Office of Policy Coordination
|Office of Policy Coordination|
|Successor||CIA/Directorate of Plans|
|Founder||United States National Security Council|
|A forerunner of the CIA, "staffed by reckless adventurers"|
OPC was created in 1948 under the United States National Security Council document NSC 10/2. The OPC's directors included representatives of the State and Defense departments and the CIA. Though a unit of the CIA, the OPC Director reported to the State Department. State Department official George F. Kennan was the key figure behind OPC's creation and he invited James Burnham to lead the semi-autonomous "Political and Psychological Warfare" division.
The OPC “became the fastest-growing unit within the nascent CIA,” historian Lisa Pease observes, “rising in personnel from 302 in 1949 to 2,812 in 1952, along with 3,142 overseas contract personnel. In the same period, the budget rose from $4.7 million to $82 million.”
One of the first covert operations conducted by OPC was to spread unrest in Communist countries. To that end, OPC agents went into Albania where they tried to start a revolution. Their operation was a dismal failure and most of the agents were captured. It was later claimed that Kim Philby, was responsible for identifying many of the OPC agents to the Albanian secret service.
Incorporation in the CIA