NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE7
SOVIET CAPABILITIES FOR DECEPTION
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED
Submitted bv the DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE Tht following intelligence organisations participated In the preparation of this estimate: The Central Intelligence Agencv and the Intelligence organizations of the Departments ot State, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, The Joint Staff, and the Atomic Energy Commission.
Concurred In by Ihe
INTELLIGENCE ADVISORY COMMTTTEE
ayConcurring were the Special Assistant,Department Of Stale; the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, Department of the Army, the Director of Naval Intelligence; the Director of Inielligence, USAF; the Deputy Director for Intelligence, The Joint Staff, and the Atomic Energy Commission Representative to the IAC. TheDirector, Federal Bureau of Investigation, abstained. Vie subject being outside of his jurisdiction
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY DISSEMINATION NOTICE
estimate was disseminated by the Central InteUigence Agency. Thisfor the information and use ol the recipient Indicated on the front covernder his jurisdictioneed to know basis. Additional essentialbe authorized by the following officials within their respective departments:
Assistant to the Secretary for InteUigence, for the Department
Chief of Staff, InteUigence, for the Department of the Army
of Naval Intelligence, for the Department of the Navy
of Intelligence, USAF, for the Department of the Air Force
Director for InteUigence, Joint Staff, for the Joint Staff
of InteUigence, AEC, for the Atomic Energy Commission
Director, FBI, for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Director for Central Reference, CIA, for any other Department
This copy may be retained, or destroyed by burning In accordance withsecurity regulations, or returned to the Central InteUigence Agency bywith the Office of Central Reference, CIA.
When an estimate is disseminated overseas, the overseas recipients may retain iteriod not In excess of one year. At the end of this period, the estimate should either be destroyed, returned to the forwarding agency, or permission should be requested of the forwarding agency to retain it in accordance with2
title of this estimate, when used separately from the text, should be classified:
TolalnformaUc tbe National Defease, or within the meaning3 mixtion ct-rtfrelntion of which In
ted States laws,
DISTRIBUTION: White Bouse
Nail anal Security Council Department of State Department of Defense Operations Coordinating Board Atomic Energy Commission Federal Bureau of Investigation
SOVIET CAPABILITIES FOR DECEPTION
To estimate the capabilities of the Sino-Soviet Bloc for deceptionanner orcale which would threaten US national security, and to assess the ability of US intelligence to cope with such deception.
This estimate, which differs radically from the normal national intelligenceowes its originecommendation made by the Technological Capabilities Panel, chaired by Dr. Killian, and to NSCpecificf the Killian Report reads as follows:
"We need to examine intelligence data more broadly, or to invent some new technique, for the discovery of hoaxes.irst step, weationalEstimate, with adequate safeguards, of our success in keeping secret our most useful techniques of intelligence. This estimate would suggest the extent to which an enemy might be manipulating the information obtained through these sources."
capability of Communistfor undertaking operations ofis greater than that of most other governments because (a) theyigher degree of control over therespecting their countries whichavailable to the outside world; and (b) they need not refrain from deception because of concern that their own general public may be puzzled or misled byprimarily intended to deceive
The US has no intelligence method or technique which is completely unknown
to the Bloc, and therefore none which is invariably proof against deception. It is truereat deal of the evidence which we possess concerning the Bloc is ofature that it could not have been falsified or distorted. However, such evidence is generally insufficient for the more important intelligence estimates, especially those which deal with Blocand those which attempt to arrive at an exact statement of Bloc strengths, whether political, economic, military, or other. Concerning these matters it is generally necessary to con-
cede that deception is possible, and towhether it is feasible, and if so whether it is likely.
every intelligence estimateits own particular structure ofdata, which is often veryno statement of the degree ofto deception will applyall. Each estimate must beand the evidence onis based (including collateral andevidence) examined withof deception in mind. Wcout such an examination foron five matters of great(a) Soviet heavy bomberSoviet nuclear weapons;f Soviet air defense;issiles; and (e) Sovietattack thc US without warning.of this examination arein the body of this paper.
chief defenses againstfirst in thc constant and laboriousof information, fromand widely varied sources,aspect of Bloc affairs. Such anmakes it possible to test new
data for reliability against thc greatest possible body of knowledge. Ancillary to tills is the provision of-expertside variety of skills and perceptions to bring to bear on this data, so that individual preconceptions or shortcomings may cancelecond defense consists hi the continual search for, and application of, new intelligence techniques. Even though these may be known to the Bloc in principle, they may when first applied, or when first usedew area of intelligence interest, yield information which can be accepted with reasonable assurance that it is free from deception.
ven when such defenses have beenas far as possible, there will still be circumstances in which deception may be effective. This is most likely in aof intense international crisis, when sufficient time may not be availableto collate and evaluate newand when the urgency of tliemay not permit reservation ofor postponement of decision. It is duringeriod Uiat the feasibility of deception, and its potential danger to US security, is at its greatest.
Definitions and Distinctions
eception, or hoax, as used in this paper, is defined as the act of misleading through deliberate manipulation, distortion orof evidence, In order lo Induce anLo actanner prejudicial to his interests Generally speaking. Lhe methods arc as follows: (a) by planting false(b) by coloring or distortingauthentic Information so as to make il
alse impression; (c) by selectively releasing some correct information on awhile withholding essential parts of the total picture; and (d) by releasing plentiful data, whether true or false, with theof overshadowing and obscuring certain particular items of paramount importance. These various methods may be pursued In combination or singly
or tlie purposes of this paper, deception must be distinguished from concealment. Thc latter aims by withholding Information
to prevent the victim from arriving at aconclusion; the former aims byinformation to make him arrivealse conclusion. Concealment is intended to foster Ignorance, and deception to produce error, and it is with deception that this paper Is primarily concerned.
distinction between concealmentls theoretically valid, but init is often impossible to separate thegenerallythough not alwaysfor success upon anof truth. Concealment Inoften made more certain by andeception intended to divertthe truth. In this paper, however,examining not the extent of ourSoviet affairs, nor the capabilities ofsecurity agencies to withholdbut rather the extent to which thewe possess concerning Sovietbe the product of deliberate SovietAccordingly, we shall as far asthe clement of concealmentdiscussion, while recognizingit is usually an essential componentdeception.
Objectives of Soviet Deception
speaking. Soviet deceptionsagainst US and allied intelligenceone of three aims:
lead us to an underestimate ofor Bloc strength, capability, oreither in some particular respectbomber strength; Soviet dispositionCommunistran underestimate could be profitableBloc by causing the US and its alliesdown on the development ofstrength, and then to find themselvesby superior Bloc powerimeAt worst it might lead to defeatUS and its allies in war, because ofpreparation.
lead us to an overestimate otBloc strength, capability, orIn some particular respect, oran overestimate could be profitable lo
thc Bloc by creating unnecessary economic and polilical strains as the US and its allies strove to build up countervailing power. It could also cause the US and its allies totheir affairs with excessive caulion.them to accept reverses, or to fail to press advantages and achieve successes, when thc true power situation made such courses unnecessary.
c. To covero assist In thc concealment of) some particular Bloc activity, or some aspect of Bloc policy, by directing theof US and allied Intelligence to other matters. This may include "deceptionsto mislead as to the time-at which some otherwise predictable action is to occur.
Soviet deception must logicallytowards one or another of thesepractice, however, more modest almscertain circumstances be all that theleaders needed or wanted toforeriod of Intensecrisis, with war an imminentThc problems and uncertaintiesofficers would be very great,amounts of contradictory data wouldin even in thc absence of deliberateAt such a' time hoaxes whichof being wholly convincing wouldserve to puzzle and distract theof Intelligence. Such hoaxes mighttheir purpose if they- preventedfrom being timely and firm,they did not succeed in causingbe incorrect. Thus, although theof deception will always be to induceestimate, lhc practical aim mayto hinder and delay the productioncorrect estimate, and to cause il lo bewtth doubts and reservations.
Soviet Capabilities for Deception
capabilities for deceptiongreat part upon the degree to whichintelligence methods are susceptibleIhis problem is discussed atf this paper. Here itnecessary to point out that since thcstate Is totalitarian. Its rulers canunusually high degree of control over thc
information respecting their counlry which becomes available lo the outside world.speeches, broadcasts, and the like, can be directly controlled. Statistics and other descriptions of Soviet life andcan. within limits, be systematically falsified. Observers can be shown what the Soviet government wishes them to see. and excluded from what the government wishes them not to sec. Moreover, although Soviet rulers must take into account administrative and operational requirements for reasonably accurate information, they are notto their own public for what they do In this connection. They can decree anyoperations of deception they wish, and they need not refrain from such operaUons because of concern Uiat Uielr own general public may be puzzled or misled by hoaxes primarily intended to deceive foreigners. Thus -Uie basic capabiliUes of Uie Soviet and other Communist governments for deception are greater than those of any other Important governments in the modern world.
t is worth noting, however, Uiat Uieof Uie Soviets for deception maydepend upon their ability to gain rapid and correct knowledge of thc impact of their efforts. In Uie first place, Uie Soviets must be reasonably certain that false data they prepare actually reach Uie proper US (or other foreign) authority. Again, any given phaseeception operation may beupon the results of preceding phases, and perhaps cannot usefully be undertaken until those results arc known. Theof such factors in Uie success of aoperation will vary widely with Uieand alms of thc operaUon. Thus, we cannot usefully esUmate In general terms Uie degree to which present Soviet knowledge of our intelligence activities extends Sovietfor deception, nor can we define the limits which Soviet Ignorance of thosemay place upon their capabilities. Even if the Soviets were largelyingle successful penetration might give them opportunityrofitable hoax. The only generalization thai seems admissible,Is Uiat Soviet capabiliUes for deception will be diminished by good security measures
protecting the US and allied intelligenceand will be increased by breaches of this security.
Defenses against Deception
Intelligence ofllcers are aware of thethat they may be Uie recipients of information intended to deceive. Each piece of data concerning Uie Sino-Soviet Bloc is examinedarticularly critical and skeptical eye by US and Allied intelligence personnel, to ascertain, if possible, whether it is so intended. In the- more technical branches of intelligence research,is constantly In progress to discover the possibilities of deception, to devise methods for defeating them, and to Invent newof Intelligence collecting which may,ime at least, be relatively Immune from hoax. It Is clear that the best defense against deception would be to acquire Information respecting the Soviet Bloc by methods which the Soviets did not know about, and which consequently they could not use to introduce deceptive data. Oenerally speaking, however, this defense is not available.
The US his no method of intelligence collection or analysis which Is completelyto thc Bloc, nor any method which is entirely invulnerable to hoax. This is not to say that all our evidence concerning the Bloc is equally suspectreason; in some circumstances photographs, for example, or the direct observation of competentmay furnish Information which ls tor all practical purposes incontrovertible. Neither is it true that the Bloc is always aware of the extent to which Uie US employs various intelligence methods, or of theirto particular problems, or of Uiewith which they are used, or of the degree of advancementarticular technique has reached.echnique is very new, or is newly applied In some particular area of intelligence interest, there mayime be good reason lo believe that Its use Is unknown to the Bloc, and thc data which it produces may be received with substantial confidence that they have noi been distorted byeneral rule, however, we consider
it impossible lo find assurance againstthrough Intelligence methods unknown to the Bloc.
hile no method ot intelligencecan be proved to be invariably free from susceptibility to hoax, nearly all methods will from time to time produce particular data wliich can be demonstrated to be hoax-tree. One sure defense against deception would be for the Intelligence community to use only such data, but the result would be anlimited view of Bloc affairs, quitefor the needs of policymakers. lt is necessary to fall back on large amounts oi information which, taken bit by bit, cannot be certified as hoax-free. This woulderious weakness if each piece of data existed only in Isolation from others, but obviously such is not the case.estimates very rarely rest'on isolated bits of evidence; on the contrary, practically all are basedubstantial mass of data from Independent and diverse sources. The various items tend to support one another and to provide an elaborate structure ofwhich Is internally consistent andconfirmatory.
If such data fit togetheronsistentresumption may thereby bethat the data are hoax-free, even though no single piece, taken by itself, can be proved to be so. As observed above,thc eapabililies of the Soviet government arc such that large masses of Internallybut actually deceptive data might be disseminated for the benefit of foreignHence, the presumption of freedom from hoax must be carefully considered. The strength of this presumption will depend upon (a) what proportion of the evidence can be shown to belong almost certainly in the hoax-free class; and (b) howoaxwould be in thc particular situation and with tho particular data under
The evidence bearing on each estimative problem is different, and hence the degree of defense against deception is different in every estiniaic. in general, however,relating to the more ordinary aspects
of Soviet lifethe economic system, forand much of the conventional military establishmentarereat deal of data from many independent sources.evidence is plentiful, If not always sufficient. Moreover, the feasibility ofis at Its lowest when the false data to be fabricated is voluminous and tlie correct data lo be concealed equally so; whenwould have to involve very large numbers of Soviet officials, or might seriously mislead those officials who were not admitted to the secret. On the other hand. In certainand highly secure-aspects of Soviet activityguided missile and nuclear weapons programs, for exampleon some of the most Important points is scanty and there Is rarely much directlyevidence. To avoid- deception in these situations It becomes of the utmostto secure data which Is inherently hoax-free, and wliich does not requireevidence to argue that it is so.
ver the general field of Intelligence, therefore, lhe principal defense againstlies in continual and laboriousof plentiful data from independent and widely varied sources. By thisiece of information may frequently be clearly confirmed, and pronounced hoax-free. If such specific confirmation ls Impossible, new information may nevertheless be accepted as substantially true If it fits reasonably well into the context in which lt belongs, and if that context is itself fairly well established. Painstaking research into the whole structure and pattern of Communist society is essential for the purpose of establishingontext and permitting the testing of new bits of InformaUon as they come in. In normalintelligence would never reach an important conclusion on the basisnique source If thatcould not be guaranteed to behoax-free and if It were inconsistent with the pattern which had been established and into which it would be supposed to fit
t follows normally that hoaxes, if they are to be ol any consequence, must be of large
scale and longporadicand falsifications of data will beby sophisticated observers because of their inconsistency with tbe main mass of evidence. If the Bloc desires toiven piece of misinformation accepted by US(assuming that the misinformation isoint of real Importance) it must first fabricate considerable amounts ofevidence, or It must establish ln the minds of US intelligenceontext or pattern into which the misinformation will fit without undue difficulty.
his leads us to an aspect of deception which cannot altogether be ignored; that of self-deception, or the inisinterprctatlon of evidence because of preconceptions,or bias. Self-deceptionighlymatter, most of the aspects of which can be excludedaper mainly concerned with deliberate Soviet deception. However, any successful hoax Is likely to dependonsiderable degree on the predilection of the victim to accept certain kinds of falsehood, and it must be assumed that the USSR, in any extensive operations" of deception, wouldto take advantage of what it estimated to be the preconceptions and biases of US and allied intelligence. This is apt to betrue In "covert is at least theoretically possible that we may arriveorrect description of some Soviet activity and on the basis or our own preconceptions judge it to be of the greatest intrinsic importance, allhough to thc USSR It is important mainly because it has diverted our attention from some other activity. Suppose, for example, that the Soviet heavy bomber program were
An exception may be thc bluff, which tsorm of hoax designed to produce aotluB can be quick end successful, but It requires some background lo give It verisimilitude. This background may be cither true or false; if It Is false. It willhave been created by an extendedof deception. Another Important excep Hon would be the sort of hoax described In paragraphbove. See also paragrapheluw.
now Intended mainly to cover thc progress which the Soviets have made in their guided missile program.
There Is more than this to self-deception. We have observed above that much datathe Sino-Soviet Bloc must beas credible for no better reason than that it fits harmoniouslyreviously established context or pattern. This context, once we have formulated it, tends naturally to become somewhat rigid, and the moreIt Is constructed the more rigid itThus, thereisposition to reject new and startling Information, at least provisionally. Suppose, for "example, that thereronounced weakening of the Soviet state, in its political, economic, or military spheres, or ln all three. It is likely that the evidences of such weakening wouldong time fall to be accepted by USThe USSR would derive advan: tage from this failure, and might find ways to encourage it.
Thc USSR might, by long-continued and skillful operations, attempt to create in US and allied intelligence organizations tliethat would, at the requiredbecome the basisuccessful hoax. In other words, the USSR might contribute to the construction by US intelligence of false patterns of some aspects of Soviet society by which to test new data for .consistency. If they could accomplish this, the Soviet leaders might then,rucial moment, be able touccessful deception without actually falsifying the particular evidencebut simply by having previouslythat it would be misinterpreted. The interaction of self-deception with Soviet hoax would be complete. In the general field of intelligence, this form of deception is almost certainly the most difficult to guard against.
The Element of Time
after everything has been donebe done to erect defenses againstit is clear lhat in somewill be the deciding factor. Timeto collate and evaluate newlo sec how far it can be confirmed, and
to decide how far lt may be accepted as hoax-free.eriod of Intense International crisis sufficient time may not be available, and the urgency of the situation may notreservation of Judgment orof decision. Single bits of dubious and unconflrmable data will probably have to beeight which In normal times they would not have. The entire intelligencewill almost certainly be confused withand contradictory reports even if none of them is the product of deliberatedeception. It is atime that the feasibility of deception, and its potentialto the security of the US, Is at Its greatest.
SUSCEPTIBILITY OF VARIOUS INTELLIGENCE METHODS TO HOAXING
By far the greatest volume of Intelligence data is procured by overt and commonplace means, from ordinary and easily accessible sources. The materials thus collected come from books, newspapers, magazines, scientific and learned journals, radio broadcasts,declarations and published documents; speeches, photographs, reports of travellers, and so on. We may stretch this category to include the conversations of US diplomatists and other officials with those of the Bloc, and trje interrogation of defectors, returnees, and prisoners of war. The mass of such materials is enormous. It is reduced to shape and significance not only by the labor ofanalysts but also by scholars, publicists, and others who have no official connection with Intelligence work.
The sheer volume of these materials,with thc widely varied skills of the numerous analysts who work on them, would require that any important deception be a
'The various headings under which Intelligence methods are considered In this section are adopted for convenience and for the particular purposes of this paper; they do notogical or scientific classification of intelligence processes, noromplete list of meUiods, and are not intended to do so.
large-scale operation. Occasional falsifiedor statistics (assuming that they were falsified sufficiently toeallydifference in their meaning) wouldcertainly be detected as such because of their inconsistency with other availableMoreover, any substantialof figures, reports, directives,hich deceived US intelligence might also deceive Communist functionaries who needed to know the truth, and thus produce confusion within the Communist bureaucracy.
Is possible, however, for overtmaterials to become-therand scale. The history ofis lull of examples of massiveof fact by Soviet leaders. Judgingbenefit of hindsight, for example, itStalin succeeded in creating theabroad in the years0 that the Soviet state wasready and more willing towar than was ln fact the case.was based largely on evidencethrough overt channels. There isthat the Soviets devoteto attempts to mislead the massmedia of the free world.
Espionage and Counter-Espionago
ln the conduct of espionage It is always assumed that the enemy has_the ability tothe operations and to use them for the purpose of passing deception information. This assumption is valid also in the case of counter-espionage operations, which areto effect contact with an enemy's secret intelligence and security services; if discovered by the enemy, such contactrime channel for deception. Controlled foreign agents indeed constitute thc classical method for planting deceptive materialation's intelligence structure.
Thc ability of an enemy to use espionage and counter-espionage channels for passing deception material is considerably affected by thc character and level of thc agent selected forurpose. Thus, for example, an agent who has no plausible means ofinformation of national importance can-
not be used for deception purposes. On the other hand, itegular technique to build an agent up lo thc point where tlie recipient of Information Is led to believe that the agent has in fact such access. This ls done by slowly Improving thc quality of information supplied to the agent, by giving the agent plausible stories concerning his ability to acquire such Information, and finally, step by step, leading the agent to the point where Intelligence would be willing toalseatter of national significance.
is, of course, highly unlikely that intimes decisions of crucial Importancesecurity would be based upon theone agent, or even of several agents.hoax through clandestinenormally require not merely onepieces of deceptive Information butsubstantial amount of supporting data.of major crisis or difficulty,danger would probably beA single agent's reportprovide the last straw of evidencethe US decision; tune might notto test the credibility of tbeadequate fashion. Or, deception mighta valid intelligence Judgment, orso tentative as to be of little use. Forpurpose. In time of crisis, deceptionagents would almost certainlyeffective.
Liaison with Friendly Governments
Liaison with friendly governments, asto the US intelligence collection effort. Isormal or Informal contact with the intelligence or security Instruments of those governments. The liaison relationship may thus be viewed as an extension of US capability lo collect Intelligence orInformation on the enemy, and it is as vulnerable lo deception as our ownIntelligence effort. An additional hazard is presented by the fact that tliegovernment could, If It desired, use thefor deceptive purposes of ils own. as well as unwittingly at enemy instigation.
The Communist powers have the ability to use these US liaison relationships to their
profit principally through penetrations of the friendly service, with resulting control ofor whole units of the service, as well as through counter-espionage operationsagainst the collection efforts of the service. Tlie Bloc also may be able todeception Into on established andUS line of Information by means ofpolitical pressures directed against awith whose Intelligence service USmaintains liaison. In such an event the intelligence service's liaison with USmight Itself be used to conceal the government's Intentions or the government's covert relationship wllh the Bloc. The type and magnitude of misleading Information which can be passed by the liaison channel includes Uie entire range of Intelligence and counter-intelligence Information exchanged. Its effectiveness Is limited only by Uie US evaluation of the liaison relationsldp,thc reliability, competence, security, and effectiveness of the services and the degree of success of the enemy's penetration or
n additional significant factor whichUie ability of the Bloc to use thechannel for deception purposes ls Uiat it is difficult and often impossible for USto trace Intelligenceiaison service to its ultimate source Accordingly, under such circumstances. US inielligence customarily knows no more about the source than Uie liaison service is willing or able to disclose.
Photographs (other than aerial
hotographs and motion picture (Urns are procured by intelligence agenciesreat many sources: commercialforeign travellers, industries andwith foreign contracts, liaison with friendly governments, foreign languageand publications, and officialreleases. 0 photographs arc
and inspected each month by USagencies. When such materials have been acquired under reasonablyconditionsas lor Instance when photographs have been taken by aWestern Individualtheyost reliable and concise source for intelligence data of many kinds. In such circumstances the object photographed may of course be camouflaged, simulated, or otherwisefor purposes of deception; theItself, however, isoax.
hotographs emanating from Bloc sources are also highly valuable for the intelligence they yield, but must be used with moreInstances are known of deliberateIn such photographs, usuully accomplished through retouching, or bya false caption. The purpose has been to withhold or disguise military information, to magnify progress in programs of industrial expansion, or simply to confuse by adding to or subtracting from the picture. Skilledwill usually showhotogruph has been tampered with; nevertheless lt is possible tohotograph lnay that the change cannot be detected. Such alterations might be used to achieve adeception. The changeaption cannot be detected by analysis of theItself, and the chances of successfulby this means will depend on the amount ot other evidence (bncludlng other photographs) which may be available toor deny the reliability of thc picture under consideraUoa
hc methods of deception used against aerial observation usually consist either of (a) hiding objects or installations by means of camouflage or concealment, orbjects, installations, or activities by means of decoys and dummies. These are chiefly effective against visual observation as opposed to photo interpretation. Ampleexists indicating the capability of the Bloc Lo make effective use of camouflagenow palnLs, coatings, underground
and underwater constructions, infra-red shielding, smoke defenses, techniques for protective use of light and shadow, techniques for concealment of debris, natural features, and use of underground spaces, ephemeral bridges, and dummy military equipment and installations. It generally appears that the major applications of Soviet deception aretoward tactical situations and the camouflage or concealment of men andmaterial. There is little Indication of strategic applications to large installations, urban areas, port complexes, etc. Someand production installations are known to be underground while others have been widely dispersed.
Although Bloc control over deception measures Is complete, there are still difficult problems to be solved. The USSR might find lt (a) physically or economically Impossible to camouflage or place underground allinstallations, and (b)ecurity viewpoint unwise to confine Its methods of camouflage or concealment to the mostinstallations. Moreover, during World War II nearly all the Importantcamouflaged or concealed were located by photo Interpreters. It ls usuallyto build any important Installations without an adequate connectingsystem which is relatively easy to find and almost impossible to conceal, even on photography of small scale."
Wc believe that the present ability of US photo interpreters to cope with deception methods is generally good. The problem, however, is almost certainly becoming more difficult Even with the best aerialit is possible that US forces could miss thc comparatively small ICBM sites, if they were proiectedoncealment effort ofquality. It Li probable that overflight aerial photography would require substantial technical improvement and supplementation with other kinds of instrumentation in the air, plus the highest quality of photoemploying other sources andfrom ground reconnaissance. If the abilily of US intelligence to cope with decep-
11 if ii i X.
lion techniques ln the luture were to bo fully insured
THE UKEUHOODOF DECEPTION
The foregoing sections of this paper have shown that much of the evidence which we possess concerning the Slno-Sovlet Blocbe guaranteed to be free from deliberate distortions or falsifications. It has also been pointed out that, in the interpretation of this evidence, we cannot always be sura that wc are free from self-deception to which themay have contributed. It follows that most intelligence estimates concerning the Bloc, based as they areomplex ofcannot be guaranteed to be free from the influence of deception. It does notthat, because the influence of deception cannot be proved to be absent. It must be presumed to be present. By definition.agencies would not know If they were being hoaxed. Nevertheless. US intelligence agencies arc confident that most of theirarc not likely to be significantlyby hoax, even In those instances where the evidence Is insufficient toery firm Judgment. The reasons for thiswill be Illustrated in the paragraphs which follow.
t will be well tothat many things of the greatestconcerning the Bloc can be established as true beyond any serious possibility of hoax. Some of these are specifichat the USSR has detonated nuclear devices; thai it has certain types of aircraft in certainnumbers; that It has certain types of oLher weapons, the description andof which are known by examination. Theseultitude of lesser particulars, concerning which there can be no possibility of deception, can be combined to establish various general Ideas concerning the Bloc which again, as long as they are cautiously formulated and kept sufficiently general, may be considered immune from hoax. Thus, the
For discussion of certain other methods ofcollection In relation to the problem of deception, seclimited distribution).
rough order of magnitude of the Sovietand of the Soviet armed forces, and many of thc gonorai characteristlcs-of both, can be known beyond serious doubt. At least thc minimum scientific, technical, and military capabilities of the Bloc can also be establishedeneral way simply by measuring the achievements which have been shown to the world. These thingsase-point for further estimates.
Intelligence must press beyondfacts and broad generalizations,and therefore most estimates are In the domain which cannot be guaranteed lo be free from hoax. The estimates of this type fall into two broad classes: (a) virtually all concerning Soviet or Bloc intentions; and (b) virtually all of the more exact estimates of Soviet and Bloc strengths, whether military, political, economic, or otherwise. Withto these matters, it ls usually necessary to concede that hoax Is possible, and towhether it is feasible, and If so, whether it is likely.
Since every estimate rests on Its ownstructure of sur#orting data, noof the degree of likelihood of hoax will apply equally to all. Each esUmate must be separately considered, and the evidence on which It is based (including collateral and confirmatory evidence) examined with the problem of deception in mind. We haveout such an examinatlorrfor US estimates on five matters of great Importance: (a) Soviet heavy bomber strength; (b) Sovietweapons; (c) Three aspects of Soviet air defense; (d) Soviet guided missiles; and (e) Soviet capability to attack Uie USadvance warning. The method was as follows:irst step, some of the evidence could be conclusively shown to be free from Uie possibility of hoax. The remainder was then assumed, to be the product of deception, and the difficulty and cost of such deception, roughly assessed, was setudgment of the probable advantage .which the USSR would gain from the deception. Frequently, by thisonvincing estimate of Uie likelihood of deception could be reached. If It could not. other lines of argument could
sometimes lead to such an estimate, though occasionally no conclusion was possible. The results of the investigation are very briefly summarized ln the following paragraphs. *
way of caution, it Is desirable todistinction between concealment andwas made earlier In this paper, andagain that we are dealingthe problem of hoax. The validityof an estimate depends not onlythe evidence on which It rests isbut also on whether the evidence isWith the latter question we arethis paper, concerned. Consequently,which follow do not establishof validity or adequacy of thcexamined. It is true that ifis deemed likely to be vitiatedthe reliability of the estimateon that evidence is diminished. It lithat an estimate resting on evidencehoax Isalid andfor the evidence may bemake it so.
Soviet Heavy Bomber Strength
can be established, beyondhoax, lhat the USSR oninimum ofISON andEARthis number were seen In the airby competent observers. Thccharacteristics of thesealso be established, though withinmargins of error. II can alsoUiat the USSR has Uie capabilitysubstantially more than thisof these aircraft Beyond thesethe evidence on which ourbe based could be dccepUvc. Moreover,
'A somewhat more detailed account of thool the first four topics will tie found In Annexes A. B, C.limitedl should be observed that each of these topics is itself quite general ln nature, and that the estimates concerning them break downarge number of subsidiaryany of which must separately be examined for auscep-Ublllty to boax. We have conducted such anto Uie extent lhat appeared necessary lo establish the validity of our Judgment on Uie main problem. Even In the Annexei, however, we can preseniomparatively smallof these subsidiary investigations
Uie deceptions which might have beenare not so costly for difficult as to be ruled out on these grounds, in view of the Intrinsic importance of Uie matter of heavy bombers.
We have estimated that as0 Uie USSR had produced approximatelyISON andEARhat this was an overestimate produced by Sovietmay be considered unlikely, primarilythe USSR failed to use certain methods which it could easUy have employed to Induce us to make an even higher estimate. On the contrary. Uie latest evidence acquired caused us to reduce our previous figures, and much of this evidence could without difficulty have been withheld or altered by the USSR.
It may be. on the other hand, that the USSR had substantially larger numbers of heavy bombers than we believed, andto hoax us into an underestimate. According to this hypothesis, the USSR would have presented us with evidence sufficiently consistent and persuasive to lead us to the estimate we mode, while successfullyevidence of Uie existence of additional aircraft. The element of concealment would be Uie essence of this operaUon; Uie hoax would be easy of accomplishment butunimportant.air amount of evidenceariety of Independent sources yields no Indication of the existence of additional aircraft, we believe suchto have been unlikely.
Concerning future build-up, we haveestimated that Inhe USSR willISONEAR aircraft. In operationaln the nature of things such an estimate must be based more on de-
: Soviet Capabilities and Probable Courses of Action:ugust IBM. snieoviet Gross Capabilities foron the Continental us In Mld-IMO.IShe Assistant Chief of SUff. Intelligence. Department of the Army, did not concur In this estimate of future heavy bomber strength. Bis non-concurrence was not related to Uie problem of Soviet dcecpUon.and insofar as Uie following argumentsolely lo tbe likelihood of deception through evidenre from Soviet sources he concurs In It
duction and argument, and less on tangible evidence, than an estimate of the current situaUon. We have no direct knowledge of Soviet plansulld-up ln heavy bomber strength, and even if we had, the plans might change. In one sense, therefore, Uieot hoax Is negligible because Uieevidence from Soviet sources concerning future strength is so slight as to exert HtUe influence upon our Judgment
ur estimate of future Soviet heavystrength is. however. Influenced by ourof current strength and currentand by current Indications of Uieand expansion of air faculties. It Is here Uiat the possibility of deception exists. An overestimate or underestimate of thesituation might affect our figures forut in view of the arguments on wliich that estimate is based, the effect would In fact be slight The more significantof deception Is as follows: Suppose Uiat the Soviets have no military requirementubstantial heavy bomber forceut wish us to believe that they haveequirement and that they will build up to It Instead of abandoning their currenttherefore, they keep It Ineceptive measure. They mightUie deception during the next year or two by hoaxes designed to increase ourof current strength. The primary ob-.Ject, however, would be to distort ourof their heavy bomber strength0 and Uie years thereabouts, and perhaps also our view of their probable future military strategy.
he hypothesis would be, then. Uiat while present Soviet heavy bomber strength and production capabilities may be exactly as wc have estimated them, Uie entire show isa hoax for the purpose of misleading us as lo the future situation. We consider this an unlikely hypothesis, but there is no evidence available by which it can bedisproved. Our belief in Itsmust be based largely on arguments from general principles: Utat the Sovietsa powerful Intercontinental striking force; thateriod of years the USSR
must rely primarily on the manned bomber for this purpose; Uiat therefore the Soviets will build heavy bombers.^
is plainoviet hoax leadingan overestimate of future Sovietbison and ItlSAlt aircraft would befeasible of any significant hoaxwith the heavy bomber situaUon.be Uie one most difficult for us toif in fact lt were attempted. Ourrests more upon generalSoviet methods and objectives, and ofand probable development ofUlan upon Uie meager amountand specific evidence which isIn the last analysis, our judgmentis unlikely in this particular isso far as our general understandingconduct, techniques, and motivationsSoviet leaders is valid. Theself-decepUon, to which the USSRdeliberately contributed, cannot be
Soviet Nuclear Weapons*
We consider that the existence of anSoviet nuclear energy program isbeyond serious possibility of
Concerning the specific types of nuclear weapons tested by the Soviets, we conclude that the evidence on which our estimate Is based is highly unlikely to have beenInfluenced by deception.
With respect to the number of nuclear weapons which Uie Soviets could have in stockpile. Uie margin of possible error in our estimate ls great Soviet concealment isand ln addition some of the evidence on which Uie estimate is based could beby deception. We cannot say withwhether or not it is likely thathas been attempted. We believe,thai even If lt has been tried and has succeeded, tho effect of deception on thecan have been only flight.
See: The Soviet Atomic Encrey Program; published 7 May 7 (BcsWlcUd
ur estimate of the nature and dimensions of future Soviet nuclear weapons programs is baaed upon an extrapolation of current trends, and the likelihood of error ln such projections to the future is considerably greater than In estimates of the currentThe likelihood of error throughhowever, ls almost certainly no greater, and may be less, because evidence fromsources plays less part in our eitlmate of the future than it does In our estimate of the present.
Threo .Critical Aspects of Soviel
e consider that our knowledge of the types of fighter aircraft available to the USSR Is established beyond serious possibility of hoax. With respect to the numbers of these aircraft, our estimate is based upon evidence which could at least ln part be thc product of deliberate falsification. Although theInvolved are much larger than those of heavy bombers, the same general propositions concerning the likelihood of hoax apply (seehe performance characteristics of these aircraft are known beyond serious possibility of deception save la one important respect: their electronic equipment Even in this particular, certain of the characteristics and capabilities of the Soviet equipment are known beyond serious likelihood of hoax; what cannot be established Is how many fighter aircraft In fact have this equipment. It ls possible that the USSR has deliberately led us into the belief that more aircraft are thus equipped than is hi fact Uie case.
oncerning the Soviet aircraft control and warning system, we consider that it would be at least ns difficult to fabricate thc evidence wc possess as to construct and operate usystem. ConsequenUy. we consider major deception virtually out of the question. The evidence ls not complete, however, and Uie USSR could deceive us as to Uie extent of Its
: Soviet Capabilities and Prob-aote Courses of Action, aboir Defense of the Sino Sovietew estimate on this subject Is under pre para Uon
aircrafl control and warning system in Uie remoter regions of its territory.
We estimate that the USSR nowround-to-air missile capability as part of Its air defense system. The direct evidence of this capability is such, however, lhat weprove Uiat it lsoax. Thc cost ofeception would be great but would not be sufficient to rule it out, in view of the Importance of the question of air defense. We believe hoax highly unlikely, however,(a) we know Uiat the USSR has Uie scientific and technical capability to produce surface-to-air missiles, soonw or later; (b) we estimate that Uie USSRilitaryfor such missiles; (c) It Is(though not necessary) to believe from other evidence Uiat Uie USSR would havea surface-to-air missile by this time; and (d) Uie magnitude of thc construction operations at what wc estimate to be guided missile sites around Moscow is far greater and more costly than would appear to be required for mere hoax, and, where it can be examined at all. Is clearly adequate for genuine missile operations.
Even if there be no hoax as to the main point of Soviet surface-to-air missileit remains possible Uiat Uie directwe possess may have been fabricated by lhe USSR to give an exaggeratedof current capabilities. .The sites around Moscow may be more numerous and elaborate than Is actually justified by the missUes presently available for use at them, even though they may be genuine sites for guided missile operation. We have no basis on which Lo judge the likelihood of such deception.
Soviel Offensive Guided Missilos*
he existenceigorous Sovietof research and development in guided missiles can be established beyond any serious likelihood of hoax, though not, perhaps,all possibility of it. Likewise, lhe fact that Soviet scientists and technicians are ca-
se*: Soviet CapabillUea andPrograms in the Guided Missile
pablc of developing advanced types of guided missiles Is, we believe, not subject to doubt.
oncerning the types and numbers ofwhich the USSR may now possess, and tie precise stage of development of those which are not yet ready for producUon oruse, the evidence available isscanty. Such as It is, we consider Uiat it ls in itself virtually immune from hoax. It Is far from sufficient, however, and we still have to base our esUmate of Soviet guided missile capabilities, both present and future, very largely upon Uie analogy of USThe estimate made In this way can be checked and correctedew points by Uie direct evidence which has recenUyavailable. The Influence of hoax on our estimate ls, up to this point, negligible bywith the Influence of concealment.
ossible that the direct evidence which has recenUy become available may. though tn Itself genuine, be deliberately released to us by the Soviets for the purpose of persuading us either to an underestimate or to anof their actual missile capabilities. This would involve an assumption that Uie USSR hod in part successfully concealed either its assets or Its deficiencies in Uiefield, and since the evidence Is extremely scanty we cannot rule out Uie possibility of such concealment, Tlie direct evidence,playsmall part in determining our estimate, and in most respects Uiewould have been Uie same without this evidence, though it would have been less Thus, the influence of deception, if deception has been attempted, .would have been comparatively slight. The intelligence community, in submitting its estimate ofguided missiles, does so with manymost of which arise not because of Uie likelihood of hoax but because of theof evidence.
Soviet Capabilities for Attack on lhe Conlinenial US Wilhovl WarningM
receding examples have been primarily drawn from estimates ol Soviet strengths; they have involved Soviel intentions only in
connection with plans for future build-ups. In the present example, however, we areprimarily with an esUmate of Soviet intentions, an area in which hoax Iseasy. Barring some unexpectedbreakthrough, we are highlyto have direct knowledge of Uie plans of Sovicl leaders.udgment of their Intent to attack must be based upon (a) an estimate of Soviet capabilities for such attack, andorrect Interpretation of the political, psychological, and military moves which the Soviet leaders moke leading directly to Uie attack. In this discussion, we shall assume that Uie USSR possesses thecapability to attack, and confine ourselves to the second aspect of the problem.
Two conditions are possible: (a) thatUie Soviet leaders do not Intend to attack the US. but desire to persuade us Uiat they do soand <b) that Uie Soviet leaders Intend to attack Uie US, but desire to persuade us Uiat they will not do so. The first wouldbe Uie easiest of hoaxes to execute. Il might require, for example, no more than the dispatchubstantial formation of heavy bombers toward the US under suchthat US intelligence would gainof the movement.oax would be extremely dangerous for the perpetrator, and would be unlikely under presenUyconditions, since If successful itswould presumably be to set off aattack which might not be averted in time. Circumstances can be imagined, of course, in which US retaliation woutd be in-feasible, ond In this case thc deception might be very profitable to the USSR.
Assuming now that the Soviet leaders decide to attackiven time, but desue to persuade us that they will not do so. there are manifold possibilities for deceptiveThe Soviet leaders could, for example, enter into ostensibly friendly ncgoUations shortly before Uie attack, giving everythat lhe political crisis (if there was one)
, warning in advance of thatarly-warning radar. Secntelligence Warning Of Soviet Attack on the us (to be published shorUy).
was about lo be settled peacefully. They could confuse US Inielligence with many kinds of specific contradictory evidences, along the ?tines discussed In paragraphbove. Tliey %ould, with no great difficulty, eveneficiency in capabilities, perhapsne as would seem to be only of temporary nature, and therefore the morehe Soviets could, also, over atime, build up their state of readiness for attack inay as to make almostetermination of actual Intent. Training flights of heavy bombers could take place, for example, Ume after Ume, until US Intelligence would have no way ofwhether or nut any given flight wasfor actual attack. All Uie variousmaneuvers which might be required could be frequently executed for trainingand to thc same effect. Such moves would not. of course, reassure US Intelligence. On the contrary, Uiey would presumablyondition of more or less permanent
alarm and vigilance. Yet there might be nothing to dlsUhgulsh Uie ultimate attack, in Its earlier stages, from -similar military maneuvers which had been often repeated without eventuating in attack.
e conclude that Uie likelihood ofhoax ln connecUonovieton Uie US is considerable. In certain circumstances we believe Uiat Uie Soviets could make II virtually impossible for us to gain advance knowledge of their Intent to attack, though this Is not to say that we would have been Ignorant of their capability to atuck without warning. However, thepallUcal clrcumsuinoes leading up to war are seldom perfecUy adapted to Uieof hoax. Thus, although Uieood of hoax could hardly be less than high. It cannot, be measured more cxacUy save in full knowledge of the context ofwhich brought about the decision to attack in this manner,Original document.