Washington, D.C., February 17, 2021 – “What might have happened that day in November 1983 if we had begun a precautionary generation of forces” against a Soviet alert in response to the Able Archer 83 NATO nuclear release exercise? This is the question Lieutenant General Leonard H. Perroots asked in his January 1989 End of Tour Report Addendum published this week in the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States series, edited by Elizabeth C. Charles.
Able Archer and Soviet War Scare, 1983
Washington, D.C., February 28, 2019 – The National Security Archive today filed a FOIA lawsuit to compel the Defense Intelligence Agency to release documents likely containing a letter from former DIA director Leonard Perroots, warning of the danger caused by the 1983 NATO nuclear exercise Able Archer 83. The Archive filed suit after receiving no substantive response to the FOIA request six months since filing the request and being told our “unusual” request is 1,133rd w
Washington, D.C., November 5, 2018 – Beginning in 1981, the KGB’s “main objective” became “not to miss the military preparations of the enemy, its preparations for a nuclear strike, and not to miss the real risk of the outbreak of war,” according to the text of a previously secret speech by then-KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov found in the Ukrainian KGB archives and published today by the National Security Archive.
The following was published in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy (Vol 59 No 2). War Scare Sir, In ‘Able Archer 83: What Were the Soviets Thinking’ (Survival, vol. 58, no. 6, December 2016–January 2017, pp. 7–30), Gordon Barrass makes a compelling argument that Able Archer 83 provides ‘lessons on how to analyse and respond to […]
General Leonard H. Perroots who Deescalated Risk of Nuclear War During Able Archer 83 Has Died; DIA Cannot Find His Letter Warning of Danger
Air Force lieutenant general and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Leonard H. Perroots has died. I first learned of Perroots while reading the declassified President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board’s report on Able Archer 83 and the 1983 War Scare. According to this report, Able Archer 83 so closely represented a nuclear launch that the […]
Washington, D.C., December 6, 2016 – On November 9, 1983, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization launched a nuclear war against its nemesis, the Warsaw Pact, after NATO military commanders sought and received permission for “initial limited use of nuclear weapons” from the political leadership of the Western alliance.
“Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War,” Nate Jones’s new book on how the United States “may have inadvertently placed our relations with the Soviet Union on a hair trigger” during the 1983 NATO nuclear release exercise, is now on shelves. David Hoffman, author of The Dead […]
Archive FOIA Project Director and author of the new book, Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War, Nate Jones, recently presented the four key takeaways from his research to-date on the 1983 War Scare before a packed house at the Wilson Center. Jones, with commentary by Archive […]