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Operation Valuable Fiend: The CIA's First Paramilitary Strike Against the Iron Curtain Hardcover – June 3, 2014
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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David Robarge, Chief Historian, Central Intelligence Agency
"[For the operation's dismal failure, h]istorians have blamed Soviet mole Kim Philby, who worked in British intelligence and knew of the operation, but Lulushi disagrees. His lively, detailed account of Hoxha’s viciously efficient intelligence service, the exiles’ terrible security, and CIA naïveté make a convincing case."Publishers Weekly
"[Lulushi's] is the most complete account to date and well worth close attention." —Studies in Intelligence
An important and well-researched account of one of the Cold War’s less known and often misunderstood clandestine operations . . . The book tells a lively and well-written if discouraging story. Any reader has a treat in store, and any student of the history of America’s role in the Cold War will find the book indispensable.”
Ambassador Frank G. Wisner, former ambassador to four countries, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs
In Operation Valuable Fiend, Albert Lulushi has done a splendid job in updating our knowledge of the clandestine activities that CIA and its partners conducted in Albania in the late 1940s and early 1950s.”
Nicholas C. Pano, Professor Emeritus of History, Western Illinois University
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Mr. Lulushi has written a splendidly researched book on one of the less famous episodes of the CIA's Cold War covert actions. He comes to remedy Nicholas Bethell's book "Betrayed" on the same subject, by examining previously untapped sources, dismissing almost totally Kim Philby's role in the whole affair.
Who were the key players in this operation? Where did they come from and how did their background influence their choices and actions durind the operation? What happened to them afterward? What did the agency learn -or not learn- from this failure?
These are only some points discussed widely in this book, which incorporates new material as well as interviews with sons and daughters of some key figures in this operation, which was the first one of its kind in the history of the CIA.
Unfortunately for the West, the whole operation was one of total failure for many reasons, as stated in the book. The CIA and MI6
did not accomplish the goals they set, because the Sigurimi, the Secret Albanian Police,and the KGB turned the tables on them and used and killed or captured agents for propaganda purposes for years to come.. The Albanians who took part in the affair suffered terrible losses. Dozens perished, and several more who were captured spent the rest of their lives in Communist prisons or hard labour camps. The regime uprooted their families and persecuted hem for decades, generation after generation.
Operation Valuable Fiend never developed beyond the reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering stage.The result of this experiment showed it was extremely hard to achieve the goal of overthrowing a Communist regime. Rollling back the Iron Curtain was too hard. Other operations, such as those in Guatemala and Iran were far more successful, but had eventually turned out to be preludes to disasters, since Guatemala sank into a civil war, while the Shah of Iran was run out of power in 1979.
The Albanian affair ended in 1954, when the CIA virtually abandoned all infiltration operations in Albania and dismissed the handful of Albanian agents still on its rolls in Greece.
The book, which has eighteen chapters, each one devoted to another sub-topic, includes maps and many hitherto unpublished photos. Highly recommended!
--Gregg Herken, Emeritus Professor of History, University of California