In the 1950's, the repression of domestic political dissent reached near
In the process the CIA's covert operations, already in progress in
Europe, expanded worldwide.
By 1953, according to the 1970's Senate
investigation, there were major covert programs under way in 48 countries,
consisting of propaganda, paramilitary, and political action operations.
1949, the agency's covert action department had about 300 employees and 47
In the same period, the budget for these activities grew from $4.7
million to $82 million.
In this paper I will discuss the United States' use of
covert actions using Panama and Nicaragua as examples.
I had planned on
writing my paper on Manuel Noriega and his connections with the CIA but
the more I read into him I found the major topic outlying him was much more
So with that I will continue on with this paper showing my
findings on the CIA and thier covert operations.
Covert operations have become a way of life and death for millions of
people world wide who have lost their lives to these actions.
By 1980, covert
operations were costing billions of dollars.
CIA Director William Casey was
quoted as saying "covert actions were the keystone of U.S. policy in the
Third World."(Agee, 2)
Throughout the CIA's 45 years, one president after
another has used covert operations to intervene secretly, and sometimes not
so secretly , in the domestic affairs of other countries, presuming their affairs
Almost always, money was spent for activities to prop up
political forces considered friendly to U.S. interests, or to weaken and destroy
those considered unfriendly or threatening.
The friends were easy to define, they were those who believed and
acted like us, took orders and cooperated.
Until the collapse of communism
in Eastern Europe, enemies were also readily recognized: the Soviet Union
and its allies, with China having ambiguous status since the 1970's.
there were other countries the CIA took actions against who were not
associated with the Soviets.
Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Indonesia in
1958, Cuba in 1959, Ecuador in 1963, Brazil in 1964, Chile in 1970,
Nicaragua in 1979 and Grenada in 1983 to name a few.(Agee, 2)
governments, and others attacked by the U.S., were left, nationalist,
reform-minded, populist or uncooperative and U.S. hostility drove some of
them to seek arms and other support from the Soviet Union.
CIA mounted covert operations to weaken and destroy the programs
supporting communism by leading and advertising anti-Communist
The local elites, whose privileged position was also threatened by
movements for social change, were the CIA's natural allies.(Agee, 3)
more in-depth examples, I will look at some covert operations in the 1980's.
Central America was a major focus of U.S. attention during the