Intelligence Fiasco or Reasoned Accounting?

CIA Estimates of Soviet GNP

by Abraham S. Becker

A leading specialist on Soviet economics examines the heavily politicized debate on the CIA's estimates of the rate of growth and comparative size of the Soviet economy during the period 1960-1985. The author finds little evidence to support the common indictment that the CIA seriously misestimated the Soviet growth record. The author finds somewhat greater reason to believe that the Agency's comparative size ratios were overstated. And the author finds grounds to question whether CIA dealt effectively with the limitations of the size and growth measures in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Originally published in: Post-Soviet Affairs, V.H. Winston & Son, 1994, pp. 291-329.

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