Interesting counterpoint to Tom Ricks’ WAPOST letter to the editor. This time in the NY Times.
The author is of course right. But we should recall that after the OSS was disbanded the CIA was stood up in 1947 and Special Forces in 1952. Although the author is correct that the CIA has had a continuous paramilitary capability since the beginning there is also a paramilitary capability in the military. And we should keep in mind that the OSS linage is shared jointly by the CIA and USSOCOM.
The C.I.A.’s History
April 7, 2014
http://mobile.nytimes.com/ 2014/04/08/opinion/the-cias- history.html?_r=0&referrer=
To the Editor:
Regarding “Delays in Effort to Refocus C.I.A. From Drone War” (front page, April 6):
Getting the Central Intelligence Agency out of the “killing business” may be more pipe dream than reality, if history is any clue.
Founded on the model of its predecessor, the World War II-era Office of Strategic Services, the C.I.A. carried on the O.S.S.’s business to kill America’s enemies and disrupt their operations. William “Wild Bill” Donovan, who founded the O.S.S., based it on the British Special Operations Executive, which, as Churchill famously remarked, was established to “set Europe ablaze.”
Sabotage and targeted killings were the mainstay of the O.S.S., with espionage and research and analysis coming later.
When the C.I.A. was formed after the war – with many of the original O.S.S. officers among its ranks – it carried on the tradition of clandestine warfare, as it still does today.
Get the C.I.A. out of the killing business? Not if past is prologue.
Alameda, Calif., April 7, 2014
The writer, a former United Nations official, is a collector of books and documents on O.S.S. history.