The War Scare That Wasn't: Able Archer 83 and the Myths of the Second Cold War

  title={The War Scare That Wasn't: Able Archer 83 and the Myths of the Second Cold War},
  author={Simon Patrick Miles},
  journal={Journal of Cold War Studies},
  • S. Miles
  • Published 1 August 2020
  • Political Science
  • Journal of Cold War Studies
Did the Cold War of the 1980s nearly turn hot? Much has been made of the November 1983 Able Archer 83 command-post exercise, which is often described as having nearly precipitated a nuclear war when paranoid Warsaw Pact policymakers suspected that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was using the exercise to launch a preemptive nuclear strike. This article challenges that narrative, using new evidence from the archives of the former Warsaw Pact countries. It shows that the much-touted… 
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