35+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Soviet-U.S. Relations

Feb 26, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 26, 2021 – Thirty years ago this week, the U.S.-led coalition launched its ground offensive in the Persian Gulf after spending months trying to get Saddam Hussein to withdraw his troops from Kuwait and comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions without conditions or linkages to a wider settlement in the Middle East.  Only 100 hours after the ground offensive started (the air war had run for more than a month previously), the U.S.

Feb 22, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 22, 2021 - Leading Soviet reformer Alexander Yakovlev discussed with George Kennan his "X Article" that grew out of the famous Long Telegram in a previously unpublished October 1990 meeting in Moscow; and Kennan actually dictated the Long Telegram while laid up in bed with the flu, a sinus condition, and a foul mood, according to documents and transcripts posted today by the National Security Archive to mark the 75th anniversary of Kennan’s telegram from Moscow, which shaped the Cold War and U.S. policy towards the Soviet Union.

Feb 17, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 17, 2021 – “What might have happened that day in November 1983 if we had begun a precautionary generation of forces” against a Soviet alert in response to the Able Archer 83 NATO nuclear release exercise?  This is the question Lieutenant General Leonard H. Perroots asked in his January 1989 End of Tour Report Addendum published this week in the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States series, edited by Elizabeth C. Charles.

Dec 18, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 18, 2020 – Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan was born on November 25, 1895, in Armenia.  From a modest background and early revolutionary activity in Armenia he joined the Bolsheviks and eventually became one of the most significant statesmen of the Soviet Union. On the 125th anniversary of his birth, historians still debate his role in Soviet domestic and foreign policy. Soviet folklore had a saying about Mikoyan: “from Ilyich [Vladimir Ilyich Lenin] to Ilyich [Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev] without a heart attack or paralysis,” meaning that he manage

Sep 9, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 9, 2020 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev quickly decided that joint action with the United States was the most important course for the USSR in dealing with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait 30 years ago, rather than the long-standing Soviet-Iraq alliance, and built what he explicitly called a “partnership” with the U.S. that was key to the international condemnation of Iraq’s actions, according to declassified Soviet and American documents published today by the National Security Archive.

Jun 2, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 2, 2020 – The Washington/Camp David summit 30 years ago today brought Presidents George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev together for three days of intense discussions of the future of Europe, the unification of Germany that would happen later that year 1990, the economic crisis facing the Soviet Union, and the tense stand-off between Moscow and the independence-minded Baltic republics, according to declassified Soviet and American documents published today by the National Security Archive.

Feb 5, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 5, 2020 – In the eyes of U.S. intelligence and the military services, the greatest threat to American national security during the early Cold War was the emerging Soviet missile program with its ability to deliver nuclear weapons to targets across the United States.  Before the era of satellite surveillance, the U.S.

Sep 9, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 9, 2019 – Seventy years ago, on 9 September 1949, Director of Central Intelligence Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter handed President Harry Truman a carefully worded report of “an abnormal radio-active contamination" in the Northern Pacific that greatly exceeded normal levels in the atmosphere.  While uncertain as to the cause, the DCI’s first hypothesis was “An atomic explosion on the continent of Asia.”  This proved to be accurate – it was the first Soviet test of a nuclear device.

Aug 15, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 15, 2019 – Documents from the highest levels of the Soviet Union, including notes, protocols and diaries of Politburo sessions in the immediate aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, detail a sequence of cover-up, revelation, shock, mobilization, individual bravery, and bureaucratic turf battles in the Soviet reaction, according to the “Top Secret Chernobyl” e-book published today by the National Security Archive.

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