American Perceptions and Misperceptions of Soviet Military Intentions and Capabilities



An intelligence community essentially reflects the way a given society tends to think about human problems and alien societies. Thus, most of the vices and most of the virtues of the American intelligence community’s perceptions of Soviet intentions and capabilities can be readily ascertained on the basis of open sources, namely, American academic writings on the Soviet Union — especially those in the fields of political science — and American journalism. My personal experiences on Team B confirm that the CIA in its estimates suffers from similar weaknesses and strengths.


National Security Logical Positivist Strategic Thinking Intelligence Community Gathering Intelligence 
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  1. 1.
    Kolakowski, Leszek, The Alienation of Reason: A History of Positivist Thought (Garden City, New York, Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1968).Google Scholar

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© Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr and Uri Ra’anan 1981

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