That's not that impressive, even 1:1000 kills:losses is a positive ratio.
I assume they mean a ratio > 1.
And: this is a pretty incredible story. If you don't bother reading it all (it's not that long), at least read this bit:
> Exploiting thick fog and careless guards, Manfred Ramminger – a KGB-agent in West Germany – entered Neuburg air base during the evening of Oct. 22, 1967. Together with his Polish driver Josef Linowski and German F-104 Starfighter pilot Wolf-Diethard Knoppe, he stole an operational AIM-9 [sidewinder missile] from the local ammunition depot and transported it down the entire runway on a wheelbarrow to his Mercedes sedan, parked outside the base.
> The 2.9-meter-long missile proved unwieldy. Ramminger broke the rear window and covered the protruding part with a carpet. In order not to attract attention of the police, he then marked the protrusion with a piece of red cloth, as required by law.
East of the iron curtain everything, even marginally secret, was very carefully controlled, accounted for and losing a single not-too-secret page meant an automatic 10-year labor camp term. West of it, control was much looser and many more secrets leaked out. However, technology was also developed much faster -- you need serious encouragement to convince a good engineer to work under East's penalties and restrictions on personal life if other interesting work is available. East put major resources of the state on stealing technology not by choice -- it had few other options to avoid military tech obsolescence.
So leakage and all, West's system worked pretty well. My 2c.
While many things were ostensibly highly guarded (i.e. guards were stationed,) and the rules were strict, and penalties for breaking them very harsh, it was common knowledge that if you lucked out and got yourself in a position where you had access to any kind of goods, you would be a fool not to try to spirit something away on the side. Many, many people engaged in what would now be deemed outright theft, and everyone covered for everyone else - it all had to look good on paper, not so much in reality. When a new government building or a housing block was built, no one batted an eye when afterwards the foreman somehow also had built a dacha (summer house) for himself, and his subordinates had built a garage or an extension to their homes, or just suddenly had spare money on hand to buy a car (which is another story in itself, with the 10-year waitlists, etc.) They had comedy movies about industrial theft even back in the 60s.
Now, the rules would be more strict in a military installation but there was more than likely plenty of lax behavior even there. As long as you didn't commit the egregious error of having discrepancies be noticed and documented, greased the right hands, knew people in the right places, and shared in your luck, you could get away with an awful lot of things.
Anyway, this story is about stealing a missile. I have absolutely no doubt the same thing could have happened east of Iron Curtain as well.
Here's one Bay Area/SV equivalent. (Not even theft, though.) Newly minted tech millionaire buys a home. It's already very nice. Maybe it has some really nice wood paneling, but the new owner has to make her/his mark and change it out. The architect assures the client that all of the materials will be recycled. A few months later, the home has a new interior, and the workmen have really nice paneling in their basement rec room.
One former coworker of mine back in Texas was in a failing startup, and on the last day, he literally just carted off some Herman Miller Aeron chairs and some servers. He just chalked it up as the amount he felt he was shorted on his last paycheck.
Pretty much what the crooked logistics officer character was doing in Catch 22. He was essentially running a black market empire on the backs of military logistics. One wonders if Kurt Vonnegut was inspired by real life events.
I think the West wanted the missile to be taken. Handing over old missile technology is pretty ingenious. If your adversary actually pulls it off and copies it, they will have a 5 year old missile. Having an old missile on your warplane, while flying against the latest tech was a death sentence. This was different than say, nuclear technology, where having a 5 year old model was still extremely dangerous.
Also, being handed old tech sucks up all your engineering resources. An analogy would be reading vs writing code. Reading code is x10 more difficult, fraught with misconceptions and inability to expand the tech.
If they want to copy your 5 year old missile, their current missiles are probably even worse.
If you have the capability to clone an air-to-air missile, you have the capability to evaluate its performance to confirm that it's an improvement over your current designs.
unless that particular model was a certified crappy missile that could not work in any way and that was a plot the have them lose time there is no reason to give them an old missile.
If you have reasonable certainty there won't be a hot war, winning a cold war is a matter of having a stronger economy and better logistics. You can leak older missile tech to the enemy, and they can work on reverse engineering it, while you install cutting-edge countermeasures on all mobile targets. They wasted a bunch of time and money catching up to where you were, and you're already 50 miles down the road. Then maybe you have a proxy war to show off your new tech. You keep the war cold by convincing the enemy that if they start something for real, they will not only lose, but also suffer international humiliation and disdain.
It also keeps your rival in the game, so they don't give up. A cold war is good for the military-industrial complexes on both sides. Peace and consumer trade cuts in to the profit margins. Can't have people choosing butter over guns.
I would love to find out that there is video evidence on tape of this actually occurring. I'm imagining that there were a group of people that planned this, and were sitting in a room watching it (with bowls of popcorn) laughing at them doing it. That means that group of people are also very good at keeping secrets. It's just farcical enough to possibly be true, until you remember actual true stories like the underwater voice line recorder with "Made In The USA" stamped on it that is now on display in the Kremlin (or wherever).
Might there be an easier answer? Perhaps the West was using a risk-based approach to security, where a missile built with aging technology just isn't as dangerous if stole as a current one.
I'm sure it's just my naive reading, but this seems like it would produce a functionally identical outcome without requiring a tinfoil hat or deliberate staking of bait for an adversary.
For superpowers, it's easier to disguise a few warheads as spy sats and leave them in convenient orbits than go through the trouble of smuggling shit through land borders
I will agree "Rods of God" type kinetic bombardment is stupid, though for different reasons
Nuclear weapons (like almost all military weapons) are about A. threatening B. revenging. These are commonly called first strike and second strike.
U.S. currently builds B21 stealth bombers that can carry nuclear weapons, because the B2 has proved to be useful type of threatening tool. Such planes fly undetected in various airspaces and drop conventional bombs to countries who don't have nukes. The message is "we could nuke you and you would not know until it hit you, keep in line peasants". If you didn't want to send that message, you could use either non-nuclear rated stealth bomber or you could use non-stealth bomber.
The second strike is hardened ICBM's in hardened bunkers. Idea is that when the infrared signature of enemy ICBM booster-phase is detected, you have about one hour time to pray and have sex and whatnot. So you use that time to launch your own ICBM's to revenge the impending doom. Because each side knows this revenge is coming, you are not very likely to see nuclear exchange between ICBM sporting states. You are quite unlikely to see any kind of exchange to be accurate.
In case you just spot detonation, you can assume that enemy bomber has gotten through, so you might just as well again launch your ICBM's. The suspects of a launch are usually well known because enriching arms grade nuclear matter is very hard to do undetected.
So Wolkswagen is not suitable because the enemy does not have time to feel threatened. And if you start your wolkswagen engine when nukes are raining, you are already several days late from your revenge mission.
But between the long preparation time, the chances of being discovered ahead of time, and the low relative impact/reach, even when placed strategically a few car-nukes would probably deliver more of a "terror strike" type of attack. You can cripple a few weak points but nothing "terminal".
Having a covert facility and deploying a weapon w/o any testing would be beyond the capacity of all but a handful of states.
The US has a lot of busy ports, so maybe blockading one isn't too disruptive, but it still has strategic value. Of course, it also depends on the effectiveness of the bomb.
A nuke in a random container on a ship filled with thousands of them, owned by a bunch of shell companies, combined with the fact that the evidence gets blown up in the process...
Quite a bit harder to track to a source than "hey look a rocket launched from Iran".
There have been people pulled over in the DC area after undogoing chemotherapy. In one case it was a small dog.
Considering that chemotherapy is chemical, I'm not sure what it would have to do with radiation at all. Presuming you meant radiation treatments, those do not leave the patient radioactive at all.
In general, to the best of my knowledge, detecting items with radioactivity levels mildly above background inside a moving vehicle from the street is not practical, even theoretically, based on the probable lack of difference in radiation level outside the vehicle.
Aside, google has gotten worse than useless. In a first ever I had to scroll through a full page of cancer treatment ads. Zero organic results on the first page. Even then it needed careful tweaking to get Google off the “treatments for cancer” train of thought.
Was not able to find the dog story I remembered. Google wants to show me either national security or cancer treatment but not the intersection.
Not categorically true, even with external beam radiation therapy.
Other kinds of treatment can leave the patient significantly radioactive, for example brachytherapy, which involves direct implantation of radiation sources in tissue.
Nevertheless, I would still find it pretty surprising if any of these sources could be reliably detected from inside a moving vehicle by a stationary sensor. Or that cases of these medical treatments would not be overwhelmed by other incidental sources of radiation being slightly higher or lower than usual.
I don't work on these systems, obviously - those who do aren't talking - and this is just idle speculation. But I do know that lots of DHS money is shoveled into R&D on this kind of thing every year and I would not be surprised if some of the tech does work.
If someone were smuggling a radioactive weapon into DC, couldn't they just shield it with a lot of lead?
I'm guessing that your small-dog example would have been different if it were in a thick lead crate.
It's really not hard to hide both neutron and gamma emissions, especially if you have a large enough container, like a ship's hold.
I would absolutely expect any nuclear exchange to start with ground-based stealth attacks.
It is a form of radiotherapy.
An East German Army Colonel's Uniform.
MAD: Militärischer Abschirmdienst (Military Secret Service, Germany)
I am guessing he intended to surrender immediately when challenged, he just never was. It's a civilised country, so we tend to not have have shoot-first-ask-questions-later policies, at least not while I was pulling guard duty.
This is entirely reasonable, as there's not that much damage you can do between being challenged and surrendering (or not as it may be), at least at the fairly mundane mechanised infantry battalion I was stationed at. What are you going to do, steal a tank? Good luck with that! (Go for missiles instead!) I guess things might be a bit tougher at the base where they house the American nukes. If it is, I would presume there to be very obvious signage.
I do remember the story of a guard officer trying a bit too hard to test his troops and not surrendering when challenged repeatedly (different base). He was shot in accordance with the rules of engagement. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Regarding nuclear facilities, that reminds me of story on juridiction between an US Marshal and the security personnel of nuclear facility.
Nuclear bases in Eastern Russia are all built with though of stopping, and stalling a substantial military assault from paratroopers, sabotage specialists battalions, or forward armed recon that might preclude a full scale conflict, but security was known to be lax (thought still way above any normal base)
And in US it seems, they are more wary of infiltration by small force, or "trickery," or, I'll give myself liberty to imagine, enemies from within.
You’d think, but if an 80 old nun can get in and et a selfie with a nuke, it can’t be too hard ;)
If anyone got any good at security in these sorts of places they usually ended up doing something else better paid for a living.
It's been a long time since I read it, but it was something along the lines of certain military leaders doubted the ability of the SAS to sneak onto a base and plant bombs on airplanes. So they organized a test, where they would sneak onto one of their own bases and place stickers instead of bombs. The leader of the base was even given advance notice that this as going to happen.
The SAS not only managed to sneak onto the base, they managed to place stickers on the planes so thoroughly some planes had 2 or 3 stickers on them, and iirc they were totally undetected.
It was a thoroughly interesting read, and they did immense damage to the german army and air force in north africa, sometimes just driving jeeps onto bases and firing second hand machine guns originally for aircraft they managed to mount to their jeeps.
After reading that book, and the success they had sneaking onto bases in the middle of a shooting war, even after the opposing army was dedicating themselves to preventing the damage, I wouldn't be surprised if much more equipment, plans, and intelligence hasn't been stolen off bases that we simply don't know about.
There's the movie title right there.
> This first appeared in WarIsBoring
Its surprising how much he got away with. It was a theft, conspiracy, espionage, mailing and customs rules violation. Did he that in US 2019, he would get 30 years min.
So, your statement is a bit like saying "2019 Google doesn't exist" because it reorganized into Alphabet, and there's no more Google Inc, only a much more narrowly focused subsidiary named Google LLC.
disclaimer: russian citizen myself. Greetings from Urals!
1) It's amazing how the operation to steal the AIM-9, despite being so high-risk, was accomplished with much ease & simplicity.
2) I am surprised that the KGB agent and his conspirators only received 4 years of prison time for this. This might just be my ignorance of the subject, but isn't stealing a missile and giving it to an enemy more deserving of a stricter sentence? Perhaps a deal was involved related to the intelligence the former KGB agent could provide in exchange for some leniency.
3) Tangential but semi-related: There is an interesting theory by Dimitri Khalezov about the armed Russian Kursk submarine, which sunk in 2000, being the source of a stolen nuclear-capable P-700 Granit anti-ship cruise missile. His theory is that this missile was the projectile which rammed through The Pentagon (but failed to detonate) on 2001 September 11th. Who stole the missile and why is a mystery, but pictures of the impact at The Pentagon and what is known about this missile could support the theory. Allegedly, when the Russians extracted the warheads from their sunken submarine, the extraction team was ordered to fill the warhead containers with a type of foam that would permanently seal them without checking the contents of the containers themselves. In essence, one or more missile containers recovered from the submarine may have actually been empty & verification of the contents was prevented in order to cover up the fact that a nuclear weapon had gone missing.
So wait... some people think a missile hit the Pentagon instead of an airplane on 9/11? What happened to American Airlines Flight 77, then?
The strike on the pentagon was not dissimilar from a non-detonating cruise missile hit.
>What happened to American Airlines Flight 77, then?
A 4-hour presentation given by Khalezov includes 9/11 video of a witness at The Pentagon stating there was no airplane. He later suggests that the planes were acquired by the US government as a cover story so the population would not believe the nation was under nuclear threat.
I suppose that because the government heavily regulates the airline industry and is deeply involved in classified ways with the same companies who manufacture these aircraft, it's not inconceivable that some could be acquired for the purposes of a cover-up.
Here's a question for you: Why were certain procedures unique to nuclear attacks enacted on the day of 9/11? For example, why was the door to NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado sealed if the threat was only hijacked planes?
Because the shit hit the fan and everyone hit the panic button Just in Case™?
He wasn't refused permission to emigrate because he was a dissident. IIRC, the refusal he received and those received by others are what lead him on the path to becoming a dissident.