30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Soviet-U.S. Relations

Dec 3, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 3, 2009 - President George H.W. Bush approached the Malta summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev 20 years ago this week determined to avoid arms control topics and simply promote a public image of "new pace and purpose" with him "leading as much as Gorbachev"; but realized from his face-to-face discussions that Gorbachev was offering an arms race in reverse, according to previously secret documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive (www. nsarchive.org).

Dec 8, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington DC, December 8, 2008 - Previously secret Soviet documentation shows that Mikhail Gorbachev was prepared for rapid arms control progress leading towards nuclear abolition at the time of his last official meeting with President Reagan, at Governor's Island, New York in December 1988; but President-elect George H. W. Bush, who also attended the meeting, said "he would need a little time to review the issues" and lost at least a year of dramatic arms reductions that were possible had there been a more forthcoming U.S. position.

Jul 2, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, July 2, 2008 - Senior Kennedy administration aides claimed incorrectly that U.S. warships had come “eyeball to eyeball” with Soviet missile-carrying ships during the Cuban missile crisis, a myth that has persisted for over four decades, according to evidence published today by the National Security Archive.

Jun 25, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, June 25, 2008 - American signals intelligence collectors tracked the activation of Soviet air defenses prior to the shootdown of a U.S. spy plane at the peak of the Cuban missile crisis, according to documents published on the Web today by the National Security Archive.

Jun 18, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, June 18, 2008 - The CIA failed to identify the storage bunkers for Soviet nuclear warheads in Cuba during the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, despite obtaining numerous photographs of the sites, according to new materials -- including a selection of photos -- being published on the Web today by the National Security Archive.

Jun 11, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, June 11, 2008 - An American spy plane went missing over the Soviet Union at the height of the Cuban missile crisis for one and a quarter hours without the Air Force informing either President Kennedy or Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, according to a new book by Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs (drawing on documents posted here today by the National Security Archive.)

Jun 4, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, June 4, 2008 - Soviet nuclear-tipped cruise missiles were ready to destroy the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo had the U.S. military persuaded President Kennedy to invade Cuba during the missile crisis in 1962, according to a new book by Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs (citing documents and interviews posted here today by the National Security Archive).

May 31, 2008 | Briefing Book
Left: President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev on Red Square in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral, May 31, 1988, with interpreter Pavel Palazhchenko to the right.  Just out of the picture is U.S. Navy lieutenant commander Woody Lee, carrying the “football” briefcase with U.S. nuclear war plan options and launch codes for missiles targeting Red Square.  [Photo courtesy of Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California]

Nov 2, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, November 2, 2007 - Then-national security adviser Henry A. Kissinger colluded with Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin to keep the U.S. Secretary of State in the dark about ongoing secret discussions between the Soviets and the Nixon White House, according to newly released Soviet-era documents, released last week by the Department of State.

May 25, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 25, 2007 - Today the National Security Archive publishes the second installment of the diary of one of the key behind-the-scenes figures of the Gorbachev era--Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev. This document is being published in English here for the first time. It is hard to overestimate the uniqueness and importance of this diary for our understanding of the end of the Cold War--and specifically for the peaceful withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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