Resolving the Missile Gap


Resolving the Missile Gap



In the 1950s, our nation faced one of the gravest military threats in its history. The Soviet Union had nuclear weapons and boasted they had the means to deliver them. Was the U.S. truly vulnerable to a first strike? Intelligence analysts had few answers and assertions of “Bomber Gaps” and “Missile “Gaps” abounded. President Eisenhower recognized that aerial reconnaissance of the Soviet Union was the answer. The story of the U-2 and Corona satellites is now history, but the success of those programs and their follow-on versions is the stuff of today’s high-tech intelligence and warfare.

Panelists include John Bird (Central Intelligence Agency, Ret.), Richard Immerman (U.S. Army War College), Fred Kaplan (Slate Magazine), Gene Poteat (Central Intelligence Agency, Ret.), and moderator Major General William Burns (U.S. Army, Ret.).

Publication Date



Cold War, Soviet Union, nuclear weapons, missile gap, bomber gap, Eisenhower, U-2, Corona satellite, CIA, central intelligence agency


Defense and Security Studies | Military History | Peace and Conflict Studies | Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies | United States History

Resolving the Missile Gap