Washington, D.C., March 24, 2023 - On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, PBS’s “American Experience” program premieres “The Movement and the ‘Madman,’” a documentary that tells the story of how the intensity of the U.S. anti-Vietnam War movement forced President Richard Nixon to abandon plans to escalate the conflict in the fall of 1969 and instead implement his “madman” theory, approving a secret alert of U.S. nuclear forces around the world to project the idea that he was “crazy” and force adversaries to back down.
Wars and Conflicts
Washington, D.C., July 12, 2011 - What were the 11 words the government didn’t want you to see?
Washington, D.C., 24 August 2022 - As the U.S. contemplated a more aggressive drug war strategy in Colombia in the 1980s, top intelligence officials said success there would require “a bloody, expensive, and prolonged coercive effort” that, even then, was not likely to have an impact on the U.S. drug market, according to a declassified report published today by Colombia’s Truth Commission and the National Security Archive.
Bogotá, 28 June 2022 - Today, Colombia’s Truth Commission wraps up three-and-a-half years of work with the launch of its report on the causes and consequences of Colombia’s conflict. The publication of the Commission's findings and recommendations is an important step forward in guaranteeing the rights of victims and of Colombian society to know the truth about what happened, to build a foundation for coexistence among Colombians, and to ensure that such a conflict is never repeated.
From History to Poetry: Mai Der Vang Explores the Archival Record in Her Celebrated Volume "Yellow Rain"
Washington, D.C., June 27, 2022 – In a remarkable example of transforming the mundane into high art, poet Mai Der Vang, daughter of Hmong refugees and finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, pored through thousands of pages of declassified documents from the collections of the National Security Archive and other sources to find material for her poems, whose purpose is to record and vivify the trauma experienced by the Hmong people during the Secret War in Laos of the 1960s and 1970s.
Washington, D.C., September 23, 2021 - The Taliban will not – and perhaps cannot – contain al Qaeda, despite hopeful United States government assurances that the Taliban will be an effective counterterrorism partner.
Washington, D.C., August 19, 2021 – The U.S. government under four presidents misled the American people for nearly two decades about progress in Afghanistan, while hiding the inconvenient facts about ongoing failures inside confidential channels, according to declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive.
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.
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.
Washington, DC, December 27, 2020—The National Security Archive is today posting an update to a 2004 E-book featuring a landmark but still relatively little-known State Department study of the Vietnam War from 1969. Commissioned by Thomas L. Hughes, the head of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, it was a more modest account of the war than its more famous cousin, the Pentagon Papers. Yet in some ways it was more insightful and is considered essential to understanding the Department’s role in the conflict.