30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Armed Forces and Military Strategy

Aug 19, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., August 19, 2011 -The hardline coup d’etat 20 years ago today in Moscow surprised its plotters with unexpected resistance from Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, from Russian democratic opposition forces, and from the international community including the Bush administration, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Nov 16, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 16, 2010 - To counter a Soviet bomber attack, U.S. war plans contemplated widespread use of thousands of air defense weapons during the middle years of the Cold War according to declassified documents posted today at the National Security Archive's Nuclear Vault and cited by a recently published book, Continental Defense in the Eisenhower Era: Nuclear Antiaircraft Arms and the Cold War (Palgrave Macmillan) by historian Christopher J. Bright. The U.S.

Jun 23, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 23, 2010 - Four decades ago, in response to North Korean military provocations, the U.S. developed contingency plans that included selected use of tactical nuclear weapons against Pyongyang’s military facilities and the possibility of full-scale war, according to recently declassified documents.

May 6, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 6, 2010 - Internal documents reveal that in the final years of the Cold War the top leadership of the Soviet Union debated the cover-up of their illicit biological weapons program in the face of protests from the United States and Great Britain. The documents, first disclosed in a new book by David E. Hoffman, The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy, are being posted in English translation today by the National Security Archive.

Apr 29, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 29, 2010 - Previously unpublished documents from inside the Kremlin shed new light on how Soviet and American scientists breached the walls of Soviet military secrecy in the final years of the Cold War. The documents were first disclosed in a new book by by David E. Hoffman, The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy. The book was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction. The documents are being posted today in English translation by the National Security Archive.

Apr 7, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 7, 2010 - In a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the Pentagon claims that "Poodle Blanket" contingency plans from 1961 for a possible confrontation over West Berlin (no longer divided) with the Soviet Union (no longer a country) still need to be secret for fear of damage to current U.S. national security, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Feb 12, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 12, 2010 - For the first time, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has declassified substantive information on one of its most secret and sensitive schemes, "Project Azorian," the Agency codename for its ambitious plan to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean in order to retrieve its secrets. Today the National Security Archive publishes "Project Azorian: The Story of the Hughes Glomar Explorer," a 50-page article from the fall 1985 edition of the Agency's in-house journal Studies in Intelligence.

Jan 15, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 15, 2010 - To refute early 1960s novels and Hollywood films like Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove which raised questions about U.S. control over nuclear weapons, the Air Force produced a documentary film--"SAC [Strategic Air Command] Command Post"--to demonstrate its responsiveness to presidential command and its tight control over nuclear weapons.

Jun 13, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., June 13, 2008 - Recently declassified documents show that the U.S. military has long sought an agreement with Baghdad that gives American forces virtually unfettered freedom of action, casting into doubt the Bush administration's current claims that their demands are more limited in scope. News reports have indicated that the Bush administration is exerting pressure on the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to accept a U.S.-Iraq security plan by the end of July 2008. According to these accounts, the plan would give the U.S.

Apr 30, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 30, 2008 - The U.S. Air Force expected to use nuclear weapons against China during the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1958, but President Eisenhower required the Air Force to plan initially to use conventional bombs against Chinese forces if the crisis escalated, according to a previously secret Air Force history obtained from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit and posted today by the National Security Archive. Eisenhower's instructions astounded the Air Force leadership, but according to Bernard Nalty, the author of one of the studies released today, U.S.

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