National Clandestine Service - Approval of Clandestine and Covert Operations

Approval of Clandestine and Covert Operations

The Directorate of Plans (DDP) was created in 1952, taking control of the Office of Policy Coordination, a covert action group that received services from the CIA but did not go through the CIA management. The other main unit that went into the Directorate of Plans was the Office of Special Operations, which did clandestine intelligence collection (e.g., espionage) as opposed to covert action.

Approval of clandestine and covert operations came from a variety of committees, although in the early days of quasi-autonomous offices and the early DDP, there was more internal authority to approve operations. After its creation in the Truman administration, the CIA was, initially, the financial manager for OPC and OSO, authorized to handle "unvouchered funds" by National Security Council document 4-A of December 1947, the launching of peacetime covert action operations. NSC 4-A made the Director of Central Intelligence responsible for psychological warfare, establishing at the same time the principle that covert action was an exclusively Executive Branch function.

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National Clandestine Service - Approval of Clandestine and Covert Operations - Increasing Control By CIA Management
... the Director of Central Intelligence's responsiblity for the conduct of covert operations was further clarified ... NSC 5412 on March 15, 1954, reaffirming the CIA's responsibility for conducting covert actions abroad" ... from State, Defense, the CIA, and sometimes the White House or NSC, reviewed operations ...

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