Radio Free Europe

RADIO FREE EUROPE

The National Committee for a Free Europe was founded in June 1949 in New York. Radio Free Europe (RFE) was the broadcasting arm of this organization. The headquarters was established in Munich and it transmitted its first short-wave program on July 4, 1950, to Czechoslovakia.
Radio Free Europe's goal was not simply to inform their listeners but to bring about the peaceful demise of the Communist system and the liberation of what were known as the satellite nations (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria). Radio Free Europe attempted to fulfill these goals by serving as a surrogate home radio station, an alternative to the controlled and party-dominated domestic press.[2] RFE was a product of some of the most prominent architects of America's early Cold War strategy, especially those who believed that the Cold War would eventually be fought by political rather than miltary means, such as George F.Kennan.[3] American policymakers such as Kennan and John Foster Dulles acknowledged that the Cold War was in its essence a war of ideas. The United States, acting through the CIA, funded a long list of projects to counter the Communist appeal among intellectuals in Europe and the developing world.
Soviet authorities regularly attempted to jam RFE/RL broadcasts and these efforts did not end until 1988. From 1985 until 1993 the organization also ran Radio Free Afghanistan.
The collapse of the Soviet Union reduced the budget for RFE/RL: its headquarters were moved to Prague in 1995 and European operations were curtailed (save those of the South Slavic Department). However operations were expanded elsewhere; in 1998 Radio Free Iraq and a Persian service (Radio Farda) were started, in 1999 a service was started in Kosovo, and in 2002 Radio Free Afghanistan was restarted and the Persian Service was incorporated into Radio Farda. In addition, in 1994 the mission of the Board for International Broadcasting was transferred to the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

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