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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October, 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 October 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'," October, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, ZAIG, Nr. 6755, S. 12-15. Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119911
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Strictly confidential!

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

Political Area

Since the end of the Soviet-American summit in Reykjavik a palpable increase of activities is noticeable also for highest NATO leadership committees in charge of important political decisions. Consultations have occurred between representatives in charge of the Reagan administration and leading representatives of the NATO states. In their course, results of the Reykjavik talks were discussed, and general aspects of the bloc's positions on disarmament issues were coordinated.The Nuclear Planning Group of NATO has approved “general political directives for use of nuclear weapons in NATO defense”. There it is stipulated to use those weapons preventively against targets on territory of the states of the Warsaw Treaty in case of a military conflict. Main weapons in this case will be the American ballistic intermediate nuclear missiles “Pershing-2” and the land-based cruise missiles deployed in Western Europe.

The US Congress has passed a law about reorganization of the structure of the supreme armed forces leadership of the United States. As a result, the role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was strengthened in making significant military-political decisions, among them issues of nuclear weapons use.

Measures to improve mechanisms of governance under extraordinary conditions were noted in individual NATO states. For instance, construction of a fiber optics communication link between the US and Canada is about to be finalized. This significantly increases options and security for exchange of information between both countries.

In the FRG, parliament plans were made concrete on relocation of the Federal Chancellery and a part of the government to a bunker in the vicinity of Bad Ahrweiler (State of North Rhine Westphalia) in case of a crisis situation.

Military Area

At the American Warren Air Force Base (US State of Wyoming), one of its five MX missiles was incorporated in the alert system. Since October 1 the first strategic bomber squadron (B-1 bombers) assembled at Days [sic, Dyess] Airbase (US State of Texas) is integrated in the alert system. The US Navy received its fifth nuclear aircraft carrier of type “Nimitz” - “Theodore Roosevelt”. Combat-ready American nuclear forces on FRG territory were supplemented by their third land-based cruise missile battery.

In October operative-tactical training of Allied NATO Forces continued in the European Theater of War with high intensity. Specialties of the fall maneuver and exercise series are emphases on training of troop operations at flanks of the bloc, increased attention for issues of training reservists from all branches of armed forces, and the reduction of the time for replenishing divisions and units to their target figures in war times.

In exercise “Northern Wedding”, the adversary spread out the largest number of forces in recent years in Northern Europe and adjacent maritime areas, among else through 250 warships and 460 aircraft.

During the large exercise “Display Determination” in the South European Theater of War, the Americans concentrated in the Mediterranean double as much fighter aircraft as usual. In the global command staff exercise “Power Sweep”, which started on October 27, staffs of all 10 allied and special commands of US forces are participating.    

Economic Area

The FRG Ministry of Defense has begun to work out a plan for collaboration between armed forces and industry in emergency situations. Among else, it is planned to use large industrial sites as mobilization hubs to recruit and train reserve units. During emergency periods they will protect those sites from weapons of mass destruction and take care of maintenance and procurement for objects of industry and transportation.

In a couple of Western states the stocking up of strategic raw material and food reserves is continuing. The Norwegian government announced that over the next months 10 percent of produced crude oil will be used for replenishing national strategic reserves. The Japanese government works with acceleration at a plan to provide the country with goods and raw materials in emergency situations. In Switzerland central fuel, gasoline, and lubricant reserves were stocked up for more than six months, and inventories for a year were created for the most important imported foods.  

Civil Defense Area

The FRG and Austria have started implementation of a program to build drinking water reserves based on groundwater from greater depths. Special reservoirs for this kind of water are located near Munich and in Styria. In Belgium, serial production of facilities have begun to clean water from radioactive contamination.

In Canada, Turkey, and the Netherlands reliability of alarm and alert devices for extraordinary situations was tested. At a drill in the United States, evacuation of the population was tested in a ten-mile-radius around nuclear power plant “Indian Point” (US State of New York). In Italy, Norway, and Austria drills took place to clean up damage from major aircraft and train disasters, as well as of natural catastrophes.

Intelligence Activities Area

In the context of a campaign unfolded by the Reagan administration to stir up an espionage hysteria in the US, the operative situation for agents has worsened. Observation of employees from foreign representations of the states of the Warsaw Treaty has intensified.

The US Department of Defense has increased security for airbases on American territory as well as outside the United States. Mobilization plans for defending airbases, nuclear weapons sites, and command centers are reviewed pertaining to acts of diversion or the danger of occupation of an object.

In the FRG, France, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Austria, and Japan tighter administrative and police regimes are in force, which were introduced in the context of the threat of terrorist acts. At the conference held on October 20 in London for Ministers of the Interior and Justice from EU states on subjects of fighting international terrorism, establishment of a special organ was decided. It is supposed to be in charge of joint planning, coordination, and implementation of operations against terrorists.

Translated: Petzold, Captain
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