Deniable warfare is returning, there is simply no doubt about it.  And today’s versions appear to be (at least initially) far more successful than those of the Cold War era. That include Putin’s immense tactical success in the Ukraine and Crimea, with indications that he is going to be able to fully claim victory for both in the near future – that story is going largely unmentioned in the media, overwhelmed by political news of events in the United States and Europe.

I’ll be posting about it shortly, but along with other recent events, such as the totally successful and deniable air and missile strike against Saudi Arabia this fall, it illustrates that new tactics and practices of deniablity are definitely in play – with Africa once again emerging as a venue for deniable military action.

It’s been several years since I started my own re-investigation of American’s deniable warfare practices, most particular as pertained to its largest and most obvious failure – Cuba. Its been a highly educational experience, and once again I found that it was far more complex than the history books and anniversary media retrospectives have presented. To my surprise I found there were actually two failures of the project, one after some six months under Eisenhower, another another some seven months later at the Bay of Pigs.

I also found that the projects explicitly ordered by both presidents were not at all what the CIA actually delivered – which led me into a longer study of deniable action in general, seeking to discover whether the Cuba experience was an aberration. It also led me to compare the Kennedy administration’s deniable warfare projects with those of other American presidents as well as today’s actions.

The results of that study, as well as what is a new view of the Cuba Project of 1960/61, appears in my new book – In Denial / Secret Wars with Tanks and Air Strikes?   Among other things I think it is virtually unique in its level of detail presented in a military analysis of the Cuba Project and the failure at the Bay of Pigs.  If anything the true picture of that failure is actually worse than what its been pictured to be over the decades.

In Denial will be available in both Kindle and Print in April, 2020.  Its available on Amazon now for Kindle pre-order now and you can find it at:


2 responses »

  1. AnthonyM says:

    Interesting subject.
    Extremely speculatively, we might be seeing a further evolution of these sorts of deniable warfare strategies from the US side with the wave of protests (Venezuela, Lebanon, Iraq) that might be a extension of the strategies used in the colour revolutions. Of course that could only be working within the context of existing grievances.

    No wonder the Russians are testing their isolated internet!

    (By the way – think you are on the right lines with your JFK at risk post and the way the ‘names’ cluster so interestingly)

  2. larryjoe2 says:

    I’ve taken a look for some evidence of new US activities but if they are in play there is not much sign that they are either well organized or that much different from the very old school political warfare of the Cold War era….which generally means contacting purported regime opponents and giving them money and in some cases limited amounts
    of weapons and hoping they do something destabilizing. That certainly could be in play in Iran and Venezuela and would largely follow from individuals within the CIA simply following on behind the president’s highly public opposition to both regimes.

    At best that would be down at the most basic level of political action that I describe in Creating Chaos, the sort of thing that seems to be integral to all major powers pursuit of foreign policy. Of course one of the problems with that is that its so ingrained that even if its not actually concurring everyone suspects it.

    Given the chaotic, transactional and generally off the cuff foreign policy of the current US administration its hard to see any tightly organized or focused efforts in play – nothing comparable to the activities of Putin, of China or even of Iran, all of whom have long term and very focused goals in mind and who are pursuing them with great consistency and multiple new tools. Putin’s African outreach may be the best example of that, while the US backs out of the region in front of his and China’s initiatives.

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