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The soviet `spy gaps¿: Any lag there maybe in the USSR's technical systems for monitoring is offset by Soviet access to U.S. military intelligence

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1 Author(s)
Meyer, S.M. ; MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA

The capabilities of the Soviet Union to monitor US compliance with arms agreements is reviewed. Soviet capabilities include the use of satellites, surface ships, and submarines off US shores, as well as monitoring stations on land. These technical capabilities are each briefly described and discussed. It is argued that, in contrast to the United States, the Soviet Union can also take advantage of the openness of US society, through an array of human intelligence sources and methods, to monitor arms control compliance. Soviet agents also gain access to considerable information through contacts and operative within the US government and the extensive contractor community that supports the defense establishment. It is concluded that Soviet technical collection capabilities for monitoring arm control compliance lag behind those of the United States, but that this technical lag does not appear to have deterred the Soviets from entering into many arms control agreements with the United States over the past 25 years.

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

July 1986

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