Thursday, August 02, 2012

Soviet Military Research on Nuclear Winter: John G. Hines Interviews Dr. Vitalii Tsygichko (1990-1991)

"Dr. V.N. Tsygichko, Colonel, Russian Army, Ret., is a full member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, and since 1985 the chief researcher at the Institute of Systems Analysis of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISA RAS). He is currently the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expert on information security problems. Since 1967 he has served the Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense, working on mathematical simulations of military operations. From 1988 - 1991 he headed an autonomous Center for Research into National Security Problems. Dr. Tsygichko’s range of scientific interests embraces methodological and systematic problems of modeling socio-economic processes; decision theory; applied systems analysis; the theory and methods of socio-economic forecasting; ensuring national security and strategic stability; information security problems; and geopolitical problems. He has authored over 200 papers and 6 books. Dr. Tsygichko is a founder of a new national school of mathematical simulation and forecasting of complex social processes in military and socio-economic areas. He has developed principles and methods of systems theory application, introduced an information theory of statistically unreliable decisions, and developed a scenario approach to researching and forecasting socio economic processes. Some of his papers include: “On Decision Making for Managers” (1992), “Information Challenges to National and International Security” (2001); and “Models as Part of the Strategic Military Decision Making System in the USSR” (2005). He is a permanent author of journals such as Military Thought, Military Bulletin, Independent Military Review, and a number of foreign publications. He is a graduate of the Ryazan Artillery Military School, the Dzerzhinsky Military Academy, and holds a Doctor of Science (Engineering)."----See page 9, of IO Sphere (2008), a publication of the U.S. Military's Joint Information Operations Warfare Command 

BDM is the name of a former defense contractor.  According to a series of BDM interviews (1990-91) with Dr. Vitalii Tsygichko (center), Soviet military scientists and their superiors understood that nuclear war would be national suicide for the USSR. [Also read Tsygishko's commentary on these interviews and the BDM report (Appendix E) and the English summary that precedes Tsygichko's book, Models in the System of Military-Strategic Decision Making in the USSR (Moscow 2005).]

Communist ideology maintained that the Soviet Union and the United States would eventually fight a nuclear war and the Soviet Union would prevail; however, when Dr. Tsygichko did computer modeling in the early 1970s on how to fight a war using nuclear weapons in Europe, he found that it would not be possible to fight and win a nuclear war in any meaningful sense. Computer models trumped the "scientific" ideology.

According to Dr. Tsygichko, military analysts in the GRU (Soviet military intelligence) even did research on the climatic consequences of a nuclear war ("nuclear winter") in the early 1970s.  Although Dr. Tsygichko's bosses accepted the accuracy of the models and understood their implications, his research was ignored or suppressed for ideological, bureaucratic, and economic reasons. See an overview  and links to information gleaned from these interviews at the National Security Archive of George Washington University.

According to Dr. Tsygichko, [Vladimir] Alexandrov, a Russian scientist who vanished on April 1, 1985, in Spain, and the astronomer Carl Sagan did not discover "nuclear winter." Analysts working for the Soviet General Staff during the early 1970s considered many of the climatic effects  of nuclear winter that received so much attention years later. 

Perhaps someone should read what Dr. Tsygichko said and reevaluate the apocryphal fairy-tale about nuclear winter attributed to the KGB defector Sergei Tretyakov that is given credibility in a so-called FBI white paper. The FBI might also read the book by the late Lawrence Badash called A Nuclear Winter's Tale: Science and Politics in the 1980s. The FBI's  attack on the alleged disinformation about the climatic effects of nuclear winter resembles the attacks on supposedly dishonest climate scientists who are telling us about climate change. To learn about the scientific research on nuclear winter, instead of FBI propaganda, visit the site of Dr. Alan Robock, a famous expert on nuclear winter.

If the FBI believes that some unidentified article in some unidentified journal contains some unidentified KGB disinformation, why don't they step up to the plate, identify these sources, and correct the disinformation? From their innuendos and from their source, Pete Earley's Comrade J, the FBI seems to be talking about the famous 1982 Crutzen and Birks article that appeared in the Swedish Journal Ambio. If so, what is the KGB disinformation in this article? If the FBI has identified KGB scientific disinformation, why aren't they able to correct the disinformation with the scientific facts?

Perhaps some day, a fuller picture may emerge. My own impression is that scientists in the USSR and the West who studied the effects of nuclear war on climate were learning from each other, and that this collaboration was probably a very good thing. If the KGB defector Sergei Tretyakov (and the FBI) really believed that "no one in Moscow ever believed [nuclear winter] was true" (Earley 177), that may have been because the economic interests of the more powerful Soviet "military-industrial complex" caused the research of GRU scientists like Dr. Vitalii Tsygichko to be ignored and suppressed by very high classification. See especially the first three paragraphs of the Appendix E summary.

The National Security Archive of George Washington University and America's academic and government climate scientists have a considerable body of research that the FBI might wish to consider should it decide to admit its errors and retract its defamatory, unsubstantiated allegations about KGB disinformation in climate science. It seems to me that a better case might be made that this FBI White Paper is disinformation dressed up as prophylactic tips for scholars on defending American science from KGB disinformation and spies. 

If the FBI thinks its White Paper is correct, the FBI should have the courage and decency to defend its perspective with a carefully-documented history of the 1980s nuclear winter debate and peer-reviewed climate science. How can climate scientists, who defend our national security, defend themselves from published FBI allegations that their work is riddled with KGB disinformation if the FBI keeps the scientific KGB disinformation that it has uncovered a secret?

The FBI's White Paper about nuclear winter is being spread by the main FBI and by FBI Agent Patrick Laflin on the FBI Tampa CI Strategic Partnership Newsletter (July 1, 2011). See the link marked "Higher Education and National Security." The organization's email is

Ask Agent Patrick Laflin to step up to the plate and name the unidentified Swedish journal and the the unidentified nuclear winter paper where the alleged KGB disinformation was published. Ask Agent Laflin to step up to the plate and identify the KGB's scientific disinformation. Ask Agent Patrick Laflin to step up to the plate and explain what the true scientific information is.

Sometimes it happens that kooks like John O'Sullivan deliberately put ludicrous words in the mouths of FBI agents, but the unsubstantiated allegations about disinformation in climate science are posted on the FBI's own website. The FBI should be prepared to defend its published allegations or to retract them. Otherwise, they may find themselves really quoted by climate change denialists like John O'Sullivan, who spread disinformation and libelous allegations about climate scientists; and that would be really embarrassing.


Post a Comment

<< Home