Nuclear Proliferation and Accidents
Declassified Pentagon History Provides Hair-Raising Scenarios of U.S. Vulnerabilities to Nuclear Attack through 1970sNov 19, 2012 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., November 19, 2012 – For decades, U.S. command-control-and-communications (C3) systems were deeply vulnerable to nuclear attack, according to a recently declassified Pentagon study. The document, a top secret internal history of the highly complex procedures that connected the White House and senior civilian and military leaders with local commanders awaiting orders to launch bombers and missiles, details sometimes harrowing reports about systemic weaknesses that could have jeopardized U.S. readiness to respond to a nuclear attack.
Nov 6, 2012 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., November 6, 2012 – The U.S. intelligence community predicted India's nuclear bomb in 1964 but mistakenly concluded Israel had "not yet decided" to go nuclear, according to newly declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.
Sep 7, 2012 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., September 7, 2012 – Eleven years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, how concerned Americans should be over threats of nuclear terrorism remains a subject of vigorous debate. Declassified documents have confirmed that the U.S. (and other) governments have anticipated the possibility of a terrorist nuclear incident at such high-profile events as the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Ever since 9/11, U.S. experts have been particularly interested in whether al-Qaeda is trying to acquire a nuclear device.
Sep 5, 2012 | News br>
Washington, DC, September 5, 2012 – The online magazine ForeignPolicy.com today published an extraordinary CIA document on the recent Iraq war which the National Security Archive obtained through a Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) request to the CIA.
Jul 23, 2012 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., July 23, 2012 – The possibility that highly motivated countries, such as Iran in today's environment, could secretly build gas centrifuge plants to produce highly enriched uranium was foreshadowed over fifty years ago by senior officials at the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and its contractors. They perceived that countries determined to acquire a nuclear weapons capability could secretly build gas centrifuge facilities to enrich uranium, although it required solving complex technical problems.
Apr 27, 2012 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., April 27, 2012 – Tensions between the United States and Pakistan rose through the 1980s over intelligence reports that suggested to U.S. officials that Pakistani leader Zia ul-Haq had repeatedly lied to them about his country's nuclear program, according to recently declassified records published today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. Zia's apparent mendacity posed an immediate challenge to U.S.
Dec 5, 2011 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., December 5, 2011 – India's "peaceful nuclear explosion" on 18 May 1974 caught the United States by surprise in part because the intelligence community had not been looking for signs that a test was in the works.
Non-Papers and Demarches: U.S. and British Combined to Delay Pakistani Nuclear Weapons Program in 1978-1981, Declassified Documents ShowJul 27, 2011 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., July 27, 2011 - The United States and Great Britain undertook a secret diplomatic campaign in the late 1970s to prevent a major nuclear proliferation threat – Pakistan's attempted covert purchasing of "gray area" technology for its nuclear weapons program – according to recently declassified "NODIS" (no distribution) State department telegrams published today by the National Security Archive. The Archive obtained the documents through a mandatory declassification review request. The documents do not mention the name A. Q.
May 26, 2011 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., May 26, 2011 - The U.S. government secretly helped France develop its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program, and much earlier than previously realized, according to declassified documents compiled and edited by National Security Archive senior analyst William Burr and published jointly with the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project, an Archive partner.
Dec 21, 2010 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., December 21, 2010 - The Wikileaks database of purloined State Department cable traffic includes revelations, published in the Washington Post and the New York Times about tensions in U.S.-Pakistan relations on key nuclear issues, including the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and the disposition of a stockpile of weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium. (Note 1) These frictions are not surprising because the Pakistani nuclear weapons program has been a source of anxiety for U.S. policymakers, since the late 1970s, when they discovered that Pakistani metallurgist A.Q.