Modern history

The Secret Cold War: The Official History of ASIO 1975-1989

The Secret Cold War: The Official History of ASIO 1975-1989

We mostly think of the Cold War in terms of the tense nuclear stand-off between the US and the Soviet Union in the 1960s, and the wars fought against communism in Korea and Vietnam. But the period of detente, from 1975 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, witnessed an intensification of tensions between the superpowers. Few are aware of the extent of clandestine operations in Australia by intelligence operatives from Communist countries and the actions of local extremist groups such as the Ananda Marga, and groups from the Middle East, Armenia and Croatia. This book reveals the behind the scenes stories of the Hilton bombing in Sydney of 1978, and the Combe/Ivanov affair. It also covers the impact on ASIO of the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security, and the penetration of ASIO by the Soviet bloc.


Part 1. ASIO during the Fraser Years, 1975–1983

Chapter 1. Hope for a New Beginning: Responding to New Leadership and the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security, 1975–1983

Chapter 2. Woodward Makes His Mark: Restructuring and Refocusing, 1976–1983

Chapter 3. Personnel: The Crucial Resource, 1975–1983

Chapter 4. Confronting a New Face in Terrorism: Responding to the Ananda Marga, 1977–1983

Chapter 5. Combating Terrorism: Developing Mechanisms for Dealing with Politically Motivated Violence and Terrorism, 1975–1983

Chapter 6. Terrorism from Overseas: ASIO’s Counterterrorism Targets, 1975–1983

Chapter 7. Monitoring Fractious Revolutionaries: Counter-subversion, 1975–1983

Chapter 8. Vetting, Assessing and Advising: Protective Security, 1975–1983

Chapter 9. Chasing Shadows: Investigating the Soviets, 1975–1983

Chapter 10. Managing Competing Priorities: Countering Non-Soviet Espionage, 1975–1983

Part 2. ASIO during the Hawke Years, 1983–1989

Chapter 11. The Combe–Ivanov Affair: ASIO’s Startling Welcome for Hawke, 1983

Chapter 12. Working in ASIO: Life Inside ASIO during the Second Hope Royal Commission, 1983–1985

Chapter 13. Implementing Hope: Reform and Organisational Change under Harvey Barnett

Chapter 14. Moving and Shaking: ASIO under Alan Wrigley and John Moten, 1985–1989

Chapter 15. A Conceptual Shift: Developing New Approaches to Subversion and Terrorism, 1983–1989

Chapter 16. Politically Motivated Violence: Countering Terrorism and ‘Identity Extremism’, 1983–1989

Chapter 17. Protective Security: New Approaches for Changing Times, 1983–1989

Chapter 18. Mixed Counterespionage Strategies: Counterespionage During the Hawke Government, 1983–1989

Chapter 19. Looking for Moles: Counterintelligence and the Penetration of ASIO, 1975–1989

Conclusion: Reflections on ASIO and the End of the Cold War