Soviet Camouflage, Concealment and Deception

07.24.12 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

“The Soviet Union has developed a doctrine of ‘maskirovka’ which calls for the use of camouflage, concealment and deception (CC&D) in defense-related programs and in the conduct of military operations,” wrote President Ronald Reagan in the recently declassified 1983 National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 108.

“Several recent discoveries reveal that the Soviet maskirovka program has enjoyed previously unsuspected success and that it is apparently entering a new and improved phase.  Many of these discoveries resulted only after concentrated and intensive examination of intelligence accumulated over many years,” the Directive said.

“I have decided that a more aggressive and focused U.S. program is essential to better understand and counter Soviet CC&D activities,” President Reagan wrote.

Most but not all of the two-page NSDD 108 was declassified in August of last year and made available through the Reagan Presidential Library.  A copy of the directive is available here (with thanks to Michael Ravnitzky).