Cold War

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Report: US May Put B-52s on 24-Hour Nuclear Alert

Jets armed with nukes would be ready to go at a moment's notice, if order goes through

(Newser) - The security site Defense One reports that the Air Force is considering putting nuclear-armed bomber planes back on 24-hour notice, something that hasn't been in effect since the Cold War. The site emphasizes that no such order has yet been given, but it quotes Air Force chief of staff... More »

Book: US Secretly Exposed Americans to Radiation Tests

Three congressmen want answers

(Newser) - Three members of Congress are demanding answers after a St. Louis scholar's new book revealed details of secret Cold War-era US government testing in which countless unsuspecting people, including kids, pregnant women, and minorities, were fed, sprayed, or injected with radiation and other dangerous materials. The health ramifications of... More »

This Man May Have Saved World From Nuclear War

Former Soviet officer Stanislav Petrov credited with averting global catastrophe

(Newser) - A former Soviet officer by the name of Stanislav Petrov has died, and the key point surfacing in obituaries about him is a pretty remarkable one: His poise under pressure may have saved the world from a nuclear war. As USA Today and the New York Times report, Petrov was... More »

Germany, in Secret, Has Shepherded Half Its Gold Home

The repatriation effort wasn't supposed to finish until 2020

(Newser) - It could be the plot of a Hollywood movie, albeit one where apparently nothing goes wrong: On Aug. 23, Germany announced it had successfully and in secret shepherded half its gold reserves back home, per Reuters . Germany's 3,378 metric tons of gold had for decades been stored in... More »

Canadian 'Thing in the Woods' Was a CIA Spy Camera

TV viewers helped solve the 55-year-old mystery in just hours

(Newser) - A 55-year-old family mystery was finally solved this week just hours after the story appeared on Canadian television, the CBC reports. In 1962, a woodsman searching for timber in the forest of Lutes Mountain in New Brunswick, Canada, found a large white box hanging from a tree by a parachute.... More »

Hope of Exonerating Ethel Rosenberg May End With Trump

Sons are pressuring Obama to move now to clear mom executed in '50s spy case

(Newser) - With President Obama's term coming to an end, the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are again calling on the president to clear their mother of the espionage charge for which they believe she was wrongly executed in 1953 in an intense Cold War case. Michael and Robert Meeropol... More »

Kansas Guy Is Pimping Cold War-Era Sub

Scott Waters is rehabbing Pisces VI submarine he found in Wisconsin

(Newser) - A Kansas man and 10 experts are refurbishing a Cold War-era submarine to put it back into the deep seas for exploration. Scott Waters, 29, of Salina, has a team that gathers a few times a year north of Salina to tear apart and modernize a submarine that is one... More »

Trump's Foreign Policy Speech a 'Blathering Jumble'

Analysts confused, alarmed by proposals

(Newser) - Donald Trump delivered what one analyst calls a "surprisingly serious" speech on foreign policy and counterterrorism Monday—but serious may not equal coherent. Many analysts were taken aback by the mix of proposals in the speech, which included policies favored by the Obama and George W. Bush administrations, along... More »

The Sun Nearly Caused Nuclear War in 1967

Solar flares made it seem like the USSR was jamming US radars

(Newser) - The sun was nearly responsible for the Cold War going nuclear 50 years ago, according to a study released this week. On May 23, 1967, three US Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radar sites seemed to be jammed. CBS News reports it appeared to the US Air Force, which was... More »

Russian PM Claims West Is Rekindling Cold War

NATO, US counter they're only responding to Russia's 'aggression'

(Newser) - Russia's prime minister accused NATO on Saturday of restarting the Cold War amid increased military maneuvers and troop deployments to countries neighboring Russia, moves the alliance's top official defended as a necessary response to aggression from Moscow, the AP reports. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a meeting... More »

NSA Analyst Who Spied for Soviets Freed After 30 Years

Ronald Pelton was paid $35K for NSA, Navy secrets

(Newser) - A former National Security Agency employee convicted of selling defense and communication secrets he gained during his career has been released from federal custody 30 years after his arrest. The sentence for Cold War-era spy Ronald Pelton, 74, ended on Tuesday. He had been placed on home confinement several months... More »

Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt Dead at 96

Was a major figure in Cold War politics

(Newser) - Helmut Schmidt, the chancellor who guided West Germany through economic turbulence and Cold War tensions, stood firm against a wave of homegrown terrorism, and became a respected elder statesman, died Tuesday at age 96. Schmidt, a center-left Social Democrat, led West Germany from 1974 to 1982. He was elected chancellor... More »

Ship at Heart of 'Strangest' CIA Mission to Meet Its End

Ship was part of 'biggest and strangest' Cold War covert operation

(Newser) - More than 40 years after it was the centerpiece of what PRI calls "possibly the biggest and strangest covert operation" of the Cold War, a piece of CIA history is headed for the scrap heap. After the Soviet Union failed to find one of its nuclear submarines that sank... More »

'Soviet Spy' Ethel Rosenberg May Have Been Innocent

Ethel Rosenberg's brother defended her a year before her conviction

(Newser) - The newly released 1950 grand jury testimony of David Greenglass , who helped cement the executions of his brother-in-law and sister Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, offers new evidence that Ethel was innocent in the most intense spying case of the Cold War. Both Rosenbergs were convicted of conspiring to steal atomic... More »

Scientist Behind 'Feats of Espionage' Dead at 90

Navy's John Craven 'turned submarines into spy machines'

(Newser) - The name might not be of the household variety, but John Craven made his mark in Cold War espionage for the US military. In his obituary, the New York Times explains that the Navy scientist "turned submarines into spy machines" and was responsible for "some of the nation'... More »

Russian Bombers Will Patrol Near US Shores

Kremlin resuming Cold War-era flights due to 'anti-Russia inclinations'

(Newser) - A "dangerous game of brinkmanship" just got a little closer to home: Russia is sending long-range bombers to do rounds "in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico," with Russia's defense minister blaming NATO's "anti-Russia... More »

'Dangerous Game of Brinkmanship Being Played'

Report finds 40 incidents between Russia, West recorded in past 8 months

(Newser) - Russian and NATO armed forces have been testing each other's air might since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. But in the past eight months alone, as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine mounted, 40 dangerous or sensitive incidents have been reported—a jump that puts engagement at Cold... More »

Gorbachev: We're Facing 'New Cold War'

Former Soviet leader warns of Western 'triumphalism'

(Newser) - Tensions between the major powers have pushed the world closer to a new Cold War, former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said today. The 83-year-old accused the West, particularly the United States, of giving in to "triumphalism" after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the... More »

US Hired 1K Nazis After WWII

Eric Lichtblau reveals scope of spy agency Cold War effort

(Newser) - "At least a thousand." That's the number of Nazis the US government hired on as anti-Soviet spies in the wake of World War II, reports the New York Times' Eric Lichtblau, whose book, The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men,... More »

Lying Brother in Rosenberg Spy Case Dead at 92

David Greenglass testified, falsely, he saw sister Ethel transcribing research data

(Newser) - David Greenglass, who served 10 years in prison for his role in the most explosive atomic spying case of the Cold War and gave testimony that sent his brother-in-law and sister, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, to the electric chair in 1953, has died at 92. Greenglass—who admitted decades later... More »

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