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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October, 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 October 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'," October, 1987, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, ZAIG, Nr. 6755, S. 51-54. Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119921
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119921

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Strictly confidential!

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

(1774/87)

An important rise in activities by leaderships of the US and other NATO states was related to preparations of armed operation against Iran, and by an increase of political and military collaboration within the framework of the bloc. During the course of October, a couple of consultations were held by President Reagan with his closest advisers, members of the National Security Council, and leading representatives of Congress. Also, the NATO mechanism of urgent political consultations was in operation.

In the US and within NATO, revision of military policies was continued in context of the Soviet-American agreement about the elimination of medium- and short-range missiles. At a council meeting of the “Western European Union” a “European Defense Platform” was passed. It highlights the need to maintain nuclear weapons and to increase conventional armies in the interest of the North Atlantic alliance.

In foreign representations of some Western states heightened security levels are maintained. At the beginning of the month, the US Department of State began to review mobilization readiness of American institutions abroad. This is going to last until the end of the year.

Deployment of MX missiles on Warren Air Force Base (US State of Wyoming) continued. 14 of 25 missiles stationed there were incorporated in the alert system. In the first half of the month, readiness levels were reviewed for nuclear-powered American submarines patrolling in the Atlantic. Those are  equipped with ballistic missiles for launching a nuclear strike against the states of the socialist community.

On American bases in Great Britain, Italy, and the FRG works are underway to prepare deployment of land-based cruise missiles. It is planned to bring 48 additional cruise missiles to Europe until the end of the year. In NATO, the decision was made to move two “Lance” missile divisions (operative-tactical missiles) from the FRG to Turkey.

On FRG territory an exercise was held for “Pershing 2” missile units, where their accelerated reaching of high combat readiness and rapid relocation to different parts of country was trained.

During the course of operative combat training in the context of NATO's fall maneuver series “Autumn Forge”, in October significant parts of NATO forces in Europe were in the state of heightened combat readiness. The strongest concentration and activity by combat-ready NATO forces was notable at the Southern flank. Overall up to 250,000 military personnel participated in all stages of the “Display Determination” exercise.

In the context of aggravation of the situation in the Persian Gulf, the Pentagon has conducted operations since mid-October that are comparable to signs for preparation of extensive operations by the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) in this region. Large quantities of equipment and special technological for the RDF was moved to Incirlik Airbase (Turkey).

In a couple of NATO states, increased interest was noted in issues of mobilization readiness regarding transportation systems. In the FRG a program was passed to secure troop transports through merchant ships in an emergency situation. In the US a joint command for military transports was established. Among else, it is commissioned with securing transportation of reinforcement troops from the US to Europe in crisis situations, by utilizing all transport capacities from all military branches and civilian companies.

The Western states continued to stockpile energy supplies. US oil reserves have now reached 534 million barrel (out of the planned 750 million barrel). The Austrian leadership wants to increase oil supplies for an emergency to the level required by NATO (supply for 90 days).

In the Barents Sea, on Norwegian oil platforms far from the mainland, mobilization exercise “Sossex” took place to train evacuation of personnel and the conservation of drill holes. Participating were transportation means from respective companies, as well as from the Norwegian Navy and Air Force.

At the conference of EU states in Athens a program was discussed concerning collaboration and mutual assistance in case of natural disasters. The Swiss government advocated a plan, which proposes annual commissioning of new shelters with 250,000 spaces. It will allow to fully cover the need for communal shelters until the year 2000.

At complex exercises in Turkey and in Sweden, collaboration between civil defense and armed forces units was tested with regard to evacuation of the population and search and rescue operations.

Intelligence services of the US and NATO expressed special interest in questions of compliance by Warsaw Treaty member states with agreements reached at the Stockholm Conference on confidence-building measures.

Due to the aggravation of the situation in the Persian Gulf, in all US military objects abroad heightened readiness for the case of terrorist acts was introduced. Analogous measures were undertaken in abroad institutions of leading Western European states and of Japan.

Therefore in October operations of concern were noted pertaining to activities by the military-political leadership of the US and NATO, as well as by the bloc's armed forces, that were comparable to preparations for a major military aggression against Iran. Like before, the situation was also destabilized by NATO fall maneuvers in which significant parts of combat-ready troops of the bloc participated.  

Translated: Petzold, Captain
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