Contributing to the development of peace worldwide by the creation of an Open Skies regime for aerial observation.
As the Cold War and the nuclear arms race escalated President Dwight Eisenhower offered the “open skies” peace initiative to the Soviet Union at the Geneva Conference in July, 1955. The idea was to allow peace planes from each country to fly over the territory of the other to inspect military forces and make sure no surprise attack preparations were taking place. Watch the news video of the Geneva Conference followed by President Eisenhower explaining the purpose of open skies. You will also see a sample flight.
The Open Skies Plan was not accepted in 1955 but it was revived by President George H. Bush in 1989.
This led to the Open Skies Treaty of 1992 which included the United States, Canada, Russia and a number of nations in Europe. Watch this video about the treaty.
Video Celebrating Open Skies 20th Anniversary
Hillary Clinton on the Open Skies Treaty
Can Open Skies Be Expanded to More Nations?
Expanding Open Skies (New York Times)
What Open Skies Can Do For Chinese-American Relations (History News Service)
Open Skies Policy Should be Used by the Koreas (Cincinnati Enquirer)
“Open Skies” can play a role in the Korean peace and disarmament process. Click here to read the article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Historical Documents About Open Skies
Over a month before the Open Skies proposal this article appeared in the Cincinnat Post (June 14, 1955) about Operation Alert, a civil defense drill against nuclear attack.
Read a memorandum of a meeting of President Eisenhower and his advisors discussing “Open Skies” at the Geneva Conference. (Courtesy Eisenhower Library)
Read excerpts from a memorandum of a conversation at the President’s luncheon for the Russian delegation at the Geneva Conference on July 20, 1955. (courtesy Eisenhower Library)
Article in July 22nd, 1955 Cincinnati Post about Ike’s “Open Skies” proposal.
Read excerpts from an “Open Skies for Peace” pamphlet published during the Eisenhower administration. (courtesy of The National Archives of the UK (PRO): ref. FO371/123712)
Read disarmament advisor Harold Stassen’s speech at the UN on October 7, 1955 about Open Skies and arms control. (courtesy Eisenhower Library)
Read a 1956 memorandum prepared by one of President Eisenhower’s assistants, Andrew Goodpaster, on the topic of confidence building measures and disarmament. (courtesy Eisenhower Library)
Click here to read a 1956 document which discusses the application of open skies in the Middle East. (courtesy Eisenhower Library)
Read here some responses to the Open Skies Middle East proposal
Read pages from 1992 Senate hearings on the Open Skies Treaty. These are answers from the Bush adminstration about Open Skies and how it can relate to the START Treaty and also potential expansion. (courtesy Cincinnati Public Library)
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Open Skies for Peace