The CIA and the Soviet Bloc

Access to new archival material has enabled Dr Stephen Long to gain fresh insight into the early attempts of the CIA to use political warfare to disrupt and destabilise communist regimes in the Soviet Bloc.

“The Central Intelligence Agency was established by Harry S. Truman after World War II and it soon provided covert political and paramilitary support to further US foreign policy. The US had opportunities to interfere in the Soviet bloc, such as the East German riots in 1953 and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and failed to exploit them. Therefore, the Agency was not as effective in Eastern Europe, where the Soviet Union had established control, as it was in its other operations around the world."

“The accepted view is that the US believed in a post-World War II ordering of Europe which placed the East outside an American ‘sphere of influence’. However, what my new research shows is that the US did aspire to destabilise Soviet bloc regimes and sometimes even to overthrow them. But disorder prevailed over design in the planning and organisation of offensive intelligence operations during the early stages of the Cold War, and the period represents a missed opportunity for the US during the Cold War.”

Dr Steve Long


School of Humanities Research Seminar Series

The CIA and the Soviet Bloc , Wednesday, 19 November Waterstones.


Dr Steve Long (author, Senior Lecturer in Modern US Foreign Policy at CCCU); Professor Geoffrey Warner (Formerly Fellow in Modern History at Brasenose College, Oxford and Visiting Professor at CCCU); Professor Kevin Ruane (event chair, Professor of Modern History, CCCU)

This event saw the launch of the book, The CIA and the Soviet Bloc: Political Warfare, the Origins of the CIA and Countering Communism in Europe, written by Canterbury Christ Church University academic, Dr Steve Long.

The book features new archival material and a unique approach to unpicking the relationship between the CIA, the US government and the Soviet Union, shedding new light on intelligence, the Cold War, US diplomatic history and the history of twentieth century Europe.

Guest speakers for the seminar were Dr Long and Professor Geoffrey Warner, formerly Fellow in Modern History at Brasenose College, Oxford and current Visiting Professor at Canterbury Christ Church University. They discussed the key themes and issues of the book and also the implications of these findings for our understanding of early Cold War history. The event was chaired by Canterbury Christ Church’s Professor of Modern History, Kevin Ruane, who invited the audience to participate in a question and answer session. 


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:53:00