In November 1983, a little-known NATO military exercise nearly triggered a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Beth Fischer, an associate professor in the teaching stream at Woodsworth College, sheds light on this near-nuclear accident – dubbed Able Archer 83 — on the new popular podcast SNAFU, a show about history’s greatest screwups. Hosted by actor and comedian Ed Helms (of The Office and The Hangover fame), the series covers espionage, superpower name-calling, horrifying mistakes, and double agents.
An expert on international security and U.S. foreign policy, Fischer was awarded a 2002 Nobel Fellowship for her research on the Cold War and its impact on contemporary global affairs. Her latest book, 2019’s The Myth of Triumphalism: Rethinking President Reagan’s Cold War Legacy, demonstrates that "triumphalism is a series of falsehoods about President Reagan's intentions, his policies, and the impact of his administration had on the Soviet Union.”
Listen to the first episode of SNAFU, where Fischer appears at 38:08.