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General Walter Bedell Smith As Director of Central Intelligence, October 1950-February 1953 cover
  • ISBN: 9780271007519
  • ISBN10: 0271007516

General Walter Bedell Smith As Director of Central Intelligence, October 1950-February 1953

by Ludwell Lee Montague

  • List Price: $34.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Pennsylvania State Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 07/01/1992
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Ludwell Lee Montague's book is one of the first documents, along with Darling's history, to be declassified and made available under the CIA's Historical Review Program, launched in 1985. Montague was a leading government official during much of the early era of the U.S. intelligence community. He participated in the interdepartmental debate over the postwar organization of U.S. intelligence that occurred in 1945, and he drafted many of the policies of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) during this bureaucratic struggle. After President Truman rejected William Donovan's plan for a highly centralized intelligence community, the intelligence community was formed on the basis of the JCS's proposal. Montague drafted this plan, JIC 239/5, which was also the basis for the establishment of the Central Intelligence Group, the predecessor of the CIA. He served as General Smith's executive assistant when Smith was appointed Director of Central Intelligence in 1950 and was one of the original members of the Board of National Estimates. Montague argues that Smith was the first DCI with the skill and determination to implement the plan envisioned by JIC 239/5. This plan provided for a strong DCI who exercised authority over general intelligence community policy and the coordination of national estimates, but retaining the autonomy of the individual intelligence services in day-to-day operations. According to Montague, Smith's predecessors had failed. Souers was a caretaker. Vandenberg tried to gain total control of all intelligence operations, but was defeated. Hillenkoetter was indecisive and unable to press the case for centralization. Montague contends that Smith is so important to the developmentof the intelligence community that the history of the community can legitimately be thought of as "pre-Smith and post-Smith". The book focuses on the initiatives that Smith implemented in order to reform the U.S. intelligence community. which was under heavy criticism at the time for a series of intelligence failures. The reorganization of the intelligence community described here contains, with just a few exceptions, the predecessors of the major organizational components of today's CIA. This book serves as an important companion to Arthur Darling's book in that it provides both background material and Montague's opinion concerning how the latter came into existence. Most of this work survived the declassification process relatively intact to give us a detailed analysis of a critical period in the development of the intelligence community.
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Softcover. Fine binding and cover. Clean, unmarked pages. Ships daily.