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Trivia / Hullo Russia, Goodbye England

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  • Harsher in Hindsight: A group of American and British intelligence analysts get together and speculate on current (in 1962) world events. They debate three situations that could provoke confrontation between the USA and USSR. They agree that post-imperial Africa could be a problem - who gets the mineral resources of the continent? The issue of Persia is difficult too. too near Russia for comfort, full of lovely oil, and good for naval bases. And Cuba, a communist state too damn near the USA. The intelligence men agree that any rational American government should accept Cuba as an embarrassment and a minor irritation at best, but otherwise shrug and leave it alone. Let Russia have the sugar and cigars. It's no threat to anyone and propping up this Castro fellow is a net drain on Soviet resources.
    • Later in the book, a Vulcan patrol is embarrassingly forced out of Swedish airspace by high-altitude interceptors. The Intelligence officer casually puts this down to the Swedes being peeved that their neutrality won't keep out the fall-out from other people's nuclear accidents. When Chernobyl blew in the 1980's, prevailing winds dropped a lot of the fall-out over Scandinavia.
  • Silk's relationship with a former model and borderline prostitute who has retired to a cottage in the country - and his wife's occasional affairs, (one with an American nuclear bomber pilot, which brings her to the attention of American and British Intelligence) is a Shout-Out to the Christine Keeler scandal, which also happened in the early 1960's. note 

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