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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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Conclusion

Conclusion

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Chapter:
(p.178) Conclusion
Source:
The Nuclear Spies
Author(s):

Vince Houghton

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501739590.003.0008

Even the detonation of the first Soviet atomic bomb in August, 1949 did not convince most Americans to reconsider their perception of Soviet science. American scientific, military, and policymaking elite spread blame widely for the intelligence failure, but refused to acknowledge the possibility of Soviet scientific strength as the primary culprit. Instead, they latched onto ideas that mitigated the impact of Soviet scientific ability. While the rest of the American national security system was improving, the refusal to give Soviet science the credit where credit was due meant that the American scientific intelligence apparatus continued to falter well into the 1950s. The CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) – which was explicitly created to collect, analyze, and disseminate intelligence concerning enemy scientific development – did not become an effective intelligence agency until the 1960s, despite the emerging Soviet atomic threat.

Keywords:   Soviet atomic bomb, Soviet science, scientific intelligence, CIA, Office of Scientific Intelligence, Soviet atomic threat

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