Washington Fully Declassifies Cold War Nuclear Plan / Presidential Directives (PD) [Carter Administration, 1977-81]

[RIAN] The U.S. National Security Archive has fully declassified the most controversial nuclear policy document of the Cold War – the Presidential Directive 59 (PD-59), which focused on a possible nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

Highly classified for decades, PD-59 was signed in July 1980 by President Jimmy Carter “during a period of heightened Cold War tensions due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, greater instability in the Middle East, and earlier strains over China policy, human rights, the Horn of Africa, and Euromissiles.”

The full text of the document is now available on the U.S. National Security Archive’s page at George Washington University’s website.

“The document provides insights about the thinking of key U.S. officials about the state of nuclear planning and the possible progression of events should war break out,” the archive said in an annotation to the document.

Jimmy Carter's Controversial Nuclear Targeting Directive PD-59 Declassified
[gwu.edu] Designed to Give President More Choices in Nuclear Conflict than "All-Out Spasm War"

White House Officials Envisioned Prolonged Nuclear Conflict Where High-Tech Intelligence Systems Provided a "Look-Shoot-Look" Capability

Leak of PD-59 Exposed White House Exclusion of State Department in National Security Decisions

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 390

Presidential Directives (PD) [Carter Administration, 1977-81]
[fas] Asterisk key:
     - 0 asterisk - the document has been declassified and released in full
  * - 1 asterisk - the document has been declassified and released in part
** - 2 asterisks - the document has not been reviewed for release or release has been denied in full 

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