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Digital National Security Archive

Documenting the making of U.S. foreign and national security policy


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Latest Publications


Donald Rumsfeld's Snowflakes, Part II: The Pentagon and U.S. Foreign Policy, 2004-2006

The product of a National Security Archive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, this is the second of a two-part series that contains every known “snowflake” memo Donald Rumsfeld circulated during his tenure as Secretary of Defense to President George W. Bush – over 59,000 pages in all.  These unvarnished internal memos offer an extraordinary schematic of U.S. defense and national security policy from a tumultuous period, as well as insights into one of the Bush administration’s more memorable characters.


Donald Rumsfeld's Snowflakes, Part I: The Pentagon and U.S. Foreign Policy, 2001-2003

Donald Rumsfeld’s “snowflakes” are a unique resource, coming directly from the Defense Secretary’s desk.  This first tranche provides unprecedented insight into the workings of the Pentagon during the early years of the Bush administration. The collection offers glimpses into Rumsfeld’s day-to-day concerns covering everything from relations with Russia, China, and other nations to DOD’s strategy and conduct in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to communications with the White House and battles with the Pentagon bureaucracy.

Hostage crisis

U.S. Policy toward Iran: From the Revolution to the Nuclear Accord, 1978-2015

Published in December 2019 during the 40th anniversary year of the overthrow of the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran and onset of the hostage crisis in 1979, this collection traces all facets of a highly unusual global relationship from its darkest periods to the landmark signing of the controversial nuclear accord in 2015.  


Upcoming Collection in 2021


CIA Covert Operations, Part IV: The Eisenhower Years, 1953-1961

This collection will focus on a highly active, if checkered, period in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency, during which President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized numerous clandestine programs around the world. These include Iran 1953 (the infamous coup whose reverberations are still felt today), Tibet 1956-57, and the Congo beginning in 1960. A highlight will be Eisenhower’s original decision and plans to mount operations against Castro’s Cuba that led to the Bay of Pigs.  The set will thus dovetail neatly with previous DNSA publications covering not only events in Cuba during this timeframe but also in Berlin, Guatemala, and Vietnam.


For publication in 2022-2023


  • The Diplomacy of Climate Change: U.S. Policy from the Montreal Protocol to the Paris Agreement, 1981-2017
  • The Afghanistan War and the United States, 1998-2017
  • Targeting Iraq, Part II: Occupation, Surge, and ISIS, 2004-2017
  • U.S. Nuclear Nonproliferation 2, Part II: The Nixon-Ford Years, 1969-1977