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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April, 1987

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 April 1987 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'," April, 1987, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, ZAIG, Nr. 6755, S. 30-32. Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119916
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Strictly confidential!

About results of intelligence activities to note indicators for a surprise nuclear missile attack
(April 1987)

(779/87)

As noted by the KGB's foreign intelligence, observations of adversarial activities in most important areas with possible indicators for a sudden nuclear missile attack yielded the following results:

Political Area

During the entire month, increased activity of political and military leaderships of the US and those from other Western states was significant. It occurred in the context of finding a position regarding the new Soviet proposals about the elimination of nuclear missiles (medium range and operative-tactical) in Europe.

In highest NATO bodies consultations were held on issues of the bloc's nuclear policies (April 8 and 13 and 14). There political and military criteria for the use of nuclear missiles were further specified. The leading military of the bloc proposed further improvement of the North Atlantic Alliance's nuclear potential in order “to guarantee that broad options remain both for a limited, as well as for a massive, strike against the territory of the Warsaw Pact states.”

Military Area

As a consequence of developments at Soviet-American negotiations in Geneva, at the Pentagon the general plan for the destruction of targets on territories of the socialist states is revised. A part of strategic weapons is diverted to targets, which so far had been designated for destruction by intermediate nuclear missiles. Great Britain and France have moved towards a coordination of national plans for the use of ballistic missiles launched from submarines. In the US, starts of “Pershing 2” missiles in operative-tactical mode (without a second rocket stage) took place at Cape Canaveral. Preparations were pushed forward to newly equip the FRG Army with new operative-tactical missiles of type “Pershing 1B” (range: 800 kilometers).

In the first decade of April, in Europe basically simultaneously drills took place by missile units of the US, the FRG, and France. At the same time, in the US an exercise by the Strategic Air Force was held where about 100 bombers “B-52” and “FB-111” participated. On April 27 for the first time this year a combat readiness review of NATO forces took place in Europe (exercise “Active Age”).

Economic Area

The planned increase in mobilization readiness of NATO states' civilian means of transportation continued. During the annual joint exercise “Forte 87” by the FRG and France, operations of commercial transportation companies from both states were rehearsed under simulated conditions of a crisis situation.

Major attention was devoted in Western states to preparations for organizing energy supply during periods of tensions. In the fiscal year 1988, expenses are supposed to be doubled in the US in comparison to 1987 for the replenishment of the country's strategic oil reserves.

Civil Defense Area

The status of preparation of services of life supply systems pertaining to work under extreme conditions did increase further. In France new mobilization plans were approved for cases of natural catastrophes and major industrial disasters. An operative center is established at the Ministry of Interior, which is supposed to exert permanent control over “areas with increased risk” on the territory of the country, and to control aid operations for the population.

Major exercises of fire protection, medical, and ambulance services took place in Great Britain, Switzerland, and in Berlin (West). There the elimination of major sources of fire in industrial companies and in the subway was practiced. Organization of transportation of medications and blood to shelters was reviewed.

Intelligence Activities Area

Intelligence services of Western states showed increased interest for objects on the territory of Warsaw Treaty states, which they consider as targets for a nuclear first strike. In institutions and companies working with nuclear technologies and the SDI program secrecy was tightened. It was decided to install until the end of the year secrecy devices in all telephone sets of NATO headquarters.

Translated: Petzold, Captain
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