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The US Army Field Manual 30-31B is an alleged classified appendix to a US Army Field Manual that describes top-secret counter insurgency tactics. In particular, it identifies a strategy of tension involving violent attacks blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince allied governments of the need for counter-action. It has been called the Westmoreland Field Manual because it had a signature from General William Westmoreland. It was labeled as supplement B (hence "30-31B"), however, the publicly released version of FM 30-31 only has one appendix, Supplement A, during the 1970s.

The U.S. government claims that the document is a forgery. The document first appeared in Turkeymarker in the 1970s, before being circulated to other countries. It was also used at the end of the 1970s to implicate the CIA in the Red Brigades' murder of former Italianmarker prime minister Aldo Moro.

History

An alleged appendix to F.M. 30-31 was first mentioned in the Turkish newspaper Barış (sometimes anglicized to Barish), in 1975.The same newspaper had announced the existence of F.M. 31-15: Operations Against Irregular Forces, the bible of the Turkish branch of Operation Gladio, the "Counter-Guerrilla", in a 1973 article titled "Şiddetin Kaynağı" ("The Root of the Violence"). The reporter who broke the news was allegedly disappeared before he could publish the details.

A facsimile copy of F.M. 30-31B first appeared a year later in Bangkok, Thailand, and in various capitals of Northern Africa. In 1978, it appeared in various European magazines, including the Spanish Triunfo and El Pais. The January 1979 issue of CIA critic Philip Agee's CovertAction Quarterly produced a copy as well. The Italian press picked up the Triunfo publication, and a copy was published in the October 1978 issue of L'Europeo.

A wide range of Field Manuals including 31-15 can be accessed through web sites that catalog the obsolete US Field Manuals, however, supplement B is not among the field manuals publicly released by the military.

Authenticity

U.S. official sources, including the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, and the U.S.marker State Departmentmarker, maintain that it is a forgery. A KGBmarker defector testified before the U.S. Congress that it was a forgery of Soviet origin. The Danish Defense Intelligence Servicemarker (DDIS) concluded in 1976 that the forgery was part of a disinformation campaign waged by the KGB.

The discovery in the early 1990s of the Operation Gladio (NATO stay-behind networks) in Europe led to renewed debate as to whether or not the manual was fraudulent. The former deputy director of the CIA, Ray S. Cline, believed it to be genuine. Licio Gelli, the Italian leader of the anti-Communist P2 freemason lodge bluntly told the BBC's Allan Francovich, "The CIA gave it to me".

References

  1. U.S. House. Hearings Before the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Soviet Active Measures. 97th Congress, 2nd session. July 13, 14, 1982.
  2. U.S. House. Hearings Before the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Soviet Covert Action (The Forgery Offense). 96th Congress, 2nd session. February 6, 19, 1980.


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