The communications revolution has been used for war and has generated conflict even as it has increased inter-national communications and understanding. The innovations of the nineteenth century became central to modern warfare.

One consequence of the new technologies was that they increased the scale and scope of political and military control.  All European states pursued these efforts to control communications in newly conquered territory.

The managerial revolution made possible by telecommunications also transformed the battlefield. Information was the key to consolidating and controlling warfare. Armies laid cables as they marched forward in the nineteenth century. Battlefields could be orchestrated by generals in the rear holding large amounts of information.  Field-marshall von Schlieffen, would direct the battle from a roomy office where telegraph, telephone, and wireless signaling apparatus are at hand.

The centrality of communication to national security meant that each communications technology became an arena of Great Power competition and rivalry. Telegraphy initially emerged during a period of relative Great Power peace.13 States were willing to allow this important medium of communication to be controlled by others (specifically by Britain, which also controlled the seas through which the cables were laid). But as Great Power rivalry reemerged in the latter part of the nineteenth century, competition in telegraph communications was one domain for that rivalry. The possibility of attacks on lines of communication, and the prospect of censorship and espionage, led France and Germany to build their own subsidized cable network


Communications reduce the reaction time of governments and increase the pressures on central decision makers. Rapid communications can exacerbate international conflict. Tensions anywhere around the globe get instantaneously transmitted and magnified and are more difficult to allay. Instantaneous communications reduce the diplomatic room for maneuver, make it difficult if not impossible to wait for the course of events, and increase the costs and certainly the visibility of the costs of conflict.


 Whereas communications technology had increased profits for financiers, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs during the nineteenth century as it lowered transaction costs, the same technology led to great efficiencies and increasingly effective strategies in ever larger wars in the opening half of the twentieth century.


Governments wanted to be able to keep secret their communications even as these forms of communication increased their ability to spy and gather information


The United States Sigint System (USSS) consists of the National Security Agency (NSA), military support units collectively called the Central Security Service, and parts of the CIA and other organisations. Following wartime collaboration, in 1947 the UK and the US made a secret agreement to continue to conduct collaborative global Comint activities. Three other English-speaking nations, Canada, Australia and New Zealand joined the UKUSA agreement as "Second Parties".


ITU and Cold war manoevres:

The management of the radio spectrum has been one of the most important activities of the ITU. International agreements for the use of the radio spectrum have been necessary because radio waves do not simply stop at national borders. Governments have viewed the spectrum as an international common resource. Without international agreements for the management of the radio spectrum, interference could spoil its use for all users.


The United States was particularly concerned about convincing the international community to set aside large blocks of frequencies for a planned global satellite communications system that would serve multiple national security objectives.


The nuclear standoff meant that some of the most important battles between the United States and the Soviet Union involved propaganda and symbolism rather than direct armed conflict. Geopolitical leadership was determined by a country’s ability to convince the world of its superior performance in advancing technology and science, especially for peaceful objectives


The United States succeeded in convincing the 1947 Conference to establish a new agency, the International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB), with a mandate to develop a rational allocation plan based primarily on engineering considerations and the true needs of individual countries.8 But these efforts to create an engineered spectrum foundered during the late

1940s and early 1950s as Cold War tensions escalated with the Korean War and other geopolitical crises. The Soviet Union viewed the IFRB as a threat to the nation’s sovereign use of radio frequencies.

 1959 at the World Administrative Radio Conference. The United States took the leading role in trying to convince the dozens of countries that belonged to the ITU to agree to reserve frequencies for space radio transmissions. This was a higher priority for the United States than the Soviet Union mainly because of the geographic differences between the two countries.36 The Soviets were less concerned about strict frequency assignments and radio interference because they could control the radio airwaves necessary for space operations over a much larger area compared to the United States. A satellite or space vehicle would simply spend much more time over Soviet bloc territory. The Americans were more dependent on other countries for tracking space vehicles. During the late 1950s, the United States established tracking stations in a number of countries, including Ecuador, Antigua, Chile, Peru, Australia, and South Africa. During the early 1960s, agreementswere extended to Spain, theUnited Kingdom,Nigeria, Mexico, and Zanzibar.

The United States needed international agreements for space frequencies especially because of the high potential of interference from a wide variety of domestic users in these different countries



Intelsat and the U.S. Separate System Policy

Intelsat was created in 1965 as part of a geopolitical initiative of the United States. The proposal for an international consortium for the commercial development of satellite communications came at the height of the U.S.-Soviet space-race.

 In a context of military, political, and technological competition with the Soviets, the creation of an international satellite communications system was a bold stroke. It offered other nations the benefits of improved international communications in exchange for their aligning themselves with the United States in the space race.

 Predictably, the response to Intelsat's creation divided along East-West lines. Europe, North America, and eventually many developing nations joined the United States in Intelsat. The Soviet bloc stayed out, creating its own satellite communications system, Intersputnik, instead.


Intelsat has grown from a single satellite in 1965 to a network of 14 satellites linking roughly 750 earth station antennas. Intelsat operates as a user-owned cooperative. By 1990 the Assembly of Parties consisted of 118 member nations with one vote each. A majority of the Assembly of Parties is required to ratify any major changes in the Articles of Agreement.


 Most countries have specified that their public telephone and telegraph (PTT) monopolies will act as their signatories. The United States created the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) to act as its signatory and, hence, owner of the U.S. share of Intelsat. COMSAT has the sole right of access to Intelsat from the United States. No other U.S. corporation may deal directly with Intelsat; Tv/Radio networks, and news organizations wishing to use Intelsat must go through COMSAT.


Organized as a global cooperative of the western world's telecommunications authorities, Intelsat developed satellite communications in a way that worked with, rather than against or around, each country's established telephone monopoly.

 In the words of a former attorney for COMSAT, the Intelsat organization "was built around a fundamental concern of sovereign [nations] to control foreign communications in the interest of their national security. . . . The Intelsat space segment [was] structured so as to preserve sovereign control of the link from the sovereign's territory to the facility's theoretical midpoint."(2)

 For the first 15 years of Intelsat's existence, the United States was a strong supporter of the idea that Intelsat should be the single global system for satellite communications. Through COMSAT, the United States argued that the Intelsat treaty's reference to a single global system committed the consortium's members to plan to meet all of their satellite communications needs through Intelsat. The United States advocated tight controls on the establishment of separate satellite systems by member nations, including a prohibition against systems that could cause significant economic harm to Intelsat.

 In the 1970s, however, U.S. telecommunications policy began to take a path that brought cold-war-era concerns about world leadership and a single global system into conflict with domestic trends favoring competition and diversity. 



Military security/National Security/Ideology & Propaganda

 What do you think counts as Propaganda?


Propaganda and ideology:


 Propaganda is not another term for ideology...


that they are different in theory and in emphasis; namely that ideology was focused upon an end/object:  the coherence and presentation of its critique of other ideologies and society and its vision of a better society…and if it got a large audience, so much the better,




propaganda is a process of persuasion by any means necessary – it does not have to worry about the coherence of the message and the arguments a la ideology. If a pottage of exciting images and sounds accompanied by the item/value that is being promoted AND it works – it persuades a mass of people to buy into it - then success. If it is fake news that is believed - then success...


  Equally we can look at the concept of mass society and its links to Propaganda – that is, esp from a sceptical European tradition that, the notion the emergence of a mass society where meaning attachments (class/community/status/traditions) are breaking down into the condition of anomie and detached individuals were open to adopting a new leader/messiah/life-plan.


 Thus alienated mass man is open to any old cult/faith/form of fascism so long as they re-gain a sense of purpose/meaning..and this is as true of stuff – goods –consumables in their lives as it is of new leaders. US notions of Mass Soc were more optimistic – that it meant they were flexible and open to new positive ideas about better future society and ways that could be shaped by well-meaning elites.


But whichever, propaganda - the recruiting of support for ideas and visions can be seen as a function of mass society, that is, people without firm structured reflexively grasped and maintained values and beliefs. (Is this right?)




Theoretical Models of the relation between Propaganda and Power

  Structural - centre-periphery (Russell/Dahl etc) -  based on counter-factual argument (A gets B to do what they would not otherwise do). Propaganda is action of an agent upon a mass population

  Post-structural: power is 'virtual' - a micro-physics - an analytics of power (Foucault)  - Propaganda is multi-dimensional struggle


The argument:

propaganda is a strategy of persuasion to a target population –

perhaps with core and periphery aspects –

seeking to inculcate into the population,

a positive image as well as a set of points (‘facts’) and beliefs

about a cause or group usually political or economic in character.


However, we have seen that prop is typically deployed as the function of a unitary voice (this OR that party) a weakened often non-rational audience i.e. those who have suffered from socio-political or economic trauma and are susceptible to less than benign influences of  siren anti-democratic voices

 or to an audience made non-rational by the acquisitive temper of the modern consumerist psyche. (i.e. victims of advertising)


 Whichever, propaganda seems to rest on a combination of unitary force and its audience. Inasmuch as the relation of power existing here is that of the dominant irresistible voice and the accepting receptive weaker mind we have the relation between propaganda and the syringe model of communications. Mass society theory posits the idea of the average mass man into who ears is dripped the persuasive tones of a singular ‘average’ message – one size fits all.


This approach to power is that of the A gets B to do what he would not otherwise do variety as well as being of the centre/periphery kind.


BUT…what if we were to take a rather more distributed, more post-structural theory of power – perhaps something like the idea of power that Foucault developed.

 Power as multiple and as an analytics rather than a theory  - that is to say, as a dynamic variable set of lines of force, utterance, statement, action that intertwine and bifurcate from all the other lines.


 Seeing power as a kaleidoscope which can stabilise around certain typifying features and issues only to break up into varied disputes. In other words there is no centre to power. Yet it is always-already underway and power is not a definite act but an effect of the totality of lines of force. It is a variable image.

Communications, Information, Democracy...Propaganda in the Cold war period


Article 19 of the United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN’s 1946 Declaration on Freedom of Information declared information freedom a “fundamental human right

 Post War consensus on the free flow doctrine weakened as U.S.-Soviet relations.

 Began to deteriorate  after the Soviet Union began jamming U.S. radio broadcasts directed at Russia in 1948. The Soviets, and their allies in the Eastern bloc, would continue to jam

Western broadcasts like the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Liberty Radio, for most of the Cold War.

 Freedom of information would become a flashpoint for international legal disputes between East and West, with the West promoting the free flow of information and the Soviets advocating the sovereign right of states to restrict it.  These struggles over information law and politics would take place across a vast range of international forums, including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), UNESCO, and the UN General Assembly.


Notwithstanding the West’s success in having radio jamming prohibited and the free flow doctrine recognized in numerous international documents and forums—  every ITU resolution from 1947 onward condemned radio jamming—did little to deter Soviet jamming activities.



Radio wars and Propaganda.

The partitioning of Europe after the war, the partitioning of Berlin and an aggressive stalinist soviet union who wished to draw more countries under its sway meant that western powers who were ideologically opposed to communism anyway and who were worried that post-war Euro communism might let in commie govts felt justified in forming 1949 NATO of course resulted in the soviet response of forming the Warsaw Pact alliance.

 Equally the Truman Doctrine set forth by the U.S. President Harry Truman in a speech on March 12, 1947 stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere was the first in a series of containment moves by the United States

 The ideological division between capitalism and communism as economic, political  and social systems would be crucible in which the cold war at the propaganda end would be fought. So the language of prop would be organised around peace, justice, democracy, freedom, humanity….each side claiming their socio-political systems best fulfilled these notions.


Warsaw Pact and NATO: Britain, France, the United States, Canada and eight other western European countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty of April 1949, establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The US, Britain and France spearheaded the establishment of West Germany from the three Western zones of occupation in April 1949. The Soviet Union proclaimed its zone of occupation in Germany the German Democratic Republic that October.

Along with the broadcasts of the BBC and the Voice of America to Eastern Europe,[a major propaganda effort begun in 1949 was Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, dedicated to bringing about the peaceful demise of the Communist system in the Eastern Bloc. Radio Free Europe attempted to achieve these goals by serving as a surrogate home radio station, an alternative to the controlled and party-dominated domestic press. Radio Free Europe was a product of some of the most prominent architects of America's early Cold War strategy, especially those who believed that the Cold War would eventually be fought by political rather than military means, such as George F. Kennan.

American policymakers, including Kennan and John Foster Dulles acknowledged that the Cold War was in its essence a war of ideas. The United States, acting through the CIA, funded a long list of projects to counter the communist appeal among intellectuals in Europe and the developing world. The CIA also covertly sponsored a domestic propaganda campaign called Crusade for Freedom

The Soviets, who had already created a network of mutual assistance treaties in the Eastern Bloc by 1949 established a formal alliance therein, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955


VoA had been created for reflecting American values and culture as  propaganda during the war but afterwards in a form of détente  with Stalin’s Russia, the VoA budget was slashed with strong feeling that  now the war had ended so should the propaganda efforts. However, it survived and by the nid-50s was expanded to present US culture around the world

 Programming was broadcast from production centers in New York and San Francisco, with more than 1,000 programs originating from New York. Programming consisted of music, news, commentary, and relays of U.S. domestic programming, in addition to specialized VOA programming

 In 1947, VOA started broadcasting to the Soviet citizens in Russian under the pretext of countering "more harmful instances of Soviet propaganda directed against American leaders and policies" on the part of the internal Soviet Russian-language media,”

1950 resumption of Arab service, and 1952/53 increased services to USSR and China

 If the Cold War is to be fought in terms of politics and not military then:

 The increasing anxiety in Washington and the general rising anti-c in the US prompted he formation of 2 radio services specifically designed to met the increasing society and eastern bloc threat at the ideological level.

RIAS – Radio in the American Sector (Berlin in 46) aimed at the german pop to counter soviet prop, May Day 1951 first proper brdc of Radio Free Europe, a station staffed by many exiles throughout it history was aimed at the satellite states and esp at Czecho as that was thought to be the EE state with the strongest orientation to democracy and therefore in the words of CD Jackson former operative in psy-ops in WW2 and now President of Nat Cmttee for Free Europe – sponsor of RFE- it may encourage defectors.

 What marks out RFE in particular is that it was unashamedly propagandist rather deliberately and sometimes in a rather rasping anti-commie tone, discuss, attack, criticise their target countries.

The aggressive tone was often the work of EE exiles who because of their exilic status and feeling against commies really went for it. Puddington’s study describes ones of their brodcsPeroutka’ as the brass-knuckles approach. Initially thinking that ‘in yer face’ anti-c would help contribute to a rapid implosion of a thoroughly nasty set of regimes, RFE and RL both had to calm down and had to accept that they were in for the long haul much as was the soviet bloc itself.

 The people who were in the founding committee of RFE/RL such as George Kennan, Allen Dulles, and Frnak Wisner amongst others had ties to each other from university as well as from their days in the military and their links to each other as senior advisers in govt – in the case of Dulles, his bro was Sec Of St – the latter seeing the state of affairs as one in which Western Civilisation is on the defensive.

 Trumanin a speech called ‘Project Truth’ condemning society use of propagandas – deceit distortion lies, he said: “We must use every means at our command, private as well as governmental to get the truth to other peoples.” The NSC in a documents referred to the need to foster a change in the soviet system.

 The point here is that those who set up the operation were part of a US/State approach to Truman containment doctrine of which the a/c prop of RFE was a part. They took a globalising approach to Cold War politics and not an ideologico-intellectual or basic anti-Commie approach for the home audience as did the nascent neo-Cons stuff.

  Their mindset was very much part of a govt/admin high politics – centrally organised initiatives as such they were not concerned with notions of folksy America firster hearth and home ordinary folks notions. And RFE/RL reflected that.

 fRFE knew of named person as having done terrible things to people in the East then they would name and shame them RFE was described as a citiens adventure in the field of psychological warfare.

RFE was a radio stations for Eastern Europe nations, Radio Liberty was the same kind of operation but aimed explicitly at the Soviet Union.





Crusade for Freedom – In line with the aggressive and covert aspect of radio prop one of t more peculiar episodes was CFF.


In Oct 1950 a replica of the Liberty Bell – the Freedom Bell was displayed in West Berlin apparently paid for bya new org called the Crusade for Freedom aiming to raise funds for RFE.

Ike had announced the formation of Crusade FF in a national address and US citizens gave their dollars to support. It ringing in Berlin was broadcast across Europe by various radio network and of course it was designed to annoy the soviet who naturally condemned it. Though it did not really raise much of the money required to fund RFE as that was secretly done by the CIA, what it did do was to get ordinary US citizens involved in the ideas of anti-communism. The government itself was funding the fund raising efforts of the CFF!



Support RFE and RFA Cold War CIA Broadcasting: The Crusade for Freedom & the Birth of Radio Free Asia


 Strangely the actual relationship between McCarthyism and the CIA/govt org of the a/c radio stations and prop did not particularly touch. In part this was a reflection of the fact that McC was concerned with subversives at home and not going for Depts of state – which would have perhaps been biting off more than could chew


Despite this RFE though not as much as VoA came under fire usually individual brdcs who were vulnerable as they were usually exiles and thus ultra McCarthyites could easily accuse them of being commie as the ultra Fulton Lewis was want to do-calling one RFE broadcaster a Stalinist collaborator and another ‘one of the greatest mass murderers in history’ which takes them into the realm of the shock jocks of today on Fox news. 1958-60. Oddly Lewis picked up the story that RFE was a CIA front and told his millions of listeners about it, but somehow it never really struck a chord. That would be noticed out in 1968


Often the was a case of one excitable exiles accusing another one via selling a ling to an Ultra McCarthyite type in some other media outlet.


Radio Moscow:

Begum in 1922 RM was the man radio service of the USSR that broadcast targeted programmes across the globe using high powered signals that ensured clear broadcasting. 1941 in 21 languages and 1951 2094 hrs p.w. in 80 langs. Almost equal to VOA RFE and RL combined.


RM used: openly identified source, and is characterized by gentler methods of persuasion than black propaganda (which purports to come from the opposite side to that which actually produced it) and grey propaganda (which has no identifiable source or author).


CIA monitoring late 40s and 50s saw it as prop via themes of Peace, peoples democracy, welfare based justice, anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism.



Culture, Propaganda and the CIA

 In many ways the strategy for Cultural propaganda esp that funded by the CIA was to engage in non-propaganda  that is to say, covertly fund the production and exhibition of cultural works – literature, music, art, intellectual debate that holds to an art for arts sake idea  the classic liberal position that distinguishes it from the agit prop view of the soviets or from Gramsci’s idea of culture as either being on the side of the hegemony or the counter-hegemony.


The key agency hat was CIA funded was the Congress for Cultural Freedom which emerged in 1950 holding its inaugural conference in…West Berlin.


Key to the idea of the true intellectual rather than one at their party’s call were the ideas of dependence from politics and commitment to you art so tat it does not pander to popular taste. Thus elitism and a kind of isolation from the world sets up a image of the pure artist untainted..


The participants in Europe and the US within the CCF were when they realised untroubled by the propagandistic aims of CCF, the took the position of Gramsci’s traditional intellectual which saw herself as doing honest work if they were left to express themselves how they wanted.

Arthur Schlesinger one of the great post-war US historians and writer who was aware of CCFs link to CIA argued that is was right because culture fostered a sense of belonging to their society in a critical liberal fashion and this opposed the meaninglessness of obedience to the state found in soviet style socs.


The Congress for Cultural Freedom functioned as a clandestine endowment for the arts that promoted cultural, intellectual, and artistic endeavours “in the West, for the West, in the name of freedom of expression” (p. 2). The CIA pumped tens of millions of dollars into the Congress for Cultural Freedom and related projects, making the  agency, “America’s Ministry of Culture” (p. 129). The Congress maintained offices in thirty-five countries and employed dozens of persons, including writers, poets, artists, historians, and scientists. It published over twenty prestigious magazines, held art exhibitions, owned a news and feature service, organized high-profile international conferences, and sponsored public performances by musicians and artists.


Saunders details CIA funding and promotion of a long list of noted intellectuals including Melvin Lasky, Isaiah Berlin, Sidney Hook, Dwight MacDonald, Hannah Arendt, Vladimir Nabokov, Arthur Koestler, Raymond Aron, George Orwell, and many others.


Among the magazines funded by the agency were Survey, Preuves, Der Monat, Partisan Review, and the highly respected Encounter. She also shows how the CIA covertly funded and distributed hundreds of books. For example, the influential compendium of liberal anti-Stalinist confessions, The God That Failed, “was as much a product of intelligence as it was a work of the intelligentsia”



The CIA also promoted traditional art forms. It subsidized symphonies, art exhibits, ballet performances, theater groups, operas, and jazz musicians to undermine the negative stereotypes prevalent in Western Europe about the cultural barrenness of the United States. Working in cooperation with the Museum of Modern Art, the CIA also promoted Abstract Expressionist painting as a counter to Socialist Realism and explicitly political art. To fund the cultural Cold War, the CIA maintained an  elaborate network of dummy foundations, which were created expressly for the purpose of channeling CIA funds into various covert projects. Many of these foundations existed only on paper. The Fareld Foundation, for example, was a CIA front that became the principal conduit for CIA subsidies to the Congress for Cultural Freedom.


Other foundations that served as conduits for CIA funds included Ford, Rockefeller, and J. M. Kaplan. CIA money also flowed through Time, Inc., the Metropolitan Opera, the Museum of Modern Art, Harper & Row, theModern Languages Association, and the American Council of Learned Societies.


Beyond the mere act of subsidizing artistic creations the CIA also worked to influence the content of cultural products shipped overseas. For example, CIA agent Carleton Alsop worked undercover to introduce specific themes into Hollywood films and to remove images that might evoke a negative response abroad. In two examples Alsop convinced casting directors to mute racial stereotypes in their pictures by including “well dressed negroes” as part of the American scene. At Alsop’s request, blacks were planted in crowd scenes in the Jerry Lewis comedy “Caddy.” Saunders comments sarcastically: “At a time when many ‘negroes’ had as much chance of getting into a golf club as they had of getting the vote, this seemed optimistic indeed” . A more blatant case of CIA manipulation of film content occurred with the animated cartoon film of Orwell’s Animal Farm.

The agency rewrote the ending of the ªlm to mute Orwell’s symbolic connotation of capitalist exploiters and Stalinist revolutionaries. These examples aside, the extent of CIA control over the intellectual freedom of the authors and artists on its payroll is unclear. The CIA exerted tight political control over the intellectual agenda of the writers and artists it subsidized, but she offers scant evidence to support this conclusion. One example of outright censorship—that of an article submitted by Dwight MacDonald attacking American mass culture and materialism—though the CIA intervened to remove founding members Melvin Lasky and Arthur Koestler from their official positions in the organization’s leadership. Wisner personally intervened to remove Lasky.


Koestler was sidelined for being too passionate in his anti-Communism; the CIA believed that a moderate tone was needed to “win over the waverers”.  In general, however, the CIA mostly provided the funds, not the ideas. The agency preferred to subsidize ideas rather than censor them. Still, regardless of the degree of intellectual freedom afforded the artists subsidized by the agency, it is clear that the CIA operatives who ran the programs saw themselves as propagandists involved in a war of ideas. CIA operatives spoke frankly about harnessing the energies of “intellectuals who were disillusioned, [or] who could be disillusioned” with Communism. The Congress for Cultural Freedom and numerous other intellectuals, artists, and non-profit foundations were described by CIA operatives as “propaganda assets”. Tom Braden, who ran the CIA’s International Organizations Division, was unapologetically vocal in defending the agency’s mission to support the non-Communist left—as his 1967 article “I’m Glad the CIA Is Immoral”