The case for political warfare: Strategy, organization & US involvement in the 1948 Italian election

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This article analyzes US intervention in the Italian election of 1948 and the influence of the campaign on attempts to formulate a comprehensive, coordinated strategy to defeat Soviet Communism. The approach, which looked to utilize ‘all means short of war’, was subsequently dubbed ‘Political Warfare’. Due to the improvised nature of intervention in Italy, the US Ambassador in Rome, James C. Dunn, played a particularly significant role through his efforts on the ground and in helping to encourage a ‘perception of victory’ that surrounded the final outcome. The campaign in Italy contributed to the core of an emerging Political Warfare strategy, but one that overlooked the crucial contribution of Italian actors, which in the long term compromised both Italian–American relations and US attempts at expanding Political Warfare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-329
Number of pages29
JournalCold War History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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