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US Covert Operations during the Cold War: Origins and Theoretical Relevance

The US conduction of covert actions against other freely elected governments during the Cold War represents till today a conundrum for scholars of the Democratic Peace Research Program. Some of them have referred to the Kantian paradigm of “republic” in order to point out how the targeted nations were not yet a democracy. However, only a few have focused on the democratic role of the US at the moment of intervention and questioned their internal decisional structure leading to the undertaking of these operations. Through the development of a constructivist prospective, this study will try not simply to understand what brought about the American covert answer in the aftermath of the Second World War, but also in which extent such an attitude can relate with the presence of an internal democratic structure and a wide spread acknowledgment of international law and the principle of non-interference.

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ABSTRACT: The US conduction of covert actions against other freely elected governments during the Cold War represents till today a conundrum for scholars of the Democratic Peace Research Program. Some of them have referred to the Kantian paradigm of “republic” in order to point out how the targeted nations were not yet a democracy. However, only a few have focused on the democratic role of the US at the moment of intervention and questioned their internal decisional structure leading to the undertaking of these operations. Through the development of a constructivist prospective, this study will try not simply to understand what brought about the American covert answer in the aftermath of the Second World War, but also in which extent such an attitude can relate with the presence of an internal democratic structure and a wide spread acknowledgment of international law and the principle of non-interference. Introduction and methodology Research question: Why did the US undertake covert operations against democratic states during the Cold War? How does this evidence relate with the dyadic assumption of the Democratic Peace Theory? The main purpose of this paper is to explain, as clearly as possible, the motives that brought about what Gregory Treverton (1987: 996) has defined as “the American second answer to the onset of the Cold War”, that is the adoption by the US administration of a “shadow warfare” technique aimed to interfere more or less directly in the internal affairs of independent foreign countries. The purpose is not merely to give an account for the American decision to undertake covert military actions in the immediate post-war period, but rather to concentrate on the reasons that led a democracy to act covertly against other democracies, not necessarily through warlike military operations, but also by actions of “psychological warfare” (Treverton 1987) (Rudgers 2000), propaganda, disinformation and other activities plotted and carried out “so that the role of the US Government is not apparent or acknowledged publicly” (Damrosch 1989: 796). The study is conceived in relation to the two fundamental research criteria specified by King et al. (1994: 15): importance for the real world and, at the same time, theoretical relevance as contribution to a specific scholarly literature. 4

Diploma di Laurea

Facoltà: International Relations

Autore: Giovanni Pasquali Contatta »

Composta da 38 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 281 click dal 25/02/2011.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.