Listing of Declassified National Intelligence Estimates on the Soviet Union and International Communism, 1946-1984

Declassified National Intelligence Estimates on the Soviet Union and International Communism, 1946-1984

The National Intelligence Estimates cited in this brochure are available for review and reproduction at the National Archives in College Park, MD. I believe they constitute the most comprehensive collection of once highly sensitive intelligence analysis of the former Soviet Union and International Communism ever released by the US Intelligence Community. Most were declassified in 1993 and 1994, and another 59 that assess Soviet conventional military capabilities were released this year. Other Estimates on Soviet military, civil defense, and space exploration efforts are in declassification review.

The Center for the Study of Intelligence intends to declassify other Estimates on the USSR that are at least 10 years old. Our review is done in consultation with appropriate components of the Intelligence Community, and especially with those that participated in producing these assessments for senior officials in the administrations of eight presidents, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan.

Furthermore, the Center has embarked on a new declassification review, consistent with the provisions of Executive Order 12958. Significant analysis on the USSR that was completed by CIA's Intelligence Directorate from the Agency's inception in September 1947 through the collapse of the USSR in August 1991 will be reviewed for declassification. We cannot project how long this effort will take, but it will remain one of the Center's highest declassification review priorities.

Readers of many of the declassified Estimates will discover that some excisions have been made to protect important intelligence sources and methods. But the redactions do not reduce the substantive value of this large and diverse collection. In almost all instances, the judgments, flow of analysis, and full meaning of the Estimates have been undiminished.

Our sole purpose in opening these records is to enrich scholarly and public understanding of how intelligence analysis illuminated core Cold War issues. Readers can be assured that no redactions have been made to camouflage assessments or analytic approaches that, over time, proved wrong. No effort has been made to withhold Estimates, or portions of them, that anyone might consider embarrassing to the CIA or to the Intelligence Community.

With these documents on the public record, historians and other scholars will be able to better judge how well intelligence analysts did over the years in understanding the USSR and to what extent their assessments were insightful, accurate, and useful to policymakers.


Brian Latell
Center for the Study of Intelligence
Central Intelligence Agency
September 1996


The documents listed have been declassified only in part. The number of pages in parentheses are the number of declassified pages, not the total number of pages in the NIE. Sections of the documents remain classified for national security reasons. Most of the released pages contain portions that have been deleted for similar reasons.


Click on the following to view that years Estimates

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Historical Document
Posted: Mar 19, 2007 09:41 AM
Last Updated: Jul 07, 2008 01:20 PM