The Postwar Devolution of U.S. Nuclear Intelligence
The fifth chapter details the dismantling of the American atomic intelligence program following the conclusion of the Second World War. Although it was clear to most that the Soviet Union was intent on building its own atomic weapon, the American atomic intelligence program did not survive the general demobilization of the post-war United States. Groves’ Manhattan Project (MED) intelligence team was disbanded, and while he kept a small intelligence analysis unit, the means for adequate intelligence collection and analysis were decentralized and scattered across the U.S. Government. During the late 1940s, American intelligence made a series of estimates for when the Soviet Union would build their first atomic bomb. Based on supposition, speculation, and the American and German experiences, the estimates did not effectively evaluate the realities in the Soviet Union.
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