The first thing I thought of when I read this article about the U.S. sabotaging the Soviet economy using Trojan Horse software was “Oh my God. Chernobyl.”
Keep in mind that I am just thinking out loud here. The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear facility seems to have been thoroughly researched and the root causes of the accident seem to have been human in nature, rather than software related, but it isn’t hard to imagine that the Soviets would have been pursuing Western nuclear technology. That would have made their nuclear facilities incredibly vulnerable to trojan horse software designed to cause an eventual meltdown.
And it is one thing to admit that a covert CIA operation caused a pipeline explosion that did mostly economic damage. It would be quite another to admit that the same operation caused one of the most frightening human catastrophes of the last century. It’s not something you would expect the U.S. government would ever allow to come to light.
And if the goal of the U.S. administration at the time was to hasten the end of the Soviet Union, it could easily be argued that the Chernobyl disaster was the final nail in the coffin of that particular entity. It could at least be argued that the Chernobyl meltdown was the beginning of the end.
Admittedly, the natural gas pipeline explosion took place in 1982, and Chernobyl four years later in 1986. Maybe Chernobyl took place outside of the timeline of the CIA operation. But the Soviet Union was still in place and the cold war was still on, so it’s conceivable that the two incidents were part of the same program.
Certainly something upon which to reflect. Which brings to mind the question “other than the pipeline explosion, what were some of the other direct effects of the program”?