The Carter Administration and the Evolution of American Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy, 1977-1981


Political Science and International Affairs

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In the wake of India's May 1998 decision to resume nuclear testing for the first time since 1974, as well as arch-rival Pakistan's subsequent response, the attention of the world again has focused on nuclear nonproliferation policy as a means of maintaining stability in politically troubled regions of the world. The 1990s proved to be an uncertain time for nonproliferation policy. Pakistan acquired nuclear capabilities. Iraq displayed its well-known intransigence by refusing to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arms inspectors access to facilities suspected of manufacturing nuclear weapons. North Korea maintained a nuclear weapons program despite opposition from many Western nations. Troubling questions about nuclear holdings persisted in Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa. New nuclear powers were created in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Even the renewal of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1995 failed to assuage the concerns of Western powers fearful of aggressive measures undertaken by rogue nuclear proliferants.

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