In This Review

Killing Detente: The Right Attacks the CIA
Killing Detente: The Right Attacks the CIA
By Anne Hessing Cahn
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998, 232 pp.

In 1976, another group of outside experts sounded an alarm about the Soviet threat. (Once again Paul Nitze was there, although historian Richard Pipes was more influential.) Known as Team B, its goal was to critique the official intelligence estimates (those of "Team A"). Cahn is angry, since she views detente as "a time of great hope for the majority of Americans and of great fear for Cold Warriors." But she bites her lip through enough of the book to provide a straightforward narrative of the controversy and the maneuvers that produced Team B. The real and gnawing uncertainties at the time about Soviet capabilities and intentions do not, however, evoke her sympathy, or comprehension. Team B did not kill detente, which was already dead by the time the report appeared at the end of 1976. In another echo of the Gaither Committee, however, Team B had its greatest effect by coalescing the worldview of like-minded neoconservatives who later so strongly influenced the early Reagan administration.