Able Archer: The Invisible Cuban Missile Crisis


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The Cuban Missile Crisis is widely considered to be the closest the world has come to nuclear war. But while that crisis played out in public view, there was another close call that happened in the shadows.

In this episode the story of Able Archer 83.

Brian Morra is the author of “The Able Archers.” He has spent his career in intelligence and national security beginning with his time as a decorated Air Force Intelligence officer and through his many years as a senior executive in the aerospace and defense industry.

Lt. Cdr. Steven Wills served for 20 years as an active-duty U.S. Navy officer, he served on a variety of small and medium surface combatants, including an assignment as the executive officer of a mine countermeasures ship.

Further Reading

Brian J. Morra, The Able Archers (Virginia Beach, VA: Köehler Books, 2022),

Bernd Schaefer, Nate Jones, and Benjamin B. Fischer, “Forecasting Nuclear War,” Wilson Center, Cold War International History Project

Zach Dorfman, “The Congressman Who Created His Own Deep State. Really.” Politico, December 2, 2018,

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