Cold War – General
Sep 9, 2019 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., September 9, 2019 – Seventy years ago, on 9 September 1949, Director of Central Intelligence Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter handed President Harry Truman a carefully worded report of “an abnormal radio-active contamination" in the Northern Pacific that greatly exceeded normal levels in the atmosphere. While uncertain as to the cause, the DCI’s first hypothesis was “An atomic explosion on the continent of Asia.” This proved to be accurate – it was the first Soviet test of a nuclear device.
Kissinger Told Soviet Envoy during 1973 Arab-Israeli War: “My Nightmare is a Victory for Either Side” – The Soviet AgreedAug 9, 2019 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., August 9, 2019 – Several previously unknown Henry Kissinger memoranda of telephone conversations – or telcons – from October 1973, uncovered by the National Security Archive, provide blunt and fascinating vignettes from a significant moment during the Nixon presidency.
Aug 2, 2019 | Briefing Book br>
Washington D.C., August 2, 2019 – The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty negotiated by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 not only eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons but also broke new ground in arms control verification, according to declassified documents on INF negotiations published today by the National Security Archive.
Jun 27, 2019 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., June 27, 2019 – Recently declassified U.S. documents posted to mark the 60th anniversary year of the Dalai Lama’s flight out of Tibet depict sharp divisions among Chinese authorities over how to cope with the contested region and conclude that Beijing had “badly mismanaged” its policies and brought “disaster” to the majority of Tibetans. The documents – a series of State Department cables – cover an important turning point in the global Cold War, 1979-1980.
Jun 11, 2019 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., June 11, 2019 – “Launch-on-warning,” a feature of U.S. nuclear warfighting strategy since the late 1970s, has frequently faced intensive criticism because of the high risk of accidental launches and uncontrollable outcomes, including massive casualties, according to recently declassified records posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.
The Battle of the Letters, 1963: John F. Kennedy, David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol, and the U.S. Inspections of DimonaMay 2, 2019 | Briefing Book br>
Washington D.C., May 2, 2019 - During 1963, President John F. Kennedy was preoccupied with issues such as Vietnam, the nuclear test ban negotiations, civil rights protests, and Cuba. It is less well known, however, that one of his most abiding concerns was whether and how fast Israel was seeking a nuclear weapons capability and what the U.S. should do about it. Beginning in April 1963, Kennedy insisted that the Israeli leadership accept regular bi-annual U.S. inspections, or in diplomatic language, “visits,” of Israel’s nuclear complex at Dimona in the Negev Desert.
Mar 13, 2019 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., March 12, 2019 - Last month’s posting by Robert S. Hopkins on “How the Strategic Air Command Would Have Gone to Nuclear War” provided incredible detail on SAC procedures during the 1960s. Strategic Air Command veteran Bruce Blair takes the story in to the 1970s, with an extraordinary account, based on personal experience, of how SAC would have carried out its nuclear mission if deterrence failed.
Understanding the CIA: How Covert (and Overt) Operations Were Proposed and Approved during the Cold WarMar 4, 2019 | Briefing Book br>
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.
Feb 28, 2019 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., February 28, 2019 – The National Security Archive today filed a FOIA lawsuit to compel the Defense Intelligence Agency to release documents likely containing a letter from former DIA director Leonard Perroots, warning of the danger caused by the 1983 NATO nuclear exercise Able Archer 83. The Archive filed suit after receiving no substantive response to the FOIA request six months since filing the request and being told our “unusual” requ
Feb 27, 2019 | Briefing Book br>
Washington D.C., February 27, 2019 – The Soviet Union withdrew its military forces from Afghanistan 30 years ago this month without achieving demilitarization there or the national reconciliation, including free elections, that they sought during negotiations with the U.S., according to the declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive.