U.S. Army Field Manual 30-31B

U.S. Army Field Manual 30-31B is a document claiming to be a classified appendix to a U.S. Army Field Manual that describes top secret counter insurgency tactics. In particular, it identifies a "strategy of tension" involving violent attacks which are then blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince allied governments of the need for counter-action. It has been called the Westmoreland Field Manual because it is signed with the alleged signature of General William Westmoreland.[1] It was labelled as supplement B (hence "30-31B"), although the publicly released version of FM30-31 only has one appendix, Supplement A.[2][3][4][5][6]

Intelligence scholar Peer Henrik Hansen and the U.S. government claim the document as a forgery by Soviet intelligence services.[3][4][5][6] The document first appeared in Turkey in the 1970s, before being circulated to other countries. It was also used at the end of the 1970s to implicate the Central Intelligence Agency in the Red Brigades' kidnapping and assassination of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro.[7]


The first mention of the document was in the Turkish newspaper Barış (sometimes anglicized to Barish), in 1975.[5][8]

A facsimile copy of FM30-31B then appeared a year later in Bangkok, Thailand,[5] and in various capitals of north African states.[8] In 1978, it appeared in various European magazines, including the Spanish Triunfo and El Pais.[5][8] The Italian press picked up the Triunfo publication, and a copy was published in the October 1978 issue of L'Europeo.[5]

A wide range of field manuals, including 30-31, can be accessed through websites that catalog U.S. field manuals. However, 30-31B is not among the field manuals published by the military.[9]

The "Westmoreland Field Manual" was mentioned in at least two parliamentary commissions reports of European countries, one about the Italian Propaganda Due masonic lodge,[10] and one about the Belgian stay-behind network. The latter says that "the commission has not any certainty about the authenticity of the document".[11]

At a 1980 hearing of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Subcommittee of Oversight, CIA officials testified that the document was a singularly effective forgery by the KGB and an example of Soviet covert action.[12] According to Elizabeth Pond of The Christian Science Monitor, in discussing the relative effectiveness of "disinformation", "forgeries ... have been used by the Soviets since soon after the 1917 revolution."[7]


U.S. official sources, including the U.S. House Intelligence Committee,[3] and the U.S. State Department,[2] state that it is a forgery. Peer Henrik Hansen, a scholar specializing in Cold War intelligence and stay-behind missions,[13] also claims that the document is a forgery.[6]

The discovery in the early-1990s of Operation Gladio (NATO stay-behind networks) in Europe led to renewed debate as to whether or not the manual was fraudulent. According to Daniele Ganser who popularized the history of Gladio stay-behind networks, Licio Gelli, the Italian leader of the anti-Communist P2 freemason lodge told the BBC's Allan Francovich in the second of a three-part documentary, shown on BBC 2 on June 24, 1992, "The CIA gave it to me" and Ray S. Cline, "This is an authentic document".[14][15]

Ganser's work has been criticized by Western scholars.[16]


  1. Rowland Evans, Robert Novak (20 February 1979). "'Dirty tricks' by Russians seen as spur". Lawrence Journal-World. p. 4.
  2. "Misinformation about 'Gladio/Stay Behind' Networks Resurfaces" (Press release). United States Department of State. 2006-01-20. Archived from the original on 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2007-06-24. A thirty year-old Soviet forgery has been cited as one of the central pieces of 'evidence' for the false notion that West European 'stay-behind' networks engaged in terrorism, allegedly at U.S. instigation. This is not true, and those researching the 'stay behind' networks need to be more discriminating in evaluating the trustworthiness of their source material.
  3. "House Intelligence Committee Begins Inquiry into Allegations of Forgeries". Washington Post. 1979-01-17.
  4. U.S. House. Hearings Before the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Soviet Active Measures. 97th Congress, 2nd session. July 13, 14, 1982.
  5. U.S. House. Hearings Before the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Soviet Covert Action (The Forgery Offense). 96th Congress, 2nd session. February 6, 19, 1980.
  6. Peer Henrik Hansen (2005). "A Review of: 'Falling Flat on the Stay-Behinds'". International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. 19 (1): 182–186. doi:10.1080/08850600500332656.
  7. Elizabeth Pond (1985-02-28). "The West Wakes Up to the Dangers of Misinformation". Christian Science Monitor.
  8. Fernando Gonzalez (1978-09-23). "Top Secret, Documentos secretos del Pentágono (FM 30-31 B)". Triunfo. pp. 28–32."Top Secret, Documentos secretos del Pentágono (FM 30-31 B)". Triunfo Digital. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  9. Department of Army, Headquarters (May 1961). "Collection of Army Field Manuals" (PDF). Approved for public distribution. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  10. (in Italian) Commissione parlamentare d'inchiesta sulla loggia massonica P2 : Allegati alla Relazione Doc. XXIII, n. 2-quater/7/1 Serie II, Vol. VII, Tomo I, Roma 1987, pp. 287-298
  11. Parlementaire Commissie (1991). "Verslag van het parlementair onderzoek met betrekking tot het bestaan in België van een clandestien internationaal inlichtingennetwerk" (pdf). Belgian Senate: 80–82. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (in Dutch)(in French)
  12. "Operation Gladio - 1951".
  13. Informa UK (2006). ""Upstairs and Downstairs"—The Forgotten CIA Operations in Copenhagen: Author information". International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. 19 (4): 685–701. doi:10.1080/08850600500483715.
  14. Ganser, Daniele (2004). NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe (PDF). London: Franck Cass. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-7146-8500-7.
  15. Ganser, Daniele (2006). "The CIA in Western Europe and the Abuse of Human Right" (PDF). Intelligence and National Security. 21 (5): 776. doi:10.1080/02684520600957712.
  16. The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf Hayden Peake, CIA, April 15, 2007
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