In my continued attempt to make use of those snippets from the archives that didn’t make it into the finished thesis, here’s something you might not think about as a non-proliferation measure: the Special Air Service (SAS).
Previously, I’ve talked about angry letters from A. Q. Khan and the intersections between Barry Goldwater, the military-industrial complex, and the Ford administration. This time, it’s back to the UK and a non-proliferation ‘bribe’ that never went anywhere other than the Foreign Office filing cabinet marked ‘Daft Ideas.’
On June 5, I’m delighted to be attending the BISA Global Nuclear Order Working Group workshop Critical Perspectives on Nuclear Weapons (try saying that after a few beers). This is a great chance to engage in discussions about nuclear issues with some fantastic scholars from across the UK and beyond, looking at issues such as deterrence and disarmament, nuclear identity, and nuclear legitimacy.
These videos have been doing the rounds lately, both very interesting in different ways.
Invisible Peak chronicles the Cold War (and after) history of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Mount Tamalpais and the campaign to have it restored to a pre-USAF station state.
Mt. Tamalpais, sentinel peak of the San Francisco Bay Area, is considered sacred by many… native and non-native alike. In 1950, the military bulldozed the highest peak of the mountain to build an Air Force Station tasked with directing jet interceptors and short range Nike nuclear missiles against the potential threat of Russian nuclear bombers. By 1980 the base was obsolete and summarily closed. The military literally walked away from dozens of structures, leaving behind a huge toxic mess on the mountain. Through the use of historical footage, 3D reconstruction, interviews and breathtaking timelapse cinematography, this 20-minute film, narrated and co-written by Peter Coyote, explores the history of Tam’s West Peak and how local citizens have been fighting to restore their mountain to a natural state.
The film is only twenty minutes long and well worth watching as it explores some of the legacies of the Cold War era.
With all the hoopla of the Cannes Film Festival currently ongoing, one of the entrants that I’m very keen to see is the documentary Red Army. It focuses on the mighty Soviet ice hockey teams of the 1970s and 80s and the career of the great Slava Fetisov. Given the significance of ice hockey within the context of the Cold War, it should be fascinating viewing.