March 11, 1953
Memorandum of Discussion at the 136th Meeting of the National Security Council
The US National Security Council discusses the effect that Stalin’s death had on Soviet policy and on Communist Parties outside of the USSR, as well as the opportunity it provided the US to use Stalin’s death in a psychological strategy to influence the Soviets. The Council also discusses the possibility of negotiations for a settlement with the Soviets in Korea.
February 23, 1972
Memorandum from Ray Cline, Director, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, to Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms, enclosing 'Possibility of an Indian Nuclear Test'
At the request of Undersecretary of State John Irwin, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) prepared an assessment which included a detailed review of Indian’s nuclear facilities and their capacity to produce weapons-grade plutonium as well as capabilities to deliver nuclear weapons to a target. While India had signed agreements with Canada and the United States that nuclear reactors were to be used for peaceful purposes, the Indians were likely to claim that an explosive device for “peaceful” purposes was consistent with the agreements. Whether the Indians were going to test in the near future was in doubt. INR could not “rule out” one in the near future. Further, the “strongest incentive [to test] may well be the desire for the increased status of a nuclear power.” All the same, “it our judgment that a decision to authorize a test is unlikely in the next few months and may well be deferred for several years.” Weighing against a test were the financial and diplomatic costs, for example, “India's full awareness that assistance from the US and other countries (possibly including the USSR) would be jeopardized.”
August 03, 1972
Special National Intelligence Estimate SNIE 31-72, 'Indian Nuclear Developments and their Likely Implications'
Prepared as part of the NSSM 156 policy review, this Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE) concluded that the chances of India making a decision to test were “roughly even,” but the post-mortem analysis [see "Why now?," 18 May 1974] argued that based on its own findings, the conclusion ought to have been 60-40 in favor of a decision to test. In its analysis of the pros and cons of testing, the SNIE found that the “strongest factors impelling India to set off a test are: the belief that it would build up [its] international prestige; demonstrate India's importance as an Asian power; overawe its immediate South Asian neighbors; and bring enhanced popularity and public support to the regime which achieved it.” The drafters further noted that a test would be “extremely popular at home, where national pride is riding high” and that supporters of a test believed that it would make the world see India as “one of the world’s principal powers.” The arguments against a test included adverse reactions from foreign governments that provided economic assistance, but the estimate noted that foreign reactions were “becoming less important” to India.
January 19, 1974
US Embassy India cable 0743 to State Department, 'India’s Nuclear Intentions'
The Embassy assessed India's potential for the development of nuclear weapons amd concluded that “deeper economic problems,” among other considerations militated against a nuclear test in the near future, even though the Indian government had the capabilities to produce and test a device. While there were no rumors about a test as there had been in 1972, “we know little about relevant internal government debate.” All in all, the embassy believed that economic conditions “tip the likelihood of an early test to a lower level than previous years.” Russell Jack Smith, previously the deputy director for intelligence at the CIA, and then serving as special assistant to the ambassador (station chief), was one of the officials who signed off on this cable.
April 12, 1980
Address by Vice President Mondale to the United States Olympic Committee, 'US Call for an Olympic Boycott'
Vice President Mondale addresses the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), advocating for President Carter's proposed boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later that day, the USOC voted to uphold the boycott.