This work examines the history and ramifications of the employment of former Nazi intelligence officers by the American intelligence community during that critical period of the Cold War, from the fall of Berlin through the end of the Eisenhower administration. The central hypothesis of the work is that the Nazi connection forged during the tumultuous climax of WWII in Europe became a key weakness at the core of America's Cold War intelligence community. At its outset most of those privy to this arrangement seem to have agreed that the relationship was necessary in order to allow the United States and her post-war allies to quickly respond to the ominous Soviet threat in Europe and elsewhere. Later, it became clear that many of those former Nazi networks that American intelligence was relying on had long been penetrated by the Soviet Union's intelligence services. This Soviet penetration effectively compromised many of the efforts by the Western Alliance to contain and rollback communism throughout Europe and around the globe.
The unwillingness of the leadership of the American intelligence community to openly confront the root cause of this catastrophe, and thereby contain its most negative consequences for American national security, offers some new and potentially instructive insights into the shaping of American national security policy during the early Cold War period.