United States Army Intelligence and Security Command

Cold War: The Soviet Threat

The seemingly endless Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union went on unabated for nearly 45 years. The KGB (Soviet Security and Intelligence Service) and the GRU (Soviet Military Intelligence) carried out a systematic program to recruit Americans. Lower-grade enlisted personnel were frequent targets, especially anyone having access to classified documents. Agents of both sides shared the same basic tools of the spy trade, including cameras and specialized equipment. The Military Liaison Mission was an agreed-upon means by which the Soviets and the Allies could monitor East and West Germany against a surprise mobilization by the other side. Counterintelligence personnel would follow the Soviet teams (facilitated by special license plates that identified a vehicle as belonging to a MLM) to ensure they did not stray into restricted areas and to determine their targets of interest. Everywhere US Army personnel were stationed in the world, counterintelligence agents were continually vigilant in providing force protection, monitoring the activities of Communist agitators to foment subversion and conduct sabotage.



Roll-over Camera

Roll-over Camera: This camera and instructions were given to an American sergeant by a Soviet agent in 1967. Assigned to the Washington, DC area, the sergeant was arrested and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage.


Lock Pick Set

Lock Pick Set: The HPC NDPK-60 was a professional lock pick kit used by trained counterintelligence personnel. For easy concealment, the two end pockets and the kit itself fold.


Soviet Military Mission Car Tag

Soviet Military Mission Car Tag: A yellow metal tag with red Soviet flag that identified the vehicle as belonging to the Soviet Military Liaison Mission. The Soviet MLM was housed in a small kaserne in Frankfurt-Niederrad, Germany.


Knife Disguised as a Ball Point Pen

Knife Disguised as a Ball Point Pen: Purchased near Clark Air Force Base in the Republic of the Philippines in 1967. Local Communists sold such items outside the gates of most military bases both to raise funds and encourage serious incidents among military personnel.

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Site Last Reviewed/Cleared/Updated on July 27th, 2012