I joined the board of directors of the Office of Strategic Services Society in the late 1990s and have served as president of this charitable organization since 2002. Our mission is to honor the historic accomplishments of the OSS (the World War II predecessor to the CIA and the U.S. Special Operations Command), its successor organizations, and educate the American public about the importance of strategic intelligence and special operations to the preservation of freedom. We publish The OSS Society Journal, organize the annual William J. Donovan Award Dinner, have introduced legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the OSS, saved the OSS and original CIA headquarters from being demolished, and are planning to build a museum.
The OSS not only teaches us about the past. It has important lessons for the future. Adm. Eric Olson, USN (Ret.) wrote recently that America needs to “to overhaul our military and other levers of government to tackle complex and shifting threats … [and] rebalance our military forces to develop capabilities that are very different from the wars of earlier generations.” His solution is to revive “the approach of the World War II-era OSS. We need experts not just in warfare, but also in languages, foreign cultures, religions, global micro-regions and more.”