35+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Cold War – General

Jun 16, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 16, 2021 – The National Security Archive marks today’s summit meeting in Geneva between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin by publishing detailed transcripts from interviews with eight former U.S. ambassadors to Moscow, courtesy of the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey.

May 13, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 13, 2021—­British leaders were determined to become a nuclear power after World War II in part so they could have a “seat at the top table” of international negotiations, according to a 1965 State Department intelligence report published today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.  London also wanted to be able to present its own “independent” deterrent to the Soviet Union to mitigate its reliance on U.S. forces, records show. 

May 7, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 7, 2021 – U.S.-Soviet cooperation in space was a regular, if less noticed, feature of the final years of the USSR and continued well after the emergence of independent Russia, a compilation of declassified documents and interviews posted today by the National Security Archive underscores.  In the second of a two-part posting, records from Russian and American archives highlight the successes of joint operations ranging from the Shuttle-Mir program to the International Space Station. 

Apr 29, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 29, 2021 – John F. Kennedy may have secretly warned Fidel Castro against executing survivors of the Bay of Pigs invasion 60 years ago this month while also dangling a pledge of strict non-intervention if the Cuban leader spared their lives, according to new evidence posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.  Kennedy’s secret channel to Castro, the records suggest, was the president of Brazil, João Goulart.

Apr 16, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., April 16, 2021 – In the earliest known CIA assassination plot against leaders of the Cuban revolution, high agency officials offered the pilot of a plane carrying Raul Castro from Prague to Havana “payment after successful completion of ten thousand dollars” to “incur risks in arranging accident” during the flight, according to formally TOP SECRET documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The pilot, who the CIA had earlier recruited as an intelligence asset in Cuba, “asked for assurance that in event of his [own] death the U.S.

Apr 12, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 12, 2021 – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s historic spaceflight 60 years ago, which made him the first human in space, prompted President John F. Kennedy to advance an unusual proposal – that the two superpowers combine forces to cooperate in space.  In a congratulatory letter to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive, Kennedy expressed the hope that “our nations [can] work together” in the “continuing quest for knowledge of outer space.”  

Mar 31, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., March 31, 2021 – The Chilean ambassador to Brazil, Raúl Rettig, sent an alarming cable in March 1971 to his foreign ministry titled “Brazilian Army possibly conducting studies on guerrillas being introduced into Chile.” Multiple sources had informed the Embassy that the Brazilian military regime was evaluating how to instigate an insurrection to overthrow the Allende government.

Mar 23, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 23, 2021 - On the eve of the 45th anniversary of the military coup in Argentina, the National Security Archive is today posting declassified documents revealing what the U.S. government knew, and when it knew it, in the weeks preceding the March 24, 1976, overthrow of Isabel Peron’s government. The documents provide evidence of multiple contacts between the coup plotters and U.S. officials. “[Admiral] Massera sought opportunity to speak privately with me,” U.S.

Feb 26, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 26, 2021 – Thirty years ago this week, the U.S.-led coalition launched its ground offensive in the Persian Gulf after spending months trying to get Saddam Hussein to withdraw his troops from Kuwait and comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions without conditions or linkages to a wider settlement in the Middle East.  Only 100 hours after the ground offensive started (the air war had run for more than a month previously), the U.S.

Feb 22, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 22, 2021 - Leading Soviet reformer Alexander Yakovlev discussed with George Kennan his "X Article" that grew out of the famous Long Telegram in a previously unpublished October 1990 meeting in Moscow; and Kennan actually dictated the Long Telegram while laid up in bed with the flu, a sinus condition, and a foul mood, according to documents and transcripts posted today by the National Security Archive to mark the 75th anniversary of Kennan’s telegram from Moscow, which shaped the Cold War and U.S. policy towards the Soviet Union.

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