Just how close did the world come to full-blown nuclear war in the 1980s?
That’s the conclusion of researchers at the National Security Archive at George Washington University, which released on May 16 a collection of documents on the 1983 Able Archer war scare, the closest the Cold War came to turning hot since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Many of the documents come from Soviet archives, and are summarized in English; others came from the U.S. government after Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests
The release is the first in a series of three postings; the second will consist of U.S. military documents, the third documents from the U.S. intelligence community. (The National Security Agency, the website notes, refused to release its relevant documents after a 2008 FOIA request, but “did review, approve for release, stamp, and send a printout of a Wikipedia article.”)
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