The Cold War Essay

2281 words - 10 pages

ۥ-nd the Ministry of State Security (MGB) both ruled by Lavrenti Beria. This man was undoubtedly the most powerful man in the Soviet Union with a vast empire of prison camps, and informants to crush any traces of dissent. Of considerable importance to Beria was the race for the atomic bomb. The Soviet Union and the United States both plundered the German V-2 rocket sites for materials and personnel. In 1946 the MVD was responsible for the rounding up of 6000 scientists from the Soviet zone of Germany and taking them and their dependents to the Soviet Union.The political conflicts of the 1930's and World War II left many educated people with the impression that only communism could ...view middle of the document...

The director was awarded staggering powers, including the right to 'spend money without regard to the provisions of law and regulations relating to the expenditure of government funds'. The act also allowed the director to bring in 100 aliens a year secretly.' The 1949 charter is essentially the same one that the CIA uses to carry out covert operations today.The U-2 IncidentIn 1953, the CIA contracted Lockheed Aircraft Corporation of Burbank CA to build a plane that would go higher and farther than any yet produced. Kelly Johnson came up with the design for the U-2, a plane that would fly with a record high ceiling of 90,000 ft. and a range of 4,000 ft. The U-2 flights are possibly the greatest triumph achieved by the CIA since its founding. This is because of the planes success at evading detection for such a long time and the vast amounts of information gathered. 'We'll never be able to match that one. Those flights were intelligence work on a mass production basis.'On the fateful day of May 1, 1960, Gary Powers was sent up in his U-2 over the Soviet Union from the United States Air Force Base at Peshawar, Pakistan. His mission was to photograph areas of military and economic signifigance and record radio transmissions. The plane he flew was equipped with cameras, radio receivers and tape recorders to accomplish this mission. In addition to these devices, the plane was also equipped with self destruction capabilities to blow up the U-2 if it was forced to land, and a blasting mechanism fitted to the tape recorder to destroy any evidence of the CIA's monitoring of radio signals. As his plane flew over the Soviet Union, the cameras recorded ammunition depots, oil storage installations, the number and type of aircraft at military airports, and electric transmission lines. When the plane did not return to its base after a reasonable allowance of time, it was assumed it had crashed for some reason or another.The circumstances surrounding the crash of the plane Powers flew on this is a still a mystery today, depending on whether you believe the Soviets or the Americans. The Soviets claim that 'in view of the fact that this was a case of the deliberate invasion of Soviet airspace with hostile aggressive intent, the Soviet Government gave orders to shoot down the plane' , and that they shot it out of the air with an SA-2 missile at 8:53 A.M. at the altitude of 68,000 ft. The Americans declared that the U-2 was disabled by a flameout in its jet engine. Whatever the truth maybe, or combination of truths, the fact remains that Powers survived the encounter by parachute in the vicinity of Sverdlovsk. Upon landing, he was apprehended, disarmed, and escorted to the security police by four residents of the small town.The fault of the incident lay with the American administration's handling of the situation, not with the flight itself. It was assumed that Powers had died in the crash, and this was the mistake. The initial story released was not widely...

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