Abstract

The Planning Coordination Group (PCG) was a nondepartmental government organization created in March 1955 by the Eisenhower administration to generate new ideas and coordinate U.S. political warfare activities aimed at exploiting S viet and East European vulnerabilities. The PCG's demise six months later reflected the continuing problems encountered by the new national security bureaucracy in waging political warfare. The PCG's agenda showcased the Eisenhower administration's efforts to attack Communism and secure freedom in a world in which the number and destructiveness of nuclear weapons were gr wing rapidly. At the same time, the PCG's history illustrates that “aggressive” Cold War policies had not been completely dismissed by the Eisenhower administration, a situation that contributed to the “conflicting approaches” strategy it pursued in 1955 and 1956 and the contradictions that adversely affected its policies in Eastern Europe. Finally, this article highlights Dwight Eisenhower's unwillingness to back his rhetorical support for psychological warfare with consistent action.

Note

The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S.government.

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