ZAMANAPULOV D.M. Organizing the Mechanism of Conducting the “Secret War” of the USA Against the Sandinista Regime of 1984


Democrit M. Zamanapulov

Postgraduate Student, Department of General History and International Relations

Kuban State University

Stavropolskaya St., 149, 350040 Krasnodar, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. In Russian historiography, the issue of the reasons for the beginning of the U.S. special operations in Nicaragua is a complex problem that requires careful development due to its importance as one of the elements of the confrontation during the Cold War. The scientific relevance of this issue is determined by the insufficient degree of its study. The socio-political relevance is related to the current military-political situation in the world in general and the actions of the United States in particular, which, as part of ensuring their national security, use special operations to achieve certain goals and objectives. An example of this is the U.S.-led special operation to destroy Osama bin Laden, during which the sovereignty of Pakistan was violated. Another example of U.S. special operations at the present stage is Washington’s support of the “proxy” forces loyal to it in Syria. Special operations conducted by the United States in Nicaragua during the first half of the 80s were in many ways the main tool for achieving U.S. state interests in this country. In this regard, it seems that a detailed consideration of the first attempt in the history of the United States to conduct a global special operation, which began with the program of supporting the anti-Communist forces “Contras” in Nicaragua, which was later funded by the illegal supply of American weapons to Iran, would be useful for the domestic scientific doctrine.

Methods and materials. In the course of the research, the historical-comparative method, the method of analysis and synthesis, as well as the system approach are applied. The study uses: 1) a set of unpublished materials on the special activities of the United States in Nicaragua, declassified in connection with the “Iran-Contra” scandal, and contained on the electronic website of the National Security Archive at the George Washington University; 2) published sources related to the Cold War; 3) scientific literature on the problems of U.S. special operations during the cold war; 4) memoir literature.

Analysis. This article analyzes the reasons that influenced the decision of the U.S. political leadership to authorize special operations in Nicaragua based on the documents and materials studied in the Iran-Contra Affair.

Results. The scientific development of the problems of the U.S. special policy in Nicaragua was observed back in the 80s in the USSR. However, it was conducted in hot pursuit, it was biased, considered a complex set of processes taking place in Central America from the perspective of the Marxist-Leninist doctrine, and did not take into account the American position, which made the scientific assessment of these events less complete and justified. New studies of this period take this factor into account, are based on new methods and previously unknown to the scientific community documents and materials that were declassified after the end of the Cold War. Results. In the course of the study, an attempt was made to highlight the mechanism for the development and implementation of U.S. special operations in Nicaragua. The author concludes that the use of the National Security Council personnel for special operations was conditioned by the need to avoid legislative restrictions of the U.S. Congress when implementing U.S. foreign policy in Nicaragua.

Key words: CIA, Central America, special operations, Boland amendments, secret war, “Contras”.

Citation. Zamanapulov D.M. Organizing the Mechanism of Conducting the “Secret War” of the USA Against the Sandinista Regime of 1984. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 77-89. (in Russian). DOI: 

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Organizing the Mechanism of Conducting the “Secret War” of the USA Against the Sandinista Regime of 1984 by Zamanapulov D.M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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