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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • May 31, 1957

    Department of State Office of Intelligence Research, 'OIR Contribution to NIE 100-6-57: Nuclear Weapons Production by Fourth Countries – Likelihood and Consequences'

    This lengthy report was State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research's contribution to the first National Intelligence Estimate on the nuclear proliferation, NIE 100-6-57. Written at a time when the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom were the only nuclear weapons states, the “Fourth Country” problem referred to the probability that some unspecified country, whether France or China, was likely to be the next nuclear weapons state. Enclosed with letter from Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Division of Research for USSR and Western Europe, to Roger Mateson, 4 June 1957, Secret

  • June 27, 1958

    Polish Special Report on German Military Reorganization

    Chief of General Staff Gregorz Korczynski reports on the Bundestag's decision to allow the Bundeswehr to acquire atomic bombs and missiles and describes the appropriate next steps to take.

  • August 03, 1961

    Walter Ulbricht's Speech at the Moscow Conference, 3-5 August 1961

    Ulbricht speaks at the Moscow Conference of Secretaries of the Central Committees of the Communist and Workers' Parties of Socialist Countries for the Exchange of Opinions on Questions Concerning the Preparation and Conclusion of a German Peace Treaty.

  • January 31, 1962

    Research Memorandum REU-25 from Roger Hilsman to Mr. Kohler, 'European Attitudes on Independent Nuclear Capability'

    Concerns about the credibility of US nuclear deterrence generated Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Lauris Norstad’s proposal for a NATO-controlled medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) force. This lengthy report represented INR’s assessment of “present and future European interest in national or multinational nuclear weapons capabilities,” including the MRBM proposal, and the extent to which an “enhancement of NATO's nuclear role” could “deter national or multinational European nuclear weapons programs.”

  • February 21, 1962

    Research Memorandum RSB-58 from Roger Hilsman to the Secretary, 'Probable Soviet Reaction to Establishment of Multilateral NATO-Controlled MRBM Force'

    As discussion of a NATO multilateral force (MLF) unfolded, unfolded, one question which had to be addressed was how the Soviet Union would respond to the creation of such a NATO force. Because a NATO force would increase Western military capabilities, Soviet opposition was assumed.

  • May 28, 1962

    Memorandum by Edward Biegel, Bureau of Western European Affairs, 'WE Answers to the Ball Questionnaire'

    Edward Biegel of the Bureau of Western European Affairs answers Undersecretary Ball's questions on French nuclear ambitions and Western European collective security. He makes the arguments against nuclear sharing, and also mentions the fact that a Baltimore Sun article likely alerted the Soviets to the fact that the US deployed tactical nuclear weapons on the German front.

  • September 04, 1962

    Research Memorandum RSB-152 from Roger Hilsman to the Secretary, 'Soviet Tactics in Talks on the Non-Diffusion of Nuclear Weapons'

    Before the words “nuclear nonproliferation” entered official discourse, the term “non-diffusion” (or “non-dissemination”) of nuclear weapons was used routinely. In part stemming from the negotiations over Berlin, during 1962-1963 the Kennedy administration held talks with allies and adversaries on the possibility of a non-diffusion agreement which included Germany. In light of a recent Soviet proposal, INR veteran Soviet expert Sonnenfeldt explained why Moscow had moved away from earlier proposals singling out West Germany and was focusing on the general applicability of a non-diffusion agreement.

  • June 23, 1963

    National Intelligence Estimate NIE 4-63, 'Likelihood and Consequences of a Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Systems'

    This NIE comes to the general conclusions that “there will not be a widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons over the next 10 years” and discusses programs in various countries (Israel, China, Sweden, India, West Germany, Japan, etc.) This copy includes newly declassified references to the Israeli nuclear weapons program, including the conclusion that “the Israelis, unless deterred by outside pressure, will attempt to produce a nuclear weapon some time in the next several years.”

  • October 08, 1963

    Letter from Gomulka to Khrushchev, Marked 'Final Version'

    Letter from Gomulka to Khrushchev discussing Polish opposition to Soviet proposal for a Non-Proliferation Treaty. Gomulka suggests that the treaty will further split the communist camp. While discussing the state of Sino-Soviet relations, the Polish leader suggests that the Soviet Union and the PRC adopt a common position in matters of foreign policy in order to strengthen the power of the Socialist camp.

  • October 21, 1964

    National Intelligence Estimate NIE 4-2-64, 'Prospects for a Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Over the Next Decade'

    This US analysis of the likelihood of nuclear proliferation during the next decade was finished only days after the first Chinese nuclear test on 16 October. The report analyses the implications of this test, as well as programs in India, Israel, Sweden, West Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, and others. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) argued that India was the only new state likely to develop nuclear weapons, concluding that “there will not be a widespread proliferation …over the next decade.”

  • December 30, 1964

    Intelligence Note from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Soviet Interest in a West German Commitment Not To Manufacture Nuclear Weapons'

    INR estimated that the Soviets wanted to “play upon French concern” that West Germany might acquire nuclear weapons through new NATO nuclear arrangements, such as the MLF.

  • September 29, 1965

    Research Memorandum RSB-106 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Soviet Conditions about Western Nuclear Arrangements for a Nondissemination Treaty'

    INR looked closely at Soviet positions on an NPT arguing that the Soviets appeared to “attach a higher priority in using the nondissemination issue as a means of attacking possible NATO nuclear arrangements than in concluding an agreement.”

  • October 13, 1965

    Research Memorandum RSB-115 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Soviet Views of Nuclear Sharing and Nonproliferation'

    INR looked closely at Soviet positions on an NPT arguing that the Soviets appeared to “attach a higher priority in using the nondissemination issue as a means of attacking possible NATO nuclear arrangements than in concluding an agreement.”

  • March 01, 1967

    Research Memorandum REU-13 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Reasons for West German Opposition to the Non-Proliferation Treaty'

    By the late winter/early spring of 1967, controversy over the NPT was hurting US-West German relations, placing them at perhaps their lowest point during the Cold War. While this report suggested that West Germany would ultimately sign the Treaty, despite objections, only weeks later the INR issued another report wondering whether Bonn was trying to wreck the NPT.

  • April 08, 1967

    Intelligence Note 273 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Acting Secretary, 'Has West Germany Decided to Try to Scuttle the Non-Proliferation Treaty?'

    By the late winter/early spring of 1967, controversy over the NPT was hurting U.S.-West German relations, placing them at perhaps their lowest point during the Cold War. While an earlier report suggested that West Germany would ultimately sign the Treaty, despite objections, only weeks late INR this report was issued wondering whether Bonn was trying to wreck the NPT.

  • April 21, 1967

    Research Memorandum RSB-46 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Soviet Policy on Nonproliferation Moves in Two Directions'

    Not altogether sure whether the Soviets were really committed to the NPT, the fact that the Soviets had been discussing security assurances with the Indians was seen as evidence that Moscow was interested in having a treaty. India was one of the countries that was especially resistant to the NPT and the Soviets were only one of a number of governments, e.g. Canada, which vainly tried to persuade Indira Gandhi to sign on.

  • April 09, 1968

    Excerpts from Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev’s speech at the April 1968 Plenum of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party

    Brezhnev discusses negotiations with the United States over the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

  • July 15, 1969

    German Nuclear Work

    Correspondence regarding French diplomatic reporting that West Germany was developing nuclear weapons capability. H.T. Morgan concludes that the French claims are baseless and an example of "flesh creeping" activities to discourage the United Kingdom from nuclear collaboration with West Germany

  • April 19, 1971

    Memorandum, Ambassador Paulo Nogueira Batista, Information for the President of Brazil, 'Enrichment of Uranium'

    A secret report addressed to Minister of Foreign Affairs Mario Gibson Barbosa by Amb. Paulo Nogueira Batista (Brazilian Embassy, Bonn) describing alternatives for the establishment of comprehensive, long-term nuclear agreements between Brazil and a “country to be defined.” The report suggests that given the trends in uranium production in the US and Europe, Brazil needed to either associate itself with France to purchase gas diffusion technology or develop, together with Germany, ultracentrifugation or jet nozzle technologies. The notion was that “countries that decide to develop their own enrichment capacity will not only occupy a privileged competitive position but also will become part of an oligopoly with obvious political implications.” Nogueira Batista was worried, however, that Germany might not be able to offer Brazil centrifugation technology under existing obligations.

  • June, 1975

    Briefing Paper, 'The Nuclear Suppliers Conference'

    The U.S. delegation agreed to develop a policy paper that would take into account French and other views so as to reach agreement on the most “stringent” safeguards possible. A central but divisive issue was whether safeguards should apply to the entire nuclear fuel cycle (later known as “full-scope” safeguards). Another issue was whether multinational auspices for reprocessing and enrichment plants should be mandatory or a matter of discretion by a supplier country. This document specifically addresses the concerns of West Germany.