How Able Was Able Archer?: Nuclear Trigger and Intelligence in Perspective

  title={How Able Was Able Archer?: Nuclear Trigger and Intelligence in Perspective},
  author={Vojtech Mastny},
  journal={Journal of Cold War Studies},
  • V. Mastny
  • Published 2 February 2009
  • Political Science
  • Journal of Cold War Studies
A sharp increase in East-West tensions in the early 1980s sparked a genuine, if unwarranted, war scare in the USSR which the Soviet leader Yurii Andropov tried to exploit for political purposes. Soviet intelligence officials, however, were sufficiently informed about the enemy's true intentions that they did not sound the alarm in November 1983 when NATO conducted its Able Archer exercise, which has been retrospectively misinterpreted as having been capable of provoking nuclear escalation. The… 
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