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

1933 Roosevelt-Litvinov Agreement on U.S. diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union (see Chapter 3). This history is little known or studied today in spite of its core significance in shaping the Cold War. This history includes use of Soviet diplomatic trade missions and media representatives to fund and direct American Communist Party officials and sympathizers to influence and spy on U.S. officials, labor movements, commercial businesses, movies, other organizations, and the U.S. government itself. The Soviet Union’s damaging intelligence efforts during and after the Second World War (see Chapter 4) include abuses of the U.S. lend-lease assistance program; deceptions at the Yalta Conference and the Potsdam Conference; theft of U.S. nuclear technology; sabotage of West European democratic labor unions and parliaments; and other subversion that was once well known. The Soviet Union far outdid the Nazis and the Japanese in successfully utilizing agents of influence and spying on the United States through individuals like Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss and others used to subvert the United States during and after the Second World War.

Post-Second World War: Stalin’s International Aggression, Espionage, and “Active Measures.” Stalin’s violations of international agreements undertaken with the U.S. and other democratic allies during and after the Second World War are important points of Cold War history (Chapter 4). These violations include the Red Army’s forcible take-over of Eastern Europe and installation of Kremlin puppet leaders brought in from Moscow to the capitals of Eastern Europe; crises in Berlin; war in Korea, and extensive spying by Klaus Fuchs, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and other Soviet agents to gain U.S. nuclear secrets. By 1950, President Harry Truman’s NSC–68 on U.S. national security strategy for the Cold War included substantial U.S. intelligence efforts to take on rampant Soviet espionage, deception, influence operations, and other “active measures” and to support anti-Communist resistance movements behind the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain.

Perspective on the 1950s through 1970s. Most U.S. commentaries negatively emphasize U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy’s short-lived and Congressionally-censured early 1950s efforts to expose Communist spies and agents of influence, and also point to the anti-Communist rhetoric of the Dulles brothers, President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and CIA Director Allan Dulles. They are often presented as together somehow comparable threats to U.S. society as the aggressive Soviet intelligence operations against U.S. and global democracy. Yet, Soviet imperialism was on the march and the Soviet strategic nuclear threat was expanding rapidly. Meanwhile Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Western Allied leaders largely stood by as Soviet tanks smashed anti-Communist popular uprisings in East Germany (1953), Hungary and Poland (1956), as Fidel Castro declared himself a communist and eliminated his democratic coalition partners after 1959, and as the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. U.S. intelligence operations and diplomacy against Soviet espionage and “active measures” were increasingly neglected. By the 1960s the U.S. focused more on the implications of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and Soviet weapons developments. By the mid-1970s, the Soviet threat had increased substantially while U.S. intelligence strengths and diplomatic leverage drastically eroded under Congressional cuts and restrictions (see Chapter 5) and U.S. diplomatic self-censorsihp about Soviet deceits. The United States and its Free World allies increasingly failed to take on Moscow’s KGB and GRU intelligence “center” and its networks of agents focused on military, technological, and policy targets, including democratic organizations, causes and nations.

The Global Soviet Intelligence Apparatus and Counter-Intelligence State. In the 1970s, many in the West no longer understood that Soviet propaganda claims about the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,” “People’s Democratic Republics,” “Socialist Republics,” the “Socialist Camp,” “peaceful coexistence,” and “liberation wars” did not mask the reality that the Communist regimes were in no way republics, democratic, peaceful, or for liberation. The Soviet regime was, in its doctrine and practice, a backward-looking absolutist dictatorship—a counter-revolutionary and counter-intelligence state—with the KGB as the “sword and shield” and “active arm” of the Communist Party, a single hierarchical class that centrally controlled all power, property, planning and police.

In the 1970s as throughout Soviet history, the use of secret police and intelligence services remained a core pillar of a regime not legitimated by consent, competitive free elections, independent parliamentary and judicial review or internationally recognized individual human rights standards and laws. Intelligence organizations indoctrinated, funded and directed by Moscow included the Soviet KGB, the military GRU, affiliated “Socialist Camp” intelligence organizations like Cuba’s DGI and East Germany’s Stasi, and “influence” institutes such as Georgi Arbatov’s “Institute on the Study of U.S. and Canadian Relations” of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Abroad, the Soviet intelligence apparat involved foreign Communist parties, the Warsaw Pact in-

[Book pg. 486]