Spy Satellites and Other Intelligence Technologies that Changed History

Thomas Graham, Jr., and Keith A. Hansen
Foreword by Robert Huffstutler

  • Published: July 2015
  • Subject Listing: History; Politics
  • Bibliographic information: 184 pp., 4 illus., 5.5 x 8.5 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

Much has been said and written about the failure of U.S. intelligence to prevent the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and its overestimation of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction under Saddam Hussein. This book focuses instead on the central role that intelligence-collection systems play in promoting arms control and disarmament.

Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr. and Keith Hansen bring more than fifty combined years of experience to this discussion of the capabilities of technical systems, which are primarily based in space. Their history of the rapid advancement of surveillance technology is a window into a dramatic reconceptualization of Cold War strategies and policy planning. Graham and Hansen focus on the intelligence successes against Soviet strategic nuclear forces and the quality of the intelligence that has made possible accurate assessments of WMD programs in North Korea, Iran, and Libya. Their important insights shed a much-needed light on the process of verifying how the world harnesses the proliferation of nuclear arms and the continual drive for advancements in technology.
Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr. is chairman of the Cypress Fund for Peace and Security in Washington, D.C. He served as general counsel of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency for fifteen years and was President Clinton's special assistant for arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament. Keith Hansen is consulting professor in international relations at Stanford University and has spent thirty-five years in US national security deliberations and strategic nuclear arms control negotiations.

"Authors Graham and Hansen have done a superior job of explaining the contributions of intelligence to strategic arms control, the downfall of the Soviet Union, and the continuing contribution to our national security. The book is a tribute to those men and women who toiled long and hard to develop sophisticated collection systems and, likewise, those analysts who turned the collected data into useable intelligence."
-Evan Hineman, Evan Hineman

"Based on three decades of their involvement in the front lines of arms control negotiations, Graham and Hansen are superbly qualified to analyze the critical role of satellites in space and other national technical means in monitoring compliance with arms control treaties. They do that very well in this short and authoritative book that takes the reader on an informative tour of the broad repertoire of treaties that were designed to meet requirements for effective verification and that helped stabilize the U.S.-Soviet confrontation during the Cold War."
-Sidney Drell, Hoover Institution and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

"I could not imagine two authors better experienced to tell this important story, and to continue to tell it in more detail as declassification permits. Likewise, it is hard to come up with a better example of how good intelligence can generate the transparency which defined U.S. and Soviet stability in the latter part of the twentieth century."
-William O. Studeman, William O. Studeman

Foreword by Robert M. Huffstutler
Preface and Acknowledgments

1. To Verity or Not to Verify
2. Soviet Secrecy Fuels the Arms Race and Inhibits Verification
3. U.S. Efforts to Understand Soviet Military Forces and Capabilities
4. Strategic Arms Control Legitimizes Space-Based Reconnaissance
5. Intelligence Support to Arms Control Activities
6. National Technical Means of Verification Takes Center Stage
7. "National Technical Means" Goes Multilateral
8. Monitoring the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
9. Conclusion

A. Glossary of Acronyms and Terms
B. Texts of NTM Provisions in Arms Control Agreements
C. Chronology of Key U.S. Reconnaissance Capabilities
D. U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System (USAEDS)
E. CTBT International Monitoring System
F. U.S. Intelligence Community

About the Authors

"This very readable and comprehensive primer..will appeal to the general reader while offering important insights for students of the larger history of the Cold War as well..Graham and Hansen have made a contribution that every reader should consider."
-The Historian

"The adage that 'good things come in small packages' certainly holds true for this book. At first glance, some readers might question whether so slender a volume has substantial value. Within the first dozen pages, however, most will recognize they are holding a real nugget."
-Air Power History

"The big topic of this little book naturally raises a host of questions."
-Seattle Times

"For those wishing to know how National Technical Means contributed to the end of the Cold War and to learn about the demands placed on them by the war against terror, Spy Satellites is an excellent place to start."
-Studies in Intelligence