Washington, D.C., August 11, 2023 – Recently unearthed documents from the Romanian national archives shed new light on the Comintern, the Soviet-led international organization that from 1919-1943 was at the forefront of Moscow’s efforts to establish hegemony over Communist parties in Romania, the rest of Europe and worldwide.
Cold War – General
Washington, D.C., July 18, 2023 – A set of highly secret emergency action plans kept inside the closely guarded “Football” that traveled with the President at all times and that would give the federal government sweeping emergency powers were of “doubtful legality,” “badly out of date,” and “even illegal,” according to top government officials whose views are memorialized in declassified records posted today by the National Security Archive.
Washington, D.C., April 20, 2023 - Sixty years ago, during April 1963, the U.S. Air Force took steps to implement the final stage of the secret U.S.-Soviet deal that helped resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis with the dismantling of the Jupiter missiles deployed in Italy and Turkey.
Washington, D.C., March 20, 2023 – The declassified Air Force film shows the crew of a U.S. B-52 bomber reaching its “Positive Control” (“fail safe”) point on the way to its target in the Soviet Union. But instead of turning around as usual, they get an order to proceed to their assigned objective. Having received and authenticated a “Go Code” message from U.S. Strategic Air Command (SAC), the pilot announces, “We’re going in,” navigating the aircraft in low over mountains, lakes, fields, and forests to avoid Soviet air defenses.
Washington, D.C., February 16, 2023 - Harvard professor and future Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger discussed the U.S. withdrawal of Jupiter intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) from Italy during January 1963 talks with top Italian officials and diplomats, including Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani and President Antonio Segni, according to a declassified telegram from the U.S. Embassy in Rome. Segni felt some “pique” that the decision had been made at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and that three months had passed before his government learned about it.
Washington, D.C., December 13, 2022 - In the immediate aftermath of the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev met with the Czechoslovakian Communist Party leader, Antonín Novotný, and told him that “this time we really were on the verge of war,” according to minutes of their October 30, 1962, meeting posted today by the National Security Archive. “We were truly on the verge of war,” Khrushchev repeated later in the meeting, during which he explained how and why the Kremlin “had to act very quickly” to resolve the crisis as the U.S.
Washington, D.C., November 3, 2022 – As Cuban-Soviet ties grew stronger from late 1960 through early 1961, the Cubans repeatedly asked for military assistance and security guarantees from the Soviets and expressed growing concern about the threat of a U.S. intervention, according to Russian archival documents published today by the National Security Archive. The Cubans described to the Soviet leadership detailed scenarios for a Bay-of-Pigs style invasion only months before the Kennedy administration mounted its failed covert operation in April 1961.
Washington D.C., October 28, 2022 - Sixty years ago today, the most dangerous days of the Cuban Missile Crisis came to an end—and the cover-up of the deal that would end the crisis began. President John F. Kennedy rejected Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's proposal to formalize a secret missile trade on paper. Kennedy then secretly orchestrated a political attack on U.N.
Washington, D.C., October 27, 2022 - The most dangerous 24 hours of the Cuban Missile Crisis came on Saturday, October 27, 1962, 60 years ago today, as the U.S. moved closer to attacking Cuba and nuclear-armed flashpoints erupted over Siberia, at the quarantine line, and in Cuba itself—a rapid escalation that convinced both John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev to strike the deal that would stop events from further spiraling out of control.
Washington, D.C., October 21, 2022 - President John F. Kennedy made unilateral decisions to blockade Cuba and approve other military moves, but winning the support of European allies remained central to U.S. policy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, according to declassified records of briefings prepared for NATO members shortly before Kennedy announced the U.S. discovery of the Soviet missiles.