General Walter Bedell Smith as Director of Central Intelligence, October 1950–February 1953
This book continues the official history of the CIA begun in Arthur Darling's The Central Intelligence Agency.
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 who participated in the interdepartmental debate over the postwar organization of U.S. intelligence that occurred in 1945. He drafted many of the policies of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during this bureaucratic struggle, including JIC 239/5, the plan that 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.
Montague contends that Smith is so important to the development of 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 failure. 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 Darling's study 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.
Declassified under the Historical Review Program the CIA authorized in 1985, this inside account by Montague, once the executive assistant to CIA director Walter Bedell Smith, tells how the modern intelligence community was established and expanded after WW II. Montague reveals how Smith, named the CIA's fourth director in 1950, defined the agency's role and responsibilities and reorganized it in light of mounting Soviet subversion and the outbreak of the Korean War. Montague, who died in 1972, also discusses Smith's still-reverberating reputation as the CIA's resident "ogre," arguing that his irritable impatience was a managerial technique meant to masked an essentially kind nature. The study sheds considerable light on the birth of the modern national security state. Montague participated in many of the events chronicled here. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. In this second recently declassified in-house history of the detailed workings at the upper levels, Montague demonstrates that Smith's ability to reorganize and take control made him the CIA's genuine founder. Montague, an intelligence officer who completed this important account in 1971, continues the description initiated by Arthur Darling's The Central Agency: An Instrument of Government, to 1950 ( LJ 11/15/90) and is critical of Darling's work as well as of Smith's predecessors, the first three directors. For specialists only.- Ron Christenson, Gustavus Adolphus Coll., St. Peter, Minn.Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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