Operation Gladio – AIDA

Operation Gladio was a clandestine operation led by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in partnership with NATO and Western European intelligence agencies during the Cold War. Its aim was to create a network of anti-communist guerrillas in Europe and to prepare them for sabotage and guerrilla warfare in the event of a Soviet invasion. 


The operation was originally created in response to the threat of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe, but it continued well beyond the end of the Cold War in 1991, with some of its activities still ongoing. It has been linked to a number of terrorist attacks and political assassinations across Europe, including the bombings of Piazza Fontana in Italy in 1969 and the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986. 


One of the key features of Operation Gladio was its use of “stay-behind” networks, which were groups of armed and trained individuals who would remain behind in their respective countries in the event of an invasion by the Soviet Union. These individuals were trained in guerrilla warfare and sabotage techniques and were expected to carry out acts of subversion and sabotage behind enemy lines. 


However, it has since been revealed that these networks were also used to carry out acts of terrorism and political destabilization in peacetime. For example, in Italy, the Gladio network was linked to a number of far-right terrorist attacks in the 1970s and 1980s, including the bombing of Bologna railway station in 1980, which killed 85 people and injured over 200. 


In conclusion, Operation Gladio was a controversial and secretive project that had significant political and security ramifications for Europe during the Cold War. While its original purpose was to prepare for a Soviet invasion, its legacy has been one of politicized violence, terrorism, and controversy.







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