Closed minds, sealed fates

The distortion of Soviet intelligence analysis derived, at root, from the nature of the one-party state and its inherent distrust of all opposing views. The Soviet Union thus found it more difficult than its Western rivals to understand, and therefore to use, the political intelligence it collected. Though the Soviet leadership never really understood the West until the closing years of the Cold War, it would have been outraged to have its misunderstandings challenged by intelligence reports. Heterodox opinions within the Soviet system always ran the risk of being condemned as subversive. […] [O]ne-party states have an inherent disadvantage when it comes to intelligence analysis, since analysts usually fear to tell the Party hierarch what it does not want to hear.

— Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield, pg. 555.

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