December 15, 1995
Draft State Department Telegram to US Embassy Beijing, 'Possible Indian Nuclear Test'
The State Department writes to Islamabad urging Pakistan to not react if in fact India chooses to launch a nuclear test. On 15 December the New York Times published a story by Tim Weiner, under the headline “US Suspects India Prepares to Conduct Nuclear Test.” While some Indian journalists and policy experts were convinced that the story was a US government plant, Weiner had simply used due diligence in pursuing a lead from a non-government expert on nuclear proliferation issues. Worried that the story would exacerbate regional tensions by encouraging Pakistan to “act in a manner that jeopardizes our nonproliferation efforts in South Asia,” the Department wanted to enlist the Chinese to encourage the Pakistanis to “exercise restraint in response to these reports.”
December 15, 1995
Talking Points, State Department, South Asian Regional Affairs, 'Additional Testimony and Q’s and A’s for Congressional Briefing'
State Department talking points for analyzing the issue of a potential Indian Nuclear Test. These talking points review the state of play after Ambassador Wisner’s demarche to the Indian Foreign Ministry. Recognizing Prime Minister Rao’s cautiousness, US government officials did not believe that he had made a decision to test, but they were aware that he was under great pressure to do so. Therefore, the U.S. government was working with allies, encouraging them “to urge India not to test.” Parallel discussions were taking place with the Pakistanis over the production of enriched uranium over above the 3 to five 5 percent level that could be used to fuel nuclear reactors. The Pakistanis were denying that they were producing highly enriched uranium but intelligence reports suggested that they were contemplating such action or had already begun the process.
December 15, 1995
Email, ITAIN Division to South Asian Romp n’ Stomp, 'India Update 19951215'
A subsequent email from ITAIN Division to South Asian Romp n' Stomp regarding the state of cables at an Indian nuclear facility. US government observers were perplexed (“clear as mud”) by what they saw at the test site—the cables looked different, perhaps because the satellite photography had been taken at a different angle, and the National Photographic Intelligence Center (NPIC) was not sure what the explanation was. At Drill Site 3, where much activity had previously been observed, “lotsa trucks and folks” were busy and a “probable satellite television truck” had been deployed. One wit observed that that was for MTV viewing on “long lonely nights.” An alternative interpretation is that the analysts were seeing a digital communications system using small dishes that could send encrypted messages via satellite. The meaning of the acronym "ITAIN" is presently unknown, as it the jokey reference to “South Asian Romp n’ Stomp.
Excerpts from Recollections by the Former Soviet Ambassador in North Korea Aleksandr Kapto
Aleksandr Kapto reflects on the Soviet Union's normalization of relations with South Korea, and the consequential fallout in relations between North Korea and the USSR. According to Kapto, North Korea threatened to develop nuclear weapons and withdraw from the NPT as a result of Soviet-South Korean rapprochement.
January 19, 1996
State Department Telegram 008785 to US Embassy India, 'CTBT Letter from the President: India-Specific Talking Points'
A State Department telegram outlining talking points on why supporting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was in India's best interest. As it became evident that Rao was not going to make a decision to test, President Clinton resumed pressure for Indian support for the CTBT by signing off on a letter to Rao about the test ban. The State Department sent the Embassy talking points about the value of Indian support for the CTBT for Ambassador Wisner to use when delivering the Clinton letter.
January 24, 1996
State Department Telegram 012545 to Intsum Collective, 'Intsum: India: Nuclear Test Unlikely'
Provides an overview of preparations for the nuclear test as well as a discussion on the pressures weighing on Indian Prime Minister Rao to launch the test. Prepared by one of INR’s South Asia experts, Steven Ghitelman, it provides an overview of the test site preparations that began in November and decided described Prime Minister Rao as facing pressures to test from the BJP and from the nuclear establishment. The pressures were not insurmountable because other considerations were important, such as avoiding international sanctions, continuing steps toward economic liberalization, and pressures to support the CTBT. Ghitelman concluded that it would be “vintage Rao” for him to allow the scientists to prepare for a test “while not authorizing them to conduct one.” That is what happened.
February 12, 1996
Cable from Brazilian Embassy in Washington to Foreign Ministry, 'Brazil-United States. Brazilian space program. Visit of the chairman of CTA to Brazil.'
This document describes the Computer Technology Associates’ (CTA) interest in investing in Brazil's space sector. In a scheduled visit to Brasília, Tom Velez, CEO at CTA, would discuss his company’s interest in producing 20 communication satellites using Brazilian technology and construction of the proper infrastructures to launch these satellites from CLA.
February 28, 1996
Cable from Brazilian Foreign Ministry to Embassy in Washington, 'Brazil-United States. Visit of the Secretary of State. Non-proliferation.'
This cable reports the visit of the US Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Brazil. Issues related to non-proliferation dominated the meeting. Christopher emphasized the importance of Brazil strengthening its commitments to non-proliferation norms by signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Brazilian officials expected to improve the dialogue with the US administration after Brazil’s adherence to the MTCR.
March 25, 1996
Cable from Brazilian Embassy in Washington to Foreign Ministry
This document reports the visit of Kenneth Fisher, Lockheed’s representative, to Brasília. During the meeting, Fisher argued that in order for Lockheed to start its operations in Brazil, the company required Brazilian adherence to the Missile Technology Control Regime and the consent of the American government.
July 08, 1996
Email, Caroline Russell, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, to Lawrence Schein, Robert Rochlin, et al
Caroline Russell of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) discusses how the Indian program is not yet ready for a test and that pressure for one is more politically than technically motivated.
August 12, 1996
US Embassy in New Delhi Telegram 9250 to State Department, 'Ambassador’s Meeting with Opposition Leader'
Report on US Ambassador to India Frank Wisner's meeting with Indian Opposition Leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee about the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and halting any nuclear test. The Ambassador found the meeting unproductive. The CTBT was central to the discussion but it was evident that Vajpayee was not interested and his “body language” indicated that he was inclined to favor a nuclear test. During one point in the discussion, Vajpayee asked, “What if we start underground tests?” According to the embassy’s message, “we interpret his question about testing as indicating that [he] and the BJP would favor a test” and would not be persuaded by U.S. arguments—“reason”—to forego one.
August 29, 1996
Letter from Minister of Defense Diplomatic Adviser Sessa to General Secretary Biancheri, 'Adjustment of the Alliance; Updating of the situation and of the possible orientations of Italy's position'
A detailed study on actual and potential adaptation measures of the NATO, and Italy's position vis-à-vis the coming changes. The document illustrates serious concerns over possible marginalization of the Italian role in the future of the alliance.
September 12, 1996
South African Department of Foreign Affairs, 'Backgrounder for Use During the Bilateral Discussions with Iran on Disarmament and Non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction'
Background information for use by a South African representative in bilateral discussions with Iran on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
October 28, 1996
Letter, South African Department of Foreign Affairs Director-General to the Non-Proliferation Secretariat
Letter to D. J. van Beek, the Non-proliferation Secretary, regarding the South African National Conventional Arms Control Committee request for an interdepartmental working group on national policy on transparency in arms trade and transfers.
November 01, 1996
Email, Caroline Russell to Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Staff, 'Priority: India Nuclear Debate – Comments from Raja'
Caroline Russell emails her staff at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency regarding Raja Ramanna's recent statements regarding the state of India's nuclear program. Ramanna was the Director of the Defence Research and Development Organisation and was quoted in the Times of India stating that India already had a capability which did not need to be tested.
February 22, 1997
President of Centro Alti Studi Difesa, ' Note for the Minister - NATO's enlargement. Scenarios, Italian interests and possible options'
The report examines the challenges associated with the enlargement of NATO, and identifies Italian interests and concerns. It outlines the motivations driving the enlargement efforts, and draws attention to the possible reduction in Italian role in the European context.
April 15, 1997
Cable, South African Department of Foreign Affairs, 'Credentials for the Second Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna, 12-16 May 1997'
Draft copy of the letter of credentials that Mr. Nzo, Minister for Foreign Affairs, will provide for the South African delegation to represent the Republic of South Africa at the Second Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in Vienna in May, 1997. The delegation is to be led by Mr. Jacob Selebi.