30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

South and Southwest Asia

Dec 21, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 21, 2010 - The Wikileaks database of purloined State Department cable traffic includes revelations, published in the Washington Post and the New York Times about tensions in U.S.-Pakistan relations on key nuclear issues, including the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and the disposition of a stockpile of weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium. (Note 1) These frictions are not surprising because the Pakistani nuclear weapons program has been a source of anxiety for U.S. policymakers, since the late 1970s, when they discovered that Pakistani metallurgist A.Q.

Sep 13, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 13, 2010 - Pakistani tribal areas where Osama bin Laden found refuge were momentarily open to the Pakistani Army when "the tribes were overawed by U.S. firepower" after 9/11, but quickly again became "no-go areas" where the Taliban could reorganize and plan their resurgence in Afghanistan, according to previously secret U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive and posted today at www.nsarchive.org. The declassified documents describe the consequences of these events. According to U.S.

May 30, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 30, 2010 - A highly confidential U.S. overture to Iran in summer 1999 foundered because the intelligence community and FBI believed members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) had a role in the infamous Khobar Towers bombing of June 1996, and because U.S. officials overestimated the Iranian president’s ability to manage the sensitive matter of U.S. relations within Iran’s power structure, according to newly declassified documents.

Nov 13, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 13, 2009 - Three years before al Qaeda's attacks on the United States on 9/11, U.S. officials detected an alarming shift in the ideological stance of Taliban leader Mullah Omar toward pan-Islamism – a change that portended a burgeoning alliance between the Afghan regime and Osama bin Laden. The report that Omar might be falling under bin Laden's "influence" is contained in a December 1998 U.S.

Nov 2, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, November 2, 2009 - As Vice President Biden and other high-ranking U.S. officials contemplate a policy of compromise with the Taliban in order to induce them to turn against al-Qaeda, a new article published today on the Web site of Foreign Affairs magazine by the National Security Archive's Barbara Elias outlines why this approach may be unrealistic.

Oct 30, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 30, 2009 - The debate over U.S. policy in the Afghanistan war features striking and troubling parallels with the choices faced by Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s, according to Soviet documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive.

Feb 15, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 15, 2009 – Twenty years ago today, the commander of the Soviet Limited Contingent in Afghanistan Boris Gromov crossed the Termez Bridge out of Afghanistan, thus marking the end of the Soviet war which lasted almost ten years and cost tens of thousands of Soviet and Afghan lives.

Jan 13, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 13, 2009 - During the 1970s the Shah of Iran argued, like current Iranian leaders today, for a nuclear energy capability on the basis of national "rights," while the Ford and Carter administrations worried about nuclear weapons possibilities, according to newly declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive for the first time.

Aug 20, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., August 20, 2008 - On the tenth anniversary of U.S. cruise missile strikes against al-Qaeda in response to deadly terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, newly-declassified government documents posted today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org) suggest the strikes not only failed to hurt Osama bin Laden but ultimately may have brought al-Qaeda and the Taliban closer politically and ideologically. A 400-page Sandia National Laboratories report on bin Laden, compiled in 1999, includes a warning about political damage for the U.S.

Aug 14, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., August 14, 2007 - A collection of newly-declassified documents published today detail U.S. concern over Pakistan's relationship with the Taliban during the seven-year period leading up to 9-11. This new release comes just days after Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, acknowledged that, "There is no doubt Afghan militants are supported from Pakistan soil." While Musharraf admitted the Taliban were being sheltered in the lawless frontier border regions, the declassified U.S.

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