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The Nuclear SpiesAmerica's Atomic Intelligence Operation against Hitler and Stalin$
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Vince Houghton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501739590

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501739590.001.0001

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The Postwar Devolution of U.S. Nuclear Intelligence

(p.122) 5 Regression
The Nuclear Spies

Vince Houghton

Cornell University Press

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.

Keywords:   American atomic intelligence, World War II, Soviet atomic program, atomic weapons, Leslie Groves, intelligence estimates, CIA

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