30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Armed Forces and Military Strategy

Oct 11, 2002 | News
Havana, Cuba, 11 October 2002, 1 p.m. - During the first session of the historic 40th anniversary conference on the Cuban missile crisis, participants including Cuban president Fidel Castro and former US secretary of defense Robert McNamara discussed newly declassified documents showing that US president John F. Kennedy, in meetings with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's son-in-law Adzhubei in January 1962, compared the US failure at the Bay of Pigs to the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. JFK also assured Adzhubei that the US "will not meddle" with Cuba, but at the same time, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff were preparing "cover and deception plans" that included planned pretexts for a US invasion of Cuba. The President's brother, attorney general Robert F. Kennedy, simultaneously was leading discussions with the CIA and Pentagon about covert operations (codenamed Operation Mongoose) on the proposition that "a solution to the Cuban problem today carries 'the top priority in the United States government….'"

Oct 11, 2002 | News
Havana, Cuba, 11 October 2002, 5 p.m. - During the second session of the historic 40th anniversary conference on the Cuban missile crisis, participants including Cuban president Fidel Castro and former US secretary of defense Robert McNamara discussed newly declassified documents showing that events were spinning out of control at the height of the crisis, with the danger of an accidental or deliberate nuclear exchange even greater than policymakers believed at the time. US intelligence never located the nuclear warheads for the Soviet missiles in Cuba during the crisis, and only 33 of what photography later showed was a total of 42 medium-range ballistic missiles.

Oct 10, 2002 | News
Havana, Cuba, 10 October 2002 - Senior surviving veterans of the Cuban missile crisis arrived today in Havana for a historic 40th anniversary conference co-organized by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. At an airport arrival ceremony, Cuban vice president Jose Ramon Fernandez greeted former US secretary of defense Robert McNamara, JFK speechwriter and counsel Theodore Sorensen, JFK aide and Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Gen. William Y. Smith (USAF), JFK aide Richard Goodwin, CIA analyst Dino Brugioni, and other US veterans and scholars. Also attending the conference as honored observers are several members of the Kennedy family spanning three generations. Earlier this week, a distinguished delegation of Russian veterans arrived in Havana from Moscow, including former deputy foreign minister Georgy Kornienko, missile deployment planner Gen. Anatoly Gribkov, former defense minister Dmitry Yazov, and KGB officer Nikolai Leonov.

Oct 1, 2002 | News
Washington, D.C., 1 October 2002 – The National Security Archive at George Washington University announced today that the senior surviving veterans of the Cuban Missile Crisis will gather in Havana, Cuba, next week to discuss new evidence and lessons learned from the moment when the world came closest to nuclear war 40 years ago.  Leading Cuban historical actors will host participants such as secretary of defense Robert McNamara, JFK speechwriter and counsel Theodore Sorensen, and JFK aide and Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., among others.  From Russia, deputy foreign minister Georgy Kornienko, missile deployment planner Gen. Anatoly Gribkov, KGB officer Nikolai Leonov, and others will participate.

Sep 20, 2002 | News
Generals Jaruzelski, Siwicki, Tuczapski, and 6 other top-ranking Polish insiders of the Soviet military alliance reveal unprecedented details about its functioning and plans against NATO during the Cold War. 350 pages of interviews are made public today on the Zurich-based website of the Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact (PHP)--an international consortium of scholars dedicated to the study of the historical dimension of European security, www.isn.ethz.ch/php. The National Security Archive at George Washington University is the primary U.S.

Dec 21, 2001 | Briefing Book
The latest phase of military operations in Afghanistan has shifted the emphasis from heavy bombing to more of a “boots on the ground” approach involving hundreds of U.S. special forces units with missions ranging from engaging Al-Qaeda fighters, to interrogating prisoners, guarding sensitive positions and, soon, possibly searching the Tora Bora caves. Special forces have played a part in American military operations for more than 200 years.

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

Nov 15, 2001 | Briefing Book
As noted in Biowar: The Nixon Administration's Decision to End U.S. Biological Warfare Programs, public attention has become intensely focused upon the threat of attack by biological agents, as the continuing reports of anthrax-contaminated mail facilities and congressional offices appear in the news. The effort to determine who sent the anthrax-laced letters, how they have managed to become so widely dispersed, and to come to grips with the health threat posed have revealed the uncertainties surrounding any such outbreak.

Oct 25, 2001 | Briefing Book
Perhaps the most troubling and terrifying development in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th is the emergence of biological warfare as a real, instead of a potential, threat for our government and the public to confront. To provide the historical context for this new threat, the National Security Archive published on October 25, 2001 key declassified documents on President Richard Nixon's decision to halt the U.S. biological warfare program. In this updated briefing book, the Archive is making available the official history of the U.S. Army's activities in the U.S.

Apr 30, 2001 | News
In his new exposй of the National Security Agency entitled Body of Secrets, author James Bamford highlights a set of proposals on Cuba by the Joint Chiefs of Staff codenamed OPERATION NORTHWOODS. This document, titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba” was provided by the JCS to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, as the key component of Northwoods. Written in response to a request from the Chief of the Cuba Project, Col. Edward Lansdale, the Top Secret memorandum describes U.S. plans to covertly engineer various pretexts that would justify a U.S.

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