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The Broad Sweep of Imperialism: As Seen in Open-Source Intelligence Reports from the U.S. Government

Posted on 05/12/2016

Of those Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports that are not strictly technical in nature, it would be fair to say that imperialism is at least an implicit theme throughout.

This month's highlights include scientists seeking to ease tensions between nuclear states, a Swedish view of the Cold War, a caustic Soviet evaluation of Harvard's Russian Research Center, and three reports describing the challenges facing African nations breaking free from colonial relationships. 

The Pugwash Meetings of Scientists—A Soviet View

Vestnik Akademii Nauk, SSSR (Herald of the Academy of Sciences, USSR) Vol. XXXI No. 11, 1961

The Cold War enjoys a September sojourn in Stowe, Vermont, in this report. Nikita Khrushchev sends greetings from home in the form of a two-page letter justifying the resumption of nuclear tests. The title characterizes Pugwash as “meetings,” but today we recognize Pugwash as a movement kicked-off by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein, still vital after 60 years. (10 pages) 

The Cold War

Ny Militar Tidshrift (New Military Journal) Vol. 34 No. 6, 1961 

Major General (Ret.) C.H. Juhlin-Dannfelt explores the theory and practice of the Cold War in this Swedish report. Much of what appears in JPRS has a distinct pro-communist viewpoint due to the nature of official American interest in communist source material. Here the author comes down on the side of the West for a change, using less commonly cited Scandinavian sources. (76 pages) 

Nursery for Slanderers

Istoriya SSR (History of the USSR) No. 5, September-October 1961

Harvard's Russian Research Center was founded shortly after the conclusion of World War II as an institution in which the tools of social science might be brought to bear on post-war tensions. In this report the Soviet authors employ sharp rhetoric to “follow the money” from the Carnegie Foundation (which supplied the Center's initial endowment) to the classroom to the halls of power in Washington. (39 pages) 

Africa: The Results and Prospects of the Anti-Imperialist Revolution

Aziya i Afrika Segodnya (Asia and Africa Today) No. 9, September 1961

This report certainly has resonance today, especially when one reads such statements as, “The Nigerian newspaper, The Daily Times, calls joining the European ‘common market’ ‘economic suicide.’” Three European countries whose names begin with the letter "G" are even now having the same debate. (16 pages) 

Sékou Touré Interviewed by François Mitterand

L'Express (Express) No. 334, 25 January 1962 

The first president of Guinea interviewed by the future president of France. Guinea's history as a recent French colony adds an edge to the dialogue. Mitterrand had already moved to the left by this time, and develops some rapport with Touré on that basis. The Soviets and Germans are also actors in this drama. All the players here want a piece of Africa, but peace in Africa is more elusive. (21 pages) 

Training of Camerounian Terrorists in Communist China

Le Journal FEAPAN (Le Journal des Fonctionnaires, des Employés et de tous les Amis du Progrès de l'Afrique Noire) No. 54, November 1961

Nine Cameroonian students pursue their studies abroad from June to August 1960. They travelled separately to Beijing by way of Moscow, without papers, and returned with firearms, radios, and training material for sabotage and guerilla warfare. This is retail revolution that sounds chillingly familiar. (11 pages) 

For more information about Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1994, or to request a trial for your institution, please contact

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