The Morning’s Second Artificial Sunrise D+24 (2 August, 1987) 0253-0330 Zulu

0253 Zulu- Romanov’s hotline message is summarized for President Reagan and his advisers in the Situation Room by the MOLINK duty officer. The general secretary explains that a direct response to the ‘unprovoked NATO nuclear attack on a Soviet military base in the GDR’ will be launched within minutes. He does not understand the purpose …

Perception and Misperception D+24 (2 August, 1987) 0100-0200 Zulu

Moscow, USSR 0100 Zulu (0500 Local) The Defense Council was huddled together in the secure conference room located on the wing adjacent to the general secretary’s living quarters. It was now beyond first light in Moscow and the Politburo was set to meet at 6:30. In the next ninety minutes some critical decisions had to …

The North Atlantic D+22 (31 July 1987) Part III (Charlie)

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) was escorted into the Situation Room on the basement level of the White House at 0930 EDT. Upon entering the wood-paneled conference room, Admiral Lee Baggett, US Navy noted more officials, civilian and military, than normal. One of the men seated against the wall in a chair was John …

The Politics of Global War: In the Shadow of Escalation Part II *Limited Post*

The National Security Council convened in the Situation Room shortly after midnight on 23 July, 1987. Despite the hour, President Reagan appeared quite fresh and well-rested. The chief executive of the United States had been under enormous pressure over the past two weeks. The fate of the world was quite literally on his shoulders. Though …

The Politics of Global War: In the Shadow of Escalation Part I

In the last forty-eight hours leading up to the start of hostilities in early July, 1987, officials from the United States and Soviet governments undertook a series of clandestine meetings in Zurich, Switzerland. These meetings were not eleventh-hour negotiations aimed at averting war. By this point it was a generally accepted fact in Washington, Moscow, …