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

I know of no leader of the Soviet Union since the revolution, and including the present leadership, that has not more than once repeated in the various Communist congresses they hold their determination that their goal must be the promotion of world revolution and a one-world Socialist or Communist state, whichever word you want to use. Now, as long as they do that and as long as they, at the same time, have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat, in order to attain that, and that is moral, not immoral, and we operate on a different set of standards, I think when you do business with them, even at a detente, you keep that in mind.2

A Note on CIA Director William J. Casey. While the texts of some of Casey’s speeches were released to the audiences he addressed, and sometimes more widely, all those referenced below are taken from the book Scouting the Future—The Public Speeches of William J. Casey, published in 1989 by Regnery Publishers. With permission of the publisher, the full texts of the Casey speeches cited here are accessible on the present book’s Internet Document Library.

Casey at Brown University—October 1981. An early public speech by CIA Director William Casey’s Address at Brown University on October 15, 1981 outlined the history, purpose, and craft of U.S. intelligence and current major threats, including the following:

[Intelligence’s Many Facets—Not a “Middle” View] It is a very uncertain, fragile, and complex commodity: First, you have to get a report. Then you have to decide whether it’s real or fake. Then, whether it’s true or false as you find out what other intelligence supports or contradicts it. Then, you fit it into a broad mosaic. Then, you figure out what it all means. Then you have to get the attention of someone who can make a decision. Then you have to get him to act. The highest duty of a Director of Central Intelligence is to produce solid and perceptive national intelligence estimates relevant to the issues with which the President and the National Security Council need to concern themselves. . . . The President does not need a single best view, a guru, or a prophet. The nation needs the best analysis and the full range of views and data it can get. . . . We don’t need analysts spending their time finding a middle ground or weasel words to conceal disagreement. . . . Above all, the policymaker needs to be protected from the conventional wisdom. . . .

[The Soviet and Proxy Threat] . . . A few words about what we face. Our first priority is still the Soviet Union. It has been the number one adversary for 35 years. It is the only country in the world with major weapons systems directly targeted at the United States, which could destroy the U.S. in half an hour. For that reason alone it remains the number one target. Less lethal but perhaps more dangerous is the threat of worldwide subversion and insurrection and tiny wars of so-called national liberation. Over the last five years we’ve seen the combination of Cuban manpower, Libyan money, and Soviet arms and transport substantially seize and thoroughly threaten the African continent from Angola to Ethiopia and across through the Sudan and Chad to the Western Sahara. We’ve seen the same forces take over Nicaragua and threaten to Castroize all of Central America. We see the crossroads and the oil resources of the Middle East threatened from Iran and Afghanistan from the east, Syria from the north, Yemen from the south and Libya from the West—all literally stuffed with Soviet weapons.

[Other Soviet Challenges] There is the strategic arena in which the increasing accuracy and power of Soviet missiles thoroughly threatens the survivability of our own land-based missiles. . . . On the Central European Front Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces vastly outnumber NATO forces . . . in the ability to project military power over long distances, the Soviets . . . have demonstrated their capability in Angola and Ethiopia. . . . Large and specialized segments of the KGB and [the GRU], together with trade and scientific delegations roaming the advanced world are acquiring Western technology and using it to build the military threat that we have to defend against. (headings added)3

Executive Order 12333 on Intelligence Objectives and Conduct—December 1981. Reagan’s Executive Order 12333 –United States Intelligence Activities, signed on December 4, 1981 provides detailed, sometimes radically new, presidential guidance on U.S. intelligence under three major headings: “Part 1–Goals, Duties, and Responsibilities with Respect to the National Intelligence Effort; Part 2–Conduct of Intelligence Activities; and Part 3–General Provisions.” Readers are encouraged to review the entire 18 pages of text as provided in this book’s Internet Document Library. The document includes specific roles, responsibilities, priorities and mechanisms. Particularly notable is Reagan’s language that echoes his campaign platform and differentiates him from his predecessors in support of vigorous, competitive and balanced (technological and human) intelligence approaches, and new emphases on “competitive” analyses. A few excerpts follow:

[Book pg. 490]