security Studies Quarterly 3, no. 4 (Winter 1997): 51-59.

Breckinridge, Scott D. "Truman, the Church Committee and Covert Action." Periscope 18, no. 2 (1993): 1.

Chafe, William H. Never Stop Running: Allard Lowenstein and the Struggle to Save American Liberalism. New York: Basic Books, 1993.

See Richard Cummings, The Pied Piper: Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream (New York: Grove Press, 1985).

Champion, Brian. "Surreptitious Aircraft in Transnational Covert Operations." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 11, no. 4 (Winter 1998-1999): 453-478.

The sourcing is soft here, and there is too much speculation and inference expressed as fact. Nonetheless, the article is a catalog of possible covert use of aircraft over a broad sweep of the post-World War II world. The conclusion that "clandestine shipments of weapons and other material will seemingly persist" seems safe.

Chester, Eric Thomas. Covert Network: Progressives, the International Rescue Committee, and the CIA. Armonk, NY: Sharpe, 1995.

McGehee (from comments that the "IRC ... was founded in the 1930s by socialist militants.... By the 1950s it had been absorbed into the American foreign policy establishment and participated in an array of clandestine operations.... From Vietnam on, the International Rescue Committee helped refugees around the globe -- Cuba, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Gulf War, East Europe, and others. The book is well documented. The author concludes and summarizes the dangers of Cold War institutions such as the CIA and corporate pragmatists who inevitably use the clandestine techniques learned overseas to undermine American democracy. An excellent and informative book."

For Gill, Perspectives on Political Science 26.1 (Winter 1997), the author presents the history of the IRC as something other than "a heartwarming story of a refugee relief agency providing humanitarian aid to the victims of wars and disasters…. During its early years [the IRC] was led by Socialists eager to assist their comrades in the antifascist resistance. By World War II the committee was balancing this goal with its obligations as an integral component of the U.S. war efforts. Throughout the Cold War years the transformation continued, until the IRC was fully integrated within the foreign policy establishment as a vital member of the CIA's covert network.”

Namebase believes that this book's "impressive original-source research makes a mockery of any historian who would pretend that these organizations [the International Rescue Committee and the Ford Foundation] can be considered separately from the CIA's influence and agenda, particularly during the Cold War period." See Levenstein's Escape to Freedom (1983) for a different viewpoint.

Cogan, Charles G. "Covert Action and Congressional Oversight: A Deontology." Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 16, no. 2 (Apr. 1993): 87- 97.

Cogan, Charles G. "The Response of the Strong to the Weak: The American Raid on Libya, 1986." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 3 (Jul. 1991): 608-620.

This article is primarily a review of the background to the U.S. air raid on Libya in April 1986. However, the author's "Implications for the Future" deserve some consideration. He suggests that "the raid on Libya represents another link in the chain of events whereby direct military action has become a substitute for covert action by the CIA.... In the raid on Libya in 1986 and the invasion of Panama in 1990 [1989], covert action was shunned as an operational tool in favor of direct military action."

This shift away from covert action is associated in part with "the fact that straight military action can be carried out in greater secrecy, because of Congressional oversight strictures on CIA covert action." The wording ("element of the United States Government") of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1991 may open the door to the development by Congress of military "special operations."

Cumming, Alfred. Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 2 Nov. 2006. [Available at:]

The issue is whether certain kinds of counterterrorism intelligence activities being conducted by the Department of Defense "statutorily qualify as 'covert actions,' and thus require a presidential finding and the notification of the congressional intelligence committees.... Senior U.S. intelligence community officials have conceded that the line separating CIA and DOD intelligence activities has blurred, making it more difficult to distinguish between the traditional secret intelligence missions carried out by each."

Forsythe, David P. "Democracy, War, and Covert Action." Journal of Peace Research 29, no. 4 (Nov. 1992): 385-395.

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