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Released in 1971
Released in 2006

How Many and
Were the Nukes?

What the U.S. Government No Longer Wants You to Know about Nuclear Weapons During the Cold War

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 197

Edited by William Burr

Posted - August 18, 2006

For more information:
Dr. William Burr/Thomas Blanton - 202/994-7000

Update - October 11, 2006
Cold War Missile Numbers "De-re-classified"

On 26 September 2006, the Department of Defense's Washington Headquarters Services duly released, as a result of an administrative appeal, unredacted versions of the 1971 charts, first published in a public report by Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird. This was, as it should have been, a routine decision to correct a mistake. Pentagon reviewers had previously treated the charts, which included numbers of U.S. strategic missiles and bombers, among other weapons systems, as classified documents. Whether officials at the Defense Department and the Department of Energy will respond to pending appeals by releasing comparable non-classified information from other excised documents included in this briefing book remains to be seen.

"We've always known about overclassification, since even the Bush administration admits that 50% of what is classified should not be," commented Archive director Thomas Blanton. "But reclassification of previously public data crossed the line into absurdity, and now our protests have established a whole new feature of the secrecy system: de-re-classification!"

Press Release - August 18, 2006

Washington, DC - The Pentagon and the Energy Department have now stamped as national security secrets the long-public numbers of U.S. nuclear missiles during the Cold War, including data from the public reports of the Secretaries of Defense in 1967 and 1971, according to government documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive.

Pentagon and Energy officials have now blacked out from previously public charts the numbers of Minuteman missiles (1,000), Titan II missiles (54), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (656) in the historic U.S. Cold War arsenal, even though four Secretaries of Defense (McNamara, Laird, Richardson, Schlesinger) reported strategic force levels publicly in the 1960s and 1970s.

The security censors also have blacked out deployment information about U.S nuclear weapons in Great Britain and Germany that was declassified in 1999, as well as nuclear deployment arrangements with Canada, even though the Canadian government has declassified its side of the arrangement.

The reclassifications come in an environment of wide-ranging review of archival documents with nuclear weapons data that Congress authorized in the 1998 Kyl-Lott amendments. Under Kyl-Lott, the Energy Department has spent $22 million while surveying more than 200 million pages of released documents. Energy has reported to Congress that 6,640 pages have been withdrawn from public access (at a cost of $3,313 per page), but that the majority involves Formerly Restricted Data, which would include historic numbers and locations of weapons, rather than weapon systems design information (Restricted Data).

Documents posted today by the National Security Archive include:

  • Recently released Defense Department, NSC, and State Department reports with excisions of numbers of nuclear missiles and bombers in the U.S. arsenals during the 1960s and 70s.
  • Unclassified tables published in a report to Congress by Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird as excised by Pentagon reviewers.
  • A "Compendium of Nuclear Weapons Arrangements" between the United States and foreign governments that was prepared in 1968 and recently released in a massively excised version under Defense Department and DOE guidelines.
  • Canadian and U.S. government documents illustrating the public record nature of some information withheld from the 1968 "Compendium."

"It would be difficult to find better candidates for unjustifiable secrecy than decisions to classify the numbers of U.S. strategic weapons," remarked Archive senior analyst Dr. William Burr, who compiled today's posting. "This problem, as well as the excessive secrecy for historical nuclear deployments, is unlikely to go away as long as security reviewers follow unrealistic guidelines."

"The government is reclassifying public data at the same time that government prosecutors are claiming the power to go after anybody who has 'unauthorized possession" of classified information," said Archive director Thomas Blanton. "What's really at risk is accountability in government."

In the news

"Cold War Missiles Target of Blackout; Documents Altered To Conceal Data"
By Christopher Lee
The Washington Post
August 21, 2006

"U.S. makes 1971 missile data classified"
United Press International
August 21, 2006

"America re-classifies Cold War missile numbers"
TimesOnline (UK)
August 21, 2006

Related postings

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Deployments in Chichi Jima and Iwo Jima

United States Secretly Deployed Nuclear Bombs In 27 Countries and Territories During the Cold War


Electronic Briefing Book

How Many and Where Were the Nukes?
What the U.S. Government No Longer Wants You to Know about Nuclear Weapons During the Cold War

Edited by Dr. William Burr

Declassification decisions on U.S. nuclear weapons information by federal agencies have taken a surprising turn. Security reviewers are treating as "classified" information that has been available in the public record for decades. For years during the Cold War the U.S. nuclear arsenal included 1,000 Minuteman and 55 Titan II missiles; this information could easily be found in a variety of public record sources. For reasons that are truly perplexing, when the current reviewers open up archival documents from the Cold War, they are redacting those and other publicly-available numbers, even to the point of classifying parts of a public report by the Secretary of Defense (see examples in Part II). Excessive secrecy continues to abound in another category of historical nuclear information: the overseas deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Information on the deployments that has been publicly available for many years is also being classified by U.S. government agencies.

Members of the U.S. Air Force's 71st Tactical Missile Squadron check a nuclear-capable Mace MGM-13B missile on its launcher in a steel and concrete underground hanger at Ramstein Air Force base in Germany, 1968. The Mace's W-28 thermonuclear warhead had an explosive yield of 1.1 megatons. (Photo no. 112895, file 342B-ND-057-5, Still Pictures Division, National Archives).


Government attempts to classify public-record information brings to mind the recent controversy over the reclassification of thousands of pages of documents at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The controversy was sparked by doubt whether many of the formerly open-shelf documents that the CIA and the Air Force had withdrawn from open records at NARA had any current sensitivity (some of the documents had been published by the State Department years earlier). Just as questionable is the Pentagon's attempt at virtual reclassification of the numbers of Cold War strategic nuclear systems. During the 1960s and 1970s, Secretaries of Defense produced public reports showing that at the height of the Cold War, the United States had 1,054 intercontinental ballistic missiles (1,000 Minutemen and 54 Titan IIs) and 656 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). This and related information has also been available before in previously declassified documents, but now Pentagon officials excise the same numbers when they review documents. Although National Security Archive staffers have challenged the practice in mandatory review appeals, the number game continues to this day.

Another category of nuclear weapons information, the overseas deployments of the weapons during the Cold War, also raises questions about the standards used in declassification reviews. Since Fiscal Year 1999, Congress has authorized the Department of Energy to review formerly open-shelf records at NARA to locate and impound documents containing inadvertently released secret information about nuclear weapons. (Note 1) One of the classes of secrets that have been at issue in DOE's review process has been the locations of the thousands of U.S. nuclear weapons that the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy deployed overseas during the Cold War. While government agencies have occasionally released information on the deployments, since the late 1990s DOE and the Defense Department have been working together to keep the information under wraps. As sensitive as information on the scale of the deployments was during the period of U.S.-Soviet confrontation, it is questionable whether all of it must remain classified. A recent massively excised "release" of a "Draft Compendium of Nuclear Weapons Arrangements" prepared in October 1968 by the Department of State's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs demonstrates the rigid approach that U.S. government agencies take to protect the secrecy of historical nuclear deployments.

This briefing book provides examples of government declassification decisions on questionable nuclear secrets: the numbers of strategic weapons systems and the locations of, and policies concerning, overseas deployments during the Cold War. While secrecy is likely to shroud the historic overseas deployments for some time, the hot light of publicity might halt the laughable practice of classifying public record information on the numbers of strategic weapons.

Note: The following documents are in PDF format.
You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

Part I - Numbers

The criteria that Defense Department reviewers are using to review documents on the U.S. strategic force posture during the Cold War is resulting in classification of public information. The Pentagon is now trying to keep secret numbers of strategic weapons that have never been classified before. Since the 1960s, if not before, Secretaries of Defense disclosed the numbers for the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal in their annual reports. For example, Secretaries of Defense during the 1960s and 1970s, such as Robert McNamara, Melvin Laird, Elliot Richardson, and James Schlesinger, published numbers of U.S. ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bomber forces. Despite the easy availability of these and related numbers, and even though the Department of Defense used to recognize their declassified status, security reviewers now treat them as classified national security information. The justification that Pentagon security reviewers are using to classify this information is Section 1.4 (a) of Executive Order 12958, as amended, which permits the classification of information on "military plans, weapons systems, or operations." The category is elastic enough to permit declassification reviewers to do what they are now doing: to designate information as classifiable that no one has ever before deemed sensitive.

Recent Pentagon declassification actions amount to an attempt to reclassify the information without actually impounding documents. It would be difficult to find better candidates for unjustifiable secrecy or better evidence for the need for more realistic standards and guidelines for the declassification of historical records. This problem is unlikely to go away as long as there no disincentives for improper classification of information and security reviewers are following unrealistic guidelines.

Documents 1A and B: McNamara Report on Strategic Posture
Office of the Secretary of Defense, Draft Memorandum for the President, "Recommended FY 1966-1970 Programs for Strategic Offensive Forces, Continental Air and Missile Defense Forces, and Civil Defense (U)," 3 December 1964. Top Secret

Variant A: Declassified 1999, Source: National Archives, Record Group 200 (Donated Collections), Robert McNamara Papers, box 44, Strategic Forces - Memos to the President - October-December 1964

Variant B: Declassified 2006
Source: Mandatory review request to Department of Defense

As Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara frequently sent President Kennedy, then President Johnson "draft presidential memoranda," or DPMs, detailing his thinking on a variety of military policy issues, including the U.S strategic nuclear force posture. These separate releases of the December 1964 DPM on strategic offensive and defensive forces are good examples of the quirky aspects of the declassification process. While both variants share some excisions, e.g. on page 12, more characteristic are the wide divergences between the different releases---compare the differences by looking at some of the pages, e.g. pages 1, 7, 8, 13, 19, 23, 27, 29, 30, 31, 36, 40, 43-45, 62, 63, 64, and 68. The most recent release includes many examples of the trend to classify the numbers of strategic delivery systems; for example, the number "200" is excised from page 1; reviewers excised the numbers of actual and projected U.S. bombers and missiles from page 7.

Documents 2A-C: Annual Public Reports of the Defense Department

Document 2A: U.S. Department of Defense, Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1964 (Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1966), excerpts from "Report of the Secretary of Defense"

Document 2B: U.S. Department of Defense, Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1966 (Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1967), excerpts from "Report of the Secretary of Defense"

Document 2C: U.S. Department of Defense, Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1967 (Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1969), excerpts from "Report of the Secretary of Defense"

The routine, non-classified nature of the numbers of U.S. strategic nuclear weapons systems during the 1960s is evident in these Pentagon reports. Secretaries of Defense believed that they had to present such details to the interested U.S. public and to the Soviet Union in order to demonstrate that the United States had a "deterrent power that no aggressor could ignore." For example, the report for FY 1967 shows the numbers of ICBMs and SLBMs that would characterize two-thirds of the nuclear "triad" for years to come: 1000 Minutemen, 54 Titan IIs, and 656 SLBMs.

Document 3: Raymond L. Garthoff, U.S. Department of State Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs to Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs Foy Kohler, "Subjective and Objective Strategic Balances," 31 March 1967, Top Secret, excised copy
Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files. Spurgeon Keeny Files, box 1, ABM Deployment Decision & McNamara Speech of 9/18/67

During the Cold War, analysts of military affairs played "numbers games" comparing U.S. and Soviet strategic force levels to make a case for arms control, for increases in military spending, or for other policies. In a top secret memo based on the latest intelligence, Raymond L. Garthoff, a State Department expert on Soviet affairs and strategic nuclear policy, showed how hard data could be spun to give different interpretations of the U.S.-Soviet military balance. As Garthoff observed in his memoir, "the strategic relationship could be depicted as very reassuring or very dangerous, depending on how one selected the forces to be compared." That Garthoff prepared such a report was worrisome to senior military leaders because it showed how the data could be accurately presented to "undermine the rather alarmist comparisons that were used to support Defense budget programs." (Note 2)

While Garthoff used then-sensitive numbers based on intelligence estimates of Soviet forces and non-sensitive numbers of U.S. delivery systems as of March 1967, security reviewers have released more of the former than the latter. When the Lyndon B. Johnson Library finally released this document in 2004, after a seven-year waiting period (possibly due to delays at the Energy Department), the redacted numbers were a surprise, but it was not yet evident that they signaled a trend.

An appeal led to the release of a few numbers (e.g., strategic bombers), but the Defense Department and the Energy Department continue to withhold the numbers of U.S. ICBMs and SLBMs, among other weapon systems. This document is currently under appeal at the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP).

Using the information in the Secretary of Defense reports cited in section 2A-C, it is possible to fill in some of the blanks with some assurance (although the numbers may be slightly off). For example, the excised numbers in "General Strategic Balance", section 1, are 934 and 592 respectively. The numbers in section 3 are 988 (934 Minutemen plus 54 Titan IIs), 592 and 1580 respectively. The excised number in section 4 is 988. The numbers in section 5 are 1054, 120, and 54 respectively. For "Missile Launching Submarines," the key excised numbers are 592 SLBMs and 37 submarines, with a planned fleet of 41.

Documents 4A and B: Reclassification of Public Information from the 1970s:

Document 4A: BDM Corporation, History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missile Defense, 1956-[1972], Vol. II, Book 1, Draft, 21 May 1975, Top Secret Excised Copy

Document 4B: Toward A National Security Strategy of Realistic Defense: Statement of Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird, Fiscal Year 1972 Defense Program and the 1972 Defense Budget, Before the House Armed Services Committee, March 9, 1971 (Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1971), excerpt

Recently, the Army Department declassified much of a huge history of air and missile defense prepared by the BDM Corporation during the mid-1970s. Included in the study are several charts depicting U.S. strategic policy under Eisenhower, Johnson-Kennedy, and Nixon that Pentagon reviewers excised. The charts as published by BDM were marked "unclassified" because the compilers of the history had taken them from Secretary of Defense Laird's public report to Congress from March 1971. That report has been publicly available since it was released 35 years ago. Evidently the Pentagon reviewers did not know where BDM had gotten the charts, but one wonders if it would have made a difference in light of their determination to excise all numbers of strategic weapons. The charts are currently under appeal at the Department of Defense.

Document 5: Report of the Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger to the Congress on the FY 1975 Defense Budget and FY 1975-1979 Defense Program, March 9, 1974 (Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1971), excerpt

Other public reports by Secretaries of Defense during the 1970s showed the declassified status of the numbers of U.S. strategic missiles and bombers. The Schlesinger report is particularly interesting because it included "force loadings": the total numbers for both the Soviet Union and the United States of nuclear bombs and missile warheads, including multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs).

Documents 6A and B: Henry Kissinger to President Ford, "Talking Points, NSC Meeting, Monday, October 7, 1974," Top Secret

Document 6A: National Security Council FOIA release, 1999

Document 6B: Excised copy released by Gerald R. Ford Library, May 2006; Source: National Security Council Meeting File, box 1, NSC meeting 10/7/74

Dissimilar releases of Henry Kissinger's "Talking Points" prepared for President Ford as background for an NSC meeting on the SALT II negotiations highlight the conflicting policies that security reviewers have taken toward releasing or continuing the classification of the numbers of nuclear delivery systems. Variant A, an earlier release by the National Security Council in 1999, illustrates the Clinton administration's openness. As is evident from variant B, recently released by the Ford Library, the Defense Department's security reviewers are using the same procedures that governed the recent release of the McNamara DPM from 1964 and the BDM history: excise all numbers of U.S. strategic weapons systems. When the National Security Council met that day to discuss SALT II, Kissinger read from the "Talking Points" to keep the participants up-to-speed. The declassified minutes of the NSC meeting, also released in 1999 and available on the Gerald R. Ford Library Web site, reproduces the text of parts of Kissinger's briefing paper, which he read to the meeting participants, including virtually all of the numbers excised from the most recent release.

Part II- Overseas Deployments

From the 1950s through the early 1990s, the U.S. government deployed nuclear weapons around the world, from the North Atlantic and Western Europe to South Korea, the Philippines, and the Western Pacific. Reflecting the East-West tensions of that period, the Pentagon deployed nearly 13,000 nuclear weapons outside the continental United States, with many of them (over 7,000) in NATO Europe. The deployments of nuclear weapons reflected U.S. and NATO war plans at the time as well as the conviction of U.S. government officials that the deployments would demonstrate the U.S. commitment to the security of alliance partners around the world; it was a sign to an adversary that military action against a U.S. ally carried the risk of escalating into nuclear warfare. As tensions with the Soviet Union finally ended during the late 1980s and early 1990s, however, the U.S. government withdrew thousands of nuclear weapons from overseas bases, leaving only residual deployments of several hundred weapons in NATO Europe (Germany, Belgium, Italy, and the United Kingdom). (Note 3)

Throughout the Cold War, the U.S. government treated the overseas deployments of nuclear weapons, and the arrangements surrounding them, as highly secret; even the U.S. Congress had difficulty getting information on them [See documents 10a-c]. What a U.S. Senate subcommittee observed in 1970 remains pertinent today: a "veil of secrecy hides the presence of such weapons. Nowhere is this veil stronger than in the United States." (Note 4) That secrecy loosened up a bit after the Cold War, with some documents on the historic deployments released at NARA, but it has returned. Despite the wholesale changes in overseas deployments at the end of the Cold War, the Department of Defense and Department of Energy have been taking an extremely tough position on information concerning the Cold War deployments, treating all of the information as secret. Even a 1999 decision by the Defense Department to release a History of the Custody and Deployment of Nuclear Weapons July 1945 Through September 1977, in massively excised form, has been partly reversed. In that release, the Pentagon acknowledged that the United Kingdom and West Germany had been nuclear deployment sites during the Cold War. Under the current stricter standards it has not released any information on those deployments. (Note 5)

A recent "release" of a "Draft Compendium of Nuclear Weapons Arrangements," prepared in October 1968 by the Department of State's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, demonstrates the Pentagon's rigid position. After Defense Department reviewers released the compendium in response to a mandatory review request by the National Security Archive, they disclosed few meaningful sentences or phrases (see Document 1). An appeal produced no significant new information. An appeal pending before the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) may lead to the release of more details.

The adverse decision on the "Compendium" shows the inflexibility of policy on the historic deployments and related information. Yet such intransigence stands in the face of declassification actions during the 1990s, as well as the release of information by at least one foreign government, which disclosed significant details on the history of the overseas deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons during the Cold War. While the Canadian government and, to some extent, the U.S. State Department, have been forthcoming in declassifying information on the Ottawa-Washington nuclear relationship (see Documents 8a-c), the Defense Department continues to withhold information on the particulars of that relationship. (Note 6)

The numerous excisions in the compendium also reflect the approach that the Department of Energy has followed in implementing the Kyl-Lott Amendment. Sparked by allegations of Chinese nuclear espionage during the late 1990s and DOE concerns about inadvertent releases of nuclear weapons information at the National Archives, Congress mandated the Department to comb through millions of pages of material, some of which had been open to the public for years, and sequester documents that contained sensitive nuclear weapons information. What the reviewers have been looking for are documents with "restricted data" (RD), which includes information on nuclear weapons design and the production of "special nuclear material. This information is legitimately secret; even if the physical principles of a nuclear weapon are well known, building a useable weapon is a complex task and the availability of secret information on the design of nuclear weapons could accelerate nuclear proliferation. Also in the scope of DOE's archival search is "formerly restricted data" (FRD), which concerns the military utilization of nuclear weapons, including information on tests, command/control methods, and stockpiles, including overseas deployments, current and historical. (Note 7)

Since the DOE began its review it has released twenty-one quarterly reports on "the inadvertent release" of classified atomic energy information. They show that among the documents that have been returned to the vaults at NARA those with FRD significantly outnumber those with RD. (Note 8) Of over 204 million pages of records reviewed by DOE officials so far, some 4,326 pages were in the FRD category while only 2,314 pages were in the RD category [See Appendix A]. The detailed results of the review remain classified but it is possible that DOE reviewers flagged significant numbers of the pages with FRD because they include information on the historic locations of overseas nuclear deployments. (Note 9)

The cost of the Kyl-Lott documents review has recently become available, thanks to the Department of Energy's Office of Classification. (Note 10) So far, according to DOE, the review of the 204 million pages has cost nearly $22 million. While the average cost of the review was about 9 cents per page, the average cost of locating the suspect information was high. The cost of finding one of the 2,766 documents was almost $8,000, while the cost of finding one of the withdrawn RD and FRD pages was around $3,300.

The effort to retrieve "RD" nuclear weapons design information is understandable (although whether adversaries would actually have seized opportunities to find the needle in the archival haystack is a problem worth considering). It would have been far better, however, if DOE had undertaken its review with better guidelines enabling it to focus on protecting truly sensitive information instead of impounding documents that may have little or no sensitivity. As the Federation of American Scientists' Steven Aftergood observed during the early phase of the Kyl-Lott review, "The problem is that Congress has said we don't want classified information disclosed without looking at how much nonsense is classified. They have set up a process that is inordinately expensive and time-consuming." (Note 11) That appraisal is as relevant now as it was in 2001.

The problem of overseas nuclear weapons deployment is not simply a matter of FRD. U.S. government agencies have claimed that declassifying the information will compromise war plans still in effect, but that claim seems weak because deployments by themselves cannot demonstrate how the military plans to use any given weapons system. Another claim is that disclosure will harm ongoing diplomatic relations with countries that have hosted U.S. nuclear weapons. As noted earlier, the Canadian government has declassified documents on its nuclear relationship with the Washington, although the Department of Defense continues to deny information on the deployments. Other governments, such as Japan, reluctant to disclose their acquiescence in U.S. nuclear weapons activities during the Cold War (see Document 15), have resisted the declassification of anything that sheds light on the former U.S. nuclear presence on Japanese soil and territorial waters (including Okinawa). NATO governments, such as Turkey, have taken similar stances.

Plainly declassifying information on the Cold War deployments is a complex problem, but the U.S. public deserves something more reasonable than the current blanket policy of secrecy. (Note 12) Years ago a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee argued that "there is no merit to the argument that certain activities must be kept secret because a foreign government demanded they … be kept secret. Such a policy involves the Government of the United States in a web of intrigue which is alien to American traditions." (Note 13)

Despite the massive excisions in the 1968 "Compendium", documents 2 through 11 in this briefing book show that significant information on the overseas nuclear deployments has been available in State Department files at the National Archives. Some were published earlier in 1998 and 2001 National Security Archive compilations on U.S. nuclear history and U.S.-Japan relations which have since become available on the Digital National Security Archive. Others documents were located recently at NARA or released through FOIA requests. One item was declassified by the Canadian government.

Document 7: Memorandum from Philip E. Barringer, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs to Colonel Haskin et al., 8 October 1968, enclosing memorandum to Barringer from W. J. Lehman, Department of State Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, 8 October 1968, with draft "Compendium of Nuclear Weapons Arrangements", Top Secret, Excised copy
Source: Mandatory review request to Defense Department, appeal under review at Interagency Secrecy Classification Appeals Panel

During the late 1960s, senior officials at the Office of International Security Affairs at the Pentagon who were involved in negotiations on overseas deployments wanted a wider perspective on previously negotiated arrangements for nuclear weapons storage and transit that the U.S. government had developed with other governments. Morton Halperin, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, remembers that the information was so scattered about the national security bureaucracy that senior officials could not get a full picture of the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. foreign relations. Thus, Halperin tasked officials at the State Department and the Department of Defense to produce a compendium that brought the scattered details together. While some military officials objected to putting all of the information in one document because of the danger of a leak, Halperin insisted on it. As Philip Barringer's cover memorandum suggested, the compendium was not necessarily in final form. First, Barringer asked officials at the Joint Staff and other organizations for their comments. Second, "to maintain its usefulness, the compendium would be periodically updated." (Note 14)

The report stayed secret for decades and, despite the recent release, its contents remain classified. When the Defense Department produced it in response to a mandatory review request from the National Security Archive, it excised the text under Executive Order 12958 exemptions (b)(5), which concerns war plans still in effect, (b)(6), which concerns sensitive diplomatic relationships, and (b) (3), which refers to statutory requirements, in this case, Atomic Energy Act strictures against release of RD and FRD.

The compendium includes 23 sections on "nuclear weapons arrangements," but the countries with which Washington made the arrangements are not identified. Despite the heavy excisions, it is possible to fill in the blanks and determine which country is the subject for many of the sections. It is probable that the compendium is in largely alphabetical order, and to the extent that it is, the order and length of some of the sections help identify several key countries including Canada, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Various clues also help pinpoint some of the countries. Nevertheless, as the reader will see, identifying some of the nations with which Washington had nuclear arrangements is very difficult. Using the numbering provided by the Adobe Acrobat scanning system, the editor has tried to identify the countries that are the subject of the individual sections on "Arrangements." Some of the sections are most difficult to identify and the editor welcomes any suggestions on their identification.

p. 3: Afghanistan? -- This may be a reference to Afghanistan if the following assertion is correct: the U.S. Air Force had plans to use Kabul international airport as a "haven" for U.S. strategic bombers during a nuclear war. (Note 15)

pp. 4-5: Australia? Antigua? Bahamas? -- This section refers to a territory where nuclear transit, but not storage, issues were relevant, but more specific identification is highly difficult.

pp. 6-8: Belgium 6-8 -- If this document is organized by the alphabetical order principle, the arrangements discussed on page 6-8 probably concern Belgium, where the United States has deployed nuclear bombs since 1963. That the country at issue in these pages was the site of "strike aircraft" fits that type of deployment. The reference to SACEUR (Supreme Allied Commander Europe) on page 7 confirms that the country at issue in this section is a Western European NATO member.

pp. 9-12: Bermuda? -- Ship movements are likely and the statement about need to establish storage arrangements for anti-submarine warfare weapons is suggestive of Bermuda, which was the subject of Anglo-American negotiations over the basing of nuclear depth charges during the late 1960s and the early 1970s.

pp. 13-20: Canada -- These pages have several clues that point to Canada. The section is relatively lengthy, which reflects the complex nuclear history of the United States and Canada, which goes back to the early Cold War and includes a variety of issues including overflights, storage of weapons, and deployment of delivery vehicles [See documents 8a, b, and c for examples]. (Note 16) Another clue, on page 14, is the reference to the diplomatic clearance of the "annual program of [nuclear weapons] overflights [which] is each June." Declassified documents on the U.S.-Canadian negotiations on the SAC airborne alert program suggest that during the 1960s Washington approached Ottawa in June each year to begin negotiations over the overflight program for the next fiscal year. Also telling is the discussion of consultation arrangements beginning on page 17; arrangements for U.S.-Canadian heads of state consultation on nuclear use decisions began in the early months of the Korean War and developed further in the mid-1960s. (Note 17)

pp. 21-22: Denmark -- These pages probably refer to Denmark because of the mention of ship visits which was an issue between the United States and the Danish government during the 1960s. The Danes wanted a commitment from the United States that U.S. Navy ships visiting Danish ports were not nuclear armed. In a 2 May 1967 telegram to the embassy in Copenhagen, however, the State Department and the Pentagon jointly refused to make such a commitment because it ran against their "neither confirm nor deny" stance on the presence of nuclear weapons on ships. Under the circumstances, Washington informed the embassy that it would rather stop the visits than change the policy [See documents 10A-B]. It is very likely that the State telegram cited on page 22 of the compendium is the same document, because it includes language that the "U.S. would rather cancel the ship visits than alter the policy."

pp. 23-26: Greece -- If pages 21-22 are on Denmark and pages 29-33 are on Italy, then it is likely that pages 23-26 discuss arrangements with Greece, where the United States deployed nuclear weapons beginning in 1960. The editor considered the possibility that the reference is the "Government of the Republic of China," often used to describe Taiwan, but the U.S. Army stored no nuclear weapons on Taiwan makes that country a less likely candidate (for Taiwan in this report, see pp. 64-66). In late 1960 members and staff of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy visited Greece and other countries hosting U.S. nuclear storage sites and commented on the lax custody arrangements, the risks of an accident when moving nuclear weapons, and the difficult circumstances under which U.S. military personnel guarded nuclear weapons stored only a few miles from Soviet bloc territory: recently "two of these young men went out of their heads, apparently because of the trying conditions." [see document 11].

pp. 27-28: Iceland? -- These pages may refer to Iceland, which was not a storage site, but it is likely that U.S. warships carrying nuclear weapons transited through Reykjavik. Also, according to a 1961 memorandum to the White House (see document 12) the Icelandic government required its consent before the United States could use its bases for nuclear missions. The "however" on page 27 may refer to this understanding.

pp. 29-33: Italy -- The United States has deployed nuclear weapons and delivery systems in Italy since 1956 (see document 13). The clue that confirms that this section is on Italy is the reference on page 30 to the 13 January 1962 "consent agreement"; the U.S. and Italian government signed such an agreement that very day and its contents have been declassified [see document 14]. The most famous nuclear weapons deployment in Italy was that of the short-lived Jupiter Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs) during the early 1960s, which were part of the secret trade that helped end the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Note 18)

pp. 34-38: Japan -- The United States never stored complete nuclear weapons on Japan's main islands (Kyushu, Honshu, or Hokkaido), but the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty of 1960 included language concerning the transit of nuclear weapons. Under the Treaty, the United States would have to consult with the Japanese government if Washington found it necessary to deploy ("introduce") nuclear weapons onto, or build "bases for nuclear weapons" on, Japanese soil. The treaty, however, did require consultations concerning "transit of ports or airbases in Japan by United States vessels and aircraft, regardless of their armament" [See document 15]. In other words, Washington would not tell Tokyo if aircraft carriers visiting Japanese ports or U.S. bombers carrying nuclear weapons stopped at U.S. bases for short periods of time. The discussion on pages 34-38 plainly relates to such issues and most certainly concerns Japan.

pp. 39-41: Netherlands -- Given the alphabetical principle as well as the numerous reports on nuclear deployments in that country, (Note 19) these pages are possibly on the Netherlands, where the United States has deployed nuclear weapons and delivery systems since the 1950s. The various references to "intra-theater" are suggestive of a NATO deployment.

pp. 42-44: Norway -- Norway is possibly the subject of these pages, because they include citation of public statements by a government that in the "past that the Agreement does not permit storage of nuclear weapons." During the late 1950s the Norwegian government publicly declared its opposition to peacetime nuclear weapons deployments, although it would accept their introduction in the event of war. The "Agreement" may have been a 17 October 1952 aide mémoire that gave the U.S. Air Force access to two bases, at Sola and Gardermoen, in the event of war. (Note 20)

p. 45:?

pp. 46-49: ? This section refers to a major deployment site where the United States and the host government exchanged diplomatic notes authorizing storage and where the host received briefings beginning in 1967 on numbers and types of weapons. At first the editor thought that these pages were on the Philippines because the pages were in the right section alphabetically and that country was certainly a deployment site (see documents 17A-C). Yet, this section mentions an exchange of notes and as far as the editor knows there was no exchange of notes with the Philippines government on nuclear weapons storage; the arrangements were strictly informal. The possibility that the pages concern Okinawa was set aside because that island was under U.S. occupation through 1972 and the exchange of diplomatic notes mentioned on page 46 would have been unnecessary. These pages are a puzzle.

pp. 50-51: Portugal -- It is possible that these pages refer to Portugal because of the likelihood that nuclear-armed U.S. warships stopped in Lisbon. There appears, however, to be no discussion of access to Portuguese bases, such as the Azores, which appears to have been an issue (see document 12).

p. 52: Puerto Rico -- The 1977 Department of Defense study shows that Puerto Rico was a deployment/storage site between 1956 and 1975, making it possible that this section concerns the Commonwealth.

pp. 53-54: ?

pp. 55-59: Republic of Korea - This section on a major deployment site may refer to ROK, which alphabetically would fit right before Spain. As the 1977 report showed, the U.S. had significant nuclear deployments in South Korea. The difficulty with this identification is that page 58 refers to "U.S. Navy and Air Force Nuclear Weapons Storage" but the 1977 report did not identify any naval nuclear weapons among those that were deployed. Either that report was in error or this section concerns another country.

pp. 60-63: Spain -- These pages are very likely about Spain, because of the reference to the off-loading of Polaris and Poseidon missiles on page 60. Polaris and later Poseidon submarines routinely visited Rota naval base starting in the mid-1960s. Moreover, the 1977 Department of Defense study on nuclear custody shows the deployment of naval nuclear weapons to Spain, such as ASROC and Talos. U.S. "Navy Nuclear Weapons Storage" is mentioned on page 63 of the compendium. Besides naval nuclear weapons, Spain provided bases for SAC bombers and the airborne alert program of the 1960s included routine flights near the U.S. base at Palomares, Spain where KC-135 tankers refueled nuclear-armed B-52s in mid-air (until a famous crash in 1966).

pp. 64-66: Taiwan -- These pages probably concern Taiwan, where a deployment of nuclear weapons was closely held and known, on the Taiwanese side, only to President Chiang Kai-Shek and probably his son, Chiang Ching-kuo. Ships visits there would have been probable and until 1974 the U.S. Air Force stored nuclear bombs there for use by U.S. fighter-bombers. In addition, during the late 1950s-early 1960s, nuclear-armed Matador missiles were deployed on the island.

pp. 67-70: Turkey -- Another important country where the United States has deployed nuclear weapons and delivery systems is Turkey, which may be the subject of these pages. Jupiter IRBMs were the most famous nuclear delivery system deployed in Turkey, because of the secret Turkey-Cuba trade that helped resolve the Cuban missile crisis, but the more routine deployments included 8 in. howitzers and Honest John missiles, hence the reference to "U.S. Army Nuclear Weapons Storage" on page 69. The reference to "Tactical Strike Aircraft" also corresponds to Turkey where U.S. fighter/bombers have been deployed since the late 1950s. In the early years of the deployment, U.S. officials were worried about the stability of the Turkish government, especially around the time of the 1960 coup when the "situation was so unstable that twice [SACEUR] General Norstad almost ordered all the weapons to be evacuated." [See document 11].

pp. 71-78: United Kingdom -- The subject of pages 71-78 can only be the United Kingdom. Like Canada, it would have taken a number of pages to discuss the complex U.S.-U.K. nuclear relationship, which dated back to the 1940s and early 1950s, when SAC sought "islands" for the possibility of rapid nuclear strikes on Soviet targets (see document 2a for information on the early deployments). As with Canada, the text, beginning on page 73, includes a discussion of "consultation arrangements," which had a long history; thus, the text refers to letters from Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, which are very likely the letters concerning nuclear use consultation arrangements that London and Washington affirmed during the 1950s and 1960s. Moreover, the text on page 72 includes what may be a reference to the negotiations with the British on storage of nuclear ASW in Bermuda. (Note 21)

This document leaves the status of two important nuclear weapons host countries up in the air--the Philippines and the Federal Republic of Germany--which were both deployment sites in 1968. None of the pages in the compendium seem to fit West Germany, a major deployment site beginning in 1954 (see document 16) or the Philippines, a deployment site until 1977 [see documents 17A-C]. (Note 22) It is difficult to guess which pages cover those two countries; it is possible that the compendium did not cover them, unless some of the sections are out of alphabetical order, which cannot be ruled out.

Documents 8A-C: Canada and the United Kingdom

Document 8A: Untitled Department of State memorandum on nuclear relations with Canada, France, and United Kingdom, 17 June 1952. Top Secret
Source: National Archives, Record Group 50, Department of State Records (hereinafter RG 59), Lot 65D478. Records of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy, Country and Subject Files Relating to Atomic Energy Matters, 1950-1962, box 2, 11.2.A NN France Pt. II, 1952-1953 Defense (also available in Digital National Security Archive and published National Security Archive microfiche collection, U.S. Nuclear History: Nuclear Weapons and Politics in the Missile Era, 1955-68, Washington, D.C., 1998)

Document 8B: Summary Record, United States-Canada Political-Military Meeting, 19 November 1958
Source: RG 59, Department of State Decimal Files 1955-1959, 611.42/11-1958, released in full through FOIA appeal

Document 8C: General J. V. Allard, Chief of Defence Staff, to the [Defence] Minister, "Nuclear ASW Weapons Storage in Canada," 10 March 1967. Top Secret
Source: Canadian Department of Defense Access to Information Release, from Directorate of History & Heritage (DHH), Raymont Collection, 73/1223 Series 1, file 314, "Nuclear Weapons for Canadian Forces" (courtesy of John Clearwater)

By the early 1950s, the United States had negotiated with the British and the Canadians and contemplated talks with the French to reach agreements on nuclear weapons deployments that would "improve our posture in the event of hostilities." To deploy nuclear weapons on French territory, the State Department envisioned negotiations at "the highest diplomatic level," even though the Truman administration had taken matters in its own hands by stockpiling weapons at SAC bases in French Morocco without having received permission. With Ottawa and London, the situation was more straightforward; both countries had already agreed to the deployment of non-nuclear components as well as the construction of storage facilities. Indeed, only weeks after the outbreak of the Korean War the U.S. air base at Goose Bay became the site of a highly secret temporary deployment of 11 nuclear weapons-possibly only the non-nuclear components: wiring, high explosives, and casing minus the nuclear fuel. (Note 23)

During the years after 1950, as John Clearwater has shown in several major studies, the United States deployed a variety of air defense and naval nuclear weapons and delivery systems on Canadian territory, although the deployments required complex negotiations over time. A detailed record of a high level Canada-U.S. defense meeting later in the decade illuminates the complex nuclear relationship that was developing between Ottawa and Washington, with such issues on the table as storage arrangements for various weapons, SAC overflights, and procedures in the event of nuclear weapons accidents during SAC flights over Canada. In addition, the participants reviewed procedures for raising the state of readiness for the newly created North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). A document from a decade later details Canada-U.S. discussions over arrangements to deploy U.S. airborne nuclear anti-submarine warfare weapons, which required agreement on rules of engagement and authorization for use, among other considerations.

Document 9: L. Wainstein et al., The Evolution of U.S. Strategic Command and Control and Warning, 1945-1972, Institute for Defense Analyses Study S-467, June 1975, Top Secret, excerpt
Source: FOIA request to Department of Defense (also available in National Security Archive, U.S. Nuclear History: Nuclear Weapons and Politics in the Missile Era, 1955-68)

This declassified history, produced as a resource for the Defense Department's official study, The History of the Strategic Arms Competition (1981), was one of the first declassification releases of information on overseas U.S. nuclear deployments during the early Cold War. (Note 24) It includes details on the initial deployments of weapons components to the United Kingdom, Morocco, and aircraft carriers and the later deployment, in 1954, of complete nuclear weapons to Morocco, the United Kingdom, and West Germany, as well as non-nuclear deployments to Japan. Surprisingly, the authors did not mention Canada; this may well have been an oversight because they had complete access to classified studies on custody/deployment issues.

Documents 10A-B: Denmark: Visits by Nuclear Armed Ships

Document 10A: U.S. Embassy Denmark cable 1245 to State Department, "U.S. Naval Visit Approved Provided Ships Have No Nuclear Weapons Abroad," 24 April 1967, Secret

Document 10B: State Department cable 18627 to U.S. Embassy Denmark, "Nuclear Weapons on Visiting Ships," 3 May 1967, Secret, excised copy
Source: RG 59, Subject-Numeric Files, 1967-1969, DEF Den-US

In the context of an escalating Vietnam War, visits by U.S. warships were none too popular and the Danish press and public wondered aloud whether the ships were nuclear-armed. With U.S. ship visits scheduled for the coming months, U.S. ambassador Katharine E. White suggested that the traditional "neither confirm nor deny" stance was inadequate and that Washington take Danish authorities "into our confidence" by advising them that the ships did not carry nuclear weapons. The reply message, prepared jointly by the Navy and the State Department, and cited in the discussion of Denmark in document one, informed the Ambassador that her suggestion had been rejected because neither the Defense Department nor the State Department wanted to break from "long practice and tradition" of non-comment on the armaments of visiting warships: "for overriding security reasons, partly involving precedent this would set, US cannot be put in position of stating publicly and unequivocally that weapons are not aboard warship, even when that may be accurate statement." If Danish authorities did not withdraw their request, it was better that the ship visits did not occur if the alternative was a "major press campaign" on nuclear weapons that could harden the government's position.

Document 11: Memorandum of conversation, "Meeting with Three Members and Staff of Joint Committee on Atomic Energy: Nuclear Test Negotiations, MRBM Project and Report of JCAE Trip to Europe," 29 November 1960, Secret
Source: RG 59, State Department Decimal Files 1960-1963, 397.5611-GE/12-2960
(Also available in National Security Archive, U.S. Nuclear History: Nuclear Weapons and Politics in the Missile Era, 1955-68)

Concern over security arrangements for U.S. nuclear weapons then being deployed to NATO Europe led the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JCAE) to conduct a major investigation of custody arrangements during 1960-1961. Shortly after committee members and staff returned from an inspection trip they met with State Department staffers who specialized in nuclear weapons policy issues, including Philip Farley, the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Disarmament and Atomic Energy. After a discussion of NATO issues with highly skeptical committee members, who wondered whether NATO was a "going concern or are we handing on to a corpse," the JCAE staff presented a report on the trip. Its purpose had been to "see as many different custody situations as possible in as many different locales as possible," so the group traveled east from the United Kingdom as far as Greece and Turkey, where they were unsettled by the lax control arrangements over U.S. nuclear weapons deployed at NATO bases.

Document 12: Lucius D. Battle, Executive Secretary, Department of State, to McGeorge Bundy, the White House, "Check List of Presidential Actions," 28 July 1961, Top Secret
Source: RG 59, Department of State Decimal Files, 1960-1963, 700.56311/7-2861 (available in National Security Archive, U.S. Nuclear History: Nuclear Weapons and Politics in the Missile Era, 1955-68)

This document sheds light on the more important nuclear weapons arrangements that Washington had with other governments, especially concerning the uses of bases for nuclear strikes during a military crisis.

Document 13: Letter from Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, 12 April 1956, Top Secret
Source: Department of State Records, Records of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy, Country and Subject Files Relating to Atomic Energy Matters, 1950-1962, box 2, II.2.A.- NN-France 1953-1956, also available in National Security Archive, U.S. Nuclear History: Nuclear Weapons and Politics in the Missile Era, 1955-68)

Through this letter, Dulles informed the Pentagon that he agreed with plans to deploy U.S. nuclear weapons in Italy; as he noted, Ambassador Clare Booth Luce had already received the approval of the Italian Defense Ministry.

Document 14: U.S. Embassy Rome Despatch 525 to Department of State, "Transmitting Documents Constituting Military Atomic Stockpile and 'Consent' Agreements," 17 January 1962, Secret
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Decimal Files, 1960-1963, 611.657/1-1762

With the pending deployment of Jupiter missiles, which were very difficult to conceal, the Italian government sought a formal agreement with Washington on nuclear deployment arrangements. An agreement took time to negotiate, especially when Rome insisted that the U.S. not use nuclear weapons based in Italy until they had secured the Italian government's consent. While the Pentagon and the State Department wanted the United States to have freedom of action in using nuclear weapons, they had already agreed to a "two man rule" for Jupiter missile deployments in Italy, ensuring that missile launches would require both a U.S. and an Italian officer to turn a key before missile launch. Thus, it was difficult to reject the consent proposal suggested by the Italian Foreign Ministry; the final stockpile agreement met Rome's political requirements. This agreement is very likely the one mentioned in the 1968 nuclear weapons arrangements compendium [see document 7, section on Italy]. (Note 25)

Document 15: U.S. Department of State, "Description of Consultation Arrangements Under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security with Japan," 6 June 1960, Secret
Source: RG 59, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs, Office of East Asian Affairs Central Files, 1947-1964, box 24, U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security (Conference Briefing Book), (also available in Digital National Security Archive and published microfiche collection, Japan and the United States: Diplomatic, Security, and Economic Relations, 1960-1976, Washington, D.C., 1995)

The 1960 U.S.-Japan security treaty remains secret to this day but its basic features, summarized in this briefing paper, had important implications for the U.S. nuclear posture in Northeast Asia. While deployments of nuclear weapons to U.S. bases in Japan would require consultation with Japanese authorities, ordinary military movements, such as the transfer of units and equipment, would not. The later would include "transit of ports or airbases in Japan by United States vessels and aircraft, regardless of their armament." In other words, U.S. ships or aircraft carrying nuclear weapons could use ports or bases on Japanese territory for "transit" to other destinations. For the most part this would mean brief ship visits or airport landings, but in one notorious incident, the U.S. Marines interpreted transit to permit long-term presence when they deployed, from the mid-1950s to 1966, the USS San Joaquin County, a tank landing ship loaded with nuclear bombs only a few hundred yards from Japanese soil. (Note 26)

Document 16: "Understanding with the Federal Republic Concerning the Introduction, Storage, and Use of Nuclear Weapons with Respect to West Germany," 6 May 1955, Top Secret, cover sheet attached
Source: RG 59, Records of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy, Country and Subject Files Relating to Atomic Energy Matters, 1950-1962, box 2, II.2.A. NN. Germany 1954-1958 Defense (also available in National Security Archive, U.S. Nuclear History: Nuclear Weapons and Politics in the Missile Era, 1955-68)

Not long after the U.S. military began deploying complete nuclear weapons in West Germany, the U.S. High Commissioner, James B. Conant, took up the matter with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, seeking assurance that, once West Germany regained its sovereignty, the United States would be able to continue storing nuclear weapons on German territory. Adenauer quickly approved the request, which enabled the U.S. government to take the position that "it will continue to enjoy the right to introduce, store and use atomic weapons in the territory of Western Germany as long as the United States has forces there." It was not until 1967 that German officials began actively seeking an understanding with Washington that it would consult with Bonn on the "selective use" of nuclear weapons stockpiled in West Germany. (Note 27)

Documents 17A-C: The Philippines and Stockpile Secrecy

Document 17A: Robert McClintock, Office of Under Secretary for Political Affairs, to the Secretary, "Talking Points for Discussion with Senators Fulbright and Symington re Subcommittee Hearings on US Commitments Abroad," 25 September 1969, Top Secret

Document 17B: Robert McClintock to the Secretary and Acting Secretary, "Meeting of Kissinger Committee on Symington Subcommittee," 30 September 1969, Top Secret

Document 17C: Robert McClintock to Acting Secretary [Elliot Richardson], "Presidential Decision on Categories of Information for Symington Subcommittee to be protected by executive privilege," [c. 30 September 1969], Top Secret
Source: RG 59, Subject-Numeric Files 1967-1969, DEF 12

In early 1969, Sen. Stuart Symington (D-MO) became chairman of the newly-established Subcommittee on Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad, which was a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Active through 1974, the Symington Subcommittee probed the extent of U.S. secret agreements with, and commitments to, foreign governments and discovered the great degree to which Congress had relinquished its constitutional duties and to which the Nixon administration and its predecessors had evaded their constitutional obligations to consult with the legislative branch. Pulling away the shroud of secrecy required investigators and Symington hired Roland Paul, a former Pentagon lawyer, and Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus (who had worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier in the decade). After Paul and Pincus visited Spain, where they uncovered nuclear deployments, they traveled to Laos and the Philippines, where they learned much about the classified aspects of the U.S. presence in those countries: in Laos, CIA officers were conducting a "secret war" and in the Philippines nuclear weapons were secretly deployed; among local officials, only President Ferdinand Marcos was aware of the arrangement.

As these documents suggest, the Nixon administration, worried that the deployment in the Philippines would leak and disrupt presidential elections there, determined to keep them secret by rejecting the Symington Subcommittee's requests for information. Thus, top Nixon administration officials, including national security adviser Henry Kissinger, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, and Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms, agreed that in any hearings, government witnesses would refuse to testify on nuclear deployments by invoking executive privilege. The administration argued that the information was top secret and that the Subcommittee was not the proper venue for discussion of nuclear deployments. That hard-line stance ultimately collapsed when the White House acceded to Senator Fulbright's insistence that the Subcommittee receive a briefing on the deployments. On 27 May 1970, Ronald I. Spiers, director of the Department's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, delivered a top secret briefing although the Bureau, not the Subcommittee, retained control of the transcript. The Symington Subcommittee later observed that the administration's initial refusal to share information "is obviously absurd, is used to cover up questionable policy, is unconstitutional, and is against the best interests of the United States." (Note 28)


1.George Lardner Jr., "DOE Puts Declassification in Reverse," The Washington Post, May 19, 2001, http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2001/05/wp051901.html.

2. Raymond L. Garthoff, A Journey Through the Cold War: A Memoir of Containment and Coexistence (Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution, 2001), 203-204.

3. For the current situation, see Natural Resources Defense Council report prepared by Hans M. Kristensen, U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe: A Review of Post-Cold War Policy, Force Levels, and War Planning at <http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/euro/euro.pdf>.

4. Hearings before the Subcommittee on United States Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad, 91st Congress, Volume II (Washington, DC, Government Printing Office, 1971), 2431.

5. For the 1978 Pentagon release and an effort to interpret the excised portions, see Robert S. Norris, William Arkin, and William Burr, "Where They Were," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 55 (November-December 1999): 26-35, and "How Much Did Japan Know," ibid. 56 (Jan.-Feb. 2000), 11-13, 78-79.

6. For detailed studies of the U.S.-Canada nuclear relationship, largely based on declassified Canadian documents, see John M. Clearwater, Canadian Nuclear Weapons: The Untold History of Canada's Cold War Arsenal (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1998), and U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Canada (Toronto: Dundurn Group, 1999).

7. For the Department of Energy's public reports on its Kyl-Lott review, see http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/. For the differences between Restricted Data [RD] and Formerly Restricted Data [FRD], see a Department of Energy pamphlet reproduced on the Web page of the Federation of American Scientists at http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/doe/sakwd.htm

8.For the Department of Energy's public reports on its Kyl-Lott review, see http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/. For a general discussion of the differences between Restricted Data [RD] and Formerly Restricted Data [FRD], see a Department of Energy pamphlet reproduced on the Web page of the Federation of American Scientists at http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/doe/sakwd.htm. For an argument for greater transparency of nuclear weapons information, but also for protecting weapons design secrets, see Annette Schaper, Looking for a Demarcation Between Nuclear Transparency and Nuclear Secrecy, PRIF Report No. 68, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (Germany), 10-16, at http://www.hsfk.de/downloads/PRIF-68.pdf

9. The whole series of reports by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Classification may be found on the Federation of American Scientists Web site at http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/index.html.

10. Information provided by Mr. Kenneth Stein, Office of Classification, Department of Energy in e-mail, 8 August 2006. Mr. James Wendt, Office of Document Reviews, provided an annual breakdown for the expenditures: FY 99: 1.992M; FY 00: 3.582 M; FY 01: 3.653M; FY 02: 3.852M; FY 03: 3.072M; FY 04: 2.482M; FY 05: 1.761M; FY 06: 1.313M; Total: 21.707M. E-mail, 10 August 2006.

11. Lardner, "DOE Puts Declassification in Reverse," The Washington Post, May 19, 2001.

12. For an argument in favor of declassifying most information on nuclear deployments, past and present, see Schaper, Looking for a Demarcation Between Nuclear Transparency and Nuclear Secrecy, 10-16, at

13. United States Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad, 2431.

14. Communication from Morton Halperin, 27 March 2006.

15. Martin Ewans, Afghanistan: A New History (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon, 2001), 114.

16. Again, see the Clearwater studies cited in endnote 3.

17. For background on the consultative arrangements with Canada, see National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 159, "'Consultation is Presidential Business': Secret Understandings on the Use of Nuclear Weapons, 1950-1974," documents 3 and 20A-D.

18. Thanks to Leopoldo Nuti (University of Rome)--who has a major book in progress on the history of U.S. nuclear weapons in Italy--for the citation to the January 13, 1962, agreement.

19. See the Kristensen report cited in endnote 3.

20. For discussion of the air bases agreement and Norway's posture on nuclear weapons during the late 1950s, see Rolf Tammes, The United States and Norway in the High North (Dartmouth: Aldershot, 1991), at pages 72-74 and 160-65, respectively.

21. For details on the history of the consultative arrangements, see "`Consultation is Presidential Business': Secret Understandings on the Use of Nuclear Weapons, 1950-1974," National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 159, at www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB159/index.htm.

22. For documentation on the removal of the weapons from the Philippines, see declassified documents published by the Nautilus Institute, at http://www.nautilus.org/archives/library/security/foia/taiwphil.html.

23. John Clearwater, U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Canada, 125-126.

24. This report was an important source for Norris et al., "Where They Were" [see note 5].

25. Leopoldo Nuti's forthcoming study provides a thorough account of the negotiations.

26. Hans Kristensen, Japan Under the US Nuclear Umbrella, at www.nauitlus.org.

27. See documents 25A-B in National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 159, "'Consultation is Presidential Business': Secret Understandings on the Use of Nuclear Weapons, 1950-1974,"at https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB159/index.htm.

28. For Fulbright, the Symington Subcommittee, Paul, and Pincus, see Randall Bennett Woods, Fulbright: A Biography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 305-307, 506-511, and 525-527, as well as James C. Olson, Stuart Symington: A Life (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2003), 392-398. For Fulbright's success in getting an executive session on the deployments, see "Administration Trap Feared by Doves on Foreign Relations Committee," The Washington Post, 23 July 1970. For the quotation from the Symington Subcommittee, see United States Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad, 2427.

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