30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Afghanistan – Soviet Occupation, 1979-1989

Feb 1, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 1, 2019 – Two U.S. ambassadors in the late 1980s warned the U.S.

Jan 29, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., January 28, 2019 – President Trump’s claim that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to get rid of terrorists who were coming over the border is false, according to declassified U.S. and Soviet documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Dec 7, 2018 | Briefing Book
The U.S. and NATO allies worried about losing control of the public narrative of the Cold War in December 1988 after Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s offer of an arms race in reverse in his famous United Nations speech, according to declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive.  Senior Italian officials, for example, complained to U.S. envoy Paul Nitze that the public’s sense of a diminishing Soviet threat would undercut their ability to maintain defense spending – even as the Soviet leader was announcing unilateral troop withdrawals from Eastern Europe.

Aug 30, 2017 | Briefing Book
Officials in 1960s  Sought Studies of “Longer-term Consequences of Nuclear Attacks on the Health of People or on Their Living Environment”

Dec 21, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 21, 2012 – On December 12, 1979, the Soviet Politburo gathered to formally approve the decision made several days earlier to send a "limited contingent" of Soviet forces into Afghanistan. The secrecy was so tight that the leadership hand-wrote the authorization document in one copy and hand-carried it to each Politburo member for signature. The order does not even mention Afghanistan by name and uses cryptic language to entrust Andropov, Ustinov and Gromyko to oversee the implementation of the decision.

Oct 13, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, October 13, 2012 – Contrary to U.S. myths of a strategic Soviet offensive towards warm water ports on the Persian Gulf or Indian Ocean, it was "mission creep" that led the Soviet Union into its ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, according to a new, richly documented account of early Soviet engagement in Afghanistan, published in English and in Russian today by the National Security Archive at www.nsarchive.org.

Oct 30, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 30, 2009 - The debate over U.S. policy in the Afghanistan war features striking and troubling parallels with the choices faced by Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s, according to Soviet documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive.

Feb 15, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 15, 2009 – Twenty years ago today, the commander of the Soviet Limited Contingent in Afghanistan Boris Gromov crossed the Termez Bridge out of Afghanistan, thus marking the end of the Soviet war which lasted almost ten years and cost tens of thousands of Soviet and Afghan lives.

Aug 18, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, August 18, 2005 - The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan told a top Taliban official in September 2000 that the U.S. "was not out to destroy the Taliban," but the "UBL [Osama bin Laden] issue is supremely important," according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, show how years of U.S. diplomacy with the Taliban, combined with pressure on Pakistan, and attempts to employ Saudi cooperation still failed to compel the Taliban to expel bin Laden.

Sep 11, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, August 18, 2005 - UPDATE - The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan told a top Taliban official in September 2000 that the U.S. "was not out to destroy the Taliban," but the "UBL [Osama bin Laden] issue is supremely important," according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, show how years of U.S. diplomacy with the Taliban, combined with pressure on Pakistan, and attempts to employ Saudi cooperation still failed to compel the Taliban to expel bin Laden.

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