Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to Operate Like a Spy: CIA Declassifies OSS Field Manual

Joseph Gould with TOOL mission trainees  - at OSS training field outside London, October 1944. - The OSS and the "London Free Germans" - The opening of the files of the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the end of the Cold War have enabled scholars to add new perspective to our understanding of World War II intelligence operations. Two decades ago, Joseph Persico’s Piercing the Reichused some of the declassified records to tell the story of the OSS’s daring infiltration of agents into Nazi Germany in the closing months of the war. One of the OSS officers who ran those operations, the late Joseph Gould, left a memoir that now adds texture and impact to Persico’s account and subsequent scholarship. The author of this article, Gould’s son Jonathan, has combined his father’s memories with the published literature—and with a startling twist from behind the Iron Curtain. -

The OSS, predecessor to the CIA, is often seen as the golden child of U.S. intelligence operations, where innovative and unconventional, organic solutions far outweighed the massive bureaucracy that plagues the U.S. intelligence community today.

Enter the OSS’s timeless field manual for successful sabotage, which lists out various ways the OSS, Jedburghs, and Allies defeated their enemies: the Simple Sabotage Field Manual.

As the CIA writes in their release of this field manual, “many of the sabotage instructions guide ordinary citizens, who may not have agreed with their country’s wartime policies towards the U.S., to destabilize their governments by taking disruptive actions. Some of the instructions seem outdated; others remain surprisingly relevant. Together they are a reminder of how easily productivity and order can be undermined.”

The Simple Sabotage Field Manual covers a number of topics, namely tips and tools for motivating saboteurs, the tools, timing, and targets of sabotage, how to encourage destructiveness, and specific suggestions for success in your operational pursuits of sabotage.

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