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CIA’s Covert Operations in the Congo, 1960–1968: Insights from Newly Declassified Documents

FRUS, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIII
CIA’s Covert Operations in the Congo, 1960–1968: Insights from Newly Declassified Documents

David Robarge

From 1960 to 1968, CIA conducted a series of fast-paced, multifaceted covert action (CA) operations in the newly independent Republic of the Congo (Zaire today) to stabilize the government and minimize communist influence in a strategically vital, resource- rich location in central Africa. The overall program—the largest in the CIA’s history up until then—comprised activities dealing with regime change, political action, propaganda, air and marine operations, and arms interdiction, as well as support to a spectacular hostage rescue mission. By the time the operations ended, CIA had spent nearly $12 million (over $80 million today) in accomplishing the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations’ objective of establishing a pro-Western leadership in the Congo. President Joseph Mobutu, who became permanent head of state in 1965 after serving in that capacity de facto at various times, was a reliable and staunchly anticommunist ally of Washington’s until his overthrow in 1997.

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Posted: Oct 06, 2014 11:01 AM
Last Updated: Oct 06, 2014 11:01 AM