From Sherman Kent
Bowtoeic*fce estimating process failed, tno apprehend an illogical Soviet policy decision.
A CRUCIAL ESTIMATE RELIVED Sherman Kent
Special National Intelligence, entitled "The Military Buildup inecame the officialof the United States Intelligence Board onhis estimate was undertaken when reporting from Cuba began toteep acceleration in Soviet deliveries of military supplies to Cuba. The tempo of its production was more rapid thanut far less rapid thant the time it vas completed, those of us engaged in it felt that itsasic analysis of the situation. Here they are:
believe that the USSR values Its position ln Cubathe political advantages to be derived from It, andthat the main purpose of the present militaryCuba Is to strengthen the Communist regime therethe Cubans and the Soviets conceive toangerUS may attempt by one means or another to overthrowSoviets evidently hope to deter any such attempt byCastro's defensive capabilities and by threateningretaliation. At the same time, they evidentlythat the development of an offensive military base lnprovoke US military Intervention and thus defeatpurpose.
terms of military significance, the current Sovietsubstantially Improving air defense and coastal defenseln Cuba, Their political significance Is that, Inthe Soviet statement ofeptember, they are likely toas ensuring the continuation of the Castro regimewith consequent discouragement to the opposition attn exile. The threat inherent In these developments Isthe extent that the Castro regime therebyenseat home, It will be emboldened to become moreIn TomenUng revolutionary activity Id Latin America.
Andere an attempt to predict what further developments might occur. They read;
C. As tb* builduphe USSR may be tempted toin Cube, other weapons represented to be defensive in purpose, butore "oBenalve" character:ight bombers,sod additional types of short-range surface to surface missilesecision to provide such weapons wUl coo Uoue to depend heavily oa tbe Soviet estimate as to whether they could be introduced without3 military reaction
EX The USSR could derive considerable military advantage from the establishment or Soviet medium and lntenaediate ranee baiUa. Uc mlaalles in Cuba, or from the establishmentovietbase there. As between these two. the establishmentubmarine base would be the more likely. Either development, however, would be Incompatible with Soriet practice to dats and with Soviet policy as we presently estimate it It wouldar greater willingness to Increase the level of risk In US-eJovlet relations than the USSR has displayed thus far. and consequently would have Important policy Implications with respect to other ureas and other problems ln East-West relations.
As is quite apparent, the thrust of these paragraphs was that the Soviets would be unlikely to introduce strategicweapons into Cuba. There is no blinking the fact that we came down on the wrong side. When the photographic evidence ofctober was in, there was the proof.
Soon after the consequent crisis hadumber of investif ationi were set in train aiming to understand why the estimate came out as It did. What follows are my own thoughts on the subject and some philosophicalabout the business of Intelligence estimating. Mythought is that no intelligence mechanism imaginable can be anything like one hundred percent sure of predicting correctly the actionsoreign governmentituation such as this one was. If similar situations develop in the future and if their course must be estimated from the same sort of evidentiary base, these situations too are bound to be susceptible to the same sort of mlsjudgment.
The Estimating Machine
Although many of our readers are aware of the process by which National Intelligence Estimates are produced, It isclealrable to set forth again the general ground-rules.
When time allows (and it did in the case of the Cubathe process Is fairly complicated; Itot of thought and planning at theot of research andin the intelligence research organizations of the military and the Staterafting by the ablest staff In the business,ainstaking series of interagency meetings devoted to review and coordination. Before it gets the final USIBull-dress NTE goes down an assembly line of eight or more stations. At each it is supposed to receive (and almost always does) the attentionighlygroup. The Cuba estimate passed through all these stations.
The laborious procedure has seemed to me worth while if for no other reason than that it is aimed at achieving three important goals: the productionaper tailored exactly to the requirements of the policy consumer; the fullof every relevant intelligence resource (documents and knowledgeable people) within the community; andest agreed Judgment about imponderables, orunanimity the isolation and identification of dissenting opinion.
In any of the major estimates it would not be difficult to demonstratehousand, perhaps thousands of. people in Intelligence work scattered all over the world had made their modest witting or unwitting contribution to the finished Job. Foreign service officers, attaches, clandestine operators and their operatives, eavesdroppers, documentbservers, "photographers" and the photoreporters, researchers, sorters, indexers, reference and technical specialists, and so on have been gathering,arranging, and sifting the factual stuff upon which the estimate rests. Final responsibility for the form andof the ultimate blue book rests with far fewer,ood number Just the same. These are the estimators throughout the community, Including the staff of the Office of National Estimates, the DCI's Board of National Estimates, and the USIB principals themselves.
So much for what might be called the physique of theIt has also its purely Intellectual aspects. Like any solid conceptual construction, the National Intelligence Estimate
Is prepared in rough accordance with the procedures of the scientific method.
In very generalear, over-simplified terms, thegoes like this.onfrontation of the problem and some decisions as to how it should be handled, there is aof files and minds for all Information relating to the problem; and an evaluation, analysis, and digestion of this information. There are emergent hypotheses as to theaggregate meaning of the Information; some emergedsome after its absorption. No one can say whence come these essential yeasts of fruitful thought Surely they grow bestedium of knowledge, experience, and intuitive understanding. When they unfold, they are checked back against the facts, weighed in the light of the specificand tbe analysts' general knowledge andof the world scene. Those that cannot stand up fall; those that do stand up are ordered In varying degrees of likelihood.
The Search into Uncertainty
As an NIE begins to lake form It carries three kinds of statements. The first is easily disposed of; It is the statement of indisputablehe Sovietsong-range heavy Jet bomber, thehe second and third kinds do not carry any such certainty; each restsarying degree ofThey relate respectively (a) to things which are knowable but happen to be unknown to us, and (b) to things which are not known to anyone at all.
As an example of the former, we have seen the Bison up close and from afar, photographed it ln the air and on the ground, listened to it and timedn flight; but no reliable source we have access lo has had his hands on one or put one through lis paces. Its performance characteristics area matter of calculation or estimate. Likewise,some Soviet official knows with perfect assurance how many Bisons there are. we do not. Our calculation of Bison order of battle Is an estimate, an approximation.
Over the years our estimates of these knowable but unknown things have probably come closer and closer to the objective fact, but it Is sobering to realise that there Isotable discrepancy between the CIA and Air Force estimates of oper-
Bisons, and that only last year our seemingly solidof Bear order of battle bad to be revised upwards some fifteen percent.
It is worth noting here that matters far less esoteric than Bear order of battle can and often do present literally un-solvable problems. An innocent might think that such know-able things as the population of Yemen, the boundaries of Communist China, the geodetic locus of Russian cities, and thousands of other obvious matters of fact could be had for the asking. Not only can they not be had for the asking, they cannot be had at all. The reason is, of course, cither that no one has ever tried to find them out, or that those who have tried have approached the problem from different angles with different methodologies and gotten different answers, of which no single one can be cited as the objective fact
The third kind of statement, in (b) above, represents an educated guess at something literally unknowable by any man alive. Characteristically it often deals in futures and with matters well beyond human control: Will Nkrumah be with us for the next two years? five years? Or it deals with matters under human control but upon which no human decision has been taken: How many Blinders will the Soviets have five years hence? What kind of antimissile capability? What will be their stance ln Cuba next year? It may be that theleaders have temporized with these Issues, agreed to go planless for another six or eighteen months. Or it may be that they have deckled, but et this time next year will drastically alter this year's decision. Ask almost anyone what he plans to do with5 hoUday and sec what you gel. If you do get anything, write it down and ask him the sameear from now.
If NiEs could be confined to statements of indisputable fact the task would be safe and easy. Of course the result could not then be called an estimate. By definition, estimating Is an excursion out beyond established fact into theventure in which tbe estimator gets such aid and comfort as he can from analogy, extrapolation, logic, and judgment In tbe nature of things he will upon occasion end up with awhich time will prove lo be wrong. To recognize this as inevitable docs not mean that we estimators arc reconciled
our inadequacy; It only means we fully realize lhat wc are engagedazardous occupation.
It has been murmuredl* judgment such asin the Cuba SNLEomplete overhaul of our method of producing estimates. In one sense of the wordhis cannot be done. As Indicated earlier, the method In question is the one which students reared in the Western tradition have found to be best adapted to the search for truth. It is the classical method of the natural sciences, retooled to serve the far less exact disciplines of thescience of humanpolitics,sociology, etc. This Is our method; we are stuck with It, unless we choose to forsake It for the "programmer" and his computer or go back to the medicine man and his mystical communion with the All-Wise.
What can be done is toard look at those stages of the method where it is most vulnerable and where aof vigilance or an undue inflexibility may lead to error In Judgment. First consider the so-called evaluation of the
The Blatter of Menial Set
In our business we are as likely to be faced by tbe problemlethora of raw Intelligence as by one of its paucity. In many of our tasks we have soolume of data that no single person can read, evaluate, and mentally file it all. It gets usedinished intelligence study only through being handled along the lineroup of people who divide theObviously the individuals of this group are not Identical in talent or anything else, and each brings to the task his own character, personality, and outlook on life. There is no way of being sure that as they read and evaluate they all maintain the same standards of criticism or use common criteria of value and relevance.
Merely as an example ofm saying: it could have been thatozen such readers were Inclined to believe that tbe Soviets would put strategic weapons into Cuba and another half-dozen inclined to believe the opposite. In some measure the subsequent useiven document depends upon who handles it first and gives It an evaluation. It could be
aluable piece of Information falls Into disreputeits early readers did not believe its story. The obverse is alsoan Incorrect story should gain greatbecause of being wholly believed by wishful critics. Itelancholy fact of life that neither casereat rarity, that man will often blind himself to truth by going for the comforting hypothesis, by eschewing the painful.
What Is true of the evaluation of raw Intelligence at the reporting or desk officer level is generally true all along the line. The main difference between the early evaluation and that at the national estimates level is the quantity evaluated, not necessarily the quauty of the evaluation. The relatively few people on the national estimates staff and board cannot, indeed do not try to. read all incoming reports. They read and appraise what survives the first few stages of the winnowing-outa formidable amount of paper. For the rest they rely upon the word of the specialists who have handled the material in the first instance. The senior estimates people have had more experience lhan the average and their skills are probably greater, but they are still men with normal human fallibilities.
In last analysis these falubilities liean's habits of thought. Some minds when challenged respondong-harbored prejudice, some with an Instantaneous cliche. Some minds arc fertile In the generation of new hypotheses and roam freely and wldely.among them. Other minds not merely are sterile ln this respect but actively resist Ihe new idea.
Any reputable and studious man knows the good and evil of the ways of thought. No worthy soul consciouslyrejudice or willfullyliche, everyone knows the virtues of openmlndcdness; no one boasts lmperviousnessew thought And yet even in the best minds curiousoccur.
The Data on Cuba
I do not believe, however, that any such derelictions occurred in the matter of evaluating the evidence on Cuba. What tittle data we had prior lom sure we weighed and measured with open minds.
What was this evidence? To begin with, there was of course no Information that the Soviets had decided to deploymissiles to Cuba and Indeed no indication suggestingecision. Moreover, months after that decision had been reached, and during the period when the estimate was being drafted and discussed, there was still no evidence that the missiles were in fact moving to their emplacement With the benefit of hindsight one can go back over theand more bits of information collected from humanin the six months endingctober and pick out averyIndicated the possible presence of strategic missiles. The report of CIA's Inspector General says: "It was not until shortly after mid-Septemberew ground observer reports began coming in which were specificallyor suggestive of the introduction into Cuba of Soviet offensive weapons."
The IG goes on to list the "handful" which "can be related" to these weapons. The list comes to eight Ofould agree that no more than two or possibly three should have stopped the clock. None of these was available before the crucial estimate was put to bed. Even if they had been here In time and even if we had intuitively feltotable among us did so feel) that such weapons were on the way. these three bits of evidence would probably not, taken in the context of the other thousands, have been seized on asto the truth. In the mass of human observation andthere were Items to support or destroy almost any hypothesis one could generate.
Nor did the aerial photography of September dissipate the uncertainty. Not only did It fall to spot the ominousof missile emplacement but over and over again it mode fools of ground observers by proving their reportsor wrong. The moment of splendor fors, cameras, film, and Pis when finally the sites and associated equipment were photographed and Identified had not yetwith the close of the business day ofeptember.
Thus of the two classical Invitations to error in thebusiness, we cannot be said to have fallen for theefer of course to the neglect or wishful mlsevaluation of evidence because It does notreconceived
Though perhaps tempted, we also did not kick the problem unriei the rug. We did ask ourselves the big question. "Are the Soviets likely to use Cubatrategice asked ourselves the next echelon of questions, "Are they likely to base submarines, light bomberseavier bombers, and long-range missiles there?" Our answers are cited above.
The Logic of Intent
How could wc have misjudged? The short answer is that, lacking the direct evidence, we went to the next beat thing, namely Information which might indicate the true course of developments. We looked hard at the fact of the Sovietbuildup hi Cuba for indications ot Its probable final scale and nature. We concluded that the military supplies piling into Cubaoviet Intent to give Castro adefensiveformidable as toajor military effort on the part of an attacker. We felt that the Soviet leaders believed the worldwideconsequences of such an effort would be recognized in the United States and would be the strongest possible deterrent. military moves to overthrow Castro. Obviously we did not go on to argue that the Soviets might think they could raise the deterrent still higher by supplying the Cubans with long-range missiles, which they would still proclaim to be purely defensive.
As noted, however, we did consider the matter. And ln answering the questions that we posed ourselves on theof the Soviets' building Cuba Into what this country would have to regardtrategic base, we called uponrange of indicators. These were indicators derivable from precedents in Soviet foreign policy.
When we reviewed once again how cautiously the Soviet leadership had threaded its way through other dangerous passages of the Cold War; when we took stock of tbe sense of outrage and resolve evinced by the American people andsince the establishmentommunist regime ln Cuba; when we estimated that the Soviets must be aware of these American attitudes; and when we then asked ourselves would the Soviets undertake the great risks at the highand In Cuba of allindicator, the pattern of Soviet foreign policy, shouted out its negative.
With hindsight one may speculate that during the winter and early springhen the Soviets were making their big Cuba decisions, they examined the posture of the United States and thought theyhange in It. Is Itthat they viewed our acceptance of setbacks in Cuba (the Bay ofn Berlin (thend in Laos as evidenceoftening of us. resolve? Perhaps they did, and on this basis they estimated the risks of putting missiles into Cuba as acceptably low. Perhaps, when they contemplated the large strategic gains which would accrue If the operation succeeded, their estimate of. mood was wishfully nudged ln this direction. And perhaps again, to close the circuit, they failed to estimate at all the consequences of being themselves faced downrisis. If all these speculations arethere is persuasive argument to sustaininIt is extremely difficult for many of us to follow their inner logic or to blame ourselves for not having thought ln parallel with them.
On IS October we realized that our estimate of the Soviets' understanding of the mood of the United States and itsreaction was wrong. Onctober we realized that the Soviets had realized they had misjudged the United Stales. In between we verified that our own feeling for the mood of the United States and its probable reaction had been correct. In a" way our misestimate of Soviet intentions got an ex post facto validation.
ways out we did not take ,
In brooding over anthe probableof the Soviet Union in the contexttrong temptation to make no estimate at all In theof directly guiding evidence, why not say the Soviets might do this, they might do that, or yet again they might do theleave it at that? Or like the newslay out the scenario as it has unwound to date and endtime alone willhis sort of thing has the attractions of Judicious caution and an unexposed neck, but it can scarcely be of use to the policy man and planner who must prepare for future contingencies.
Even more tempting than no estimate is the "worst case" estimate. This consists of racking up all the very worst
things the adversary Is capable of doing and estimating that he may undertake them all, irrespective of the consequences to his own larger objectives. If one estimates thus and if one is believed by the planner, then It follows that the latter need never be taken by unpleasant surprise.
Engaging in these worst-case exercises may momentarily cheer the estimator. No one can accuse him of nonchalance to potential danger; he has signaled its existence at each of the points of the compass; congressional investigators will have lean pickings with him. But In allorse fate awaits. Either his audience will tire of the cry of wolf and pay him no heed when he has really bad news to impart, or it will be frightened into Immobilityrastically wrong policy decision.
It was tempting in the matter of Cuba to go for the worst case: but in the days beforeeptember we knew that the evidence would not sustain such an estimate, and our reading of the indicators led us in the opposite direction.
Why No Revision?
If wrong as ofeptember, why did we not put things to rights before thectober photographs? Why did we not recall and modify the estimate when the early groundreports reached us or when we finally got the photo of the inbound Soviet ship with its deck cargo of crated? Could we not have repaired theeek or so inofctober and given the policy-maker the advantage of this precious time?
In the first place, thesectober data almost certainly would not, indeed should not. have caused the kind of shift of language in the key paragraphs that would have sounded the tocsin. Of themselves and in context they should not have overpowered all to the contrary andne-hundred-eighty-degree change to "The Soviets are almost certainlyCubatrategic base righthe most they should have contributedew version would have been In the direction of softening the original "highly unlikely" andentence or two to note the evidence,ewand signal the possible emergenceangerous threat. If we had recalled the estimate oremo to
holders in early October we would haveetter record
I very much doubt that whatever In con-
.V we could bave said would have galvanized high eche-
lons of government to crash the second place, It Is not as if these new data had no
to the world of policy people except through National
Estimates. The information was current Intel-
when it came hi and it promptly went out to the key
'as such. This is of course the route that most, if
not all, Important Items of Intelligence follow. Thatpart of an NTEarlier referred to as theknowable things that are knownigh degree of
" /is often very largely made up of yesterday's current
In the multi-corn pa rUnented intelligence business, twoare atestimates compartment andIntelligence. They are peopled by two quite sepa-
rate groups and follow quite different lines of work. there Is the closest interrelationship betweencurrent intelligence people handle almost minute by min-
ute the enormous volume of blooming stuff, evaluate it, edit It. and disseminate it with great speed. The estimates people workonger-range subject matter, hopefullyorepace, and make their largest contributions in the area of Judicious speculation. NTEa are produced at the rate of SO loear; individual current intelligence items at that of some tenear. The current people look toas the correct medium for pulling together andinto the future the materials that continuously flow ln. The estimators for their part rely on the current people to keep alert for news that will modify extant estimates.
The estimators do themselves keep the keenest sort of watch for this kind of news. Indeed the estimates boardand staff chiefs start every working day with aof new information that might require revisiontanding NTE. But the board feels that certain criteria should be met before itew estimate. Thesebe subject matter of the estimate must be of considerableImportance. (The situation In Blanks was important at the time of our lost estimate on the subject, but it is not very
important now; hence today's news, which may give the lie to* major portions of the Blanks estimate, will not occasion its formalhe new evidence must be firm and mustignificant departure from what wasestimated. (We would not normally recall an estimate toey "probably" to an "almost certainly" nor to change an estimated quantityew percentage points. unless we adhere to these criteria and let current Intelligence carry its share of the burden, very few NTEs oould be definitely buttoned up, and those which had been would have to befor almost dally revisions. Maybe this is the way we should direct our future effort; some of our critics seem toas much.hink not.)
The Enemy't Viewpoint
Some of our critics have suggested that we would have avoided the error if we hadetter Job of puttingIn the place of the Sovietif we had only looked out on the world scene with their eyes and thought about It the way they did we would not have misreadand all would have been clear. Upon occasion this proposition is madeay to suggest that Its articulator feels that he has given birthrand new Idea. "Youre says, "is that you do not seem to realize you are dealing with Russian Communistsoviet government policys such statements areuickening pf pulseise lnave wondered if such people appear before pastry cooks to tell them how useful they will find something called "wheat flour" in their trade.
If thereirst rule in estimating the probable behavior of tbe other man. it is the rule to try to cast yourself in his image and see the world through his eyes. It is in pursuit of this goal that Intelligence services put the highest premium on country-by-country expertise, that they seek out and hire men who have deeply studied andiven nation's ways of life, that they procure for these men dallyof information on the latest developments in the area ef their specialty. To the extent that objectivity ofabout the other man's probable behavior Is the crux of
intelligence business, to that extent is the importance of
the other man's life recognized and revered.
Since at least Worldntelligence services have to timeroup of Individuals apart and Instructed
; to think of themselves as tbe enemy's general stafl.
tasked team is to ponder and act out the way the
will respond to situations as they develop. The klea
to be that by the creation of an artificial
going to the lengths of letting the personnel ln ques-
wcar the enemy's uniform and speak his sort of broken
willore realistic appreciation of the
probable behavior than without the frills. It does
Consider the ease of one intelligence service thata unit toremlin stafl. It not onlyof its own officers but also employed the talents of one-tune Communists. This latter move was regarded as
the new "something" to cap all similar previous games. Intime all members of the group became spiritedand as such were able to give Soviet problemsMarxistwhich,alen-
hrushchev would not have given the time of day.
'particular exercise always seemed to me to have reached
a new high hi human fatuity. Five James Burnhams mayinsights into the working of Communist minds, but try no means necessarily into those particular minds that are ln charge of Soviet policy.
Of course we did not go in for this sort of thing. We relied as usual on our own Soviet experts. As normally, they did try to observe and reason like the Soviet leadership. What they could not do was lo work out the propositions of an aberrant faction of the leadership to the point of foreseeing that this faction's view would have Its temporary victory and subsequent defeat.
The Determinant! of Action
Within certain limits there Is nothing very dim cult or esoteric about estimating bow the other, man will probably
iven situation. In hundreds of cases formal estl-
IEs, for example) have quitemany
times boldly end almostthe turn.sucharge number of subjudgments areThe other man will act as diagnosede ls ln his right mind or at least he is not demonstrablye cannot capriciously make the decision bya minimum It will have to be discussed with advisers, and In nondictatorial governments It will have to stand the test of governmental and popular scrutiny; <S) he is aware of the power of traditional forces in his country, the generallynotions of Its broad national interests and objectives, and the broad lines of policy which are calculated to protect the one and forward thee is well informed.
To the extent that the "other man's" diplomatic missions and intelligence service can observe and report the things he must know prior to his decision, they have done so. He has read and pondered. These and other phenomena verynarrow the areaoreign statesman's choice, and once thus narrowed it is susceptible to fairly sure-footed analysis by studious Intelligence types. As long as all theconstants ln the equation are operative the estimator can be fairly confident ofound Judgment.
It is when these constants do not rule that the real trouble begins. It Is when the other man zigs violently out of the track of "normal" behavior that you are likely to lose him. If you lack hard evidence of the prospective erratic tack and the zig is so for out of line as to seem to you to be suicidal, you will probably misestimate him every time. No estimating process can be expected to divine exactly when the enemy is about toramatically wrong decision. We were not brought up to underestimate our enemies.
We missed the Soviet decision to put the missiles into Cuba because we could not believe that Khrushchev could makeistake. The fact that he did suggests that he might do so again, and this in turn suggests that perhaps we do not know some things about Soviet foreign policy decision-making that we should. We can be reasonably sure that certain forces which sometimes mislead Western foreign offices are seldom effective in the Soviet government. It is hard tofor example,oviet foreign minister has to pay much heed to an unreasonable press, or to domestic pressure
or, in tbe clutch, lo the tender feelings of allies and neutrals.
If these well-known phenomena are not operative, what things areoviet decision-maker towards aor an unfortunate policy decision? Obviously there are the fundamental drives inherent In Communism Itself, but for these and the many things that go with them we, asof Soviet policy, are braced. Are there perhaps other thingsesser but nevertheless important nature that we have not fully understood and taken intoould like to suggest two that are closely linked: the role andof Soviet embassies; and the role of intelligence and the philosophy of Its collection, dissemination, andould like to suggest that If we were to study these more deeply we might discover thatoviet misestimate and wrong-headed policy is traceable to the peculiar way in which the Soviets regard the mission of their ambassadors and the role they assign to their intelligence service.
Whence the Decisive Intelligence?
Obviously you cannot divine the functions of Dobrynln in Washington by studying Kohler ln Moscow.oviet foreign missionuite different aura from other foreign missions weood deal about But just what does ajob description look like? What does his government expect him lo do beyond the normal diplomatic functions all ambassadors perform? What are his reporting functions, for example, and what kind of reporting staff does he have? What do he and they use as the raw materials for their purely informationalindeed they write any?
Does the embassy stafl proper compete with the KGB men ln Its reporting? We know that the top KGB dog inertain primacy over locally-domiciled Sovietthe ambassador. Does this primacyto reporting? Does the ambassador check his reports out with the KOB boss before sending them ofl? One thing we can be sureKGB boss does not check his out with the ambassador. If ambassadorial reports are written and sent, who In Moscow reads them? Does Khrushchev? Do
the Presidium members? How do the highest echelons ofregard them as against, say. KGB or GHUreports and pilfered documents?
I And myselfot about Dobrynln. Suppose he had been informed of Moscow's estimate that. resolve had softened. Suppose he bad agreed with this estimate ln general. Is it possible that he would have gone on to agree with Moscow that the risks of sending strategic missiles to Cuba were entirely acceptable? It may be that be was not informed of this second estimate. But If he was soave great difficulty believing he would have agreed with it. Dobrynln istupid man, and presumably he must have sensed that Castro's Cuba occupied some special place In American foreign policy thinking. Isossible that, sensing. mood, he did not report it. and bolster his findings from what he read In the press and Congressional Record, what he heard on the radio and TV? Is it not more likely that he did send back such appraisals and that Moscow gave them little notice because they were not picked upancy clandestine operation? Is it possible that the conspiratorial mind In the Kremlin, when facedhoice ofwill not lean heavily toward that which comes via the covert apparatus?
We have recently learnedot about this apparatus and the philosophy of Its operation and use. We think we have valid testimony from defectors who have come out of the Soviet and Satellite Intelligence services that enormousIs attached to clandestine procurement ofcontaining the other man's secrets of state. We know that whatever overt research and analysis work Ls done in the Soviet government is not associated with the intelligenceThat the findings of this type of effort are deniedachet of "intelligence" may rob them of standing, perhaps even of credibility.
We know that the Soviet practice of evaluating raw reports prior to disseminationretty rough and ready affair (no alphabetical and numerical scale of estimated reliability, for example) that leaves the customerery free choice to bebeve or disbelieve. There is evidence to IndicateGB resident abroad has tha right toeportilitary
of AtafT or lo the foreign minister or to Khrushchev him-
His boss in Moscow is in the chain of communication
and can, of course, slop dissemination lo the high-placed But if the resident ln question is known to be of the addressee the boss will Uunk twice before be In-
terferes. We are reasonably certain that thereotSemichastny. chief of the KGB. and Chairman
and that It is used to carry current raw Inlelll-
between tbe two.
tempting to hope that some research and systematic
" of recent defectors, together with new require-
-Us served on our own Intelligence services, might turn up
Insights Into the Soviet process of decision-making. The
* ;v are pretty strongly against It; and yet
credible wrongness of the Soviet decision to put the missiles
uba all but compels an attempt to find out. Any light
can be thrown on that particular decision might lessen
chances of our misestimating the Sovietsuture case.