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 which are then blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince allied governments of the need for counter-action.[1] It has been called the Westmoreland Field Manual because it is signed with the alleged signature of General William Westmoreland.[2] It was labeled as supplement B (hence "30-31B"), however, the publicly released version of FM 30-31 only has one appendix, Supplement A.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

The U.S. government describes the document as a forgery. The document first appeared in Turkey in the 1970s, before being circulated to other countries. It was also used at the end of the 1970s to implicate the Central Intelligence Agency in the Red Brigades' kidnapping and assassination of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro.[4]

History[edit | edit source]

An alleged appendix to F.M. 30-31 was first mentioned in the Turkish newspaper Barış (sometimes anglicized to Barish), in 1975.[7][9] 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.[10]

A facsimile copy of F.M. 30-31B first appeared a year later in Bangkok, Thailand,[7] and in various capitals of Northern Africa.[9] In 1978, it appeared in various European magazines, including the Spanish Triunfo and El Pais.[7][9] The January 1979 issue of CIA critic Philip Agee's CovertAction Quarterly produced a copy as well.[11] The Italian press picked up the Triunfo publication, and a copy was published in the October 1978 issue of L'Europeo.[7]

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.[12]

The “Westmoreland Field Manual” was mentioned in at least two parliamentary commissions reports of European countries, one about the Italian Propaganda Due masonic lodge,[13] and one about the Belgian stay-behind network. The latter says that “the commission has not any certainty about the authenticity of the document”.[14]

Authenticity[edit | edit source]

U.S. official sources, including the U.S. House Intelligence Committee,[5] and the U.S. State Department,[3] maintain that it is a forgery. A KGB defector testified before the U.S. Congress that it was a forgery of Soviet origin.[6] The Danish Defense Intelligence Service (DDIS) concluded in 1976 that the forgery was part of a disinformation campaign waged by the KGB.[8]

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, has stated it to be genuine.[1][15] 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".[16]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hugh O'Shaughnessy (1992-07-07). "Codename Gladio - has this secret network become a front for terrorism and the far-right?". The Observer. "Although doubt has been cast on the authenticity of the text, Ray Cline, a former deputy director of the CIA who joined US intelligence as a young man during the Second World War, has no doubt it is genuine." 
  2. Rowland Evans, Robert Novak (20 February 1979). "'Dirty tricks' by Russians seen as spur". Lawrence Journal-World. p. 4. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Misinformation about 'Gladio/Stay Behind' Networks Resurfaces" (Press release). United States Department of State. 2006-01-20. Retrieved 2007-06-24. "A thirty year-old Soviet forgery has been cited as one of the central pieces of 'evidence' for the false notion that West European 'stay-behind' networks engaged in terrorism, allegedly at U.S. instigation. This is not true, and those researching the 'stay behind' networks need to be more discriminating in evaluating the trustworthiness of their source material." 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Elizabeth Pond (1985-02-28). "The West Wakes Up to the Dangers of Misinformation". Christian Science Monitor. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "House Intelligence Committee Begins Inquiry Into Allegations of Forgeries". Washington Post. 1979-01-17. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 U.S. House. Hearings Before the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Soviet Active Measures. 97th Congress, 2nd session. July 13, 14, 1982.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 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.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Peer Henrik Hansen (2005). "A Review of: 'Falling Flat on the Stay-Behinds'". International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 19 (1): 182–186. doi:10.1080/08850600500332656. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Fernando Gonzalez (1978-09-23). "Top Secret, Documentos secretos del Pentágono (FM 30-31 B)". Triunfo. pp. 28–32. "Top Secret, Documentos secretos del Pentágono (FM 30-31 B)". Triunfo Digital. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  10. Savasta, Aysegul (2007-07-01). "KOD ADI: ST 31-15" (in Turkish). Birgün Gazetesi. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  11. Philip Agee. "The Mysterious Supplement B; Sticking it to the "Host Country"". CovertAction. pp. 9–18. 
  12. Department of Army, Headquarters (May 1961). "Collection of Army Field Manuals". Approved for public distribution. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  13. Template:It Commissione parlamentare d'inchiesta sulla loggia massonica P2 : Allegati alla Relazione Doc. XXIII, n. 2-quater/7/1 Serie II, Vol. VII, Tomo I, Roma 1987, pp. 287-298, quoted on Cyptome
  14. Parlementaire Commissie (1991) (pdf). Verslag van het parlementair onderzoek met betrekking tot het bestaan in België van een clandestien internationaal inlichtingennetwerk. Belgian Senate. pp. 80–82.  Template:Nl iconTemplate:Fr icon
  15. Allan Francovich (24 June 1992). Timewatch : Gladio - The Foot Soldiers. British Broadcasting Corporation. "Well, I suspect it is an authentic document. I don't doubt it. I never saw it but it’s the kind of special forces military operations that are described. On the other hand you gotta recall, that the defense department and the president don't initiate any of those orders, until there is an appropriate occasion." 
  16. Daniele Ganser (2005). NATO Secret Armies - Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. London: Franck Cass. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-7146-5607-6. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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