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CIA Covert Aid to Italy Averaged $5 Million Annually from Late 1940s to Early 1960s, Study Finds

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CIA covert aid to Italy continued well after the agency’s involvement in the 1948 elections – into the early 1960s – averaging around $5 million a year, according to a draft Defense Department historical study published today for the first time by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University. 

The study, declassified in 2016, focuses on the role of Clare Boothe Luce as ambassador to Italy, 1953-1957.   The author also concludes that the Eisenhower administration, faced with the possibility of civil war in Italy or the Communist Party coming to power legally, was "willing to intervene militarily only if the Communists seized power forcibly and then only in concert with other European nations."

Today's posted document was written by Dr. Ronald D. Landa, formerly with the State Department's Office of the Historian and the Historical Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  It is one of three draft studies he prepared for the latter office that were intended as chapters in a monograph on United States policy toward Europe during the Eisenhower administration.  The Archive will be posting the other two studies – on U.S. policy before and during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution – as well.

Read entire article at National Security Archive


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