The Cold War Essay

2542 words - 10 pages

When World War II in Europe finally came to an end on May 7, 1945, a new war was just beginning. The Cold War: denoting the open yet restricted rivalry that developed between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, a war fought on political, economic, and propaganda fronts, with limited recourse to weapons, largely because of fear of a nuclear holocaust. This term, The Cold War, was first used by presidential advisor Bernard Baruch during a congressional debate in 1947. Intelligence operations dominating this war have been conducted by the Soviet State Security Service (KGB) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), representing the two power blocs, East and West respectively, that arose from the aftermath of World War II. Both have conducted a variety of operations from large scale military intervention and subversion to covert spying and surveillance missions. They have known success and failure. The Bay of Pigs debacle was soon followed by Kennedy's deft handling of the Cuban missile crisis. The decisions he made were helped immeasurably by intelligence gathered from reconnaissance photos of the high altitude plane U-2. In understanding these agencies today I will show you how these agencies came about, discuss past and present operations, and talk about some of their tools of the trade.Origin of the CIA and KGBThe CIA was a direct result of American intelligence operations during World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the need to coordinate intelligence to protect the interests of the United States. In 1941, he appointed William J. Donovan to the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) with headquarters in London. Four departments made up the OSS: Support, Secretariat, Planning, and Overseas Missions. Each of these departments directed an array of sections known as 'operation groups'. This organization had fallen into the disfavor of many involved in the federal administration at this time. This included the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), J. Edgar Hoover, who did not like competition from a rival intelligence organization. With the death of Roosevelt in April of 1945, the OSS was disbanded under Truman and departments were either relocated or completely dissolved.Soviet intelligence began with the formation of the Cheka, secret police, under Feliks Dzerzhinsky at the time of the revolution. By 1946, this agency had evolved into the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), and the Ministry of State Security (MGB) both ruled by Lavrenti Beria. This man was undoubtedly the most powerful man in the Soviet Union with a vast empire of prison camps, and informants to crush any traces of dissent. Of considerable importance to Beria was the race for the atomic bomb. The Soviet Union and the United States both plundered the German V-2 rocket sites for materials and personnel. In 1946 the MVD was responsible for the rounding up of 6000 scientists from the Soviet zone of Germany and...

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