The Cold War Introduction When World War II in Europe finally came to an end on May 7, 1945, a new war was just beginning. The Cold War: denoting the open yet restricted rivalry that developed between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, a war fought on political, economic, and propaganda fronts, with limited recourse to weapons, largely because of fear of a nuclear holocaust.1 This term, The Cold War, was first used by presidential advisor Bernard Baruch during a congressional debate in 1947. Intelligence operations dominating this war have been conducted by the Soviet State Security Service (KGB) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), representing the two power blocs, East and West respectively, that arose from the aftermath of World War II. Both have conducted a variety of operations from large scale military intervention and subversion to covert spying and surveillance missions. They have known success and failure.
The Bay of Pigs debacle was soon followed by Kennedy’s ft handling of the Cuban missile crisis. The decisions he made were helped immeasurably by intelligence gathered from reconnaissance photos of the high altitude plane U-2. In understanding these agencies today I will show you how these agencies came about, discuss past and present operations, and talk about some of their tools of the trade. Origin of the CIA and KGB The CIA was a direct result of American intelligence operations during World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the need to coordinate intelligence to protect the interests of the United States.
In 1941, he appointed William J. Donovan to the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) with headquarters in London. Four departments made up the OSS: Support, Secretariat, Planning, and Overseas Missions. Each of these departments directed an array of sections known as ‘operation groups’. This organization had fallen into the disfavor of many involved in the federal administration at this time. This included the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), J.
Edgar Hoover, who did not like competition from a rival intelligence organization. With the death of Roosevelt in April of 1945, the OSS was disbanded under Truman and departments were either relocated or completely dissolved. Soviet intelligence began with the formation of the Cheka, secret police, under Feliks Dzerzhinsky at the time of the revolution. By 1946, this agency had evolved into the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), and the Ministry of State Security (MGB) both ruled by Lavrenti Beria. This man was undoubtedly the most powerful man in the Soviet Union with a vast empire of prison camps, and informants to crush any traces of dissent. Of considerable importance to Beria was the race for the atomic bomb. The Soviet Union and the United States both plundered the German V-2 rocket sites for materials and personnel.
In 1946 the MVD was responsible for the rounding up of 6000 scientists from the Soviet zone of Germany and taking them and their dependents to the Soviet Union.2 The political conflicts of the 1930’s and World War II left many educated people with the impression that only communism could combat economic depression and fascism. It was easy for Soviet agents to recruit men who would later rise to positions of power with access to sensitive information. ‘Atom spies’ were well positioned to keep the Soviets informed of every American development on the bomb. Of considerable importance was a man by the name of Klaus Fuchs, a German communist who fled Hitler’s purge and whose ability as a nuclear physicist earned him a place on the Manhattan Project. Fuchs passed information to the Soviets beginning in 1941, and was not arrested until 1950.
Also passing secrets to the Soviets were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed in the United States in 1953. The latter two were probably among the first who believed in nuclear deterrence, whereby neither country would use nuclear weapons because the other would use his in response, therefore there would be no ssible winner. It is generally believed that with such scientists as Andrei Sakharov, the Soviets were capable of working it out for themselves without the help of intelligence. (better transition) The National Security Act of 1947 gave birth to the CIA, and in 1949 the CIA Act was formally passed. “The act exempted the CIA from all Federal laws that required the disclosure of ‘functions, names, official titles, and salaries or number of personnel employed by the agency’. The director was awarded staggering powers, including the right to ‘spend money without regard to the provisions of law and regulations relating to the expenditure of government funds’.
The act also allowed the director to bring in 100 aliens a year secretly.”3 The 1949 charter is essentially the same one that the CIA uses to carry out covert operations today. The U-2 Incident In 1953, the CIA contracted Lockheed Aircraft Corporation of Burbank CA to build a plane that would go higher and farther than any yet produced. Kelly Johnson came up with the design for the U-2, a plane that would fly with a record high ceiling of 90,000 ft. and a range of 4,000 ft. The U-2 flights are possibly the greatest triumph achieved by the CIA since its founding. This is because of the planes success at evading detection for such a long time and the vast amounts of information gathered.
“We’ll never be able to match that one. Those flights were intelligence work on a mass production basis.”4 On the fateful day of May 1, 1960, Gary Powers was sent up in his U-2 over the Soviet Union from the United States Air Force Base at Peshawar, Pakistan. His mission was to photograph areas of military and economic signifigance and record radio transmissions. The plane he flew was equipped with cameras, radio receivers and tape recorders to accomplish this mission. In addition to these devices, the plane was also equipped with self destruction capabilities to blow up the U-2 if it was forced to land, and a blasting mechanism fitted to the tape recorder to destroy any evidence of the CIA’s monitoring of radio signals. As his plane flew over the Soviet Union, the cameras recorded ammunition depots, oil storage installations, the number and type of aircraft at military airports, and electric transmission lines.
When the plane did not return to its base after a reasonable allowance of time, it was assumed it had crashed for some reason or another. The circumstances surrounding the crash of the plane Powers flew on this is a still a mystery today, depending on whether you believe the Soviets or the Americans. The Soviets claim that “in view of the fact that this was a case of the deliberate invasion of Soviet airspace with hostile aggressive intent, the Soviet Government gave orders to shoot down the plane”5, and that they shot it out of the air with an SA-2 missile at 8:53 A.M. at the altitude of 68,000 ft. The Americans declared that the U-2 was disabled by a flameout in its jet engine. Whatever the truth maybe, or combination of truths, the fact remains that Powers survived the encounter by parachute in the vicinity of Sverdlovsk.
Upon landing, he was apprehended, disarmed, and escorted to the security police by four residents of the small town. The fault of the incident lay with the American administration’s handling of the situation, not with the flight itself. It was assumed that Powers had died in the crash, and this was the mistake. The initial story released was not widely reported and only told of a missing pilot near the Soviet border who’s oxyg …