Teaching Case - Sunshine and Shadow: The CIA and the Soviet Economy

Sunshine and Shadow: The CIA and the Soviet Economy


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  • Product Description

    After nearly 40 years of steady, rigorous, remarkably open, and respected analysis of the Soviet economy, the CIA stood accused in the early 1990s of having gotten the answer badly wrong: so much so that Daniel Patrick Moynihan had called for the agency's abolition. This case examines the CIA's Soviet economy office from the early 1950s through the 1980s; its mission, methodologies, and institutional culture; Allen Dulles' and subsequent directors' public use of its products; the evolution of its distinctive power to publish openly, through the Joint Economic Committee's "Green Books" and through agency monographs, and key policy episodes influenced by that openness; aspects of its substantive work through to the late 1980s; the growing debate on whether the agency was too conservative in its assessment of Soviet economic decline; and CIA analysts' reflections both on that debate and on its import for future agency economic analysis.

    Learning Objective:
    Key discussion points include the intelligence role of economic analysis, the management of economic analysts, intelligence and openness, and how the CIA might structure and carry out a mission to support US economic policymaking and competitiveness.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1991
    HKS Case Number: 1096.0
    Case Author: David Kennedy
    Faculty Lead: Richard Neustadt
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 29
    Setting: United States, Soviet Union, Russia
    Language: English
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: Global
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