This collection of around 150 pages of once-classified material sheds light on the ideological and operational origins of the now-infamous Operation Gladio. 'Gladio' is an umbrella name used by commentators and historians to refer to a series of small-scale covert armies active across Europe throughout the Cold War (1945-1990).
These secret armies were originally set up at the end of World War 2 in most NATO countries as a means of resisting Soviet military invasion. Their design was based on the resistance movements who fought against the Nazis in continental Europe during the Second World War. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS - later the CIA) and the Special Operations Executive (SOE - later MI6) were instrumental in establishing them. They consisted of a mixture of volunteers, ex-military men, paid-up spies of various state intelligence organisations and, ultimately, terrorists.
Starting in the 1960s, Western Europe was for two decades the main target of terrorist attacks. What these documents show is not only that the governments of senior NATO countries (primarily the US and UK) were the main instigator of this violence, but also why.
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