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Автор:  marr - 18 Июня 2018 09:42:11
In July 1958, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower requested permission from Pakistani Prime Minister Huseyn Suhrawardy for the U.S. to establish a secret intelligence facility in Pakistan and for the U-2 spyplane to fly from Pakistan. The U-2 flew at altitudes that could not be reached by Soviet fighter jets of the era; it was believed to be beyond the reach of Soviet missiles as well. A facility established in Badaber (Peshawar Air Station), 10 miles (16 km) from Peshawar, was a cover for a major communications intercept operation run by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). Badaber was an excellent location because of its proximity to Soviet central Asia. This enabled the monitoring of missile test sites, key infrastructure and communications. The U-2 "spy-in-the-sky" was allowed to use the Pakistan Air Force section of Peshawar Airport to gain vital photo intelligence in an era before satellite observation.

President Eisenhower did not want to fly American U-2 pilots over the Soviet Union because he felt that if one of these pilots were to be shot down or captured that it could be seen as an act of aggression. At a time like the Cold War, any act of aggression could spark open conflict between the two countries. In order to ease the burden of flying Americans into Soviet airspace the idea developed to have British pilots from the Royal Air Force fly these missions in place of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). With the United Kingdom still reeling from the aftermath of the Suez Crisis and in no position to snub American requests, the British government was amenable to the proposal. Using British pilots allowed Eisenhower to be able to use the U-2 plane to see what the Soviet Union was hiding, while still being able to plausibly deny any affiliation if a mission became compromised.

After the success of the first two British pilots and because of pressure to determine the number of Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles more accurately, Eisenhower allowed the flying of two more missions before the Four Power Paris Summit, scheduled for 16 May. The final two missions before the summit were to be flown by American pilots.[5]
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