30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Nuclear Proliferation and Accidents

Apr 25, 2003 | Briefing Book
North Korea's nuclear weapons program has moved back to the front pages with the unprecedented acknowledgement by North Korea during talks this week in Beijing that the North has developed nuclear weapons. News of this revelation came as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs James A. Kelly was preparing to leave Beijing for consultations in Seoul, and leaves the future of the talks uncertain and the threat of a potential escalation in tensions on the peninsula high.

Dec 20, 2002 | Briefing Book
Between Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, and the commencement of military action in January 1991, then President George H.W. Bush raised the specter of the Iraqi pursuit of nuclear weapons as one justification for taking decisive action against Iraq. In the then-classified National Security Directive 54, signed on January 15, 1991, authorizing the use of force to expel Iraq from Kuwait, he identified Iraqi use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against allied forces as an action that would lead the U.S. to seek the removal of Saddam Hussein from power.

Jan 12, 2001 | News
Washington, D.C. -- President John F. Kennedy and top advisers considered bombing strikes and covert paramilitary operations to destroy China's nascent nuclear weapons program in the early 1960s, according to recently declassified documents cited in the current issue of International Security, a journal published at Harvard University's Belfer Center. During meetings with senior Taiwanese officials, Kennedy's aides and CIA officials discussed the possibility of preventive military action against Chinese nuclear facilities.

Jan 12, 2001 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 12, 2001 – International Security has just published, in its Winter 2000/2001 issue, an article, "Whether To 'Strangle the Baby in the Cradle'": The United States and the Chinese Nuclear Program, 1960-64," written by National Security Archive analysts William Burr and Jeffrey T.

Mar 31, 2000 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 31, 2000 – During late 1998 and 1999, the Wen Ho Lee espionage controversy and debate over U.S. corporate technology transfers to China made the Chinese nuclear weapons program the subject of heated debate in the U.S. media and in American politics.

Oct 13, 1999 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 13, 1999 – In recent years, India and Pakistan have made the front pages by testing nuclear weapons and defying the nuclear nonproliferation regime established by the United States and the Soviet Union and their allies during the 1960s. Nonetheless, the United States and international authorities have successfully discouraged other countries from joining the nuclear club. One such achievement (so far) has been to induce the Republic of China (ROC) to suspend activities that would brought Taiwan closer to an independent capability to produce nuclear weapons.

May 27, 1999 | News
Several years ago, the National Security Archive initiated a project to obtain critical declassified documentation on key aspects of the U.S.-China relationship, focusing on the period from 1969 to the present. Through Freedom of Information Act requests, collection of relevant publications, and archival research, the Archive has amassed a collection of more than 2,000 documents, consisting of over 15,000 pages, covering major foreign policy issues, U.S.-China security cooperation, technology transfer, economic issues, and intelligence.

Aug 17, 1998 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. – In August 1948, the U.S. Air Force created the Office of Atomic Energy-1 [AFOAT-1], giving it responsibility for managing the Atomic Energy Detection System [AEDS] discovering foreign atomic tests and other nuclear-weapons related activities. AFOAT/1 [later renamed the Air Force Technical Applications Center, or AFTAC] soon had an early triumph--the discovery of the first Soviet atomic test in 1949.

May 12, 1998 | News
Washington, D.C. -- May 12, 1998 --In the wake of India's first nuclear weapons tests in 24 years, the National Security Archive has published 22 declassified U.S. government analyses of the Indian and Pakistani nuclear program on the World Wide Web. These documents illustrate issues and concerns that guided policy during a critical period in South Asia's nuclear history: as the U.S. assessed the liklihood that India would opt for nuclear weapons, tried to devise means of dissuading it from doing so, and gauged the response of neighboring Pakistan.

May 12, 1998 | Briefing Book
This briefing book contains material from the National Security Archive's project on U.S. policy toward South Asia, which is documenting nuclear developments in India and Pakistan from the 1950s to the present. The Archive is collecting U.S. government records that illustrate American policies and perspectives. Information is being collected from the National Archives and the presidential libraries, and through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Mandatory Review requests, used to obtain the declassification of now- secret materials. A selective and focused collection of documents will be made available to researchers.

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