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Reply #72: A History of Threat Escalation: Remembering Team B [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #42
72. A History of Threat Escalation: Remembering Team B
Edited on Tue May-15-07 02:11 PM by Octafish
The NAZIs the CIA brought built the case for the Soviets being on a war footing against the West. So, the CIA Wall Street types built a case for building up the arms race in response. Of course, they didn't use their inside information for personal benefit. Hah.



A History of Threat Escalation

Remembering Team B


By Tom Barry | February 12, 2004

The most notorious attempt by militarists and right-wing ideologues to challenge the CIA was the Team B affair in the mid-1970s. The 1975-76 Team B operation was a classic case of threat escalation by hawks determined to increase military budgets and step up the U.S. offensive in the cold war. Concocted by right-wing ideologues and militarists, Team B aimed to bury the politics of dtente and the SALT arms negotiations, which were supported by the leadership of both political parties. 1

The historical record shows that the call for an independent assessment of the CIA's conclusions came from the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB--pronounced piffy-ab ). But the fear-mongering and challenges to the CIA's threat assessments--known as National Intelligence Estimates--actually started with nuclear strategist Albert Wohlstetter, who laid down the gauntlet in a 1974 Foreign Policy article entitled Is There a Strategic Arms Race? 2 Wohlstetter answered his rhetorical question negatively, concluding that the United States was allowing the Soviet Union to achieve military superiority by not closing the missile gap. Having inspired the Gaither Commission in 1957 to raise the missile gap alarm, Wohlstetter applied the same threat assessment methodology to energize hawks, cold warriors, and right-wing anticommunists in the mid-1970s to kill the politics of dtente and increase budget allocations for the Pentagon. Following his Foreign Policy essay, Wohlstetter, who had left his full-time position at RAND to become a professor at the University of Chicago, organized an informal study group that included younger neoconservatives such as Paul Wolfowitz and longtime hawks like Paul Nitze.

PFIAB, which was dominated by right-wingers and hawks, followed Wohlstetter's lead and joined the threat assessment battle by calling in 1975 for an independent committee to evaluate the CIA's intelligence estimates. Testimony by PFIAB President Leo Cherne to the House Intelligence Committee in December 1975 alerted committee members to the need for better intelligence about the Soviet Union. Intelligence cannot help a nation find its soul, said Cherne. It is indispensable, however, to help preserve the nation's safety, while it continues its search, he added. George Bush Sr., who was about to leave his ambassadorship in China to become director of intelligence at the CIA, congratulated Cherne on his testimony, indicating that he would not oppose an independent evaluation of CIA intelligence estimates.

Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush Support Team B

Joining in the chorus of praise, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Bechtel's president George Shultz also congratulated Cherne, implicitly adding their backing for an independent threat assessment committee. 3 Led by several of the board's more hawkish members--including John Foster, Edward Teller, William Casey, Seymour Weiss, W. Glenn Campbell, and Clare Booth Luce--PFIAB had earlier in 1975 called for an independent evaluation of the CIA's national intelligence estimates. Feeling that the country's nuclear weapons industry and capacity was threatened, PFIAB was aiming to derail the arms control treaties then under negotiation.

Shortly after President Gerald Ford appointed Bush to be the new director of intelligence, replacing the beleaguered William Colby, Bush authorized PFIAB's plan for an alternative review. The review consisted of three panels: one to assess the threat posed by Soviet missile accuracy; another to determine the effect of Soviet air defenses on U.S. strategic bombers; and a third--the Strategic Objectives Panel--to determine the Soviet Union's intentions. The work of this last panel, which became known as the Team B Report, was the most controversial. As Paul Warnke, an official at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency at the time of the Team B exercise, wrote: Whatever might be said for evaluation of strategic capabilities by a group of outside experts, the impracticality of achieving useful results by independent' analysis of strategic objectives should have been self-evident. Moreover, the futility of the Team B enterprise was assured by the selection of the panel's members. Rather than including a diversity of views ... the Strategic Objectives Panel was composed entirely of individuals who made careers of viewing the Soviet menace with alarm. 4

CONTINUED...

http://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2004/0402teamb....



Thanks for giving a damn, ClayZ!
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