For første gang skal forskning fokusere på NATOs såkaldte "hemmelige hære", og forklare begrebet af Stay-Behind netværkene ved at kaste lys på arkitekturen af samarbejdet som støttede disse netværk. Studiet belyser den fortsatte "kriminalisering" af Stay-Behind netværkene siden 1990'erne, til dels som et resultat af den ekstreme forvirring i den offenlige meningsdannelse omkring disse strukturer som blev etableret ved slutningen af 2. Verdenskrig, og på grund af mangel på viden om hvordan NATO opererer såvel som dets efterretningskapaciteter.

Stay-Behind netværkene var først en løsning som dukkede op som følge af de lektioner som blev lært af Europæiske stabschefer under konflikten. works were first a solution that emerged from the lessons learnt by the European Chiefs of Staff during the conflict. Derfor dukkede en fransk-britisk model op i nordvesteuropa, som sigtede på efterretningsarbejde og infiltration/exfiltration af agenter, istedet for nogen forsøg på sabotage eller guerilla krigsførelse. Det var ganske anderledes end de netværk som blev udviklet af amerikanerne i Tyskland og Italien som var mere handlingsfokuserede. Et forsøg på at kombinere de to koncepter blev gjort af Clandestine Planning Committee (den illegale planlægningskomite), en struktur som bragte NATOs efterretningsvæsner sammen, men det [forsøget] lykkedes ikke; denne fiasko invaliderer til en vis grad ideen om "NATOs hemmlige hære". Ja, de pågældende stater fandt sig i meget forskellige geografiske situationer og var konfronteret med specifikke nationale politiske krisesituationer.


Kommentar: Denne artikel er delvis oversat til dansk af Sott.net fra: The Stay Behinds: The truth regarding NATO's "secret armies"


The difficulty in understanding the notion of the Stay-Behind networks results from the way revelations about the Italian network were released, leading to a series of press investigations that purported to show the collusion of these networks with the Italian far-right. Such a story was an attractive explanation, but it was far from the truth. Indeed, there never was any such collusion. In order to understand these clandestine structures, one must first take into account the geopolitical contingencies that existed at the end of the Second World War.

They thus took action according to their means and their objectives, which restricted NATO-level coordination between the intelligence services involved in the Stay-Behind networks.
It was at the heart of the Western European Union (WEU) and not NATO that the intelligence services of Great Britain, France, Benelux and Scandinavia hid the existence of the Western Union Clandestine Committee. This body was not aimed at coordinating but rather supporting the establishment of Stay-Behind networks. The United States received a makeshift role, but they continued to run networks they had founded in Germany and Italy in their own way, that served US objectives. At the heart of NATO, they sought to turn the Clandestine Committee into a coordination center, but the intelligence services of Northern and Western Europe in return presented an Allied Coordination Committee, aimed at exchanging best practices with regard to member state Stay-Behind networks.

Though they managed to preserve the initial concept that combined intelligence, infiltration/exfiltration and action, they however failed to stop NATO from developing a new concept, that of the Special Forces. This shift can be explained by the growing influence of the Americans within the integrated military organization and their desire to prepare the fight against the Warsaw Pact. But this evolution would not always be of concern for the United Kingdom, France, Benelux and the Scandinavian countries. These countries were to be impacted by the reduction in US funding for the Stay-Behind program as of 1965 and they would have to undergo the consequences of the revelations, first revealed by Soviet spies, then by the media, that would lead to the gross misunderstandings surrounding the Stay-Behind concept.

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PhD in Contemporary History and International Relations, a former auditor with the National Defence Institute of Higher Education (IHEDN), Gérald Arboit is director of research at the French Center for Intelligence Research (CF2R) and teaches at various French universities (Colmar, Strasbourg, Metz).