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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 contributionposted on 07.09.2020 by Paul Maddrell
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
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.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Politics and International Studies