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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • May 13, 1959

    Department of State Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Intelligence Information Brief No. 139, 'Disarmament Negotiations: The Fourth Power Problem: France'

    According to intelligence reports, the French were trying to acquire from US firms the diagnostic technology needed to measure a nuclear explosion. INR did not believe that France had identified a specific test site and noted that France was under pressure to hold a test somewhere other than North Africa; nevertheless it went ahead with one in Algeria in early 1960.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • October 01, 1962

    Research Memorandum RFE-44 from Roger Hilsman to Acting Secretary, 'Japan’s Reaction to a Chinese Communist Nuclear Detonation'

    This “Limited Distribution” report on possible Japanese reactions did not anticipate that a test would cause basic changes in US-Japan security relations or in Tokyo’s general approach to nuclear weapons.

  • April 04, 1963

    Research Memorandum RSB-47 from Thomas Hughes to the Secretary, 'Signs of Kremlin Decision to Improve Its Strategic Posture'

    INR analysts pointed to events during mid-February 1963 which suggested that the Soviet leadership was taking steps to spend a greater share of the gross national product on military resources.

  • May 22, 1963

    Research Memorandum RFE-40 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Acting Secretary, 'A French Nuclear Testing Site in the Pacific? – Plans and Repercussions'

    France’s staging of atmospheric and underground tests in Algeria became increasingly untenable when neighboring African countries protested and even temporarily broke diplomatic relations with Paris. Once Algeria became independent in 1962, French authorities made plans to develop a test site in Polynesia.

  • June 05, 1963

    Research Memorandum REU-44 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Evidence of Satisfaction or Dissatisfaction in European NATO Countries with the Lack of a Share in Ownership or Control of Nuclear Weapons'

    Ambassador Livingston Merchant, who was responsible for the U.S. diplomatic effort to win support for the MLF, asked INR to report on the degree to which non-nuclear European members of NATO were satisfied with their “lack of a share in ownership or control of nuclear weapons.” Based on the evidence, mainly various statements made by leading politicians, diplomats, and policymakers, INR experts concluded that most of the countries surveyed (Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Greece) were “relatively satisfied,” while only West Germany was “restive” to the extent that some of its officials were interested in a NATO or European nuclear force.

  • June 06, 1963

    Thomas L. Hughes, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, to the Secretary of State, Research Memorandum, 'Franco-German Military Nuclear Cooperation,' REU-43

    In this report, INR noted that the French had walked back statements by Charles de Gaulle in January 1963 that he would not object to the development of a West German nuclear capability. This report also includes notes on why the French opposed an MLF, claiming Washington might be "whetting the German appetite" for a national nuclear capability.

  • August 28, 1963

    Research Memorandum REU-56 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Sweden Still Faces Question of Acquiring Nuclear Weapons'

    Based on the evidence, mainly various statements made by leading politicians, diplomats, and policymakers, INR experts concluded that most of the countries surveyed (Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Greece) were “relatively satisfied,” while only West Germany was “restive” to the extent that some of its officials were interested in a NATO or European nuclear force

  • May 14, 1964

    Research Memorandum INR-16 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Indian Nuclear Weapons Development'

    An intelligence report that the fuel core of the Canadian-Indian Reactor (CIR) at Trombay was being changed every six months raised questions about India’s nuclear objectives: a six-month period was quite short for “normal research reactor operations,” but it was the optimum time for using the CIR’s spent fuel for producing weapons grade plutonium. According to INR, India had taken the “first deliberate decision in the series leading to a nuclear weapon,” which was to have “available, on demand, unsafeguarded weapons-grade plutonium or, at the least, the capacity to produce it.”

  • 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.

  • May 20, 1965

    Intelligence Note from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Swedish Military Chief Seeks Appropriation for Nuclear Weapons in Next Budget'

    In a move interpreted by INR as part of a pro-nuclear “propaganda campaign,” Swedish Supreme Commander Torsten Rapp reportedly asked for funds for to cover the costs of nuclear weapons acquisition.

  • July 15, 1965

    Research Memorandum REU-25 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Attitudes of Selected Countries on Accession to a Soviet Co-sponsored Draft Agreement on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons'

    With a nuclear nonproliferation treaty under consideration in Washington, INR considered which countries were likely to sign on and why or why not. INR analysts, mistakenly as it turned out, believed it unlikely that the Soviet Union would be a co-sponsor of a treaty in part because of the “international climate” and also because Moscow and Washington differed on whether a treaty would recognize a “group capability.”

  • July 30, 1965

    Memorandum from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Recent Indonesian Statements Concerning Nuclear Weapons'

    Statements by Indonesian authorities notwithstanding, INR analysts did not “believe that Indonesia possesses the facilities, personnel and radioactive material necessary for producing an atomic device with any speed.”

  • 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.”

  • November 01, 1965

    Thomas L. Hughes, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, to the Secretary, 'Dobrynin’s October 29 Oral Statement on Nonproliferation'

    In this report, the INR commented on Soviet policy language regarding nuclear proliferation. They called Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin's criticism of MLF proposals "absurd," telling Secretary Rusk that “in no way can we be blamed for taking steps which even with a most fault-finding approach would look like disseminating nuclear weapons."

  • July 28, 1966

    Research Memorandum REU-52 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Nuclear Weapons Question Continues to Plague Swedish Government'

    In 1966, Sweden's Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Torsten Rapp, sought funds to support planning to produce nuclear weapons.

  • August 12, 1966

    Intelligence Note 506 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Will Communist China Give Nuclear Aid to Pakistan?'

    Intelligence reports about recent visits to Beijing by Pakistani defense and science officials raised questions whether China was or would be providing nuclear aid to Pakistan. The latter was already developing close relations with China, a matter which was of great concern to U.S. policymakers, but INR analyst Thomas Thornton concluded that Pakistan was highly unlikely to seek a significant degree of Chinese nuclear assistance.