Able Archer 83 : the secret history of the NATO exercise that almost triggered nuclear war / edited by Nate Jones ; with a foreword by Tom Blanton.

New York : The New Press, [2016]
xii, 338 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


Summary note
"In November 1983, Soviet nuclear forces went on high alert. After months nervously watching increasingly assertive NATO military posturing, Soviet intelligence agencies in Western Europe received flash telegrams reporting alarming activity on U.S. bases. In response, the Soviets began planning for a countdown to a nuclear first strike by NATO on Eastern Europe. And then Able Archer 83, a vast NATO war game exercise that modeled a Soviet attack on NATO allies, ended. What the West didn't know at the time was that the Soviets thought Operation Able Archer 83 was real and were actively preparing for a surprise missile attack from NATO. This close scrape with Armageddon was largely unknown until last October when the U.S. government released a ninety-four-page presidential analysis of Able Archer that the National Security Archive had spent over a decade trying to declassify. Able Archer 83 is based upon more than a thousand pages of declassified documents that archive staffer Nate Jones has pried loose from several U.S. government agencies and British archives, as well as from formerly classified Soviet Politburo and KGB files, vividly recreating the atmosphere that nearly unleashed nuclear war."-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • "Standing Tall," the "Mirror Image." and Operation RYaN
  • "Thoroughly White Hot," Able Archer 33, and the crux of the war scare
  • Aftermath, "One missing step could trigger a great war"
  • "Why is the world so dangerous?
  • President's foreign intelligence advisory board report, "The Soviet 'War Scare, '" February 15, 1990, Top Secret, UMBER GAMMA WNINTEL NOFORN NOCONTRACT ORCON
  • CIA Studies in Intelligence article by Benjamin Fischer, "The 1983 Ware Scare in U.S.-Soviet Relations," undated (circa 1996), Secret
  • KGB Charmian Yuri Andropov to General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, "Report on the Work of the KGB in 1981," May 10, 1982
  • Central Intelligence Agency Biographical Profile of Yuriy Vladimirovich Androvop, January 11, 1983, classification redacted
  • Memorandum of conversation between General Secretary Yuri Andropov and Averell Harriman, CPSU Central Committee Headquarters, Moscow, 3:00 p.m. June 2, 1983
  • U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command daily INTSUM, November 10, 1983, Secret
  • Air Force Seventh Air Division, Ramstein Air Base, "Exercise Able Archer 83, SAC ADVON, After Action Report," December 1, 1983, Secret, NOFORN
  • Memorandum for National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane from Soviet expert Jack Matlock, "Subject: American Academic on Soviet Policy," December 13, 1983, Confidential with attached EXDIS cable from the American Embassy in Moscow
  • UK Ministry of Defense, "Soviet Union Concern About a Surprise Nuclear Attack," May 9, 1983
  • Central Intelligence Agency, Special National Intelligence Estimate, "Implications of Recent Soviet Military-Political Activities," May 18, 1984, Top Secret.
  • Central Intelligence Agency Memorandum for the President, Vice President, Secretary of Sate, Secretary of Defense, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and Charmian of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, from CIA Director William Casey, "U.S./Soviet Tension'" June 19, 1984, Secret
  • Small group meeting of November 19, 1983, 7:30 a.m., the Secretary's dining room, Department of State, Secret/Sensitive
  • Reagan's handwritten addition of Ivan and Anya to his January 16, 1984 speech on United States-Soviet Relations.
Other title(s)
Secret history of the NATO exercise that almost triggered nuclear war
  • 9781620972618 ((hc ; : alk. paper))
  • 1620972611 ((hc ; : alk. paper))
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