Washington, D.C., November 29, 2023 - Henry Kissinger’s death today brings new global attention to the long paper trail of secret documents recording his policy deliberations, conversations, and directives on many initiatives for which he became famous—détente with the USSR, the opening to China, and Middle East shuttle diplomacy, among them.
Washington, D.C., October 26, 2023 - In early August 1977, Communist Party General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev wrote to President Jimmy Carter to inform him that the Soviet Union had detected a nuclear weapons test site in South Africa and to ask that the U.S. and other governments take “energetic efforts” to prevent the emergence of a new nuclear weapons state. Within days, the U.S.
Washington D.C., October 17, 2022 - In a secret “eyes only” memorandum for John F. Kennedy, written 60 years ago today at the outset of the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson admonished the president to abandon his initial plan to attack Cuba and to consider, instead, the diplomatic option of dismantling U.S. missile bases in Europe in return for the withdrawal of the Soviet missiles in Cuba.
Washington, D.C., October 14, 2022 - Today the National Security Archive publishes for the first time in any language a translation of the first meeting between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro on July 18, 1960. The newly available transcript helps explain Khrushchev’s 1962 determination that defending Cuba from U.S. intervention would require a massive Soviet military base in Cuba, together with the deployment of nuclear weapons.
Washington D.C., October 4, 2022 – Federal judge James Boasberg today supported a CIA claim that a public document about a famous nuclear war scare should be censored “to protect ‘intelligence activities’ or ‘intelligence sources or methods,’” despite the fact that his ruling and the CIA’s argument actually highlight the information and undermine any such protection.
Washington D.C. September 22, 2022 - The Soviets exposed then Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, to ionizing radiation during his famous visit to Moscow in July 1959, according to declassified Secret Service records posted today by the National Security Archive. Using detection devices known as Radiac Dosimeters, Nixon’s Secret Service detail measured significant levels of radiation in and around Nixon’s sleeping quarters at Spaso House, the residence of the U.S. Ambassador, during the first days of his trip.
Washington D.C., September 15, 2022 - On December 9, 1975, as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger prepared to travel to Moscow for arms control talks, he placed an urgent phone call to Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin in Washington. “I want to talk to you about the signal,” Kissinger told Dobrynin.
Washington D.C., September 13, 2022 - On the 5th anniversary of the CIA’s September 13, 2017, decision to pull its agents out of Cuba, after several operatives were stricken with what has become known as the “Havana Syndrome,” the National Security Archive today posted the first of a declassified documentation series on the “Moscow Signals”—a decades-long chapter of the Cold War during which Soviet intelligence bathed the U.S.
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, DC, March 11, 2015 – Thirty years ago today, in the Kremlin, the Soviet Politburo unanimously elected its youngest member, Mikhail Gorbachev, to the pinnacle of Soviet power — General Secretary of the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.