In its efforts to keep Congress funding huge military budgets in the 1980s, the Reagan administration exaggerated the threat from the Soviet Union's military projects, newly published documents show.
Documents posted online Thursday at the National Security Archives chronicle a Soviet physicist's efforts to dispel claims about the USSR's secretive weapons programs by bringing US officials to Russia to examine top-secret weapons sites.
Those tours, which took place around 1987, "showed that the Reagan administration had exaggerated Soviet capabilities and also that the Soviet military machine was not as technologically advanced as had been thought," the National Security Archives stated in a press release.
Those documents were first brought to light in a recent book by David E. Hoffman, The Dead Hand. The book chronicles the Soviet effort to build a system for an "automatic retaliatory nuclear strike on the United States."But, as the released documents show, that effort, as well as other weapons programs, were never near fruition.