Intelligence in the Cold War: What Difference did it Make?: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Intelligence in the Cold War: What Difference did it Make?

1st Edition

Edited by Michael Herman, Gwilym Hughes


150 pages

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Intelligence was a major part of the Cold War, waged by both sides with an almost warlike intensity. Yet the question 'What difference did it all make?' remains unanswered. Did it help to contain the Cold War, or fuel it and keep it going? Did it make it hotter or colder? Did these large intelligence bureaucracies tell truth to power, or give their governments what they expected to hear?

These questions have not previously been addressed systematically, and seven writers tackle them here on Cold War aspects that include intelligence as warning, threat assessment, assessing military balances, Third World activities, and providing reassurance. Their conclusions are as relevant to understanding what governments can expect from their big, secret organizations today as they are to those of historians analysing the Cold War motivations of East and West. This book is valuable not only for intelligence, international relations and Cold War specialists but also for all those concerned with intelligence's modern cost-effectiveness and accountability.

This book was published as a special issue of Intelligence and National Security.


"…[I]n my view these excellent papers make significant contributions to our understanding of that turbulent era." - J. Kenneth McDonald, H-Diplo Article Reviews, no, 394

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Intelligence in the Cold War 2. Intelligence and the Risk of Nuclear War: Able Archer-83 Revisited 3. Certainties, Doubts, and Imponderables: Levels of Analysis In the Military Balance 4. Intelligence as Threats and Reassurance 5. Estimating Soviet Power: the creation of Britain’s Defence Intelligence Staff 1960-65 6. Chekists Look Back on the Cold War: the polemical literature 7. KGB Human Intelligence Operations in Israel 1948-1973 8. What Difference Did It Make?

About the Editors

Michael Herman is a former intelligence practitioner. His publications since his retirement in 1987 have included Intelligence Power in Peace and War published in 1996 and regularly reprinted. His principal academic association has been with Nuffield College, where he is still active as the Founder Director of the Oxford Intelligence Group. He is an Honorary D.Litt of Nottingham University.

Gwilym Hughes is Director of the Oxford Intelligence Group and a Fellow of Nuffield College Oxford. Formerly a member of the British Defence Staffs in Paris and Canberra, he is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham and the Australian Joint Services Staff College.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General