30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Arms Control and Disarmament

Dec 11, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 11, 2018 – In the Fall  of 1966, as part of an ongoing debate about the U.S. troop presence in Western Europe and the role of NATO during the Cold War, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara sent an illuminating memo to President Lyndon B. Johnson to explain the political reasons for keeping U.S.

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.

Oct 2, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 2, 2018 – President Bill Clinton saw Russian leader Boris Yeltsin as indispensable for promoting American interests following the collapse of the Soviet Union, often prompting him to take controversial steps to ensure Yeltsin’s political survival, according to top-level memoranda of conversation just released from the Clinton presidential library. 

Jan 4, 2018 | News
Washington D.C., January 4, 2018 – The journal of the Association of College and Research Libraries, Choice magazine, has picked the Archive’s most recent book, by Svetlana Savranskaya and Thomas Blanton, as an “Outstanding Academic Title 2017.”

Jan 23, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., January 23, 2017 – The historic summit meetings between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and two U.S. presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, built an intensive learning process on both sides that ended the Cold War, but missed numerous other opportunities to make the world safer, according to the new book, The Last Superpower Summits, featured today in the Washington History Seminar at the Wilson Center.

Dec 12, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 12, 2016 – Newly declassified documents show that the risk of nuclear proliferation at the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 was even greater than publicly known at the time, with 3,429 Soviet strategic warheads scattered outside of Russia in various former Soviet republics, according to today’s posting by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Sep 30, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., September 30, 2016 – The unilateral nuclear withdrawals announced by President George H.W. Bush 25 years ago this week drew an eager response from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to produce what experts call “the most spontaneous and dramatic reversal” ever of the nuclear arms race, according to newly declassified documents from Soviet and U.S. files posted today by the National Security Archive to mark the anniversary of the Bush initiative.

Feb 23, 2015 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, February 23, 2015 –Documents posted for the first time — in a collaboration between the National Security Archive and VICE News — provide insight into the U.S. government's paradoxical and opportunistic relationship with arms dealer Sarkis Soghanalian, whose larger-than-life deals were so well known that he was an inspiration for Nicholas Cage's character Yuri Orlov in the 2005 film, Lord of War.

Aug 2, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 2, 2013 – The United States and Soviet Union conducted underground testing that sometimes produced significant "venting" of radioactive gases and particles which crossed international borders, even after signing the Limited Test Ban Treaty fifty years ago, in August 1963. That posed potential health hazards, but also created problems for U.S.-Soviet relations, according to documents recently uncovered through archival research. To minimize the problem, both superpowers tacitly agreed to keep their disagreements secret.

Jun 16, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 16, 2010 - U.S. presidents long before President Obama have sought an international fissile material cutoff off treaty but the reasons they have failed remain with us today, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The proposed treaty would cut off the worldwide production of fissile material--plutonium and highly-enriched uranium--for nuclear weapons. (Note 1) According to Dwight D.

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