Arms control intelligence

   In no area of Cold War intelligence was there greater asymmetry between the United States and the Soviet Union than in arms control. At the first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) held in 1968, U.S. delegates began to give an account of the American and Soviet nuclear weapons programs but were stopped by a senior Soviet military negotiator. Soviet civilian members of his delegation, he stated, were not cleared for such information, even if it was considered unclassified in the West. Both the KGB and the GRU collected a vast amount of information about U.S. nuclear weapons from their open contacts with Americans. Political intelligence officers from the KGB rezidenturas were responsible for developing relationships with academics and journalists who had contacts in the defense establishment, while GRU officers tended to concentrate on the uniformed military. Both the KGB and the GRU had analytical departments that conducted weapons and arms control intelligence analysis.
   On several occasions, the KGB leadership grossly exaggerated the threat of war. In 1960 KGB Chair Aleksandr Shelepin informed Nikita Khrushchev that the United States was planning to initiate nuclear war in the near future. In 1983 the KGB leadership exaggerated the threat of an American nuclear strike in its reports to the political leadership. Their information of a surprise attack did not come from either human or technical intelligence sources. Rather, it was generated by intelligence officers who were responding to demands from Moscow for proof that war was imminent.
   See also RYaN.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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