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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August, 1986

COMMITTEE FOR STATE SECURITY (KGB), 'ABOUT RESULTS OF INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES TO NOTE INDICATORS FOR A SURPRISE NUCLEAR MISSILE ATTACK'

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    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in August 1986 aimed at exposing indicators of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.
    "Committee for State Security (KGB), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'," August, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, ZAIG, Nr. 6755, S. 2-6. Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119909
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Strictly confidential!

About results of intelligence activities to note indicators for a surprise nuclear missile attack
(August 1986)

Political Area

There was notable untypical activity for this time of the year by leading political circles of the United States and the other NATO countries. This was mostly due to new peace initiatives proposed by the Soviet Union, and according efforts by leaderships of the important [NATO] bloc states to coordinate a position and find means to dilute impact of the Soviet proposals on the global public.

Noted were American activities which allow the conclusion that there exists the possibility of another provocation by the US in the Mediterranean. American representatives explored potential reactions of their allies in case of an aggravation of the crisis situation around Libya. The propaganda is enforcing the chauvinist anti-Libyan campaign.

Scheduled preparations for making the system of government function during emergency situations are continuing. In the United States, the two presidential planes of type “Boeing-747” are accordingly equipped with accelerated speed. Major importance is devoted to guarantee a high stability of trouble-free electronic apparatuses working under conditions of nuclear weapons use. In Austria and Switzerland special inter-ministerial bodies are established and commissioned with informing the country's leadership when aggravated international conflicts emerge.

In the US a program was passed for targeted psychological influencing of populations in potential adversarial states. Its aspects are supposed to be rehearsed during troop exercises.   

Military Area

In the US quantitative increase of the potential of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction, as well as their qualitative improvement, continued.

The Strategic Air Command of the US has decided to incorporate until the end of this year 10 intercontinental ballistic missiles of type “MX” into the stock of alert weapons. Until this point, two missiles of this type were installed in silos on Warren Air Force Base (US State of Wyoming). The eighth nuclear submarine of class “Ohio”-”Nevada” with intercontinental ballistic missile “Trident-I” was added to armaments of the US Navy. Modification of the meanwhile 131st strategic bomber B-52 has begun in order to equip it with cruise missiles. On Eglin Air Force Base (US State of Florida), the most recent strategic bomber of type B-1B was tested under simulated extreme conditions.

The sea- and air-based cruise missiles continue to get improved. Further starts of these missiles were conducted (on August 4 from battleship “Iowa” and on August 19 from a B-52 bomber). In Europe, the deployment of land-based cruise missiles advances. Currently the potential of land-based cruise missiles in this region consists of overall 56 transportation and launching pads with 280 missiles.

The US Department of Defense has agreed to the sale of thirty-six 155 millimeter Howitzers to Turkey. They can fire nuclear ammunition.

The government of the State of Bavaria has handed over to the Supreme Command of US Forces Europe, without official consent by Bonn, a technical documentation on abandoned shafts where the Americans want to deposit chemical binary weapons.

Reinforced aircraft carrier formations of the US and British navies (aircraft carriers “America”, “Forrestal”, “Illustrious”) patrol before the Libyan coast. Aircraft of airborne forces are conducting flights close to this country's airspace. On American bases in Great Britain several strategic B-52 bombers and tanker aircraft “KC-135”, as well as 18 fighter jets F-111, have arrived (analogous to those that conducted the attack against Libya in spring).

Intensity of flights by the American Air Force from the US to Europe has increased. This is in context of the program to make crews and engineering-technical personnel familiar with the European theater of war. For the same purpose, aircraft of the air forces of the FRG and the Netherlands were ordered to fly to airbases in Italy and Turkey. On August 18, the series of annual autumn exercises and maneuvers “Autumn Forge 86” by the NATO forces began on the entire European territory – from Northern Norway to the Mediterranean. About 20 exercises will take place with participation of a significant number of troops and battlefield technology from forces of 14 NATO states.

Simultaneously, the Supreme Command of the US Navy has prepared large naval exercises in the Okhotsk Sea and the Sea of Japan with participation of aircraft carrier “Carl Vinson”, as well as of eight escort vessels. Also included in the exercises will be the “New Jersey”, the nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser “Long Beach”, and a couple of other ships based in Japanese ports.

Economic Area

Canada and Switzerland have signed an agreement about the evacuation of headquarters of transnational corporations and research centers to Canada in a case of emergency.

During exercises “Neo-Exercise-86”, DC-10 aircraft from commercial airline “Pan-Am”, which belongs to the reserves of the US military command, were included for the first time to practice procedures for evacuation of the large number of civilian employees of the US Army, and family members of US military, from Europe to the United States. Aircraft of airlines “Air Canada” and “National Air” were used to transport a large Canadian troop contingent to Norway during NATO exercises “Brave Lion” started on August 31. Analogous tasks were practiced during the joint exercise “Forte-86” by the armed forces of France and the FRG.

A new organ was established with the Norwegian council of industry to coordinate in case of an emergency the work of different economic branches with needs of the armed forces. In early August, in a couple of Swiss companies that manufacture battlefield technology, mobilization plans to increase arms production according to wartime requirements were controlled.

Civil Defense Area

In Mannheim (FRG) the establishment of a center to eliminate damage caused by natural catastrophes was finalized. In the context of exercise “Fast Step” in Canada, the readiness of alert devices was tested. They raise alarms in case of a nuclear or biological attack, and provide information about the level of destruction, radioactive contamination of respective areas, and the epidemiological situation.

Construction of nuclear shelters was continued. In the FRG, during this year about 100 million Deutschmarks are supposed to be spent for this purpose. In major Austrian cities basements of private homes are accordingly equipped for protection. In the US there is a national registration of bone marrow donors ongoing. In American blood donation centers containers for the storage of blood are replaced by newer ones, which offer high protection from radiation as well as from chemical and biological weapons.

Intelligence Activities Area

Between the Staff of the Supreme NATO Commander in Europe and Supreme Command of US Forces in Europe an agreement was made on modalities to exchange intelligence information about the states of the Warsaw Treaty.

There were measures noted to increase security for military objects of the US in Turkey, especially so for nuclear objects. At the Izmir airbase additional security was implemented. Operations of American counterintelligence and Turkish agencies to establish reliable security for the base are closely coordinated.

In August there was observation in a couple of NATO states (in the US, the FRG, Spain, and Turkey) of an increase in administrative and police measures under the pretext of preventive protection from terrorist acts.

Translated: Petzold, Captain
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