30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Able Archer and Soviet War Scare, 1983

Nov 5, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C.,  November 5,  2018 – Beginning in 1981, the KGB’s “main objective” became “not to miss the military preparations of the enemy, its preparations for a nuclear strike, and not to miss the real risk of the outbreak of war,” according to the text of a previously secret speech by then-KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov  found in the Ukrainian KGB archives and published today by the National Security Archive.

Apr 4, 2017 | Blog Post
The following was published in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy (Vol 59 No 2). War Scare Sir, In ‘Able Archer 83: What Were the Soviets Thinking’ (Survival, vol. 58, no. 6, December 2016–January 2017, pp. 7–30), Gordon Barrass makes a compelling argument that Able Archer 83 provides ‘lessons on how to analyse and respond to […]

Feb 10, 2017 | Blog Post
Air Force lieutenant general and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Leonard H. Perroots has died.  I first learned of Perroots while reading the declassified President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board’s report on Able Archer 83 and the 1983 War Scare.  According to this report, Able Archer 83 so closely represented a nuclear launch that the […]

Dec 6, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 6, 2016 – On November 9, 1983, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization launched a nuclear war against its nemesis, the Warsaw Pact, after NATO military commanders sought and received permission for “initial limited use of nuclear weapons” from the political leadership of the Western alliance.

Nov 1, 2016 | Blog Post
“Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War,” Nate Jones’s new book on how the United States “may have inadvertently placed our relations with the Soviet Union on a hair trigger” during the 1983 NATO nuclear release exercise, is now on shelves. David Hoffman, author of The Dead […]

Oct 21, 2016 | Blog Post
Archive FOIA Project Director and author of the new book, Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War, Nate Jones, recently presented the four key takeaways from his research to-date on the 1983 War Scare before a packed house at the Wilson Center. Jones, with commentary by Archive […]

Oct 24, 2015 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., October 24, 2015 – The newly released Soviet "War Scare" report - previously classified "TOP SECRET UMBRA GAMMA WNINTEL NOFORN NOCONTRACT ORCON" and published today after a 12-year fight by the National Security Archive – reveals that the 1983 War Scare was real. According to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), the United States "may have inadvertently placed our relations with the Soviet Union on a hair trigger" during the 1983 NATO nuclear release exercise, Able Archer 83.

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