Edward Geary Lansdale
A son of Michigan, Ed Lansdale was born in 1908 and later raised in Los Angeles, California.He was one of four sons born to Sarah and Henry Lansdale.After graduating from high school, he worked his way through the University of California (Los Angeles) by writing articles for newspapers and magazines.He later began work in advertising in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.
At the start of World War II, Lansdale joined the U. S. Army Air Corps, where he was subsequently classified as an intelligence officer and seconded to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).Lansdale’s OSS assignment eventually took him to the Philippine Islands, but the timing and duration of this assignment are unknown.During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, U. S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Wendell Fertig led the primary resistance movement — but it may be true that Lansdale and the OSS played a role…
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Supplying guerrilla bases deep in the highlands behind the lines. An older but awesome documentary on the little known story of Air America. Good stuff. -NCS
“I was going to say, I heard you talking about John Brennan still having influence in the CIA, and I’ve got to reiterate that, and there is no question whatsoever about it, I can say as absolute fact that he’s got tremendous pull still in the CIA. 151 more words
By most accounts, America’s efforts to covertly train and supply moderate rebels in Syria aren’t going so well. Apart from the obvious (Assad is still firmly entrenched in power and continuing to receive ever-growing external support),The New York Times recently reported that some arms provided by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Saudi Arabia haven’t quite reached their intended targets. According to the report, some individuals in Jordan’s intelligence bureau — ostensibly partnering to funnel weapons to Assad’s opponents — stole weapons destined for U.S.-backed rebels and instead sold them on the black market.
This is not the first time an American-led covert operation has gone awry, and it certainly won’t be the last. Consider Operation Cyclone, the covert U.S. arms pipeline to the mujahideen in their fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s. Long held up as a success story in Cold War proxy warfare, the mujahideen – supported by the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia – fell on each other after the Soviets retreated, creating an environment where al Qaeda could later thrive. This White House is certainly no stranger to these lessons of history. During early debates on Syria policy, Obama commissioned a study on the CIA’s track record in covert aid that concluded such efforts seldom work.
What, then, is the rationale for U.S. policy in Syria? Why has the White House continued to draw on the tool of covert military aid despite its shoddy track record? Rather than praise or condemn the Obama administration’s approach, our goal is to shed light on some of the considerations that have driven what’s going on and why by drawing on ourown research on past covert aid programs. Our findings suggest that escalation dynamics and unique reputational concerns help to explain why the Obama White House finds itself stuck with a covert military aid program of questionable efficacy and impact.
Read the Remainder at War on the Rocks