Nuclear Proliferation: Assessment of the Nuclear Capabilities to the Year 2000 Among Selected Nth Countries--India, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea

Date of Graduation

Summer 1995


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons by additional countries has been a fundamental objective of U.S. foreign policy since the end of the second world war. The overlap of technologies for peaceful nuclear power and nuclear weapons creates a dilemma of how to avert weapons proliferation while promoting the peaceful benefits of nuclear energy. This thesis examines that overlap. It then assesses present and near-term nuclear-weapons interests and capabilities among selected countries -- India, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea -- that are considered candidates for nuclear proliferation. While these countries represent immediate challenges to U.S. non-proliferation goals, each one is at a different stage of nuclear development and each has its own peculiar combination of political, economic and military incentives. Despite nearly five decades of efforts to manage proliferation, the United States has failed to convince these four countries to abandon interest in nuclear weapons development. To counter the potential challenge to U.S. national interests, more effective measures are required to prevent proliferation, and an effective counterproliferation policy to deal with proliferation after it occurs is also required.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Neil H Raskin