Did Soviet intelligence "win"?

SpitfireV

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Just a thought that I consider might be worth discussing.

At the end of the Cold War (and we'll just completely forget about the larger picture for the purposes of the discussion and focus solely on intel), were the Soviets in a better position than the Western Allies?

Consider that they had Ames (who in turn informed on most/all (?) of the US spies in the USSR, including a GRU General from memory) and Hanson, who survived the Cold War and continued working well after the collapse.

It seems they had more longer term agents in place. While the West were getting a lot of defectors, their usefulness is diminished the day they defect.

Also, the Soviets were getting all the intel from HVA and Markus Wolf, who seemed to be one of the better foreign intel organisations out there.

This is mainly a bunch of ramblings because I'm a little sick so apologies if it's disjointed or doesn't make sense.


Thoughts?
 
B

Boondocksaint375

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I think one of the Soviets greatest advantage was their ability to penetrate the western Intelligence services. I wouldn't say that they won by any means though. I think people finally woke up and realized what the Soviet ideology was all about.
 

Robal2pl

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I belive that they always been "winners" in HUMINT - it's much easier meet and talk with people = find valuable scorces in open society, and much harder in country like USSR. And it's much cheaper than ELINT or similar methods (at least I got such impression).
But to "win" it also takes to use informations , and here East was losing. Closed society and lack of normal economy meant that they could not be used in effective way.

Regards,
Robal2pl
 

pardus

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Spitfire, beaware that there is a good possibility that all your emails/internet use etc... will be under surveillance while you are there. :2c:
 

eroo

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There was a book out last summer on the CIA(I must pick that up!!).Anyway,in it it was stated that several CIA agents working in Moscow could not speak Russian!
 

FNG_tracker

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I believe that this question cannot be answered 100% accurately. Of course we know about the spys the Russians had operating here, but name one US spy that was caught by the Russians in the last 10 years. There is a reason we don't know about the spies for the US operating over there. I for one have no idea what assets we have in place in Russia and how good our intel collection is. I am sure it is just as good as the Russian network, and we have our fair share of high placed moles that are giving up valuable intel for us. For those of us in the Intel profession and those in the SOF community, our greatest success are never known, but our failures are often flaunted in our faces for years. Its the nature of the beast and its just part of the job. I don't think the Russian intel community is as far reaching and as powerful as it once was. It takes alot of money and good traning to finance sustianed humint operations, and alot of the good "operators" freelanced into the russian mob and used their muscle and political connections for personal gain. Also, our intelligence requirement has shifted dramaticly since 2001 and i am sure our focus on russia has changed as well.

anyway...sorry for the long rambling post, just my humble 2 cents...
 

Typhoon

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Anyway,in it it was stated that several CIA agents working in Moscow could not speak Russian!
If true, that is incredibly incompetent. My dad learned to speak Russian fluently in the military. He still remembers a good deal of it, enough to have had a rough conversation on a plane. If you all are going to meet some of the hot women, I will have to ask him to translate "How YOU Doin'?" for you all... :)

but name one US spy that was caught by the Russians in the last 10 years. There is a reason we don't know about the spies for the US operating over there. I for one have no idea what assets we have in place in Russia and how good our intel collection is...
Good points. When it comes to Americans getting caught, I still think about Gary Powers ordeal from time to time...
 

car

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There was a book out last summer on the CIA(I must pick that up!!).Anyway,in it it was stated that several CIA agents working in Moscow could not speak Russian!

I was once sent to our embassy in Lima, Peru, to work as a translator for our DEA element there. The DEA in Peru didn't have anyone who spoke Spanish.....:doh:

Have you read the articles/reports about how few Arabic linguists the State Dept. and, I'm sure, every OGA have in Iraq right now? :doh::doh::doh::(

Yeah, we're hiring/contracting linguists, but you never really know what's being said unless you speak the lingo yourself.
 
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