Submarine intelligence on Able Archer

Parche left for the Barents shortly after yet another diplomatic scuffle, in which the Soviets boycotted the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, answering the U.S. boycott of the games in Moscow four years earlier. When she returned, it was clear that she had brought home far more than the most optimistic intelligence officials had hoped for. The taps had been recording all through the alert spiked by Able Archer and had captured a detailed look at the Soviet Navy’s nuclear strategy. This was an ear to the Soviet Navy’s nuclear command-and-control structure as it was placing some of its missile submarines on high alert, rehearsing for war. Some former intelligence officials say this information simply confirmed the picture that had been emerging from the taps about how the Soviets planned to use their missile subs. But other former CIA, NSA, and Navy officials say that Parche’s take from this mission was so critical to their understanding of the Soviets that it qualified as “the big casino,” or “the crown jewels.”

Sontag, Sherry and Christopher Drew. Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage. PublicAffairs; New York. 1998. p. 245 (hardcover)

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

One thought on “Submarine intelligence on Able Archer”

  1. Aggressive Russian submarines are too close to undersea cables that carry global Internet: Pentagon

    The issue goes beyond old worries during the Cold War that the Russians would tap into the cables — a task U.S. intelligence agencies also mastered decades ago. The alarm today is deeper: The ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fibre-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *