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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January, 1988


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    "Report, Ministry of State Security (Stasi), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'," January, 1988, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, ZAIG, Nr. 6755, S. 62-64. Translated for CWIHP by Bernd Schaefer.
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Strictly confidential!

About results of intelligence activities to note indicators for a sudden nuclear missile attack (January 1988)


At NATO headquarters, central evaluation has begun regarding information on function and structure of national that are supposed to guarantee governance functions in crisis situations. Proposals are prepared for standardized criteria to assess international conflicts, and to guarantee fast transmission of information about situation development in crisis areas to the bloc's [NATO] leading bodies.

In the most important FRG ministries and the Federal Chancellery “situation rooms” are established. They are supposed to ensure effective governance of the country under war conditions or in case of major natural disasters. In Canada, in all agencies and leading public corporations special emergency departments were created.

In the regular report by the U.S. President to Congress “U.S. Strategy in the Area of National Security” there is a reference to precision weapons systems with long ranges that are capable of stealth flights on targets. They would provide the U.S. with the option of a “non-nuclear strategic strike”. It gets emphasized that, in the interest of “reliable deterrence”, key objects in Warsaw Treaty countries including military-political command centers have to remain under threat of a nuclear attack also the in the future.

There exists a report “Differentiated Deterrence” written by an expert commission to determine the long-term political and military strategy of the United States. It contains the thesis of expanding the range of international conflict situations threatening the U.S., and to which the United States have to be prepared to respond with the use force.

Assessing the results of combat training in 1987, NATO leadership has stated that times assigned for strategic deployment of American reinforcement units on the European continent got shortened during this period. The times for complete mobilization of American reinforcement divisions, their air transfer to Europe, their equipment with battle technology stored there, and their deployment on designated areas got reduced to 5 to 10 days. They trained coordinated strikes against the territory of Warsaw Treaty states by American strategic bombers and aircraft from other NATO states. The number of crews with the American Air Force capable to master specifics of combat operations in Europe has increased by 30 percent. It is planned to strengthen NATO's Southern flank. On January 14 and 15 simulated launches of medium-range missiles and training operations of strategic “Mirage” bombers took place in France (Exercise “Poker”).

According to assessments by specialists from the consultative committee for emergency planning of Canada's defense industry, the following must be assumed for development of the country's military-industrial complex: that a possible military conflict between NATO and Warsaw Treaty will occur on the European continent only, that it will be of protracted character, and that it will be fought with conventional weapons. In the opinion of experts, in this case the arms industries of the U.S. and Canada would have to figure as the material and technological base to cover combat operations in Europe. In late 1987, the United States have increased the daily norm for replenishing the strategic oil reserves from 75,000 to 100,000 barrel.

In NATO's civil defense committee plans are drafted for joint operations by national services to protect the population in crisis situations. The FRG government intends to activate collaboration with other Western European states on issues of securing the livelihood of the population under emergency conditions.

The Intelligence Committee of the U.S. Senate has begun with an analysis of capabilities by the country's intelligence services regarding effective control of Soviet compliance with provisions of the treaty on medium-range and short-range missiles. In the context U.S. military intelligence was commissioned to secure reliable identification of Soviet missiles stationed both in the USSR and on territory of other Warsaw Treaty states.

In January, leaderships of the U.S. and NATO also studied new aspects of the military-political situation with regard to upcoming reductions of nuclear arms and accordingly revised guidelines of military doctrine. This year [1988] the first readiness check took place for the command system of U.S. strategic offensive forces.

Translated: Petzold, Captain

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