Washington D.C., August 30, 2022 – The National Security Archive mourns the passing today of Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, 1931-2022, first and last president of the Soviet Union, who ended the Cold War and enabled through his "glasnost" our work to open archives around the world.
Policy Making and Diplomacy
Washington, D.C., July 26, 2022 – 75 years ago, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act into law, marking a major restructuring of the U.S. government’s military and intelligence apparatus in the years following World War II. U.S. strategists saw the act as essential for enabling America’s future global mission of protecting and advancing Western interests. The law’s architects could not have foreseen how this fundamental restructuring would revolutionize U.S. policy making in later years, especially after earth-shaking events like 9/11.
Washington, D.C., April 27, 2012 – Tensions between the United States and Pakistan rose through the 1980s over intelligence reports that suggested to U.S. officials that Pakistani leader Zia ul-Haq had repeatedly lied to them about his country's nuclear program, according to recently declassified records published today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. Zia's apparent mendacity posed an immediate challenge to U.S.
Washington, D.C., April 14, 2022 – After weeks of uncertainty over ongoing multilateral nuclear negotiations with Iran, it is still an open question whether they will actually produce a signed agreement and if so whether the deal can survive the formidable domestic political obstacles that are expected, especially in the United States and the Islamic Republic. The persistent difficulty all sides have faced in revising the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of 2015 has resurrected a lively public policy and historical debate over the nature of the problem and why th
Washington D.C., September 22, 2021 - In an effort to advance a novel foreign policy tool known as “Declassification Diplomacy,” the National Security Archive today posted key administrative papers on the Argentina Declassification Project (ADP), begun by President Barack Obama and completed during the Trump administration.
U.S.-Iran Relations: 40 Years of Antagonism, Distrust, and Frustration Reflected in New Volume of Declassified Documents
Washington, D.C., September 20, 2021 – Over the four decades since the 1979 Iranian revolution, leaders of both the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran have repeatedly explored opportunities for either political engagement or simple, transactional arrangements – actions that belie commonly held assumptions about a relationship defined solely by unusual animosity, according to a new volume of declassified records published this month.
Washington, D.C., July 8, 2021 – The Justice Department's recent seizure of more than 30 US-owned web domains accused of disseminating Iranian disinformation is eliciting alarm from free speech advocates and foreign policy analysts alike. On June 22, DOJ announced the seizures related to a violation of U.S.
Washington D.C., May 28, 2021 – “The United States came fairly close to using tactical nuclear weapons” during the Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958, according to a secret 1966 RAND summary report posted today for the first time by the National Security Archive. Washington contemplated this extreme response to anticipated Chinese aggression “despite opposition to its policy by most of its allies and many in the United States,” the report notes.
Washington, D.C., April 29, 2021 – John F. Kennedy may have secretly warned Fidel Castro against executing survivors of the Bay of Pigs invasion 60 years ago this month while also dangling a pledge of strict non-intervention if the Cuban leader spared their lives, according to new evidence posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive. Kennedy’s secret channel to Castro, the records suggest, was the president of Brazil, João Goulart.