30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Nuclear Strategy and Weapons

May 30, 2017 | Blog Post
This post was originally published by The Wilson Center. How a lunch in Rio de Janeiro confirmed a US diplomat’s hunches about Brazilian nuclear weapons research  The history of nuclear proliferation is partly a story of countries searching for latent weapons potential, without ever committing to build a complete device. A recently declassified letter from Miller […]

Feb 15, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. February 15, 2017 – The Air Force chief of staff told the Joint Chiefs at a September 1971 meeting that in a nuclear war the United States “could lose two hundred million people and still have more than we had at the time of the Civil War.” The quote comes from a recently declassified and highly revealing diary entry by JCS Chairman Thomas Moorer, published today for the first time by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University. The other chiefs did not challenge Gen.

Feb 7, 2017 | Blog Post
Missile Defenses Then and Now A declassified Strategic Air Command History from 1968, recently cited in former SAC commander-in-chief Lee Butler’s memoirs, sheds light on the role of anti-ballistic missile defenses in national policies and international relations. According to the SAC history, in the late 1960s, SAC targeted over 100 Minuteman missiles, over 10 percent […]

Dec 22, 2016 | Briefing Book
Ronald Reagan and Nuclear War: The SIOP Briefing and IVY LEAGUE 82*

Dec 20, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 20, 2016 – Soviet missile and space programs were among the most frequent topics briefed to the president of the United States by  U.S. intelligence during the administrations of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, according to a review of recently declassified excerpts of the President’s Daily Brief posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.

Dec 12, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 12, 2016 – Newly declassified documents show that the risk of nuclear proliferation at the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 was even greater than publicly known at the time, with 3,429 Soviet strategic warheads scattered outside of Russia in various former Soviet republics, according to today’s posting by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Oct 12, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. October 12, 2016 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s radical proposal in January 1986 to abolish nuclear weapons by the year 2000 met with derision on the part of many U.S. officials, who treated it as pure propaganda, but was welcomed by President Reagan, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The records reveal serious internal U.S. debates, consultations with allies, and support by the president that ultimately helped produce the historic Reykjavik summit 30 years ago.

Sep 30, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., September 30, 2016 – The unilateral nuclear withdrawals announced by President George H.W. Bush 25 years ago this week drew an eager response from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to produce what experts call “the most spontaneous and dramatic reversal” ever of the nuclear arms race, according to newly declassified documents from Soviet and U.S. files posted today by the National Security Archive to mark the anniversary of the Bush initiative.

Aug 15, 2016 | Briefing Book
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy toward Iceland, 1951-1960

Jul 22, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 22, 2016 - U.S. atomic tests in Bikini Atoll in July 1946 staged by a joint Army-Navy task force were the first atomic explosions since the bombings of Japan a year earlier. Documents posted today by the National Security Archive about “Operation Crossroads” shed light on these events as do galleries of declassified videos and photographs. Of two tests staged to determine the effects of the new weapons on warships, the “Baker” test was the most dangerous by contaminating nearby test ships with radioactive mist.

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