35+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Policy Making and Diplomacy

May 28, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., May 28, 2021 – “The United States came fairly close to using tactical nuclear weapons” during the Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958, according to a top-secret 1966 RAND summary report posted today for the first time by the National Security Archive.  Washington contemplated this extreme response to anticipated Chinese aggression “despite opposition to its policy by most of its allies and many in the United States,” the report notes.

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 26, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 26, 2021 — The recent passage of the “Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2021” by the House of Representatives suggests U.S. lawmakers are eager to expand the U.S.’s toolbox for addressing cyber threats to explicitly include diplomacy, according to a compilation of policy records posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.  Introduced on the heels of the SolarWinds breach, the bill would establish a new “Bureau of International Cyberspace Policy.”

Apr 8, 2021 | Briefing Book
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.

Apr 5, 2021 | Briefing Book
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. 

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.

Mar 17, 2021 | Briefing Book
Update Washington D.C., May 26, 2021 – “The United States came fairly close to using tactical nuclear weapons” during the Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958, according to a top-secret 1966 RAND summary report posted today for the first time by the National Security Archive.  Washington contemplated this extreme response to anticipated Chinese aggression “despite opposition to its policy by most of its allies and many in the United States,” the report notes.

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 25, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 25, 2021 – As President Joe Biden elevates climate change to a Cabinet-level national security issue, the challenges his administration faces can be illuminated by a close look at another administration that took climate change seriously – Bill Clinton’s. Today, the National Security Archive is posting a selection of documents focusing on how the Clinton White House organized itself to build on the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and secure Senate ratification of the agreement.

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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