Afghanistan 20/20: The 20-Year War in 20 Documents

19 August 2021 — — Origin: National Security Archive

Primary sources contradict Pentagon optimism over decades 

Pakistan sanctuaries, Afghan corruption enabled Taliban resurgence 

Bush nation-building, Obama surge, Trump deal all failed 

Washington, D.C., August 19, 2021 – The U.S. government under four presidents misled the American people for nearly two decades about progress in Afghanistan, while hiding the inconvenient facts about ongoing failures inside confidential channels, according to declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive.

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Israeli Attack on Iraq’s Osirak 1981: Setback or Impetus for Nuclear Weapons?

7 June 2021 — — Origin: National Security Archive

CIA and U.S. diplomats warned in 1979-1980 that Israel might attack

Reagan administration missed level of Carter’s concern, so were taken by surprise

Saddam Hussein saw himself “on the side of the angels” and Israel was “increasingly … viewed as the international pariah,” CIA official noted

France took secret “preventive measures” to block Iraqi weapons capability, unbeknownst to Iraqis

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The Chernyaev Centennial

25 May 2021 — National Security Archive

100th Birthday of Anatoly Sergeyevich marked with latest translated excerpt of his “irreplaceable” diary — the year 1981

Architect of “New Thinking,” champion of glasnost, prolific historian, hero of the end of the Cold War, key source for scholars

Even as Polish Solidarity crisis peaked, Brezhnev “apparently never seriously considered” sending in troops

If Sovietologists got to be a “fly on the wall at the Politburo,” nobody would ever believe this fly

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“Questionable Activities”: CIA Assassination Plot Targeted Raul Castro

16 April 2021 — National Security Archive

As Castro retires on 60th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs, National Security Archive posts declassified, top secret CIA cables, reports from 1960

Agency officials willing to pay over $10,000 for ‘fatal accident’

Washington D.C., April 16, 2021 – In the earliest known CIA assassination plot against leaders of the Cuban revolution, high agency officials in 1960 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. would see that his two sons were given a college education.” “This assurance was given,” his CIA handler in Havana, William J. Murray, reported in a later memorandum titled “Questionable Activities.”

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Crises, Alerts, and DEFCONS, 1961-1976 – Part II

8 April 2021 — National Security Archive

Berlin Crisis in 1961-62 Disclosed U.S.-European Gap on Nuclear Use, with French and Germans Supporting Early Use over U.S. Objections

B-52 Bombers Were Used for Shows-of-Force during Altercations with North Korea

During October 1973 War DEFCON 3, 99.5 Percent of U.S. ICBMS Were on High Alert

Washington, D.C., April 8, 2021 – The United States and its European allies disagreed over the advisability of using nuclear weapons to signal resolve and deter war if a serious crisis with Moscow over West Berlin broke out, according to a review of declassified records posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.

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The Clinton White House and Climate Change, Part II: Engaging the Oval Office

5 April 2021 — National Security Archive

Like Biden, Clinton Faced Big Challenges: Presidential Role Was Vital to the Strategy

China, Congress Presented Major Tests for the White House

Post-Mortem Cable Laments “Clock Ran Out” on Clinton, Criticizes China, EU, and G-77 for Obduracy

Washington, D.C., April 5, 2021 – President Bill Clinton’s climate policy faced some of its biggest challenges from two very different quarters – China and the Congress – according to a collection of recently declassified internal papers posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.

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Gorbachev’s Greatest Hits

2 March 2021 — National Security Archive

Mikhail Sergeyevich Turns 90; Archive marks milestone with new publication of Gorbachev memcons with Castro, Mitterrand, and Shamir; compilation of dozens of Gorbachev primary sources. 

Gorbachev made history, then freed history by opening his documents

Washington, D.C., March 2, 2021 – The first and only president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, is turning 90 years old today in Moscow.   On the occasion of his anniversary, the National Security Archive has compiled a collection of postings called “Gorbachev’s Greatest Hits.”  These documents help illuminate the story of the end of the Cold War, political reform of the Soviet system, and the vision of a world built on universal human values.

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Allende and Chile: ‘Bring Him Down’

3 November 2020 — Origin: National Security Archive

Salvador Allende’s Historic Inauguration 50 Years Later

Declassified White House Records Show How Nixon-Kissinger Set Strategy of Destabilization—And Why

Washington D.C., November 3, 2020 — Several days after Salvador Allende’s history-changing November 3, 1970, inauguration, Richard Nixon convened his National Security Council for a formal meeting on what policy the U.S. should adopt toward Chile’s new Popular Unity government. Only a few officials who gathered in the White House Cabinet Room knew that, under Nixon’s orders, the CIA had covertly tried, and failed, to foment a preemptive military coup to prevent Allende from ever being inaugurated. The SECRET/SENSITIVE NSC memorandum of conversation revealed a consensus that Allende’s democratic election and his socialist agenda for substantive change in Chile threatened U.S. interests, but divergent views on what the U.S. could, and should do about it.  “We can bring his downfall, perhaps, without being counterproductive,” suggested Secretary of State William Rogers, who opposed overt hostility and aggression toward Chile.  “We have to do everything we can to hurt [Allende] and bring him down,” agreed the secretary of defense, Melvin Laird.

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Putin, Clinton, and Presidential Transitions

2 November 2020 — National Security Archive

Highest-level memcons and cables document Putin’s rise to power

Clinton Library declassifications plus Archive lawsuit open verbatim Clinton-Putin and Clinton-Yeltsin conversations

U.S. emphasis on importance of transfer of power by ballot box gives way to merely endorsing peaceful transition as Yeltsin resigns and anoints Putin in 1999

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New Light in a Dark Corner: Evidence on the Diem Coup in South Vietnam, November 1963

1 November 2020 — National Security Archive

JFK Was More Inclined toward Regime Change than Earlier Believed

Newly Released JFK Tape and President’s Intelligence Checklists Fill in Gaps in Record

South Vietnamese Leader’s Notes Published for First Time, Written Hours Before Assassination

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