Washington, D.C., January 9, 2023 – The National Security Archive today celebrates the 90th birthday of our longtime scholarly partner and moral inspiration, Vilém Prečan, with this Web publication using new mobile-friendly software for four electronic briefing books he compiled and edited for the Archive, and the complete briefing book from the historic 1999 conference he organized with us on the Velvet Revolution of 1989.
The Revolutions of 1989: New Documents from Soviet/East Europe Archives Reveal Why There Was No Crackdown
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the National Security Archive and its research partners in East and Central Europe today released previously secret documents from behind the Iron Curtain detailing the ultimately futile scramble by the Communist parties of the region to stay in power in 1989 -- evidence which explains in the actual words of Communist leaders now for the first time in English how the system imposed by Stalin’s armies gave way in the face of popular protest, largely without violent repression.
Long-Classified U.S. Estimates of Nuclear War Casualties During the Cold War Regularly Underestimated Deaths and Destruction
Washington, D.C., July 14, 2022 – For decades starting in the late 1940s, influential internal U.S. government analyses provided civilian and military leaders with staggering estimates of likely casualties in a nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union, but the sheer scale of those projected fatalities kept the reports classified until after the end of the Cold War.
The Secret War for Germany: CIA’s Covert Role in Cold War Berlin Explored through Recently Declassified Documents
Washington, DC, May 11, 2022— The Central Intelligence Agency aggressively pursued clandestine efforts to undermine East German morale at the height of the Cold War, recently declassified CIA records confirm. Exploring one of the core chapters of post-war European history, the materials posted today by the National Security Archive detail key facets of the intelligence agency’s still meagerly documented activities in East Germany.
Washington, D.C., March 28, 2022 – Russia’s increasingly grueling invasion of Ukraine has given rise to chilling talk over whether the conflict might go nuclear, reminding the world that atomic weapons and their political and military importance remain a critically relevant public issue. A recent Washington Post article explored the weapon the West would be likely to turn to first – either for its political or military value – if and when the NATO alliance begins deliberating over a nuclear response. That weapon is the B61 bomb, which the U.S.
Washington, D.C., December 6, 2021 — This week, as NATO concludes its annual flagship cyber exercise, Cyber Coalition 21, newly declassified documents detail American collaboration with NATO allies to dissuade and impede Russian advances, both in cyberspace and in European territory. The recently released materials feature after action reports (AARs) and planning documents concerning the BALTIC GHOST series of cyber exercises.
Washington, D.C., November 24, 2021 – The biggest train wreck on the track to NATO expansion in the 1990s – Boris Yeltsin’s “cold peace” blow up at Bill Clinton in Budapest in December 1994 – was the result of “combustible” domestic politics in both the U.S. and Russia, and contradictions in the Clinton attempt to have his cake both ways, expanding NATO and partnering with Russia at the same time, according to newly declassified U.S. documents published today by the National Security Archive.
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.
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.