Central Intelligence Agency - Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare
Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare was a tactical manual for the revolutionary written by the Central Intelligence Agency for the Nicaraguan Contras, who were involved in a civil war with the Nicaraguan government. It is disseminated by its surrogates among the "contras" - anti-Sandinista rebels- in Nicaragua. It caused a storm of controversy when it's existence was first revealed, and President Reagan promised a detailed inquiry. But only a few low-level employees of the agency were ever reprimanded, and the matter was then officially closed. The issue of the legality of United States involvement in the was in Nicaragua remains, as Joanne Omang, Washington Post correspondent, and Aryeh Neier, vice chairman of Americas Watch, demonstrate in their essays. The manual represents a way of thinking about the world that many Americans believed had ended in Vietnam. Yet clearly the belief persists within the U.S. foreign-policy establishment that we may impose our will abroad without undue political or moral consequences. The controversy created by this manual suggests that, on the contrary, the cost to the United States of illegal covert activity in countries such as Nicaragua may be very high.