We are going to put reviews on the back, but this is what the book is about: The ongoing conduct of officially deniable military action across the globe during four decades of the Cold War, from Tibet and Laos to Cuba and into Africa in the Congo and Angola. Its resurgence in the 21st Century, with new justifications, new sponsors and new tactics.
National leaders turn to secret and deniable military action in order to avoid the political challenges – and consequences – of officially and openly ordering military action. It is a constant temptation, offering the intervention without the risk of combat losses or major economic impact.
Experienced military personnel may be used in such actions – if they are covertly detailed to secret projects, detached from regular service or released to work as “contractors”. But in pursuit of official
deniability, actual combat - with its casualties and collateral damage – must be left to indigenous volunteers or to the contract employees.
In Denial explores how deniable military actions were conducted during the Cold War, the challenges of command and control in secret warfare, and the reality that deniable military action was never abandoned, even while repeatedly failing in both its political and military goals.
That exploration digs deeply into one of the most dramatic and highly public failures of ostensibly deniable military action – the American effort to oust the regime of Fidel Castro, from its beginning under President Eisenhower to the eventual disaster of the Bay of Pigs amphibious landings. In Denial provides an in depth examination of the propaganda, political action, and military elements of the separate phases of the 14 month long Cuba Project – examining and detailing key elements of its two separate failures, with the first some six months prior to the Bay of Pigs. In doing so it offers dramatic new insights into the causes and responsibilities of both failures.
There were lessons learned at the Bay of Pigs, but driven by political
pressures they proved to be short lived in actual practice. In Deniable traces those practices from the Kennedy Administration onwards – and in a new century examines how covert military action has reemerged, in pursuit of regional political and economic sovereignty. Covert military action pursued by regimes in Russia, China and Iran. In doing so it deals with the question of whether certain new practices of secret warfare – seemingly effective by comparison – will actually prove to be more successful, or only prove to have delayed consequences.