30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Nuclear Strategy and Weapons

Jul 22, 2014 | Briefing Book
Reports of the Net Evaluation Subcommittee Washington, D.C., July 22, 2014 – On the morning of 20 July 1961, while the Berlin Crisis was simmering, President John F. Kennedy and the members of the National Security Council heard a briefing on the consequences of nuclear war by the NSC's highly secret Net Evaluation Subcommittee. The report, published in excerpts today for the first time by the National Security Archive, depicted a Soviet surprise attack on the United States in the fall of 1963 that began with submarine-launched missile strikes against Strategic Air Command bases.

Dec 11, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, December 11, 2013 – The last Soviet nuclear warheads in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis did not leave the island until December 1, 1962, according to Soviet military documents published today for the first time in English by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org). At 9 o'clock in the morning on December 1, 1962, the large Soviet cargo ship Arkhangelsk quietly left the Cuban port of Mariel and headed east across the Atlantic to its home port of Severomorsk near Murmansk.

Oct 7, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 7, 2013 – A nuclear accident never produced a nuclear detonation, but according to a new book by Eric Schlosser every nuclear-tipped missile "is an accident waiting to happen, a potential act of mass murder." Schlosser's book, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety (Penguin Press, 2013) includes a truly sobering account of safety breakdowns and failures from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Sep 23, 2013 | Briefing Book
RELATED LINKS: Iran's underground nuclear sites not immune to U.S. bunker-busters, experts say By Joby Warrick, The Washington Post  February 29, 2012   Tunnel vision: U.S. intel community seeks new ways to peer into underground sites By Keith Button, Defense News  August 1, 2009   Unearthing secrets: How the U.S. digs up intelligence on underground sites By Jeffrey T. Richelson, Defense News  August 1, 2008   Moscow builds bunkers against nuclear attack By Bill Gertz, The Washington Times  April 1, 1997 [Bookmark and Share]    

May 22, 2013 | Briefing Book
Related Links New Documents Reveal How a 1980s Nuclear War Scare Became a Full-Blown Crisis By Robert Beckhusen, Wired, May 16, 2013 The USSR and US Came Closer to Nuclear War Than We Thought By Douglas Birch, The Atlantic, May 28, 2013 War Scare By Nate Jones, ForeignPolicy.com, May 21, 2013 Nate Jones and Robert Farley Discuss Able Archer 83 Blogging Heads "Foreign Entanglements," May 31, 2013 The 1983 War Scare, Part II By Nate Jones, May 21, 2013 The 1983 War Scare, Part I By Nate Jones, May 16, 2013  

May 21, 2013 | Briefing Book
Related Links New Documents Reveal How a 1980s Nuclear War Scare Became a Full-Blown Crisis By Robert Beckhusen, Wired, May 16, 2013 The USSR and US Came Closer to Nuclear War Than We Thought By Douglas Birch, The Atlantic, May 28, 2013 War Scare Nate Jones, ForeignPolicy.com, May 21, 2013 Nate Jones and Robert Farley Discuss Able Archer 83 Blogging Heads "Foreign Entanglements," May 31, 2013

May 16, 2013 | Briefing Book
Related Links New Documents Reveal How a 1980s Nuclear War Scare Became a Full-Blown Crisis By Robert Beckhusen, Wired, May 16, 2013 The USSR and US Came Closer to Nuclear War Than We Thought By Douglas Birch, The Atlantic, May 28, 2013 War Scare By Nate Jones, ForeignPolicy.com, May 21, 2013 Nate Jones and Robert Farley Discuss Able Archer 83 Blogging Heads "Foreign Entanglements," May 31, 2013 The 1983 War Scare, Part III By Nate Jones, May 22, 2013 The 1983 War Scare, Part II By Nate Jones, May 21, 2013  

Apr 11, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 11, 2013 – For decades, the erratic behavior of North Korea's enigmatic leaders has often masked a mix of symbolic and pragmatic motives, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. During earlier crises, Kim Jong Un's father and grandfather postured and threatened the region in ways markedly similar to the behavior of the new leader, the records show. While the current Kim is acting even more stridently in some cases, the documents reveal a past pattern characterized by bellicose conduct.

Dec 12, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 12, 2012 – As late as 1968, the U.S. government had plans in place to fire an automatic "full nuclear response" against both the Soviet Union and China in the event of the death or disappearance of the President in the course of an attack against the United States, but President Lyndon Johnson changed that policy in October 1968, according to a previously Top Secret document published today for the first time by the National Security Archive.

Nov 19, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 19, 2012 – For decades, U.S. command-control-and-communications (C3) systems were deeply vulnerable to nuclear attack, according to a recently declassified Pentagon study. The document, a top secret internal history of the highly complex procedures that connected the White House and senior civilian and military leaders with local commanders awaiting orders to launch bombers and missiles, details sometimes harrowing reports about systemic weaknesses that could have jeopardized U.S. readiness to respond to a nuclear attack.

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