The Cold War

P - S


Perl, Matthew. "Comparing US and UK Intelligence Assessment in the Early Cold War: NSC-68, April 1950." Intelligence and National Security 18, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 119-154.

The author compares NSC-68 (April 1950) with JIC (51) 6 (January 1951). The Americans and British utilized "dissimilar assumptions and interpretive approaches" in their intelligence assessments of the Soviet Union. It was on the "subjective questions -- the 'mysteries' -- that US and UK analysts disagreed throughout the early years of the Cold War, America's view of Communist doctrine leading them to ascribe aggressive intentions to the USSR long before Britain was prepared to do so."

Pollard, Robert A. Economic Security and the Origins of the Cold War, 1945-1950. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

Reynolds, I&NS 3.2, finds that this book "is a readable, clear analysis, offering concise summeries of American policy on crucial events." Nevertheless, the author's concentration on the State Department means that "we get little real sense ... of the Pentagon's very different approach to national security.... Pollard also shows little awareness of British contributions to Cold War scholarship."

Poteat, S. Eugene. "Who Won the Intelligence Battles of the Cold War?" Intelligencer 9, no. 3 (Oct. 1998): 15-16.

"[O]ne of the great intelligence wins of all time belongs to the ... KGB and GRU. Their remarkable success in obtaining western military and industrial secrets permitted the Soviet Union to successfully challenge the West for many years beyond what would have otherwise been a natural death."

Powers, Thomas. "The Bloodless War." New York Review of Books, 23 Oct. 1997. Chapter 8 in Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda, 141-158. Rev. & exp. ed. New York: New York Review of Books, 2004.

The author looks at the Cold War through Murphy, Kondrashev, and Bailey's Battleground Berlin (1997), Whitney's Spy Trader (1993), and Wolf's Man Without a Face (1997). "Anyone interested in just how complex a counterintelligence case can become should read the fourteen pages in which Battleground Berlin lays out the intricate web of what was known to whom, through which channels," as the KGB closed in on Col. Pyotr Popov.

Powers, Thomas. "The Truth About the CIA." New York Review of Books 40, no. 9 (13 May 1993): 49-55. Chapter 20, "The Bottom Line," in Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda, 295-320. Rev. & exp. ed. New York: New York Review of Books, 2004.

The author looks at the "secret cold war" through the work of a number of writers: Persico, Casey (1990); Perry, Eclipse (1992); Yousaf, Bear Trap (1992); Bower, Red Web (1989); Lamphere and Shachtman, The FBI-KGB War (1986); Mangold, Cold Warrior (1991); Wise, Molehunt (1992); Blake, No Other Choice (1990); Newton, The Cambridge Spies (1991); Schecter and Deriabin, The Spy Who Saved the World (1993); Kessler, Moscow Station (1989); Darling, The Central Intelligence Agency (1990); Montague, General Walter Bedell Smith (1992); Hersh, The Old Boys (1992); and Richelson, American Espionage and the Soviet Target (1987) and America's Secret Eyes in Space (1990).

Clark comment: Beyond the silly and misleading title (rectified in Intelligence Wars), there is little to complain about in this article. Powers has executed a tour de force analysis of the "secret war concealed within the cold war." He incorporates into his narrative references which place within a broader context the contributions by a number of books to understanding "the secret war waged against the intelligence services of the Soviet Union and its allied states." In this war, "the CIA was to the Western effort as the US Army was to the Allied landing in Normandy in 1944, first among equals and the source of men and money."

Powers concludes that the "happy outcome" of the Cold War probably "depended heavily" on the U.S. intelligence effort. But this contribution differed from the World War II effort of obtaining the information necessary to victory. Rather, "what American intelligence contributed to the outcome was ... the confidence that we knew what the Soviets were up to."

Ransom, Henry Howe. Can American Democracy Survive the Cold War? Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1964.

The author worries that national security-related legislation may be eroding the foundation of American democracy. Nonetheless, his basic American optimism shows through his concerns.

Reed, Thomas C. At the Abyss: An Insider’s History of the Cold War. New York: Ballantine, 2004.

According to Cerami, Parameters, Winter 2004-05, the author provides "insider accounts of Washington and White House politics and insights on the Cold War Presidents." Reed's narrative is also "significant for its insight on science and technology, and on the research and development communities. In addition, it includes some gripping spy stories and illustrates the realities of bureaucratic and organizational politics involving the Pentagon, the CIA, and the White House."

Schaller, Michael. The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. 1987. [pb]

From publisher: The author "traces the origins of the Cold War in Asia to the postwar occupation of Japan by U.S. troops..... Cut off from its former trading partners, which were now all Communist-controlled, Japan, with U.S. backing, turned its attention to the rich but unstable Southeast Asian states. The stage was thus set for U.S. intervention in China, Korea, and Vietnam."

Smith, Arthur L., Jr. Kidnap City: Cold War Berlin. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2002.

Brown, I&NS 20.2 (Jun. 2005), notes that from an intelligence point of view the author's "recognition of the key role played by the US Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC)" is of particular interest. Smith "reminds his readers that the CIC was first to the front lines in the covert war against the Soviets."

Stack, Kevin P. "The Cold War Intelligence Score." American Intelligence Journal 18, no. 1/2 (1998): 69-72.

The "Editor's Note" appended to this article states: "This comparison effort is of interest even though readers may take exception to some of the author's positions and conclusions." Clark comment: I agree with that assessment. Using only open-source materials, Stack concludes that "the Soviet Union scored a win over the United States in the 'intelligence security war' of the Cold War." That conclusion may or may be correct, but the strongly conservative ideological bias shown in the author's analysis certainly does little to "prove" his point.

Steury, Donald P., ed. On the Front Lines of the Cold War: Documents on the Intelligence War in Berlin, 1946-1961. Washington, DC: History Staff, Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 1999.


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