"CIA and Cold War Covert Action" with David Robarge, Chief Historian, CIA

David Robarge, Chief Historian of the Central Intelligence Agency, delivered a lecture on the use of covert actions during the Cold War.

October 07, 2019

CIA and Cold War Covert Action

Lecture by David Robarge, Chief Historian, Central Intelligence Agency, delivered October 3rd, 2019.

Covert action historically has been perhaps the most controversial and least understood function of the CIA. While all presidents since World War II have used covert action to try to influence the political situation in countries of interest to advance US national security interests, they sometimes have done so to rescue failing foreign policies, with exaggerated expectations of the prospects for success, without due attention to long-term consequences, or in ways that contradict the popular will in the countries targeted. Nonetheless, the CIA has had some notable operational successes, and public perceptions of covert action have been skewed by excessive attention to a small number of dubious undertakings.

This was a free and public event held at Columbia University on October 3, 2019. This event was organized by Prof. Victoria Phillips and sponsored by The European Institute, The Harriman Institute, and The Department of History.