Perception and Misperception D+24 (2 August, 1987) 0100-0200 Zulu

Moscow, USSR 0100 Zulu (0500 Local) The Defense Council was huddled together in the secure conference room located on the wing adjacent to the general secretary’s living quarters. It was now beyond first light in Moscow and the Politburo was set to meet at 6:30. In the next ninety minutes some critical decisions had to …

Midnight Fog D+24 (2 August, 1987) 0015-0030 Zulu

The United States and Soviet Union both maintained satellites in orbit that were tasked with monitoring their enemy’s homeland for immediate indications of a missile launch. By unspoken agreement these birds had not been targeted with anti-satellite weaponry by either side. The loss of such a critically sensitive platform to hostile action by the other …

The Politics of Global War: In the Shadow of Escalation Part I

In the last forty-eight hours leading up to the start of hostilities in early July, 1987, officials from the United States and Soviet governments undertook a series of clandestine meetings in Zurich, Switzerland. These meetings were not eleventh-hour negotiations aimed at averting war. By this point it was a generally accepted fact in Washington, Moscow, …

The Politics of Global War: The Restive Kremlin D+11 (20 July, 1987) Part III

Present conditions in the Northwestern TVD (NWTVD) were far from ideal. Every man seated at the conference table was aware of troubles and issues in the north but not the extent of them. This included General Secretary Romanov. Marshal Akhromeyev understood this was his time to speak the unfettered truth. Failure to do so would …

The Politics of Global War: The Restive Kremlin D+11 (20 July, 1987) Part II

Marshal Akhromeyev started with Germany. He did not exaggerate or diverge from the truth, yet presented only as many details as were necessary to support the briefing. The Red Army was advancing-slower than expected but still moving west. The reasons for the slow progress were summarized swiftly with Akhromeyev careful not to dwell, or allow …