ANALYSIS

Analysis on the Soviet Union

M - Sm

MacEachin, Douglas J. CIA Assessments of the Soviet Union: The Record Versus the Charges -- An Intelligence Monograph. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 1996.

"[C]harges that CIA did not see and report the economic decline, societal deterioration, and political destabilization that ultimately resulted in the breakup of the Soviet Union are contradicted by the record." The monograph includes excerpts from various CIA presentations from June 1977 to May 1991 to make the point.

Marchio, James D. "Will They Fight? US Intelligence Assessments and the Reliability of Non-Soviet Warsaw Pact Armed Forces, 1946–89." Studies in Intelligence 51, no. 4 (2007): 13-27.

This article is the author's "reconstruction of the story of the US Intelligence Community's (IC) efforts to address one of the central analytical questions of the Cold War -- whether and how well Non-Soviet Warsaw Pact (NSWP) military forces would fight for their Soviet masters in the event of a conflict."

Noren, James. "CIA's Analysis of the Soviet Economy." In Watching the Bear: Essays on CIA's Analysis of the Soviet Union, eds. Gerald K. Haines and Robert E. Leggett. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 2003.

From "Introduction": The author "provides a first-hand account of the work the DI produced" during the Cold War. Noren's "paper chronicles an array of intelligence assessments of the Soviet economy and a record of significant achievements by CIA and the US Intelligence Community.... The accuracy of CIA's analysis of the Soviet economy ... has become the subject of substantial debate.... Noren's analysis buttresses the assessments of a number of other analysts who maintain that the Agency did as well as could be expected in anticipating the collapse of the Soviet economy in the early 1990s."

Perl, Matthew. "Comparing US and UK Intelligence Assessment in the Early Cold War: NSC-68, April 1950." Intelligence and Nationa; 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."

Pitzer, John S. "The Tenability of the CIA Estimates of Soviet Economic Growth: A Comment." Journal of Comparative Economics 14 (1990): 301- 319.

Powers, Thomas. "Soviet Intentions and Capabilities." The Atlantic, Apr. 1982. Chapter 15 in Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda, 235-242. Rev. & exp. ed. New York: New York Review of Books, 2004.

Using John Prados' The Soviet Estimate (1982), Powers discusses issues surrounding intelligence analysis.

Prados, John. The Soviet Estimate: U.S. Intelligence Analysis and Russian Military Strength. New York: Dial Press, 1982.

Although he believes that some of the author's assertions and even his general treatment of the material can be questioned, Pforzheimer still accepts Prados' treatment as "a timely, relevant, and informative book. Unfortunately, it must be read with some caution because of some errors of fact." Lowenthal notes that the book is based solely on open sources. Nevertheless, it is "a useful history and analysis of the estimative process."

For Powers, The Atlantic (Apr. 1982) and Intelligence Wars (2004), 235-242, this is a "fine history" that "is certain to become a standard work in the field.... Intelligence professionals will consult [t]his book to find out what's in the public domain and what's still secret.... [O]rdinary readers ... will find it too hard, too dense, too filled with numbers, tables, and acronyms, too dull, too obsessive in its attempt to gather in one place every fact and echo of contention in the strategic intelligence business.... Prados's excellent bibliography, the most comprehensive I have seen, lists hundreds of items."

Price, Victoria S. The DCI's Role in Producing Strategic Intelligence Estimates. Newport, RI: Center for Advanced Research, Naval War College, 1980.

Lowenthal finds this to be "an extremely useful analysis of the roles played by successive DCIs (through DCI Turner) on strategic estimates of the Soviet Union."

Riemann, Robert H. "The Challenge of Glasnost for Western Intelligence." Parameters 20, no. 4 (1990): 85-94. [Petersen]

Rosefielde, Stephen. False Science: Underestimating the Soviet Arms Buildup. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1982.

Rubenstein, Henry. "DC Power and Cooling Towers." Studies in Intelligence 16, no. 3 (Fall 1972): 81-86. In Inside CIA's Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency's Internal Journal, 1955-1992, ed. H. Bradford Westerfield, 3-7. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

This article concerns the analytical work surrounding an effort to project the number of thermonuclear weapons available to the Soviets after they concluded atmospheric nuclear testing in 1962 and signed the Test Ban Treaty in 1963.

Rush, Myron. "A Neglected Source of Evidence." Studies in Intelligence 2, no. 3 (Summer 1958): 117-125.

The author discusses Soviet "esoteric communications": that is, hidden messages in "published texts whose surface meaning does not reveal their political significance.... Western observers underestimate the refinement and subtlety of Soviet esoteric communications."

Schroeder, Gertrude. "Reflections on Economic Sovietology." Post-Soviet Affairs 11 (1995): 197-234.

Schroeder, Gertrude. "Soviet Reality Sans Potemkin." Studies in Intelligence 12, no. 2 (Spring 1968): 43-51. In Inside CIA's Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency's Internal Journal, 1955-1992, ed. H. Bradford Westerfield, 41-48. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

This article concerns the experiences of a CIA economic analyst during a four-month (June-September 1967) assignment at the American Embassy in Moscow. Schroeder, with excellent language skills, made a concerted effort to shed her "obvious foreignness and 'go native.'" Her conclusion from her close observation of Russian street life was that "our measurements of the position of Soviet consumers in relation to those of the United States (and Western Europe) favor the USSR to a much greater extent than I had thought."

Schweitzer, Carl-Christoph, ed. The Changing Western Analysis of the Soviet Threat. London: Pinter, 1990.

Herman, I&NS 6.2, notes that this book "compares Western threat perceptions in the 1950s and 1980s in NATO, US, UK, French, Dutch, and FRG circles.... But it is less an account ... of 'Western analysis' than of what politicians and other leaders said and thought about the Russians, and how it affected their dealings with them.... [T]here is not much insight here into the intelligence influence.... Above all, the book ducks round the question whether the Western picture of the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1980s was true or false."

Shryock, Richard W. "For an Eclectic Sovietology." Studies in Intelligence 8, no. 1 (Winter 1964): 57-64.

In official Washington, there are a number of identifiable schools of Sovietology, "each holding the others in disdain.... [There is] precious little exchange of helpful ideas." The author offers some thoughts about how to overcome this dissonance.

In response, John Whitman, "Better an Office of Sovietology," Studies in Intelligence 8, no. 1 (Winter 1964): 65-66, argues that while "all schools are needed,... they will continue to work at cross purposes so long as they remain in different bureaucracies." They need to be united "in a single organizational framework devoted to exploiting all methodologies for a single aim -- the analysis of Soviet politics as a research problem."

Smith, Clarence E. "Analysis of Soviet Science and Technology." In Watching the Bear: Essays on CIA's Analysis of the Soviet Union, eds. Gerald K. Haines and Robert E. Leggett. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 2003.

From "Introduction": "Smith asserts ... that a revolution in technical intelligence collection capabilities at CIA during the Cold War led to the development of new analytic techniques as well. These advances ultimately brought significant successes in discerning Soviet scientific and technical capabilities, especially with respect to advanced offensive and defensive weapons.... While stressing CIA's role, Smith credits the entire Intelligence Community for contributing to the technological breakthroughs. In his view the new collection systems enabled US policymakers to become increasingly confident in their ability to discern Soviet military capabilities and to provide warnings of possible Soviet attack."

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