Policy makers, however wise and experienced, unless they happened to be experts in the field, no doubt benefited. The quality of intelligence was as good as could be expected from a relatively small, recently established service with little authentic information from inside the Communist countries. Intelligence from Middle Eastern capitals was generally of mixed quality, despite the fact that it was possible to operate much more freely there than in the Communist countries. The CIA was certainly not prepared for the ruthlessness with which the non-Communist forces in Eastern Europe were eliminated or for the internal purges and show trials that followed. It is quite likely that the Communist bloc had some nine million soldiers under arms at the time. The real problem, to repeat, was not the presence of several thousand Soviet soldiers in a combat unit in Cuba, but the fact that the US government had not known it-perhaps because US intelligence had not wanted to know it.