Soviet Political Warfare Techniques

Title:                      Soviet Political Warfare Techniques

Author:                Lyman B. Kirkpatrick

Kirkpatrick, Lyman B. (1972) and Howland H. Sargeant. Soviet Political Warfare Techniques; Espionage And Propaganda in the 1970s. New York: National Strategy Information Center

LCCN:    79187808

UB271.R9 K57


Date Updated:  March 2, 2017

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

The two essays in this short work (80 pp.) deal with espionage and propaganda separately. Kirkpatrick’s on Soviet espionage is a general survey of Russian and Soviet intelligence since the seventeenth century and contains selected operations as examples. The authors apparently to expand this essay into a book on Soviet foreign policy and espionage. Kirkpatrick has done well in measuring the true proportions of the Soviet system on intelligence and security and its pervasiveness. The subject is put in perspective with a frankness that was not universally welcomed in the anti-national security atmosphere at that time. Aside from the repetition of the minor error that the Swiss net in 1941 gave waning of the German intent to attack Russia, there is a more significant lapse. Kirkpatrick concentrates on Soviet state security and by doing so gives the impression that operations such as those of Sorge and Lucy and the rote Kapelle were of that service rather than of military intelligence. As a consequence, there is the tendency to give only passing attention to the latter service.

Sargeant, who was assistant secretary of state for public affairs and then president of the Radio Liberty Committee, concentrates on overt Soviet propaganda in this essay and describes its role as a Soviet offensive weapon. For those interested in Soviet covert propaganda modus operandi, there is no development of this parallel aspect of Soviet propaganda and political warfare.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[2]

Lyman Kirkpatrick, one-time executive director in the CIA, here portrays Soviet espionage, the largest in history, as an important offensive weapon in the Soviet arsenal dedicated to achieving control and domination wherever possible. Howland Sergeant, leading authority on government information programs and Soviet propaganda, and one-time assistant secretary of state for public affairs, convincingly argues that Soviet propaganda is another offensive weapon of the Soviet arsenal striving to expand and to increase the strength of the Soviet bloc of nations.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, p. 274

[2] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 217


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One Response to Soviet Political Warfare Techniques

  1. Pingback: The Soviet Union: Partisan Warfare And Political Warfare, Chapter 20 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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