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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December, 1986


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    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in December 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'," December, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, ZAIG, Nr. 6755, S. 16-19. Translated by Bernd Schaefer.
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Strictly confidential!

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


Political Area

In the US National Security Council a department was established. It is in charge of “securing operativeness of the administration under conditions of a nuclear attack”. On initiative by the Pentagon, an outside “committee to draft a long-term strategy” was established unofficially. It consists of high-ranking representatives from political, economic, and military circles of the US; and it got commissioned in particular with the drafting of recommendations for the National Security Council on how to govern the country in extraordinary situations.

The Japanese government has expanded authority of the National Security Council with regard to the issue of coordinating work of government institutions in emergency situations. In Turkey a new law pertaining to mobilization was issued that expands the rights of the President during special times.

At the December meeting of the highest NATO committees the “general directives” for use of nuclear weapons were approved. They propose a massive use of nuclear weapons in case of conflict escalation in Europe. A basic decision was made to build an anti-ballistic missile defense system for the European NATO states.

In a couple of NATO states propagandistic influencing of members of the armed forces in a militaristic spirit increased. TV program for US forces in Europe are accompanied by appeals to be on permanent alert for a war. The FRG military leadership openly highlighted in New Year's messages to the troops the importance of lifting the fighting spirit of the Federal [West German] Army given that “the war can start at any time”.

Military Area

At Warren Air Force Base (US State of Wyoming) six more MX missiles were incorporated in the alert system. The US President approved the Pentagon's proposal to build 50 additional missiles of that type to install them on trains. He also approved the comprehensive start of development work for the ICBM “Midgetman”. Tests with cruise missiles have begun for the 132nd B-52 bomber. Between September and December, the US Air Force was provided with 14 strategic bombers of type “B1 B”. All of them are concentrated on Dyess Airbase (US State of Texas).

In the first half of December command staff exercise “Giant Work” took place in the US for leading bodies of the strategic offensive forces. It run through the procedures for communicating signals and orders to those who execute the launches of nuclear weapons. During command staff exercise “Polo Hat -86”, the globe forces guidance system was tested using airborne command centers.

At Florennes Airbase in Belgium, exercises were held by the 485th US cruise missile squadron to train operations under conditions of a nuclear attack. During an exercise of the Strategic Air Command of the French Air Force (“Datura”) launches of 18 missiles from the 1st Ballistic Intermediate Nuclear Missile Division were tested.

Since December 18 the intensity of operative-tactical training in US and NATO forces somewhat abated. At the same time, combat readiness of the nuclear offensive forces, of air defense, and the air forces is maintained at the current high level.

In Norway, construction of a new command center in a bunker was completed. Until April 1, 1987 the NATO command in Southern Norway is supposed to be relocated there from Oslo.

Economic Area

In the US, reserve resources are built up for autonomous energy supply for the most important objects in emergency situations in case of failure of the power plants. “Westinghouse Electric” was commissioned to project and built 40 nuclear power plants with 10 Megawatt each for airbases of the Strategic Air Force.

In order to increase strategic reserves, in Japan parts of oil inventories of industrial corporations will be put under government control. In Italy, a joint coordination center is established to control delivery of raw material supply to the arms industry and to distribute armament orders to the companies.

Civil Defense Area

FEMA has provided 800,000 dollars for further expansion and improvement of attack alert stations. The FRG, France, and Switzerland have agreed to built a joint system for mutual exchange in case of major industrial disasters in nuclear and chemical facilities.

According to the plan for the development of the civil defense system until 1990, in the FRG they have begun to build additional underground shelters for 500,000 people. Following a decision by the Italian government, a part of military service draftees will be provided to the civil defense agency.

On December 12 and 13, the drill “Prontezza-86” took place in Italy where evacuations of victims of natural disasters and provision of First Aid in those cases were rehearsed. Drill by search and rescue services occurred in France and Turkey.

Intelligence Activities Area

An increase in signal intelligence activities by the NATO states was notable. In addition, the FRG army established some mobile signal intelligence complexes. Two autonomous signal intelligence companies  of the Dutch army are supposed to be deployed on FRG territory. Among else, they are designated to conduct intelligence operations in crisis situations.

The US administration further increases continuously the secrecy in the country's government institutions. Stricter rules to control access to government secrets are forthcoming. At the Pentagon, permanent control was established regarding the copying of secret documents and access to offices got restricted.

Due to the ongoing threat of terrorist actions, for the period between December 22 and January 4 higher readiness was ordered for all police and intelligence services in the FRG.  

Translated: Petzold, Captain
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