Yeltsin: “Let Us ... Get Rid of the Nuclear Footballs”

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tags: nuclear weapons, Bill Clinton, Yeltsin

Possibly for the first time in U.S. diplomatic history, the “Nuclear Football” became a subject of a heads-of-state discussion when Russian President Boris Yeltsin proposed getting “rid” of it during a meeting with U.S. President Bill Clinton in September 1994.

According to a recently declassified meeting record published for the first time by the National Security Archive, Clinton discouraged the idea on the grounds that the Football was an important symbol of civilian control of the military.  Yeltsin brought up the idea again in a 1997 meeting and  Clinton administration officials gave a similar response.

The new documents update our previous posting on the Football and complement other materials on presidential control of nuclear weapons on the Archive’s web site.

Read entire article at National Security Archive

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