30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Nuclear Strategy and Weapons

Oct 29, 2002 | Special Exhibit
Press releases, selected documents, photographs, audio clips and other material from the historic conference in Havana. Formerly secret documents from U.S., Cuban, Soviet and East Bloc archives. Listen in on White House intelligence briefings and hear the actual voices of President Kennedy, his brother Robert, and other advisers during meetings of the President's Executive Committee (ExComm). Images of Soviet missile and antiaircraft installations taken by U-2 spyplanes and U.S. Navy low-level reconnaissance aircraft in October-November 1962 used to brief President Kennedy and his advisers. Documents, naval charts and other declassified records on the U.S. hunt for Soviet submarines during the most dangerous days of the crisis.

Nov 29, 2001 | News
Vienna, Munich, Verona, and other European population and cultural centers were to be “completely destroyed,” according to 1965 Warsaw Pact plans for war in Europe made public today on the Zurich-based web site of the Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact (PHP) -- an international consortium of scholars dedicated to the study of the historical background of European security, http://www.isn.ethz.ch/php. Found in the Hungarian archives, the documents are vivid reminders of the menace posed by the Cold War nuclear arsenals that Presiden

Sep 25, 2001 | Briefing Book
In stark contrast to the close U.S.-Russian relationship of today, forty years ago serious tensions over Berlin and Germany and the danger of world war clouded Moscow-Washington relations. Fred Kaplan's article in the October 2001 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, "JFK's First Strike Plan," shows that key White House officials and the President himself briefly considered proposals for a limited nuclear first strike against Soviet military targets in the event that the Berlin crisis turned violent.

May 18, 2001 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 18, 2001 – The National Security Archive publishes here for the first time President Dwight D. Eisenhower's instructions to commanders providing advance authorization ("predelegation") for the use of nuclear weapons under specific emergency conditions, what political scientist Peter Roman has called "Ike's Hair Trigger."1  This document and several related ones were declassified on 4 April 2001 by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) in response to an appeal by the National Security Archive, which first requested the documents in 1993.2

May 18, 2001 | News
WASHINGTON, DC - President Dwight D. Eisenhower's top secret instructions that delegated nuclear-launch authority to military commanders and the Secretary of Defense under specific emergency conditions, declassified for the first time last month, today appeared on the World Wide Web site of the National Security Archive, which obtained released of this highly sensitive document after repeated efforts starting in 1993.

Apr 1, 2001 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 2001 – The Bush administration is in the midst of a nuclear posture review. In his May 1 speech, President George W. Bush announced his support for missile defense and cuts in weapons, but his announcement did not refer to the alert posture of U.S. strategic forces. In a major campaign speech on nuclear weapons policy that he delivered in May 2000, then-presidential candidate Bush addressed concerns about the instant-reaction status of U.S. strategic nuclear forces.

Dec 18, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 18, 2000 – President Clinton's decision in September to postpone deployment of a National Missile Defense (NMD) system puts the issue in the lap of the next president, George W. Bush. A strong advocate of NMD, Bush has argued that "America must build effective missile defenses based on the best available options at the earlier possible date." However, he has not yet publicly discussed the intractable technical and political problems raised by NMD that, so far, are without solution.

May 24, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 24, 2000 – The release of Cold War-era Soviet and East European documents on war plans and nuclear planning raises questions about U.S. war planning during the same period. A central issue is the degree to which U.S. and NATO planning posited early or initial use of nuclear weapons like the 1964 Warsaw Pact plan from the Czech archives.

Dec 13, 1999 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 13, 1999 – For more than 40 years, the United States has kept secret the fact that it once deployed nuclear weapons on two Japanese islands, Chichi Jima and Iwo Jima, according to an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' January/February 2000 issue. The article, by three noted nuclear weapons analysts, is a follow up to their article in the November/December 1999 Bulletin about the history of the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in 27 countries and territories around the globe.

Mar 20, 1998 | Briefing Book
WASHINGTON, D.C. - 20 March 1998 -- Recently declassified U.S. government documents, now published by the National Security Archive disclose one of the Cold War's deepest secrets, that during the most dangerous phases of the U.S.-Soviet confrontation during the early 1960s top military commanders had presidentially-authorized instructions providing advance authority to use nuclear weapons under specified emergency conditions.

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