Intelligence Failures Of The Soviet Union Essay

Intelligence Failures Of The Soviet Union Essay

Length: 1412 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Intelligence failures are not always in the gathering and communication of accurate information, but in the interpretation of that information by policy makers. The fall of the Soviet Union caught the United States by surprise. The popular narrative in the mainstream media was that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) failed in its duty to predict the coming collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The CIA did an admirable job of presenting representations of then complex reality of the Soviet situation, but a persistent view of the Soviets as a powerful threat to our nation collided with these assessments. There may have been a vested interest for the US Government to maintain the national rhetoric of a strong Soviet Union, but this rhetoric began to supplant actual evidence provided by the Intelligence Community (IC). The record shows the IC was predicting exactly what happened to the Soviet Union, yet the pro-establishment bias remains to this day.
In 1991 the United States was shocked to learn of the coup that dissolved the Soviet Union. In the view of many experts, scholars, and politicians the Soviet Union was a world power on the rise. It was securing political client states, its military power appeared to be growing and had surpassed some US military capabilities. What lie underneath, however, was a broken system trying desperately to match the production capabilities of the United States. The Reagan administration recognized this fault in the Soviet system and exploited it by forcing them to double down on this unstable practice by accelerating the arms race between the nations (Watkins). The Soviets soon realized it was economically impossible to remain in an arms race with the American economic powe...


... middle of paper ...


...o opaque.
Interestingly, this may not have helped because even now, with so much of the IC’s information regarding this collapse in public view, proving that it was in the right, the popular view is still one of IC failure. Perhaps this is by design. It seemed that the Reagan Administration was doing exactly what it should do given the IC reports of economic stress within the Soviet Union. It stressed them to the breaking point using our economic and manufacturing prowess. The “relatively peaceful transition from former communist monolith into separate nations” was orchestrated by leaders who clearly understood the Soviet situation (Office of the Historian). Why they so stridently claim to have felt blindsided is a mystery, especially given all the evidence to the contrary but, as with all international politics, the public only knows a sliver of the whole story.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Intelligence Failures: 9/11 and Pearl Harbor Essay

- Throughout history there are multiple intelligence failures such as 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. These failures are due to intelligence collected which was either delayed or misdirected to the rest of the intelligence community. Both events had catastrophic consequences and yet these tragic events has allowed the intelligence community to develop better security like warning signals and combat readiness to protect the United States. Pearl Harbor is still considered one of the worst intelligence failure in the history of the United States to date....   [tags: communication, technology, war]

Better Essays
541 words (1.5 pages)

Essay about Development of Human Intelligence

- This paper will highlight the development of human intelligence (HUMINT) and the importance of it in intelligence operations. HUMINT can provide information in areas that technical intelligence cannot and also drive the collection requirements of these disciplines when additional evidence is needed. HUMINT is critical in espionage efforts and has undergone the greatest changes from the start of the Cold War to the launch of the War on Terrorism. Definition of HUMINT Human Intelligence or HUMINT is intelligence that is collected through espionage commonly by sending clandestine officers to foreign countries in an attempt to recruit spies and gather valuable information....   [tags: revolutionary war, technical intelligence]

Better Essays
1904 words (5.4 pages)

Diplomatic Failures By Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Essay

- Diplomatic Failures Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Special Assistant to President Kennedy, was close to the Kennedy family and upheld President Kennedy as being shrewd and omniscient during the crisis. Schlesinger, in an April 1999 foreword to Thirteen Days, states that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev had “played into Kennedy’s hands” (10) and that President Kennedy was a “remarkably cool, thoughtful, nonhysterical, self-possessed leader” (13). President Kennedy did not have control over to the crisis extent that Schlesinger implies he had as he failed to gain respect from Khrushchev and accepted an agreement that he had no intention of fulfilling....   [tags: Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Nikita Khrushchev]

Better Essays
834 words (2.4 pages)

The Cia And Kgb During The Cold War Essays

- The CIA and KGB during the Cold War The Cold War would can be described as a state of political and military tension between the western power of the United States and its NATO allies and the eastern European power of the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact. This conflict would arise immediately following World War II and last through the late twentieth century. In a war of political debates, negotiation, and high tension, espionage would play a crucial role for both western NATO and eastern Warsaw Pact members....   [tags: Cold War, World War II, Soviet Union]

Better Essays
1629 words (4.7 pages)

Essay about The Ussr : The Fall Of The First Communist State

- The USSR: The Fall of the First Communist State On December 25, 1991, the world 's first communist state, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics would come to an end. This failure is based mainly on the government 's communist ideas. Before I can explain the failures of the Soviet Union, allow me to explain how their specific form of communism is Marxism-Leninism. This type of communism in the USSR based their ideas of communism on Karl Marx, who famously co-authored the Communist Manifesto in 1848....   [tags: Soviet Union, Communism, Marxism, Cold War]

Better Essays
747 words (2.1 pages)

The Soviet Union Of Ussr Essay

- On December 26th 1991, presidents of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed the Belavezha Accords, effectively ending the existence of the Soviet Union. Since then, questions of whether the Soviet Union had been reformable and thus worth saving have been raised. Detractors of the Soviet Union claim the intrinsic irreformable nature of the Soviet Union as being the reason for which the USSR folded on itself without much of a struggle. However, defenders of the USSR say that not only was the USSR reformable, but that it had already begun to reform itself under Gorbachov, before President Yeltsin signed the Union’s death warrant....   [tags: Soviet Union, Russia, Boris Yeltsin]

Better Essays
1352 words (3.9 pages)

The Communist Union And The Soviet Union Essay

- Culture in the Soviet Union possessed many stages as different leaders enforced very different rules in regard to accepted art forms. Under Lenin, many forms and styles of art were accepted as long as they were not overly detrimental to the party mission. Lenin wanted to find a signature style of art that would be unique to the Soviet Union. In order to do this Lenin put very little restriction on the arts. Great experimentation was done in writing and painting and many radical styles were developed during this time....   [tags: Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, Moscow]

Better Essays
1573 words (4.5 pages)

Cold War And The Soviet Union Essay

- Chelsea Carter Thursday, October 8, 2015 Cold War -Mondays 6:00 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. Mid-Term Examination The United States along with the Soviet Union went in together becoming the allies to go against the Axis powers during World War II. Hence, the United States and the Soviet Union somehow still managed to have a challenging partnership while fighting as one. The tension became obvious because Americans had been quite suspicious of Soviet communism....   [tags: Soviet Union, Cold War, World War II]

Better Essays
1359 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Soviet Union Of Stalin

- Following the death of Stalin in 1953 the Soviet Union faced a crossroads, a majority of citizens were glad to see Stalin’s rule come, however as Kenez states, there were no real feeling of relief but rather extreme feeling of anxiety. Due to Stalin’s long reign, most of the working class individuals had never experienced a Soviet Union without Stalin at the helm, therefore the feelings of uncertainty were intensified. These feeling began to change when Khrushchev took power, his powerful tone and new ideas made the Soviet Citizens begin to trust him....   [tags: Soviet Union, Cold War, Joseph Stalin]

Better Essays
1078 words (3.1 pages)

Gorbachev And The Soviet Union Essay

- Interestingly, it took three decades for the Soviet Union to become a superpower, becoming the main challenger of American supremacy. Though, it only took three years for Soviet power to collapse. But why, many historians argue that Mikhail Gorbachev underestimated President Ronald Reagan. Historian, Vladislav Zubok’s, A Failed Empire, brings to life an analysis of the Cold War from the perspective of the Soviet Union. Zubok explores the Soviet’s experiences from a wide array: international calculations, interplay of foreign politics, and lasting consequences of de-Stalinization....   [tags: Soviet Union, Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev]

Better Essays
819 words (2.3 pages)