[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
How did the Soviets, with their pathetic, poverty-creating, “Progressive” economic system, keep fighting the Cold War decade after decade? What kept them in the game long after the U.S. and its Western allies should have won?
The answer: deception. The Soviets systematically deceived the West to make it appear that they were stronger than they really were and that they were interested in peaceful competition with the Free World.
As a result of Soviet deception, the West acted timidly toward the Soviets until the Reagan Era. Indeed, prior to President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher, most Western leaders seemed less interested in defeating the Soviets than in currying favor with them. “We win. They lose,” as Reagan once privately described his Cold War strategy, seems simplistic, but, in fact, it represented a complete turnaround—a change that signaled the beginning of the end of the Soviet Empire.
For decades previously, the Soviets often went unmolested as they worked to implement their plan for victory. (There were exceptions: We stood up to them in Vietnam, until we stopped doing so.) The Soviet victory plan included these elements: control of space and opposition to the development of space-based missile defense; a massive, secret program for the development of biological weapons such as anthrax, smallpox, and plague; and domination of the Third World.
Cuba was critical to that last part. The Castro dictatorship, which presented itself to the world as unaligned, was actually the Soviet Union’s partner, its surrogate in its effort to bring the Third World under its control.
Today, in the wake of the Obama administration’s surrender to Cuba, it’s time to take a look at the role played in the Cold War by the murderous dictatorship of Fidel Castro.
In this guest column, Ana Almeida, the Capital Research Center’s Haller intern, looks at one of the Soviets’ techniques that bamboozled the West, the use of Cuba as a surrogate for Soviet involvement in the Third World. – SJA
“Active measures is the Soviet term for a form of political action aimed at foreign public opinion, political elites, and decision makers.” “The Soviet term active measures describes a wide variety of deceptive techniques to promote Soviet foreign policy goals and undermine those who oppose Soviet actions.” — Richards J. Heuer
The USSR released large-scale strategic deception campaigns against the U.S. sphere of influence throughout the Cold War. The term “active measures” (aktivnyye meropriyatiya) describes a wide variety of deceptive techniques to promote Soviet foreign policy goals and undermine the enemies of communism. Active measures undertaken by the KGB include agents of influence, propaganda, and disinformation that amplified communist influence and presence internationally. The history of Soviet-Cuban relations reveals that Cuba—as a proxy state for the Soviet Union—fostered the Soviet big strategy of spreading pro-Moscow communism worldwide. Continue reading →