Operation Gladio (Italian: Operazione Gladio) is the codename for a clandestine NATO "stay-behind" operation in Europe during the Cold War.
Its purpose was to continue anti-communist actions in the event of a Soviet invasion and conquest. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organizations, "Operation Gladio" is used as an informal name for all stay-behind organizations, sometimes called "Super NATO".
The name Gladio is the Italian form of gladius, a type of Roman shortsword.
Operating in many NATO and even some neutral countries, Gladio was part of a series of national operations first coordinated by the Clandestine Committee of the Western Union (CCWU), founded in 1948.
After the creation of NATO in 1949, the CCWU was integrated into the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC), founded in 1951 and overseen by SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe), transferred to Belgium after France’s official withdrawal from NATO's Military Committee in 1966 – which was not followed by the dissolution of the French stay-behind paramilitary movements.
The role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in sponsoring Gladio and the extent of its activities during the Cold War era, and its relationship to right-wing terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the "Years of Lead" (late 1960s to early 1980s) and other similar clandestine operations is the subject of ongoing debate and investigation.
Italy, Switzerland and Belgium have had parliamentary inquiries into the matter.
2 General stay-behind structure
2.1 European Parliament resolution concerning Gladio
3.1 Gladio's strategy of tension and internal subversion operations
4 Gladio operations in NATO countries
4.1 First discovered in Italy
4.1.1 Giulio Andreotti's October 24, 1990 revelations
4.1.2 2000 Parliamentary report: a "strategy of tension"
4.1.3 General Maletti's testimony concerning alleged CIA involvement
4.1.4 A quick chronology of Italy's "strategy of tension"
184.108.40.206 1964 Piano Solo
220.127.116.11 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing
18.104.22.168 1970 Golpe Borghese
22.214.171.124 1972 Gladio meeting
126.96.36.199 May 31, 1972 Peteano massacre
188.8.131.52 November 23, 1973 Bombing of the plane Argo 16
184.108.40.206 1974 Piazza della Loggia bombing, Italicus Express massacre, and arrest of Vito Miceli, chief of the Army intelligence service and member of P2, on charges of "conspiracy against the state"
220.127.116.11 1977 Reorganization of Italian secret services following Vito Miceli's arrest
18.104.22.168 1978 Murder of Aldo Moro
22.214.171.124 1980 Bologna massacre
126.96.36.199 1982 murder of General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, head of counter-terrorism
188.8.131.52 October 24, 1990 Giulio Andreotti’s acknowledgement of Operazione Gladio
184.108.40.206 1998 David Carrett, officer of the U.S. Navy
4.1.5 The DSSA, another Gladio?
4.5.1 The 1980 Oktoberfest terror attack
4.5.2 CIA's documents released in June 2006
4.5.3 Norbert Juretzko's 2004 revelations
4.11 United Kingdom
4.11.1 General Serravalle's revelations
4.11.2 Column 88
4.11.3 The Guardian's November 1990 revelations concerning plans under Margaret Thatcher
5 Parallel stay-behind operations in non-NATO countries
6 FOIA requests and US State Department's 2006 communiqué
7 Politicians on Gladio
10 Gladio in Fiction
12 See also
14 External links