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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 14, 1972

STATE DEPARTMENT BUREAU OF INTELLIGENCE AND RESEARCH INTELLIGENCE NOTE, 'INDIA TO GO NUCLEAR?'

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    The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) evaluates the available intelligence on India’s nuclear intentions. There were varying reports that India would test a device that month, sometime in 1972, or that the government was undertaking a program to test a “peaceful nuclear explosive.” According to INR, India had the capability to produce some 20-30 weapons, and it could easily test a device in an underground site, such as an abandoned mine, that would be hard to discover. Because the U.S. government had given a “relatively modest priority to... relevant intelligence collection activities” a “concerted effort by India to conceal such preparations... may well succeed.” What would motivate India to test, the analysts opined, were domestic political pressures and concerns about China and Pakistan.
    "State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research Intelligence Note, 'India to Go Nuclear?'," January 14, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Archives, Record Group 59, SN 70-73, Def 18-8 India. Obtained and contributed by William Burr and included in NPIHP Research Update #4. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113891
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