To What Extent did the U.S. Engaged in Covert Actions in Chile

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In the 1960’s United Sates, economic interests in Chile represented an estimated 90% of the country’s foreign investments. The rise of an ideological Marxist coalition led by Salvador Allende immediately raise concerns among U.S. security advisors, policy makers, and U.S. and multinational private industrial corporations operating in Chile. In an almost instantaneous reaction from the U.S, Covert Actions in Chile begun in 1963 and were carried out thru 1974 under the executive authorization of three U.S. Presidents. Interesting, is that a Congressional investigative committee in 1975 did not find U.S. government directly involved in the Chilean government coup.

For the U.S. policymakers finding the proper balance between the management and the operating command structure was challenging, which poised the question: To what extend did the U.S. engaged in covert actions in Chile, and what if any bearing they have in future re-structuring of the leadership and accountability? What specific covert techniques were used in the operations? To answer those questions an analysis of some of the main U.S. political covert operations covering the leadership, management, and the envisioned result of the actions that consummated between the years of 1963 and 1974 is required.

Rising Communism in Chile

When U.S. covert actions in Chile began, Cuba was the sole communist regime in Latin America. The main strategic objective for operations in Chile was to prevent the emergence of another one. At the time, Chilean public support for their current government was merely moderate, supporting the case for U.S. political involvement in Chile. In addition, convincing the U.S. elites for a military intervention was very difficult speciall...

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...f the covert operations at the time, created friction among policymakers and agency representatives that transpire into inefficient oversight mechanisms from the U.S. government specifically the Congress.

Works Cited

David Hundt, Jaechun Kim. “Popular Consent and Foreign Policy Choices: War Against the

Philippines and Covert Action in Chile.” Australian Journal Of International Affairs 66, no. 1: 52-69. 2014.

Gustafson, Kristian. “Hostile Intent: U.S. Covert Operations in Chile, 1964-1974.” Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2007.

Peter, Kornbluh. “Declassifying U.S. Intervention in Chile.” NACLA Report On The Americas 6, no. 36 1999.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with the respect of intelligence activities. “Covert Action in Chile 1963-1973.” 94th Cong., 1st sess., S. Rep. 1975.
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