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NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe (Contemporary Security Studies) [Paperback]

Ganser Daniele
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

22 Dec 2004 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.

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NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe (Contemporary Security Studies) + Gladio, NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (22 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714685003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714685007
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'Much of this is appearing in English for the first time and it would be hard to overstate its importance.' - Lobster

About the Author

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cannot reccomend this book enough 30 Oct 2006
The world we live in is a dark, dark place. We think that it is relatively bright because we have become accustomed to the dark. We watch CNN and think what we are seeing is news. We hear officials speak and we think we are hearing candor. We have lost the ability to recognize that 2 pluss 2 equals 4. A spade no longer appears to be a spade.

This book is not a look into a hidden world that has recently been uncovered. It is not a look at an experiment gone wrong. It is a look at the world we live in. The inhuman cynicism and callousness that Ganser describes and documents in this book is the rule, not the exception. It can be found everywhere.

The information that is disclosed in this volume describes the tip of the iceberg. The icerberg that you and I inhabit. You are standing on it right now.

Read this book. Open your eyes.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are few archbishops in espionage 7 Feb 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
D. Ganser's book is frightening. He shows how a secret stay-behind network (Gladio) that should only become effective after a Warschaw Pact invasion of Western Europe, became an all important factor in Western politics, after the wealthy and powerful understood that their real enemies were the strong communist parties in Western democracies and the political parties of the left.

As John Prados says in his excellent introduction: `in country after country, Gladio influenced, violently or not, political processes through fear and terrorism. Police and security services protected perpetrated crimes and antidemocratic `state sponsors' created terrorist networks.'

It was everything except a benign game of play. In Italy alone, the strategy of tension was responsible between 1969 and 1987, for 14591 (not less) acts of violence with political motivation. There and elsewhere, bombs exploded in Bologna, Munich and Istanbul leaving hundreds of dead and crippled.

Other dirty `tricks' were torture, coup d'états, election fraud, assassinations, disinformation, provocation and false flag operations. In one word, a destructive spiral of violence.

This warfare planning group was linked to NATO, the Pentagon and the CIA and operated completely outside democratic control from the nationally elected legislators. It made a joke of national sovereignty.

A must read for all those who try to understand the world we live in.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By David
This book shows that since the war MI6 and the CIA have consistently flouted all that the word democracy stands for - stopping at nothing to promote the cause of rabid anti communism. Assassinations, bombings in public places blamed on communists, jerrymandered elections, suppression of free speech and lies presented to the press as facts are small beer next to engineering civil wars. Think of something despicable a government might do to further nefarious ends and the chances are one or other of the "security organisations" of either Britain or the US has carried it out. If you did not believe the CIA were capable of carrying out the demolition of the twin towers - this book could change your mind. The English is halting and would bear editing (The author IS Swiss) but the content is explosive. Order it from your library.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time To Wake Up 27 Aug 2006
If you wanna be truley informed about what has been happening around the world for the last 50 years, this is a very very good place to start, and if you wonder why you shold fork out £75 listed at the time I bought it, I have to say the info on "Operation Gladio" alone is well worth it! The reason for this high price is that they (they being the world powers behind things like Gladio) dont want people to read it.

If you truley wanna be informed, spend the money and read this book! you owe it to yourself!
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