Washington, D.C., November 29, 2023 - Henry Kissinger’s death today brings new global attention to the long paper trail of secret documents recording his policy deliberations, conversations, and directives on many initiatives for which he became famous—détente with the USSR, the opening to China, and Middle East shuttle diplomacy, among them.
From History to Poetry: Mai Der Vang Explores the Archival Record in Her Celebrated Volume "Yellow Rain"
Washington, D.C., June 27, 2022 – In a remarkable example of transforming the mundane into high art, poet Mai Der Vang, daughter of Hmong refugees and finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, pored through thousands of pages of declassified documents from the collections of the National Security Archive and other sources to find material for her poems, whose purpose is to record and vivify the trauma experienced by the Hmong people during the Secret War in Laos of the 1960s and 1970s.
Washington, DC, December 27, 2020—The National Security Archive is today posting an update to a 2004 E-book featuring a landmark but still relatively little-known State Department study of the Vietnam War from 1969. Commissioned by Thomas L. Hughes, the head of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, it was a more modest account of the war than its more famous cousin, the Pentagon Papers. Yet in some ways it was more insightful and is considered essential to understanding the Department’s role in the conflict.
Washington, DC, November 1, 2020—President John F.
U.S. sought to preserve close ties to Indonesian military as it terrorized East Timor in runup to 1999 independence referendum
Washington, D.C., August 28, 2019 – The U.S. government was aware for months that the Indonesian military had created, and was arming and directing paramilitary militias in East Timor in the leadup to the territory’s historic August 30, 1999, independence referendum, according to recently declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive based at The George Washington University. The documents provide an unprecedented window into U.S.
Understanding the CIA: How Covert (and Overt) Operations Were Proposed and Approved during the Cold War
Washington, DC, March 4, 2019 – The covert operations of the Central Intelligence Agency are one element of the forward edge of power in U.S. foreign policy. But the CIA is not a lone ranger, shooting up saloons on its own account. A senior interagency group within the United States government acts as the high command of the secret war.
Washington D.C., August 1, 2018 - On 31 July 2018, the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission announced that “Japan will reduce the size of its plutonium stockpile.” The move marks a potential turning point on an issue that has carried difficult and troubling implications for nuclear nonproliferation policy. For years, the JAEC has been operating reprocessing facilities to turn spent reactor fuel into plutonium for use in fueling reactors.
Declassified documents detail US policy in period leading up to, following Suharto’s May, 1998 ouster, knowledge of military involvement in student abductions and killings.
U.S. government knew Indonesian Army was engaged in mass murder against Communists starting in 1965; U.S. supported suppression of left-leaning labor movement
Washington D.C., July 20, 2017 – During a frank conversation with Washington Post reporter Murrey Marder in early 1967, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey said that “he is no longer sure he was right” when he initially supported decisions to bomb North Vietnam in 1965. The bombing of North Vietnam had “poisoned the atmosphere” by alienating people who would otherwise be supportive of the Vietnam War and by substantiating North Vietnamese propaganda.