30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Policy Making and Diplomacy

May 25, 2014 | Briefing Book
Previous Chernyaev Diary Postings The Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, 1973 Eigth Installment of Former Top Soviet Adviser's Journal Available in English for First Time The Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, 1972 Seventh Installment of Former Top Soviet Adviser's Journal Available in English for First Time The Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, 1991 Sixth Installment of Former Top Soviet Adviser's Journal Available in English for First Time The Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, 1990 Fifth Installment of Former Top Soviet Adviser's Journal Available in English for First Time
Mar 27, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 27, 2014 – In February 2014, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) posted 300,000 State Department telegrams from 1977 — the first year of the Jimmy Carter administration — on its Access to Archival Databases system. This posting is another step in carrying out the commitment that NARA and the State Department have made to putting on-line major State Department document databases and indexes as they are declassified.
Jan 24, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, January 24, 2014 – A recently declassified transcript of a telephone conversation (telcon) between Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Gerald Ford in December 1975 indicates tensions between Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department over the SALT II arms control agreement. Telling Ford that "we have [a] SALT agreement within our grasp," Kissinger said "We can smash our opponents" [See document 6].
May 25, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2013 – Today the National Security Archive is publishing — for the first time in English — excerpts from the diary of Anatoly S. Chernyaev from 1973, along with edits and a postscript by the author. As in the previous installment of the diary, for 1972, Chernyaev, deputy head of the International Department of the Central Committee (and later a key foreign policy aide to Mikhail Gorbachev), continues to marvel at the contradictory and enigmatic person at the pinnacle of the Soviet leadership — General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.
Apr 12, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 12, 2013 – Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who passed away this week, built a surprising mutual-admiration relationship with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s – including behind-the-scenes agreement against the reunification of Germany, and profound disagreement about nuclear abolition – according to translated Soviet records of key meetings between the two leaders, posted online today for the first time by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).
Apr 11, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 11, 2013 – For decades, the erratic behavior of North Korea's enigmatic leaders has often masked a mix of symbolic and pragmatic motives, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. During earlier crises, Kim Jong Un's father and grandfather postured and threatened the region in ways markedly similar to the behavior of the new leader, the records show. While the current Kim is acting even more stridently in some cases, the documents reveal a past pattern characterized by bellicose conduct.
Mar 19, 2013 | Briefing Book
Archive Electronic Briefing Books Cited in This Posting THE IRAQ WAR -- PART II: Was There Even a Decision? October 1, 2010 THE IRAQ WAR -- PART I: The U.S. Prepares for Conflict, 2001 September 22, 2010 Saddam Hussein Talks to the FBI July 1, 2009 THE RECORD ON CURVEBALL November 5, 2007 TOP SECRET POLO STEP February 14, 2007 New State Department Releases on the "Future of Iraq" Project September 1, 2006 CIA Whites Out Controversial Estimate on Iraq Weapons July 9, 2004
Feb 28, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 28, 2013 – U.S. officials had hopes thirty years ago that a political liberalization and economic reform program China had initiated in Tibet could lead to real improvements in that country, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive.
Jan 18, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 18, 2013 – The U.S. government has "between five to seven different transition plans" for Cuba, and the USAID-sponsored "Democracy" program aimed at the Castro government is "an operational activity" that demands "continuous discretion," according to documents filed in court this week, and posted today by the National Security Archive.
Oct 27, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, October 27, 2012 – The Cuban Missile Crisis continued long after the "13 days" celebrated by U.S. media, with U.S. armed forces still on DEFCON 2 and Soviet tactical nuclear weapons still in Cuba, according to new documents posted today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org) from the personal archive of the late Sergo Mikoyan. This is the second installment from the Mikoyan archive donated to the National Security Archive and featured in the new book, The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis.

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