Agents of Influence
Soviet archives, confessions, and memoirs are establishing as never before the extent of Soviet interference in the internal affairs of other countries—which turns out to have been far deeper than even the most vigilant observers ever supposed. Through terrorist movements, peace campaigns, strikes, and disinformation the Soviet Union sought either to exploit genuine grievances abroad or to create artificial ones. No other power has ever manipulated its opponents so imaginatively, or to such effect.
In the past, though the Soviet leadership used to reject with indignation any accusation of subverting Western democracies, glimpses of the reality could be obtained from Soviet defectors. These men—Walter Krivitsky, Igor Gouzenko, Ivan Pavlov, Arkady Shevchenko, and others—brought archival information or its equivalent, providing Western intelligence services with names of traitors and so-called agents of influence. In the nature of things, Western intelligence services preferred to release as little of this information as possible—an instinct which in retrospect can be seen to have contributed to the widespread ignorance in the West of Soviet aims.
About the Author
David Pryce-Jones, the British novelist and political analyst, is the author of, among other books, Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews (Encounter).