Cold War

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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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Alaskans Were Trained as Secret Agents Against Soviets

Fisherman, trappers called on in operation 'Washtub'

(Newser) - In the 1950s, the US feared a Russian invasion via Alaska—so the government trained regular folks, from fishermen to trappers, as secret agents. The plan involved coordination by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, the CIA, and the military, the AP reports based on hundreds of partially-redacted documents obtained via... More »

US: Russia Violated Key Nuke Treaty

Tests violated 1987 pact, administration says

(Newser) - US-Russian relations just slid a lot further downhill: The US says Russia has violated a 1987 arms control treaty that helped end the Cold War, the New York Times reports. The formal accusation of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty—also known as the INF Treaty—comes after years of... More »

Cold-War Photos Give Up New Secrets: Lost Cities

Spy satellites captured ruins throughout the Middle East in the '60s

(Newser) - The Middle East is home to 4,500 archaeological sites, or so we thought. An in-depth review of Cold War-era photos taken by spy satellites has pulled back the veil on as many as 10,000 more lost cities, roads, and other ruins in the region. As Gizmodo reports, CORONA... More »

Doctor Zhivago's Secret Publisher: the CIA

Agency used book as Cold War propaganda tool

(Newser) - Before Doctor Zhivago became an acclaimed film in 1965, it was a novel—one the CIA secretly printed. The Washington Post delves into the book's fascinating back story by way of 130 freshly declassified CIA documents (released at the request of the authors of The Zhivago Affair, out June... More »

Obama Defends Iraq War in Criticizing Russia

US didn't annex land, tried to 'work within the international system'

(Newser) - President Obama gave the big speech of his four-day overseas trip while in Belgium today, and it focused as expected on condemnation of Russia's moves in Crimea, reports Politico . At one point, Obama rejected the idea that US is hypocritical for criticizing Vladimir Putin given the invasion of Iraq.... More »

US Troops Carried 'Backpack Nukes' for 25 Years

Elite units were trained to use these weapons on battlefields

(Newser) - The US kept quite an arsenal of nuclear bombs and missiles during the Cold War, but not everyone knows about its plans to use "backpack nukes," reports the Smithsonian via Foreign Policy . Elite troops learned to use the bombs—called B54 Special Atomic Demolition Munitions (SADMs)—in case... More »

US Suspects Russia Violated Landmark Treaty

US alleges medium-range missile tests, but doesn't 'formally' declare violation

(Newser) - The US is alleging that Russia has tested a new medium-range cruise missile, in violation of a landmark 1987 arms control deal, the New York Times reported today. While the Obama administration hasn't "formally declared" Russia in violation of the pact, which helped end the Cold War, this... More »

Queen Wrote This Speech in Case of Nuclear War

The enemy is 'the deadly power of abused technology'

(Newser) - Just how close did the world come to the brink of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War? So close that civil servants in the UK wrote a speech for Queen Elizabeth to deliver in the event of nuclear war. The speech has now been released thanks to the UK's... More »

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