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Soviet Russia - REDCAP

REDCAP (1951-65) was the planned collection of information on Soviet personnel stationed abroad for the purpose of operational exploitation, including defection inducement. By 1969 some 21,173 Soviet nationals resided in the 77 non-Communist countries of the world, of whom 5,943 were officials. At least 60 percent of these, or 3,560, wre in fact intelligence personnel. Moreover, the Soviet services worked very closely with the 19 intelligence services of the seven Communist governments of Eastern Europe. During the 1950's the Soviets dominated these services through a system of senior advisors whose word was law. Although this control was somewhat relaxed during the 1960's, close coordination continued.

  • AECARRERA (1953-58) exploited REDCAP opportunities (collection of information on Soviets stationed abroad) arising out of the propaganda distributed by AEVIRGIL and collected positive intelligence through debriefings of East German nationals visiting the AECARRERA office in Berlin in response to AEVIRGIL materials ballooned into East Germany.
Counterespionage [CE] has one purpose which transcends all others in importance: penetration. The emphasis which the KGB places on penetration was evident. The best security system in the world cannot provide an adequate defense against it because the technique involves people. The only way to be sure that an enemy has been contained is to know his plans in advance and in detail. Moreover, only a high-level penetration of the opposition can tell whether a service is penetrated. A high-level defector can also do this, but the adversary knows tha the defected and within limits can take remedial action. Conducting CE without the aid of penetrations is like fighting in the dark. Conducting CE with penetrations can be like shooting fish in a barrel. The great value of penetrations is such that there can never be enough of them.

There was general realization that the Soviet services and their extensions in the Communist countries of Eastern Europe were a highly integrated system, and that the US could not cope effectively with a coordinated attack if uncoordinated. The security problem can be handled in a decentralized fashion because security rules are pretty much the same for all. But counterespionage must be centralized. The heart of counterespionage is the penetration operation - and the US could not possibly achieve reliable penetrations on a fragmented or departmental basis.

The same is true of the other principal kinds of CE operations. To be effective, all require a central command post. In addition to the penetration, this is true of all efforts to induce defection. And it is true with respect to the deception operation. This type of CE operation is based upon an established channel of communication with the enemy, and the purpose is to insert into this channel misleading information which will cause the enemy to take action which is contrary to his own interests. The need for centralized direction is clear. It is not possible to mislead the opposition by a series of uncoordinated bright ideas. It can only be done according to a central plan.

When a Soviet defects, when he walks into an American embassy, the worst thing that can happen to him is a confrontation with incompetence. Strong-arm methods will not work with him.It's no good grilling him, or making him the objective of a squeeze session. Soviet intelligence officers were told over and over that if they come over to the American side, they will be ignored as individuals, and squeezed like lemons. What the defector most needs is the attentions of someone who knows his world.

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Page last modified: 22-11-2013 00:03:39 ZULU