This is the first in a series of articles that explores the iconic CIA and its use as a tactical weapon by the presidents of the Cold War (1947-1991).

20130828 Image 1 CIA_floor_seal.gif

A unique Cold War tactical weapon, the CIA was created by President Truman who did not like or trust the quality and timeliness of the intelligence he was receiving. The agency was born to serve one master, the president, not the people.  The birth of the CIA was spawned by nasty surprises beginning with Truman’s sudden rise to the oval office upon Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in Warm Springs, GA on April 12, 1945.[1] Truman and Roosevelt were estranged bedfellows thrown together to win an election. For his part, Roosevelt reportedly did not hold Truman’s intellect in high regard and Truman did not like Roosevelt’s politics. Certainly a portion of their mutual disdain was caused by then Senator Truman who chaired the Truman Committee. The committee had exposed considerable waste, fraud, and abuse by government defense contractors during WWII. It is not surprising that the two did not meet often and, in general, Truman was excluded from cabinet and most other high level meetings during his vice presidency.

While Truman knew he was ‘out of the loop’, he discovered just how much he did not know when he assumed the presidency. In his previous life as the Senator from Missouri, Truman had heard rumors of a super-secret defense project. As vice president, he’d caught a scent of it again, but twelve days into his tenure he was fully briefed for the first time on the Manhattan (atomic bomb) Project by Henry Stimson, Secretary of War. The briefing by Stimson and others coupled with the complex bureaucratic Washington, D.C. maze that horded information like gold convinced Truman that he wanted his very own intelligence gathering service. Irrespective of all the excuses he heard from various agencies and departments, Truman was determined to have the intelligence he required to do his job on a daily basis. In January of 1946, the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) was formed and, by September 1947, the National Security Act of 1947, transmuted it into the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, headed by Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter.  

It was not smooth sailing for the CIG. Its very existence threatened the military, State, and War (Defense) Departments’ intelligence rice bowls and the governmental infighting was intense. According to John L. Helgerson’s CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates, 1952-1992, “The President was virtually alone in expecting to receive a daily, comprehensive current intelligence product, whatever the formal charters of the CIG and CIA might say. Needless to say, his expectations carried the day.”[2]  

The go-ahead for broad-based covert activities was on Hillenkoetter’s desk a short nine months later in the form of National Security Council directive NSC 10/2.  The directive created the Office of Special Projects within which it placed covert activities. The Chief of Special Projects, who reported to the CIA director, was appointed by the Secretary of State and approved by the National Security Council. The CIA covert operations authorization was simple: 1. coordination with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2. National Security Council approval of any plans, and 3. provided for action "against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and executed that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them.” The directive provides a very broad loose definition of covert activities:

Specifically, such operations shall include any covert activities related to: propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world. Such operations shall not include armed conflict by recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and deception for military operations.[3]

Adversity, properly channeled, yields increased resilience and strength. Professional embarrassment, properly channeled, yields a fortified resolve. A government rice bowl filled with taxpayer dollars for continued survival yields strong motivation. The CIA was still young and wet behind the ears when the Soviet Union detonated their first atomic bomb, which the U.S called Joe-1 after Joseph Stalin. While the CIA knew the Soviets were working on the Bomb, it was the Air Force that produced the proof enabling Truman to crow ‘I-told-you-so’ at the top of his voice to the whole world.  The ‘government game’ is replete with players that run, not walk, to the boss to be the first one through the door with new information. It’s called the ‘kibble’ effect. Like Pavlov’s dogs, we in the government and the government contractor community are conditioned to receive treats when we fetch new data ‘the boss’ can use. The boss rewards those who bring the best information with kibbles, or other treats. The boss collects the data, places it in a context his boss can use and runs the information up the ladder to the next boss as soon as possible so he can get his or her kibble.

One can only imagine the pure joy the Air Force felt at being the first through the president’s door with proof of the Soviet atomic bomb test and how professionally embarrassed the CIA was. Sixty four years ago this month the Joe-1 test was conducted at the Semipalatinsk Test Site, STS, in Kazakhstan on August 29, 1949.  Joe-1 yielded a 22 kiloton detonation over twice the estimated yield of the Hiroshima bomb. The STS is about the size of New Jersey, which is five times larger than the U.S.’s former Nevada Test Site,[4] and very remote so how was the test discovered? According to George Washington University’s Nuclear Vault, the answer to that question lies in the direction given the Army Air Force by Dwight D. Eisenhower, Army Chief of Staff, in 1947 to develop an Atomic Energy Detection System (AEDS) to remotely sense nuclear testing through the emissions it released. Between 1947 and 1949, the Defense Department developed and deployed an "Interim Surveillance Research Net" that was fully operational by the spring of 1949.

Harry S Truman

Harry S Truman

Shortly after the Soviet test, on 1 September 1949, a WB-29 ["W" for weather reconnaissance] operated by the Air Force's Weather Service undertook a routine flight from Misawa Air Force Base (Japan) to Eilson Air Force Base (Alaska) on behalf of the secretive Air Force Office of Atomic Energy-1 [AFOAT-1] [later renamed the Air Force Technical Applications Center, or AFTAC]. The plane carried special filters designed to pick up the radiological debris that an atmospheric atomic test would inevitably create.  So far none of the flights in the Northern Pacific had picked up a scent, but after this flight returned to Eilson and a huge Geiger counter checked the filters, the technicians detected radioactive traces. This was the 112th alert of the Atomic Energy Detection System (the previous 111 had been caused by natural occurrences, such as earthquakes). After a complex chain of events, involving more flights to collect more air samples, consultations among U.S. government scientists, consultants, and contractors, including radiological analysis by Tracerlab and Los Alamos Laboratory, and secret consultations with the British government, the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Moscow had indeed conducted a nuclear test. On 23 September 1949, President Truman announced that "We have evidence that within recent weeks an atomic explosion occurred in the U.S.S.R."[5]

Joe-1 was a nasty surprise for the U.S., which had no idea the extent of the Soviet penetration into the Manhattan project and really did not expect the Soviets to develop nuclear capability until 1953 at the earliest. And Truman’s revelation of the test was a nasty surprise to the Soviet Union, which had no idea the U.S. had the capability to detect the test. And the test was a nasty surprise to the newly hatched CIA. Director Hillenkoetter contended that "I don't think we were taken by surprise" because of an error of only a "few months".  As you might imagine, Hillenkoetter’s lame excuse signaled the end of his CIA leadership.

By 1950, the Truman Doctrine that would become labeled as the ‘Domino Theory’ was entrenched, the pieces of the CIA puzzle were in place and recognizable as the CIA we know and love today, and President Truman received daily CIA briefings with a sharp focus on Korea and its ramifications. ‘Beetle’, General Walter Bedell Smith, who had served as Eisenhower’s chief of staff during the invasion of Italy during WWII, was selected to replace Hillenkoetter, who returned to active duty commanding a cruiser division in the Korean War.

Can the CIA or any agency be effective at both covert action and intelligence analysis? David Fromkin’s brilliant review of Daring Amateurism: The CIA's Social History authored by Jeffrey T. Richelson in the Council on Foreign Relations book section begins:

In his 1928 Ashenden stories, W. Somerset Maugham, who had undertaken missions for British intelligence in the First World War, portrayed espionage even for our side as morally corrupting, usually incompetent, and more likely to harm our friends than our enemies. Graham Greene and John le Carré later made these their themes. We now know that this body of literature should not be classified as fiction.[6]

Truman breathed life into the CIA and made it his intelligence water bearer. His action has had profound effects on the geopolitics of the world. Truman insisted that no president should enter office as clueless as he had been and used the CIA to brief the primary presidential candidates; a practice still in place. An agency that tends to go rogue, the CIA appears to operate with little or no oversight. Remember, though, it is the President who commands it and one of the CIA operating mission directives is to maintain plausible deniability for the U.S. government for its actions. Over the next several posts, we will explore how various presidents chose to use the CIA and what the consequences have been. When it comes to the CIA, never forget Harry S Truman’s most famous words, “The buck stops here.”


How much has the CIA benefitted the US? Let us know below..


By Barbara Johnson

Barbara is the owner of, a site about the men and women from all the cold wars who worked so hard for something they believed in and played so hard they forgot the pain.


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[1] The Truman Library; Eleanor and Harry: The Correspondence of Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman edited by Steve Neal;

[2]  George Washington University NSA Archives; John L. Helgerson; CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates, 1952-1992;

[3] The Department of State Office of the Historian; National Security Council Directive on Office of Special Projects; NSC 10/2;

[4] Department of Defense; Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS); Posted: March 2012;

[5] George Washington University, NSA Archives, Nuclear Vault; September 23, 2009; Edited by William Burr; U.S. Intelligence and the Detection of the First Soviet Nuclear Test, September 1949;

[6] Council on Foreign Relations; January/February 1996; David Fromkin; Daring Amateurism: The CIA's Social History;

AuthorGeorge Levrier-Jones

This article looks at the Komsomol, the fearless youth group of the Soviet Communist Party.


To my delight and surprise, Russia Profile (1)  continues to feature articles on Russian youth. “The Roads Not Taken” (2) by Dmitry Babich examines post-Soviet youth organizations as avenues for youth politics, instilling patriotism, and participation in social life. Babich is correct to note the important role youth played in putting pressure for reforms in the Soviet system; and he is right to place youth on the forefront for changes in Russia. As he notes, youth played a vital role in the Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. The protests during the Belarusian elections were mostly comprised of youth. There is a possibility, if not an anticipation, that Russian youth will play a similar role in the future.

If youth are slated to play such an important role in Russia’s present and future politics, it is important to get an idea about their history. The history of Russian youth organizations parallels the history of youth organizations globally. Fraternities, nascent youth groups and organizations began in Russia around the middle of the 19th century in universities. The first mass youth organizations like the Boy Scouts were founded in Europe, the United States, and Russia in the late 19th century. Adults like Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout movement, began organizing youth out of fear of their corruption and the degeneration of the social body. Similarly, the German Youth Movement was a direct reaction to modernity and the perceived corruption of society. It looked to German tradition and nature as a way to purify the young body politic. Like many groups today, they also focused on cultivating mostly male youths into leaders and had a strong concentration of physical fitness, military preparedness, religious worship, nationalism, and morality. For this reason, 19th century youth organizations were primarily open to middle class youth. Working class and peasant youths tended to be excluded.


Komsomol members in Budapest, 1949.

Komsomol members in Budapest, 1949.

The February Revolution and Russian Youth

In Russia, this began to change with the February Revolution in 1917. There were small worker youth groups in the pre-revolutionary period, but these tended to be localized in factories. By May 1917, working class youths began to organize themselves into citywide groups that had aspirations for a national organization. In Petrograd there were two main groups: Labor and Light and the Socialist Worker Youth League (SSRM). In Moscow, youth politics was mostly dominated by the III International. SSRM and the III International were organized by young Bolshevik Party members along with other socialist parties. Labor and Light was more liberal based and despite having socialists as their organizers, the most famous was G. Driazgov who was a Menshevik, they shied away from class based politics. This led to it being overtaken by the end of the year by SSRM as the revolution radicalized. In mid-1918, SSRM and III International came together and formed the Russian Communist Youth League, or Komsomol. Despite the fact that it claimed to be an autonomous organization in its program, by the middle of the decade it was touted as the “helper and reserve of the Bolshevik Party.”

Determined to become a mass organization for worker and peasant youth, the Komsomol grew rapidly in the 1920s, becoming in some places in the country the only representation of Soviet power. By 1928, its membership was 2 million; in 1939 it reached 9 million. It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that the Komsomol made significant inroads into the Soviet Union’s youth population. In 1954, it boasted a membership of over 18 million.


Youth Violence

While I don’t disagree with Babich that the Komsomol became completely moribund by the 1970s, I am rather astounded by the following:

Semyon Charny, a Moscow historian who studied the social movements of the late Soviet period for the Russian State Humanities University (RGGU), thinks that the passivity displayed by the youth at the time can be explained by a lack of experience.

“I looked at the secret reports which were sent to the party bosses in the 1970s and 1980s on the hooliganism of soccer fans,” Charny said. “The party bosses, and even the KGB people, were shocked and talked about the ‘negative political implications’ of the fights between Russian Spartak Moscow fans and Ukrainian Dynamo Kiev fans. Why? Because soccer games were the only outlet for rowdy behavior in public that was even semi-legal. If even this small valve produced a semblance of mass riots, the party and the KGB saw it as an indicator of a sort of fever within society as a whole.”

I have no idea why they were “shocked”. Such reports were standard fair in the 1920s and I can present several examples of such and even worse behavior among Komsomol youth. In the countryside, for example, Komsomol mass meetings sometimes turned into mass brawls as “non-party” youth showed up from neighboring villages. Usually the cause of this had to do with, you guessed it, girls. Often youths from neighboring villages showed up to village parties (posidelki). Tensions between males would arise with the outsiders would begin hooking up with local girls. Drunken fights often ensued.

In fact, in 1926 the Komsomol leadership came up with a name to encapsulate misbehavior among its members: “sick phenomena” (bol’eznennie iavleniia). “Sick phenomena” meant hooliganism, drunkenness, and sexual perversity. The late 1920s saw an increasing number of expulsions for these offenses as the Komsomol tried to get a handle on the activities of its membership. Unfortunately for them, their efforts were to no avail. While many would like to perceive the Komsomol as some unified and totalitarian organization that had Russia youth in its grip, a quick glance at the newspapers from the period shows otherwise.


To the present

Yet, despite the problems, youth were and continue to be a main source for political cultivation and mobilization. However, as Babich points out, the state and political parties continue to treat youth as passive political players that are to be molded to adult’s whims:

The tradition of not listening to the “base” is still very much alive in Russia, and the strategy of some youth movements is built on fighting what they label an unresponsive and irresponsible state. One charge against the present regime is that it increasingly looks to the young to demonstrate their patriotism while offering little in return a criticism also heard in Soviet times. One example was the negative reaction on the part of opposition party youth groups to the publication of the Program for the Patriotic Education of Russian Citizens, signed into law in June 2005.

The program attempts to instill patriotic values through portraying national symbols in the media and arts as well as developing patriotic sports clubs and summer camps. The idea behind the program is that Russian patriotism can no longer be taken for granted, but must be reinforced by all segments of society that touch upon the lives of young people including the arts, education and business.

For some groups, however, the contents of the report were another opportunity to criticize the current government, and the presidential administration in particular.

It is telling though that the criticism of such patriotic initiatives is coming from liberal youth organizations, which are the ones that are stagnant in growth and political influence. However, the youth groups that are making any, albeit small, inroads in Russian society whether it be in raw numbers or generating controversy are Nashi and more radical Leftist and Rightist groups like the National Bolsheviks, the Eurasian Youth League, and skinhead groups. The political center that Yabloko represents has all but dropped out or is now taken over by Nashi. Babich quotes Ilya Yashin, the leader of Yabloko’s youth wing saying, 

“There is no place for the state in matters like believing in God or loving one’s motherland. As [19th-century Russian satirist Mikhail] Saltykov-Shchedrin said, if state officials start talking about patriotism, it means they want to steal something.”

However, such a view is in the minority among youth organizations. If the state supported Nashi is any indication, many politically organized youths believe that the state does and should have a role in these areas.

Finally, there is one story about youth organizations in Russia that is now starting to be told: the role of the Komsomol in perestroika and in planting the seeds for Russia’s capitalist economy. As Babich reminds us, many of the Oligarchs began their road to riches in Komsomol enterprises in the late 1970s and 1980s. Komsomol cooperatives in computer technology and construction became not only vehicles of economic reform (the Communist Party essentially flooded them with hard currency to buy computer equipment from the West to refurbish), when the system collapsed they were some of the few sectors of society that had reserves of Western currency. Many of the Oligarchs that we’ve come to know and love formally took control of those assets when the system imploded. This is a fascinating story that has yet to be fully uncovered, though I know a few people in Russia now working on it.


By Sean Guillory

Sean is the owner of Sean’s Russia Blog, available here. This article originally appeared on that site.

For more on the Soviet Union, check out our Cold War podcasts here.





Image: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R78376 / CC-BY-SA 


AuthorGeorge Levrier-Jones

As people who follow the site will know, our main focus to-date on the site has been on the Cold War. That war’s intrigues made the second half of the 20th century.

From the Berlin Crisis to the Vietnam War, and the Korean War to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, that war defined nearly 50 years of world history and continues to impact our world.

We’ve previously released a few books on the early and middle years of that war, and one more will come later in the year.

Captured Communist flags during the Vietnam War, 1968

Captured Communist flags during the Vietnam War, 1968

That book will focus on a particularly volatile period in the Cold War, the years from 1979 to the end of the Cold War. In our last book, you may have read that relations between the super-powers collapsed as the 1970s came to an end. A more assertive Soviet Union led to many in the US fearing that the Soviet Union planned to seriously challenge them for global hegemony once more. In the 1970s, the Soviets strongly supported various regimes in Africa, improved their missiles, and finally launched an offensive in Afghanistan on Christmas Day, 1979.

A worried US then underwent tumultuous change, and the outcome was that Ronald Reagan became President in 1981. Something akin to a paradigm shift then occurred in US-Soviet relations. Reagan’s administration massively increased defense spending, and with it, the world abounded in danger; however, a second paradigm shift then occurred as a very new and different Soviet leader emerged.

Ultimately it would be the actions of these two men that caused the Cold War to end.


While you wait..

You’ll have to wait a few months for the book, but while you wait for it, we’ve got some educational materials to share with you.

The first of these looks at the origins of the Cold War. It is widely held that the Cold War began in the mid-to-late 1940s – 1945 is generally the most popular choice. In our podcast series, we considered 1945 to be the start year; however this article looks back at the pre-1945 world and considers different times in which the Cold War could have started. As you will see, some think it started with the Communists gaining power in Russia during the 1917 Russian Revolution. After that revolution, many in the West, such as Winston Churchill, were keen to crush Communism as they feared its spread across Europe and the world.

Get the article.


The second of these materials considers the Cold War in its entirety by looking at the main events in three different periods. If you’ve listened to the podcasts or read one of our books, this is a great analytical took that recaps some of the main points and asks some key questions about the war’s events.

Get the article.


PS – you’ll have seen that the blog has been more active this week. And we plan to keep it that way! We’re always looking for new contributors, so if you’re interested get in touch. Or, click here to find out more.

George Levrier-Jones


The materials are supplied courtesy of our friends at

You can find out more about the Cold War by going to our Cold War page – click here. 

Two of the focus areas of our blog are 20th century history and Communism. In this article, Brian Schmied looks at the struggles that the Church faced in the Soviet Union in the Communist period, and argues that it has become a powerful force in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.


The Russian Orthodox Church is an integral part of Russian society, and a powerful political force. Not long ago, that would have been unthinkable. The Russian Orthodox Church has moved out from under the heel of brutal suppression and near extinction, to political dominance within the lifetime of most people reading this.


The Soviet Era Church

Communism, with its state atheism, had an official policy of religious tolerance that permitted the existence, but not the propagation of religion. Its rise resulted in the confiscation of the vast lands and property of the Orthodox Church. It was illegal to criticize atheism and to proselytize, and there were massive government led efforts to end religion[1] through education and persecution.

Destruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, 1931

Destruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, 1931

It did not help that the Orthodox Church opposed the rise of Communism, encouraging believers to fight against the new regime. When Lenin abolished religious education and the privileges and legal status of the Church, the Patriarch excommunicated the government, which led to mass executions of clergy. 

Almost 600 convents and monasteries were liquidated and the inhabitants executed in those first few years, and it only got worse with time. In 1929, the USSR outlawed all distribution of religious materials and proselytization. Special taxes implemented for the clergy raised their total taxes to over 100% of their income. Debtors were carted off to Siberia. Then Stalin came to power.

He purged the Russian clergy in 1938, executing an estimated[2] 100,000 of them on the spot, and arresting the rest. Just as it looked like religious expression may be fully stamped out, World War II broke out and brought it back. The Nazi invaders reopened churches in conquered Russian territory. Stalin, fearing that this might make the still largely religious Russian populace sympathetic to the Germans, ended his campaign of persecution and reopened the churches.

The number of churches recovered to over 20,000 within a decade, but, like the war, it did not last. In the late 1950’s Nikita Khrushchev, resumed the persecution. All of the previous laws were enforced again, and a few new ones added. By 1963, it was illegal to bring a child to a church service, and to administer the Eucharist to a child over the age of four.

Time wore down the conflict, however. The Russian Orthodox Church ended its feud with the state, endorsing its various accomplishments and integrating with the KGB[3] to ensure their survival. The Russian state granted reprieve, weakening restrictions, allowing theological schools to open and train clergy, and allowing people to privately fund churches and hire priests for their communities.

It wasn’t until the Gorbachev’s glasnost policy, however, that ownership of some Russian churches was returned to the institution.


The Post-Soviet Renaissance

The Russian Orthodox Church has bounced back. While Russians are not overly religious, with only about 15-20% practicing Orthodoxy[4], far more Russians identify with the Russian Orthodox Church. Russian nationalism has become tied to the religion, driving many conservatives, neo fascists and anti-foreign elements, into the arms of the Church.

The inauguration of Vladimir Putin in 2012

The inauguration of Vladimir Putin in 2012

Perhaps because of his ties to the former KGB, Vladimir Putin has built a strong bond between the Orthodox Church and the Russian State. He has voiced support[5] of increasing the political influence of the Church, and the Church has voiced their support of him in turn. The Patriarch, rather than fearing execution, like his predecessors, now walks the halls[6] of the Kremlin in return for bringing the votes of the faithful.

The orthodox people of Russia no longer fear the desecration of their holy sites by their government, but rather call for support in protecting them. There are scientologists are facing possible legal action on behalf of the Orthodox Church against their worldwide expansion efforts[7]. Russians protesting these Scientology proselytization efforts claim[8], “…anyone who cares about the survival of Russia must join the body of the Russian Orthodox Church.” Mere decades ago the same statement would have brought the KGB to your door.

Already by 2006, Russia boasted an impressive 27,000 Orthodox parishes and over 700 monasteries. Religion is uncharacteristically popular with the youth[9], as it helps them establish a cultural identity and connects to the international Russian community. As of 2007, the Moscow Patriarchate has brought the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, which split off when the Soviet Union cut Moscow off from the world, back into the fold[10].


Do you agree? Has the Church really become a major force in modern Russia? Let us know your thoughts below..

Brian Schmied loves to learn about the history of religion and politics. He has a B.A in political science, and enjoys writing because it pushes him to think analytically and objectively, and to learn new things.

If you enjoyed that article, and want to find out more about religion’s struggles in the Soviet Union, a great book is Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski, one of my favorite writers. Get the book - Amazon US | Amazon UK



[1] Kowaleski, David. Protest for Religious Rights in the USSR. Russian Review, 1980. Vol. 39, No. 4.

[2] Yakovlev, Alexander. Paul Hollander transl. A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia. Yale University Press, 2004, Pg 165.

[3] Meek, James. Russian Patriarch ‘was KGB Spy’. Guardian News and Media Limited. 12 February 1999.

[4]The World Factbook: Russia. Central Intelligence Agency, 10 July 2013.

[5] Grove, Thomas. Church should have more Control Russian Life: Putin. Thomson Reuters, 1 February, 2013.

[6] Bennets, Marc. In Putin’s Russia, Little Separation Between Church and State. The Washington Times, LLC, 13 August 2012.

[7] Creating an New Era of Expansion. Church of Scientology International, 2013.

[8] Robinson, Robert. Orthodox Rally in Moscow condemns Scientologists. 1 July 2013.

[9] Orthodoxy in Russia Today. The Mendeleyev Journal, 30 March 2012.

[10] Kishkovsky, Leonid. After 80-plus Years, the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia Reconcil. The Orthodox Church News Magazine, 2007. Vol. 43.

This article was previewed on the site for a time and the full article is now in the magazine. Click here for more information!


Meanwhile, you can see another of our articles on Cold War Taiwan here: 

Cold War Taiwan’s Electronic Industry



And here is the start of the article on the Taiwan Straits Crisis itself...


Sixty years have come and gone, but the sun has yet to set on the Taiwan Straits Crisis. Stranded on the rocky island of secrecy amid the storms of the Cold War (1947-1991), the mists of time should not be permitted to veil the lessons that must be learned.  In the U.S. during the early 1950s, Eisenhower was in office, China was engaged in a civil war, the Soviets were antsy, and the Air Force longed to hear the words ‘the pickle is hot’, indicating they were free to unload armaments. The only thing missing from the high-tension plot was a bevy of brilliant beauties unless, of course, you consider Madam Chiang Kai-shek and Hedy Lamar.


Remember - click here to find out more about the magazine! 

A Skyray plane in flight off Taiwan in 1958

A Skyray plane in flight off Taiwan in 1958