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  • Editor's Note

This issue begins with an article by Mark J. Gasiorowski discussing Operation TPBEDAMN, a covert action launched by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Iran at the beginning of the 1950s. Although the CIA was pursuing several operations in Iran at that time, TPBEDAMN was the largest and most ambitious. The dense network of operatives that had coalesced through TPBEDAMN became exceedingly useful for U.S. policy in the early 1950s after the new left-of-center prime minister in Iran, Mohammad Mosaddeq, vowed to assert national control over Iran's oil industry, which had long been run by the British. The U.S. government under both Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower initially sought to mediate the dispute between Iran and Great Britain, but over time U.S. officials became increasingly concerned about Mossadeq's intentions and apparent willingness to cooperate with the USSR. After Eisenhower authorized the CIA in March 1953 to overthrow Mossadeq, the TPBEDAMN network spearheaded the successful coup d'état against the Iranian prime minister in August 1953. The CIA has never officially released any information about TPBEDAMN, but Gasiorowski is able to provide a detailed account of the operation—the first such account to appear—by relying on interviews with officials who took part in the covert action and on archival research.

The next article, by Nikos Marantzidis, draws on declassified sources from several East European countries to document the crucial military assistance provided by the Soviet bloc to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) during the Greek Civil War in the latter half of the 1940s. Until recently, scholars had almost no reliable evidence about the weaponry and other assistance given to the KKE and Democratic Army of Greece (DAG) guerrillas by the Soviet Union and its East European allies. Newly available archival sources from Eastern Europe underscore how important the Communist states' military supplies were. If this external support had not been forthcoming, the KKE and DAG would have been incapable of mounting an insurgency.

The next article, by Michael H. Creswell and Dieter H. Kollmer, considers whether any of the three major theories of international relations (IR)—realism, liberalism, and constructivism—can adequately explain states' weapons procurement strategies during the Cold War. Creswell and Kollmer present a case study of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) from the time of its admission into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1955 through the early 1970s and the inception of East-West détente. The authors seek to determine whether the key variable associated with each theory—power (realism), preferences (liberalism), or ideas (constructivism)—is best suited to explain the FRG's armaments strategy. They find that all three theories shed valuable light on certain aspects of West German defense procurement, but none of [End Page 1] the three is adequate on its own. Hence, Creswell and Kollmer call for greater eclecticism with competing IR theories rather than settling for just a single framework.

The fourth article, by Robert Brier, builds on literature that posits a "Helsinki effect" associated with the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) signed in August 1975 by the United States, Canada, the Soviet Union, and 32 European countries. Scholars who subscribe to this notion claim that CSCE facilitated the end of the Cold War by establishing human rights norms and a review process that constrained the actions and policies of repressive Communist regimes in the Soviet bloc. Proponents of the "Helsinki effect" thesis vary in the causal mechanisms they highlight. To help clarify the argument, Brier focuses on the Workers' Defense Committee (KOR) in Poland, which was formed after unrest in June 1976 induced the Polish government to rescind price increases for food and other staples. Tracing the impact of KOR both inside and outside Poland, Brier maintains that the interactions KOR had with Western leftwing activists and politicians were especially important. In the past, leftist elements in the West had been willing to downplay or overlook human rights abuses in the Soviet bloc, but as a result of the contacts that emerged after CSCE was signed, the Western activists and politicians became far more inclined to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1531-3298
Print ISSN
1520-3972
Pages
pp. 1-3
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-11
Open Access
No
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