Espionage During The Cold War

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Espionage has been utilized as a tactic throughout the world for many centuries. The height of intelligence and counterintelligence organizations peaked during the Cold War, because there was an increase in the amount of government funding and resources devoted to espionage. The Cold War was a period of continuous political and military tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. Both nations had opposing ideologies, different views on capitalism and communism, and wanted power for global supremacy. For this reason, the Soviet Union employed espionage, fearing that capitalist nations would bring the downfall of communism. Soviet espionage was organized and ran by the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (Комитет Государственной…show more content…
The amount of information they collected was said to have been “huge, inestimable, and significant for our state and science” (Sebestyen 28). Notorious spies, including Klaus Fuchs and the Rosenbergs were said to have provided atomic secrets that would help to dismantle the superpower of the United States. Most of the information stolen by the Soviet government was channeled through the British physicist, Klaus Fuchs. In late 1941, Fuchs first offered his services to Soviet intelligence (Espionage and the Manhattan Project 1). Subsequently, he started circulating information about British atomic research. Fuchs was a leading physicist on the Manhattan Project and a main scientist at Britain’s nuclear facility by 1949 (Holmes 2). For several years, Fuchs shared all of his notes from the Manhattan Project with the government of the USSR. Fuchs eventually was caught by the United States government, and his arrest exposed many other spies within the Manhattan Project including the famous Rosenbergs, Julius and…show more content…
These messages revealed hundreds of citizens and immigrants all on American soil that exposed confidential information to Soviet intelligence. Soviet intelligence officers in the United States frequently communicated with their superiors in Moscow via telegraphic cables. These messages were encrypted, but in 1946 the United States began to decrypt a significant amount of these messages. This shocking discovery of spies and this leaked information showed the Soviet Union and communists’ ability to influence and control the United States. The unveiling of American atomic secrets to the Soviets allowed the Soviet Union to construct atomic weapons many years sooner and at a significantly lower cost than it otherwise would have (Haynes and Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, 3). The Venona messages remained top secret and only a handful of government officials knew the details, until the program was declassified in 1995 (The Venona Intercepts 1). Soviet intelligence discovered the Venona Project in 1949 through one of their British agents, but there was nothing they could do to stop it. It was this project that corroborated the espionage of the Rosenbergs and Klaus Fuchs. The Rosenbergs repudiated all accusations and obstinately refused to specify names or answer many questions. They were found guilty, sentenced to death in 1951 and despite pleas for

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