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Abstract

On March 24, 1985, a Soviet sentry shot and killed Major Arthur Nicholson, an American intelligence officer stationed at the U.S. liaison mission in Potsdam, East Germany (GDR). Acting under a military agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States, Major Nicholson was on an intelligence gathering mission in the GDR. Although Soviet troops had threatened and harassed Western liaison officers before, Major Nicholson was the first liaison officer shot dead. Given that the Soviet Union perceived Major Nicholson's actions as a grave threat, it is surprising that the Soviet Union3 did not retaliate more fully against the United States. It is even more surprising that the United States did not strongly protest the shooting.

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