This estimate updated an estimate (NIE-4-2-64) published in 1964 of the nuclear proliferation problem. That estimate, like this one, overestimated the likelihood of an Indian bomb, while somewhat underestimating Israel’s program. This assessment followed the same pattern—predicting India would produce a weapon within a “few years” and also putting Israel in the “might” category, although treating it as a “serious contender” nonetheless. Also following a short discussion of the “snowball effect” (later known as “proliferation cascades” or “chains”) suggesting that the United Arab Republic (Egypt-Syria) and Pakistan were likely to take the nuclear option should India or Israel go nuclear.
National Intelligence Estimate, NIE 5-91C, 'Prospects for Special Weapons Proliferation and Control'
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
With the term “weapons of mass destruction” having not yet fully come into general usage, this NIE used the term “special weapons” to describe nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons (formerly the term “special weapons” was sometimes used to describe nuclear weapons only). With numerous excisions, including the names of some countries in the sections on “East Asia and the Pacific” and “Central America,” this wide-ranging estimate provides broad-brushed, sometimes superficial, pictures of the situations in numerous countries along with coverage of international controls to halt sensitive technology exports to suspect countries.
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].
Original Uploaded Date