U.S. Strategic Nuclear Policy: A Video History, 1945-2004


National Security Archive Update, October 11, 2011

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Policy: A Video History, 1945-2004

Sandia Labs Historical Video Documents History of U.S. Strategic Nuclear Policy
Interviewees Include Robert McNamara, Brent Scowcroft, James Schlesinger and Last Strategic Air Commander-in-Chief Lee Butler

For more information contact:
William Burr – 202/994-7000


Washington, D.C., October 11, 2011 — Twenty five years ago, when President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met at Reykjavik, Iceland on 11-12-October 1986, their far-reaching discussions involved proposals to abolish nuclear weapons by first moving toward a zero ballistic missiles option. Weighed down by mistrust and competing objectives, the discussions on ending the nuclear arms race collapsed. That Ronald Reagan supported nuclear abolition at Reykjavik is a lacuna in an otherwise informative and highly professional video documentary on the history of U.S. nuclear policy produced by Sandia National Laboratories obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and published today for the first time by the National Security Archive.

One of the most distinctive productions of the Department of Energy, "U.S. Strategic Nuclear Policy," is a four-part nearly four-hour long oral history/video documentary. Completed in 2005 by Sandia under the direction of staffer Dan Curry (scriptwriter and interviewer), this is an engrossing piece of work that that will be a significant resource for historians, social scientists, students, and the interested public. Starting with World War II and the atomic bombing of Japan, this policy-oriented documentary takes the story of U.S. nuclear policy, with a focus on the history of nuclear deterrence through the course of the Cold War, and then from the early post-Cold War period to the aftermath of 9/11.

Check out today's posting at the Archive's Nuclear Vault website – http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb361/index.htm

View Ecerpts on YouTube – http://bit.ly/qoho1O

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