The CIA declassified scores of articles from Studies in Intelligence, The Agency’s internal journal on “historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects of intelligence.”

One undated article settles one of the most controversial incidents of the Cold War’s often-panicked final decade: the 1983 “war scare” in which rhetoric of nearly unprecedented belligerence from Moscow may have been backed with a secret KGB protocol to remain on a state of alert nearly tantamount to a war-footing.

In an article with over a page of redactions in its declassified form, Ben B. Fischer, then of the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence, concluded that a long-rumored Soviet project codenamed RYAN, in which Soviet intelligence agencies were “placed on a permanent intelligence watch to monitor indications and warnings of US war-planning and preparations,” was “for real.”

Although RYAN was neither “panicky nor unprecedented” the Soviets still undertook “a crash effort [to] build a strategic warning system” at a time when the Kremlin was feeling increasing anxiety over the direction of the Cold War.

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