Friends and foes alike make determined efforts to obtain America's military-industrial secrets. As this temperate,...


HIGH-TECH ESPIONAGE: How the KGB Smuggles NATO's Strategic Secrets to Moscow

Friends and foes alike make determined efforts to obtain America's military-industrial secrets. As this temperate, meticulously researched report makes clear, Warsaw Pact nations have established a clandestine trade in high-tech goods and services that poses a genuine threat to the West's security. Tuck, a US journalist who works out of West Germany, provides well-documented rundowns on eight recent cases of electronics bootlegging, one of which he helped to break. Until export controls were tightened following the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, Socialist Bloc countries could meet many of their technology needs via open-market purchases. Of late, however, they have relied on covert methods of acquisition under the aegis of Directorate T, a branch of the KGB that specializes in the theft of Western technology. By Tuck's account, the traffic is white-collar crime on a global scale--a netherworld of venal contractors, shady middlemen, doctored waybills, dummy corporations, and wads of cash. In one instance, the author recounts, a shipment of strategically significant computers left Boston, ostensibly bound for West Germany, only to wind up in Bulgaria. To thwart the USSR's aggressive campaign to bridge gaps in its technical expertise, NATO relies on CoCom (Coordinating Committee for Exports to Communist Areas). The author dismisses this 14-man organization as a ""toothless watchdog,"" which many Europeans would like to keep impotent for commercial reasons. Nor, for reasons of state, self-interest, and inertia, is he particularly sanguine about the Reagan Administration's resolve to staunch the flow. Tuck has a nice way with words, and much of his narrative races along like a good thriller. Unfortunately, the stories are fact, not fiction--as disturbing as today's headlines.

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 1986


Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1986