NATO's Secret Armies
Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe
Routledge – 2004 – 336 pages
Series: Contemporary Security Studies
This fascinating new study shows how the CIA and the British secret service, in collaboration with the military alliance NATO and European military secret services, set up a network of clandestine anti-communist armies in Western Europe after World War II.
These secret soldiers were trained on remote islands in the Mediterranean and in unorthodox warfare centres in England and in the United States by the Green Berets and SAS Special Forces. The network was armed with explosives, machine guns and high-tech communication equipment hidden in underground bunkers and secret arms caches in forests and mountain meadows. In some countries the secret army linked up with right-wing terrorist who in a secret war engaged in political manipulation, harrassement of left wing parties, massacres, coup d'états and torture.
Codenamed 'Gladio' ('the sword'), the Italian secret army was exposed in 1990 by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti to the Italian Senate, whereupon the press spoke of "The best kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II" (Observer, 18. November 1990) and observed that "The story seems straight from the pages of a political thriller." (The Times, November 19, 1990). Ever since, so-called 'stay-behind' armies of NATO have also been discovered in France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Greece and Turkey. They were internationally coordinated by the Pentagon and NATO and had their last known meeting in the NATO-linked Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) in Brussels in October 1990.
'Much of this is appearing in English for the first time and it would be hard to overstate its importance.' - Lobster
Introduction 1. A Terrorist Attack In Italy 2. A Scandal Shocks Western Europe 3. No Comment From NATO, CIA And MI64. The Secret War In The United Kingdom 5. The Secret War In The United States 6. The Secret War In Italy 7. The Secret War In France 8. The Secret War In Spain 9. The Secret War In Portugal 10. The Secret War In Belgium 11. The Secret War In The Netherlands 12. The Secret War In Luxemburg 13. The Secret War In Denmark 14. The Secret War In Norway 15. The Secret War In Germany 16. The Secret War In Greece 17. The Secret War In Turkey Conclusion
Daniel Ganser is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. He studied at Basel University in Switzerland, at Amsterdam University (UVA) in the Netherlands, and at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in England. He has published on the role of the United Nations in the Cuban conflict, Switzerland's path towards the United Nations and Switzerland's position outside the European Union.