Raymond L. Garthoff


Garthoff, Raymond L.

1. "American Reaction to Soviet Aircraft in Cuba, 1962 and 1978." Political Science Quarterly 95, no. 3 (1980): 427-439.

2. "Cuban Missile Crisis: The Soviet Story." Foreign Policy 72 (Fall 1988): 61-80.

3. "Commentary: Evaluating and Using Historical Hearsay." Diplomatic History 14, no. 2 (1990): 223-229.

Petersen: "Caveat on recent Soviet-American missile crisis conference revelations."

4. "The Havana Conference on the Cuban Missile Crisis." Cold War International History Project Bulletin 1 (Spring 1992): 1, 3.

5. "The Meaning of the Missiles." Washington Quarterly 5, no. 4 (1982): 76-82. [Petersen]

6. Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1987. Rev. ed. 1989.

7. "US Intelligence in the Cuban Missile Crisis." Intelligence and National Security 13, no. 3 (Autumn 1998): 18-63.

"[J]udged on the basis of what could reasonably have been expected of the contribution of US intelligence in the Cuban missile crisis, performance was generally good, in some respects outstanding, albeit with a few shortcomings."

Garthoff, Raymond L. Assessing the Adversary: Estimates by the Eisenhower Administration of Soviet Intentions and Capabilities. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1991.

Surveillant 2.1: "[A]nalyzes the Eisenhower administration's assessments of Soviet intentions and capabilities which attributed unlimited, ideologically motivated, expansionist aims to the USSR and, in turn, prescribed an American policy of containment."


Garthoff, Raymond L. "Estimating Soviet Military Force Levels: Some Light from the Past." International Security 14, no. 4 (1990): 93-116. [Petersen]


Garthoff, Raymond L. "Estimating Soviet Military Intentions and Capabilities." In Watching the Bear: Essays on CIA's Analysis of the Soviet Union, eds. Gerald K. Haines and Robert E. Leggett. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2003.

From "Introduction": "Garthoff traces the gradual development of CIA's role in military analysis from the 'bomber gap' and 'missile gap' controversies in the 1950s and early 1960s to ... the Agency's estimates of Moscow's growing military power in the 1980s and 1990s. He argues that CIA's analysis was not always right, nor always accepted, but that it played a predominant role in the US policymaking process because it was more correct, more often.'...

"Garthoff concludes that perhaps the greatest shortcoming of the NIEs and CIA's assessments of Soviet military power from 1988 to 1991 was a failure to recognize the radical changes in Soviet outlook, doctrine, policy, or military strategy.... Nevertheless, he concludes that analysts at CIA were well ahead of the Intelligence Community as a whole in assessing Soviet military intentions and capabilities."


Garthoff, Raymond L. "Foreign Intelligence and the Historiography of the Cold War." Journal of Cold War Studies 6, no. 2 (Spring 2004): 21-56.

From "Abstract": "Foreign intelligence played a number of important roles in the Cold War.... This survey article provides a broad overview of some of the new literature and documentation pertaining to Cold War era intelligence.... Only by understanding the complex nature of the role of intelligence during the Cold War will we be able to come to grips with the historiographic challenge that the topic poses."


Garthoff, Raymond L. The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War. Washington, DC: Brookings, 1994.

Friendly, Washington Monthly, Sep. 1994, says that Garthoff has piled up "a tower of evidence for the view of Mikhail Gorbachov as the catalyst and inspired conductor of this century's grandest peaceful realignment." Whatever future analysts may think of his conclusions, "they will surely bless Garthoff for the thorough scholarship" of his work. "The Great Transition and its predecessor volume, Detente and Confrontation (1985),... are authoritative contemporary history."

A Choice, Jan. 1995, reviewer suggests that Garthoff has produced "a massive, scholarly, and solidly documented volume built on a lifetime of experience and study." This may be "the authoritative record of US Soviet relations in the 1980s, and of the convulsions that put an end to the Cold War."

Palmer, Proceedings 121.1 (Jan. 1995), notes Garthoff's argument that "U.S. rhetoric and policies during the early Reagan years ... had more to do with domestic politics than actually checking or bringing down the Soviet Union." The author "states clearly the precedence of the economic over the diplomatic in Gorbachev's policies; however, he gives very little attention to such matters."

In another vein, Richard Pipes, "Misinterpreting the Cold War: The Hard-Liners Had It Right," Foreign Affairs 74, no. 1 (Jan.-Feb. 1995), 154-160, argues that The Great Transition is "meant to justify the soft line ... [and] is likely to acquire the status of a primer for adherents of this approach." It is an "apologetic treatment of Soviet Cold War policies.... [It] treats all internal dissent in communist countries as a sideshow.... The fundamental weakness ... is his failure to account for the emergence of a Soviet soft-liner in the midst of the most hard-line of all American administrations."


Garthoff, Raymond L. "Intelligence Aspects of Early Cold War Summitry (1959-60)." Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 3 (Autumn 1999): 1-22.

From abstract: "The author recounts, on the basis of personal experience as the responsible CIA officer and using previously classified documentation, intelligence aspects of summit level visits of Vice President Richard Nixon to the Soviet Union and Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev to the United States in 1959, and the planned but aborted visit of President Dwight Eisenhower to the Soviet Union in 1960."

[CIA/50s/Gen; GenPostwar/50s]

Garthoff, Raymond L. Intelligence Assessment and Policymaking: A Decision Point in the Kennedy Administration. Washington, DC: Brookings, 1984.


Garthoff, Raymond L. A Journey Through the Cold War: A Memoir of Containment and Coexistence. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2001.

"Editor's Shelf," Parameters, Winter 2002-2003: "Perhaps no other author has been as singularly successful in capturing" the events that defined the Cold War as Ambassador Garthoff. His book "is by far one of the most personal and thoroughly credible accounts of this period." Peake, Studies 51.1 (Mar. 2007), notes that the author's story of his career "spans the entire Cold War.... The story is absorbing and shows what rewarding careers analysts can have."


Garthoff, Raymond L. "The KGB Reports to Gorbachev." Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 2 (Apr. 1996): 224-244.

Four of the final six annual KGB reports (1985, 1986, 1988, and 1989) sent to Gorbachev are available in the Soviet archives. "They provide a wealth of statistical data, although with occasional exception not specific operational information.... They also provide a rare window into the mindset of the KGB as an institution."


Garthoff, Raymond L. "On Estimating and Imputing Intentions." International Security 2 (Winter 1978): 22-32.

It is in this article that the author lays out his 10 common fallacies made in estimating and imputing intentions within the context of the Cold War, specifically in doing so with regard to the Soviet Union.


Garthoff, Raymond L. "Polyakov's Run." Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 56, no. 5 (Sep.-Oct. 2000): 37-40. [http://www.bullatomsci.org]

The author discusses the deception/disinformation aspects of the FBI-Army intelligence operation using Sgt. Joseph Cassidy, described in David Wise, Cassidy's Run (2000), in connection with a similar operation run through Soviet Col. Dmitri Polyakov (Top Hat/Bourbon). Ben Fenton, "US Blunder 'Triggered Global Germ Bomb Race,'" Telegraph (London), 12 Mar. 2001, reports that on 11 March 2001 Garthoff had presented his argument about the negative effects of the Cassidy and Polyakov operations to "a conference of intelligence experts and former spies at Princeton University."


Return to Garl-Garz