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Washington's attempt to trigger a non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War in March 1986 did not fail because of a want of trying but because of Soviet countermeasures, thanks to the spying for Moscow by the Agency's Rick Ames, the Bureau's Robert Hanssen, and others. Their information alerted Moscow to the surprise. Alexander Litvinenko's railway security squad discovered the Toshiba container with all the sensors, and the Red Banner Fleet was placed on maximum alert against NATO's attack submarines trying to sink any Soviet boomers hastily going on station in the Barents and Black Seas in response to the shooting of Sweden's statsminister Olaf Palme. Still, the Reagan administration went ahead with the showdown, though it had no KH-11 laser satellite to blow up any Soviet ICBMs if they started preparing for launch in response to the surprise because of the failure of the Space Shuttle Challenger to even achieve a successful liftoff, much less launch the laser satellite in space. Moreover, the Anglo-American conspirators knew nothing of the 82 nuclear-tipped SS-23 missile launchers in the USSR and East Germany - under the command of Soviet hawk, Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov - which would have been fired if the shooting started. (Mark Urban, UK Eyes Alpha: The Inside Story of British Intelligence, p. 290)
Little wonder that Robert Gates, who became Pappy Bush's DCI a little bit later, and is now Obama's Secretary of Defense, complimented "Stillman's ability to adapt the latest advances in science to solve unmanageable problems and to analyze foreign technologies made him an invaluable asset to the Intelligence Community."
Glimpses of America's Man-Made Disasters