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Spy Satellites and Other Intelligence Technologies That Changed History

Thomas Graham, Jr.

Publication Year: 2012

In this overview of the interplay between diplomacy, intelligence capabilities, and arms control policies, the authors shed light on the process of verifying how the world harnesses the proliferation of nuclear arms and the continual drive for advancements in technology.

Published by: University of Washington Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

National Technical Means (NTM) is an arms control code word connoting an array of satellite, airborne, and ground- or sea-based sensors and associated analytical methodologies used by the U.S. Intelligence Community to observe and assess foreign military weapons and force developments. ...

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xvi

Intelligence has made a unique but largely unheralded contribution to world peace with respect to arms control. Over a thirty-year period, improved intelligence capabilities eliminated the time-honored practice of worst-casing the strategic capabilities of the Soviet Union, which had made the early Cold War years exceedingly dangerous. ...

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pp. 3-5

During the early days of the Cold War, eªorts to understand Soviet, and subsequently Chinese, military capabilities, intentions, and national decision-making were compounded by the di‹culty of following political and economic developments in those countries. ...

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1. To Verify or Not to Verify

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pp. 6-13

In its most basic sense, verification is the ability of one side to ensure unilaterally and reliably that the military activities of the other party are not inconsistent with agreed treaty obligations and cannot put its national security at risk through cheating. In his testimony on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty ...

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2. Soviet Secrecy Fuels the Arms Race and Inhibits Verification

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pp. 14-26

When the Soviet Union broke the three-year moratorium on nuclear weapons testing in 1961 (see page 22 below), it did so with a blast of 58.6 megatons, the largest nuclear test explosion of all time.3 To gain an understanding of the destructive power of such weapons, consider that a 9-megaton warhead ...

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3. U.S. Efforts to Understand Soviet Military Forces and Capabilities

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pp. 27-47

U.S. policy makers were in desperate need of better information about the military capabilities and intentions of Stalin and his successors. More and better intelligence was needed about what the Soviets were doing both in Eastern Europe and deep within their own territory to avoid wasting resources ...

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4. Strategic Arms Control Legitimizes Space-Based Reconnaissance

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pp. 48-60

Both sides were also planning the development and deployment of antimissile missiles, or antiballistic missile systems (ABMs). The advent of this technology threatened to exacerbate the arms race in two ways. First, it undermined deterrence theory in that if country A were to build an ABM defense, ...

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5. Intelligence Support to Arms Control Activities

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pp. 61-70

In terms of intelligence support to arms control initiatives, the Intelligence Community provides information at various stages of the process. First, intelligence provides insights into what a foreign country’s military programs and capabilities are as well as what its negotiating objectives are likely to be, ...

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6. National Technical Means of Verification Takes Center Stage

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pp. 71-89

Despite the acceptance in the 1970s of NTM by the United States and the Soviet Union in the SALT agreements, and subsequently by the rest of the world, albeit reluctantly, in other agreements, as legitimate verification tools, skeptics have tended to question the verification claims of those who support various treaties. ...

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7. “National Technical Means” Goes Multilateral

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pp. 90-99

As mentioned earlier, the Seabed Arms Control Treaty of 1971 was perhaps the first multilateral arms control treaty to explicitly refer to verification by national means. However, a distinction needs to be drawn between “national means of verification” and “national technical means of verification” established under the SALT I agreements. ...

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8. Monitoring the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

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pp. 100-116

The requirement to monitor existing nuclear weapon stockpiles around the globe remains, but we are faced with growing efforts by some states to develop clandestine WMD programs and to proliferate the technologies associated with such weapons, if not the weapons themselves. ...

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9. Conclusion

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pp. 117-122

Of course, in the history of warfare, nations have attempted to acquire the most destructive weapons that they could and as many of them as possible so as to maximize their strength. And this was true of nuclear weapons as well. The United States built nuclear weapons during World War II because of great concerns that Nazi Germany would acquire them. ...

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pp. 123-126

December 1, 2004, marked the forty-fifth anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty, which preserved the continent as a nonmilitarized, nuclear-weapon-free area—the first arms control agreement of the modern era. The debate that preceded the negotiation of that treaty is remarkably similar to contemporary discussions on the future of outer space. ...


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pp. 127-146


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pp. 147-154


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pp. 155-160

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About the Authors

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pp. 161-162

Thomas Graham Jr. served for several decades as general counsel as well as acting director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. In Geneva he served on the SALT II, INF, START, and Space Arms delegations and in Vienna on the CFE delegation. ....


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pp. 163-171

E-ISBN-13: 9780295801568
E-ISBN-10: 0295803096
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295986869
Print-ISBN-10: 0295986867

Publication Year: 2012

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Foreign relations -- Soviet Union.
  • Military surveillance -- United States.
  • Cold War.
  • Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- United States.
  • Nuclear arms control.
  • Intelligence service -- United States.
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