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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July, 1987


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    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in July 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'," July, 1987, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, ZAIG, Nr. 6755, S. 42-45. Translated by Bernd Schaefer.
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Strictly confidential!

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


In the context of an increase in tensions in the Persian Gulf region, high activity by the US leadership and other NATO states was noted. Repeatedly President Reagan consulted with members of the National Security Council and leaders of the Republican party in Congress.

The mobilization readiness level for US diplomatic representations abroad was raised and their security increased. In many American embassies in the Middle East region “crisis centers” were established and systems introduced for urgent notifications of embassy personnel. In Belgium, emergency readiness of communications in the government residence was reviewed.

In NATO, targets were set for attacks against Iranian territory by fighter aircraft F-111 based in Great Britain. In the Persian Gulf and the adjacent Arabian Sea, operative groups of American (commanded by the aircraft carrier “Constellation”), British, and French ships were concentrated. A relocation to the region of the battleship “Missouri” with cruise missiles on board is in preparation. Under the pretext of maneuver “Bright Star”, the helicopter carrier “Guadalcanal” with 2,000 marines on board is moved to the Arabian Sea.

Planned equipment and increase of combat readiness for all components of the US strategic nuclear triad continued. The 51st of 100 planned missile bombers B-1B became operational. On July 13, the 37th nuclear submarine of the Los Angeles class (“Helena”) was put into service. It will be equipped with “Tomahawk” cruise missiles. The 24th intercontinental MX missiles (out of 100 planned) was installed in the launching silo. In Alaska a permanent base for nuclear submarines was established. On July 28, another (the third this year) series of test starts with “Pershing 2” missiles was conducted on the Cape Canaveral (Florida) test site.

Intensity of operative and combat training by US forces and those from other NATO states somewhat decreased]; what is common during the summer period. At the same time, in all regions bordering the territory of socialist states troop exercises were held. In the Pacific, troop operations during the initial phase of a war were trained during US maneuver “Cope Sunder”. The Turkish exercises “Ilk Hedef” and “Deniz Kurdu” solved tasks to win operative dominance in the Aegean Sea. During the course of exercise “Aiming Fist”, combat readiness of Turkey's air defense was checked. At the Central European Theater of War the American maneuver “Compass Point” was held. On July 19 the exercise alert “Ace Jack” was given in the Allied NATO Forces.

According to NATO's mobilization plans, in the FRG five dry cargo ships for tAmerican company “American President Lines” were built. In a crisis situation, they will come under command of the bloc's naval forces. In the US, stocks of some strategic materials are inventoried with accelerated speed, among them Germanium which is used for manufacturing military high frequency equipment.

Since they are afraid of a halt in oil production by the Gulf countries due to drastic aggravation of the situation in this region, Western oil companies are making major oil purchases in Saudi-Arabia, Iran, and Kuwait. Western experts expect that events in the Gulf region could lead to a destabilization of the international oil market.

A tendency is notable towards increased coordination between civil defense agencies of Western countries. In the European Community framework. a mechanism gets created for information exchange between national civil defense agencies. The FRG and Austria, as well as Italy and Switzerland, have bilaterally agreed on joint measures in border areas to clear damage from natural catastrophes.

In Denmark an automated system is established to warn the population before a danger of an attack by weapons of mass destruction. 50 stationary and 100 mobile warn posts are supposed to be built on the country's territory.

Planned checks of networks to alert the population were noted. Reliability of signal communications in an alarm case was checked in Washington, San Francisco, and The Hague.

The military-political leadership of the NATO countries displays an ever greater interest in information about recent scientific-technological achievements. President Reagan signed a directive “About measures to secure access to scientific research and technologies”. Among else, it mandates American representations abroad to actively collect scientific-technological information. The Main Staff of the FRG military has commissioned its military intelligence service to acquire information about directions in development of military technology and battle operation tactics on the side of forces from the Warsaw Treaty countries.

Analysis of intelligence information gathered in July about developments in the world's military-political situation shows that, among all potential crisis spots, the most dangerous situation still exists in the Persian Gulf area. The probability of an American use of force is still high. As far as noted measures are concerned: Compared with indicators for immediate preparation of a surprise attack against the socialist countries, they did not move beyond the adversary's planned, long-term activities.  

Translated: Petzold, Captain
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