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C.I.A. Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels
A classified review concluded that many past attempts by the agency to arm foreign forces covertly had a minimal impact on the long-term outcome of a conflict.

But the Afghan-Soviet war was also seen as a cautionary tale. Some of the battle-hardened mujahedeen fighters later formed the core of Al Qaeda and used Afghanistan as a base to plan the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. This only fed concerns that no matter how much care was taken to give arms only to so-called moderate rebels in Syria, the weapons could ultimately end up with groups linked to Al Qaeda, like the Nusra Front.

Arming foreign forces has been central to the C.I.A.'s mission from its founding, and was a staple of American efforts to wage proxy battles against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The first such operation was in 1947, the year of the agency’s creation, when President Harry S. Truman ordered millions of dollars’ worth of guns and ammunition sent to Greece to help put down a Communist insurgency there. In a speech before Congress in March of that year, Mr. Truman said the fall of Greece could destabilize neighboring Turkey, and “disorder might well spread throughout the entire Middle East.”

That mission helped shore up the fragile Greek government. More frequently, however, the C.I.A. backed insurgent groups fighting leftist governments, often with calamitous results. The 1961 Bay of Pigs operation in Cuba, in which C.I.A.-trained Cuban guerrillas launched an invasion to fight Fidel Castro’s troops, ended in disaster. During the 1980s, the Reagan administration authorized the C.I.A. to try to bring down Nicaragua’s Sandinista government with a secret war supporting the contra rebels, who were ultimately defeated.
history  usa  cia  war 
october 2014 by aries1988

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