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Compartmentalized minds: the Communist security services' understanding of the Western espionage threat to the Communist Bloc during the Cold War

journal contribution
posted on 07.09.2020 by Paul Maddrell
This article argues that, owing to its furious hostility to the capitalist West (‘imperialism’) and its democratic, free-market ideas, Marxism-Leninism required the counter-intelligence officers of the East German Stasi and Soviet KGB to believe in a Western espionage threat to their respective states which was far greater and more malevolent than was actually the case. In fact, the two security services’ counterintelligence staffs knew that the Western states were trying to create small agent networks on their territory, tasked with collecting intelligence rather than undertaking sabotage. This accurate understanding enabled the two services to contain the Western espionage threat to their states during the Cold War. They ‘compartmentalized’ their knowledge of the real Western espionage threat from their Marxist-Leninist belief in a much greater threat. The threat they believed in has to be distinguished from that which they knew existed.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

Intelligence and National Security

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Intelligence and National Security on [date of publication], available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/[Article DOI].

Acceptance date

24/08/2020

ISSN

0268-4527

eISSN

1743-9019

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Paul Maddrell. Deposit date: 5 September 2020

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