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Cryptonym: REDCAP

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REDCAP was a program of operational exploitation of Soviet personnel. Included within its objectives was inducement of Soviets to defect from their official posts, or to extract information from them in the course of attempting to convince them to defect.


"REDCAP (1951-1965) was the planned collection of information on Soviet personnel stationed abroad for the purpose of operational exploitation, including defector inducement."


DDP Richard Bissell, 9/2/58: "Operations designed to monitor the activities of Soviet official personnel and installations." Closely aligned was the CE (counter-espionage) program "to negate the activities of RIS representatives and agents stationed in countries under the jurisdiction of the operating divisions."

Philip Agee, Inside the Company: CIA Diary, p. 60 of 572.

"A machine-listing system of all Soviet nationals who travel abroad; scientists, technicians, military advisors and commercial officers as well as diplomats. Intelligence officers, of course, use all of these types of cover."


REDCAP (1951-65) was the planned collection of information on Soviet personnel stationed abroad for the purpose of operational exploitation, including defection inducement. By 1969 some 21,173 Soviet nationals resided in the 77 non-Communist countries of the world, of whom 5,943 were officials. At least 60 percent of these, or 3,560, wre in fact intelligence personnel. Moreover, the Soviet services worked very closely with the 19 intelligence services of the seven Communist governments of Eastern Europe. During the 1950's the Soviets dominated these services through a system of senior advisors whose word was law. Although this control was somewhat relaxed during the 1960's, close coordination continued. AECARRERA (1953-58) exploited REDCAP opportunities (collection of information on Soviets stationed abroad) arising out of the propaganda distributed by AEVIRGIL and collected positive intelligence through debriefings of East German nationals visiting the AECARRERA office in Berlin in response to AEVIRGIL materials ballooned into East Germany. Counterespionage [CE] has one purpose which transcends all others in importance: penetration. The emphasis which the KGB places on penetration was evident... ...There was general realization that the Soviet services and their extensions in the Communist countries of Eastern Europe were a highly integrated system, and that the US could not cope effectively with a coordinated attack if uncoordinated. The security problem can be handled in a decentralized fashion because security rules are pretty much the same for all. But counterespionage must be centralized. The heart of counterespionage is the penetration operation - and the US could not possibly achieve reliable penetrations on a fragmented or departmental basis.

Bill Simpich

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