Project Summary

Soviet-American competition took places on two planes: the overt, publicly acknowledged realm of official foreign relations and shadowy, concealed realm of covert foreign assistance, espionage, and subversion. While a handful of specific episodes like the Bay of Pigs have received significant attention, historians and political scientists alike sorely lack rigorous comparative studies - transcending individual episodes to begin to understand broader underlying patterns and qualities - of Cold War competition on the covert plane. The project will both fill important gaps in the scholarly understanding of the Cold War and provide new contributions to recent policy debates about the role and dangers of covert competitions today.