Chapter 20 - Taking on the Intelligence Wars and the Soviet Espionage Threat

The Roots of Soviet Intelligence Operations and the Cold War. For the historical context that shaped Soviet Cold War intelligence operations, readers are referred to Chapters 1 through 6 on the roots, history, strategies, and key documents of the Cold War before Reagan’s presidency. Chapter 1 reviews America’s founding freedom faith, democratic constitutional system, civil rights progress, and role as a global beacon and indispensable supporter of freedom’s cause. Chapter 2 reviews the contrasting anti-democratic Marxist-Leninist ideological blueprint and its implementation through Vladimir Lenin’s permanent revolution, deception, and civil war on behalf of the Bolshevik Communist Party’s totalitarian regime.

Lenin’s use of ruthless intelligence operations and betrayals of the democratic hopes of the Russian people and Russia’s allies in the First World War, center on his wartime collusion with Imperial Germany and establishment of the totalitarian Soviet Union after his November 1917 coup against the Russian Provisional Government coalition that had forced the Czar’s abdication in March 1917 and was leading Russia on a democratic path. Soviet intelligence operations played a critical role in Lenin’s civil war to impose a Soviet police state with Communist power and political apartheid maintained by the Communist Party through monopolistic control of state power, property, and privilege. This absolutist Party rule in turn relied not on free choices and consent but on intelligence instruments using force, deception, class warfare, secret police, subversion, and terrorism against minorities, and international efforts to create a global Communist revolution against Western principles and institutions of human liberty.

The Kremlin’s Intelligence Apparatus—Cheka to KGB and SVR. A chief instrument of the Soviet state’s domestic and international terror, the Cheka, was created by Vladimir Lenin on December 20, 1917, days after his November coup. Headed by F. E. Dzerzhinsky, the Cheka’s full title was Vserosssiiskaya Chrezvychaino Komissia (All-Russian Extraordinary Commission) and it operated under various names in the eras of Stalin and his successors, abbreviated alternatively as GPU (1922), OGPU (1923), NKVD (1934), NKGB (1941), MGB (1946), MVD (1953), and KGB (1954). Similar to the role of Hitler’s Gestapo and SS, the Soviet KGB remained a pillar of Soviet repression and espionage until the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 under the full title of Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti (Committee of State Security). Russia’s current president, Vladimir Putin, is a proud KGB alumnus who still celebrates Dzerzhinsky’s and Lenin’s roles in promoting state terror and has continued its main elements as the Russian Federation’s SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki) or Foreign Intelligence Service). The military intelligence arm was the GRU (Glavnoye Razvedyvatel’noye Upravleniye), which continues in post-Soviet times as the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Lenin and Stalin. Beginning under Lenin (1917–1924) and continuing under Stalin, the Soviet intelligence apparatus was the Soviet Union’s chief instrument to conduct espionage, imprisonments, executions and the threat of the gulag labor/concentration camps directed against “traitors” and “class enemies” that included intellectuals, democratic socialists, labor organizers, religious believers, entrepreneurs, and non-Russian and non-Slav nationalities. Even after Stalin’s death in 1953, the KGB assured the Party leaders’ control of all aspects of life and society. Abetted by the Kremlin’s Communist International (Cominform) and the related military intelligence force (GRU), the KGB’s international network extended to the Soviet Union’s neighbors and throughout the globe. Soviet spies, “sleepers,” agents of influence, front groups and militant proxies in and from Moscow’s “Socialist Camp” of captive nations reached directly inside the Free World democracies and throughout the “Third World” nations.

The Soviet and Axis Totalitarian Model. Internal and external intelligence and counter-intelligence operations and so-called “provocations” were indispensable instruments of enforcing the Soviet Union’s Communist faith and political theocracy. Lenin, Stalin, and their successors established the model for the twentieth century’s totalitarian police state with gulags, iron curtains, and “killing fields” (as in Ukraine and Cambodia) to eliminate “enemy” classes and minorities and to close any democratic paths for their societies. From the Cheka through the KGB, especially under Lenin and Stalin, the Soviet intelligence apparatus was comparable in its role to the Gestapo (Geheime Staats Polizei, or Secret State Police) established by Hitler in his National Socialist German Reich and to the Imperial Japanese Government’s secret police organization before and during the Second World War. And as reviewed in Chapters 2 and 3, Stalin’s Soviet Union collaborated with both of the “Axis” totalitarians at important stages of the Second World War.

The Forgotten Early anti-U.S. Soviet Intelligence Legacy. The history of extensive Soviet intelligence operations and subversion began with the creation of the Soviet Union and includes early actions against the United States in the 1920s and 1930s—in spite of Soviet promises to President Franklin Roosevelt in the

[Book pg. 485]