For decades, many in the West, including many who should have known better, refused to believe that the Soviets so thoroughly supported international terrorism. Incredibly, during the height of the Cold War, U.S. intelligence reflected this belief and expended little effort on tracking these Soviet actions. It was only in the 1980s that the U.S. began to collect systematically intelligence on Soviet support for international terrorism.
Because of this, there remains much that we can learn about international terrorism from secret Soviet archives. As the Russian government is supposed to be our ally against international terrorism, it could help the U.S. and its allies to find missing pieces of the international terrorism puzzle. Many of the networks, the personnel and the tactics are still in play. Many organizations remain an active threat. Hezbollah and Japanese Red Army, for example, remain under the wing of Syria. The only logical reason for not releasing this information is that the Russians continue to see these contacts as helpful.
The overall strategy is still being used. Recent reports based on captured Iraqi documents show that Saddam followed the Soviet example and ran terrorist camps that in just three years, from 1999 to 2002, trained an estimated 8,000 terrorists. How many were trained in Syria over the past 30 or more years? How many were trained in Cuba since Castro came to power? Where are these people today? When we see a well-trained communist rebellion in a country like Nepal—an old flashpoint between India and China—do we see this as a purely indigenous movement? And how did they learn to make bombs or conduct ambushes?
Minister Sikorski’s release of a new cache of Soviet documents gives us a tantalizing glimpse of what remains hidden in the Soviet archives. It is time for the U.S. to demand that Russia follow the Polish example and reveal the skeletons in its filing cabinet.
Jan 25, 2006
World War IV's genesis lies in World War III
Recently released Warsaw Pact documents reveal.