The Czechoslovak Special Services and Their American Adversary during the Cold War [Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Intelligence service -- Czechoslovakia.
Intelligence service -- United States.
Czechoslovakia -- History -- Coup d'état, 1948.
U.S. intelligence officials in early postwar Czechoslovakia had access to some of the Czechoslovak government’s highest-ranking individuals and plenty of time to prepare for the looming confrontation with the Czechoslovak Communist Party. Yet the Communist takeover in February 1948 took them by surprise and undermined their networks. This article discusses the activities of four Czechoslovak security and intelligence agencies to demonstrate that the scale of the U.S. failure in Prague in 1945–1948 was far greater than often assumed, especially if one considers the substandard size and quality of Czechoslovakia’s Communist-dominated special services after the war.
Malaya -- History -- Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960.
Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1964.
In 1948, at a time of severe economic austerity, the British Labour government committed itself to a costly and protracted campaign against a Communist foe in the Far East, despite not having any U.S. support for the endeavor. Clement Attlee’s government in Britain argued that the Malayan Emergency (1948–1960) was necessary to counter Soviet attempts to use the local Communist party in support of Moscow’s expansionist designs. Subsequently, many commentators and historians accepted this judgment, at least to some degree. In reality, the rebellion, far from being carefully coordinated or meticulously organized, was inadequately planned and poorly executed. The 1948 insurrection cannot be understood without recognizing the influence of indigenous pressures and internal developments, which were more crucial than the external Cold War dimension.
Marquardt, James J.
Transparency and Security Competition: Open Skies and America's Cold War Statecraft, 1948-1960 [Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
United States -- Foreign relations -- Soviet Union.
Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- United States.
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1989.
Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1991.
In recent years, scholars have devoted considerable attention to the role of transparency in international relations. U.S. efforts during the early Cold War to press for greater openness as a way of reducing tensions with the Soviet Union are often cited by specialists on military transparency. Yet the ill-fated Open Skies proposal has not been thoroughly investigated. This article draws on primary documents from the Truman and Eisenhower administrations to show that proponents of transparency have generally drawn the wrong conclusions about Open Skies. The U.S. proposal for a system of aerial observation was part and parcel of a strategy to contain and ultimately defeat the Soviet Union. Consequently, Open Skies does not conform to the logic of transparency as a confidence-building measure; it instead affirms basic realist thinking about the competition for security between rivals. Future scholarship that appreciates how the quest for a more open world is affected by the competition for security would improve our understanding of the causes, consequences, and limitations of transparency.
Cenckiewicz, Sławomir. Oczami bezpieki: szkice i materiały z dziejów aparatu bezpieczeństwa PRL.
Internal security -- Poland -- History.
This article provides a critical review of Oczami Bezpieki (Through the Eyes of the Security Service), an overview of post-1945 Poland based on secret police files by Slawomir Cenckiewicz. The essay sheds light on the ongoing controversies surrounding the secret police ªles that still can cause turmoil in Polish politics. The article discusses the aggressive strategies of the Communist-era security apparatus in three areas considered in the volume: penetration of émigré communities in the United States; attempts to neutralize opposition to the Communist regime from 1968 through the 1980s; and the manipulation of the Roman Catholic Church. The documents demonstrate how obsessively the security forces kept track of opposition activities.