Nuclear History | Wilson Center

Nuclear History

The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain With the Bomb

Former Wilson Center scholar and James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies senior fellow Avner Cohen will discuss his latest book, The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain with the Bomb. Former NSC staffer and advisor to Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Clinton Morton Halperin, former US Ambassador to Israel Samuel W. Lewis, and former National Security Council Senior Director for Near East Affairs Bruce Riedel, will join Cohen on the panel to provide comments.

Book Launch&#8212;<i>The Bomb: A New History</i>

From his years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Nevada Test Site to his meetings with nuclear arms experts in Moscow, former weapons designer Stephen M. Younger has witnessed firsthand the making of nuclear policy. With a deep understanding of both the technology and the politics behind nuclear weapons, he traced nuclear history from the Manhattan Project to the Cold War and into the present day at the launch of his new book, The Bomb: A New History.

Explaining Dutch Reservations About NATO's 1979 Dual-Track Decision

"A mass psychotic movement washing over the country like a wave": Explaining Dutch Reservations About NATO's 1979 Dual-Track Decision


The Euromissiles Crisis and the End of the Cold War: 1977-1987

A CWIHP Document Reader compiled for the international conference "The Euromissiles Crisis and the End of the Cold War: 1977-1987" Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome, Italy, 10-12 December 2009
  • Part I: The Peace Movement
  • Part II: International Diplomacy, 1975-1979
  • Part III: International Diplomacy, 1980-1983
  • Part IV: International Diplomacy, 1984-1987

Warsaw Pact: Wartime Statutes—Instruments of Soviet Control

A collection of recently declassified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents demonstrates that in the early 1980s the U.S. government learned quickly of new Warsaw Pact planning instruments and accurately assessed the role that the Soviet Union's Warsaw Pact allies were expected to play in a conflict in Europe.

Continental Defense in the Eisenhower Era: Nuclear Antiaircraft Arms and the Cold War

Fueled by Cold War anxiety about the threat of a surprise nuclear attack by Soviet jet-bombers, the U.S. nuclear arsenal ballooned from 841 warheads when President Eisenhower assumed office in 1953 to over 18,000 by the time he left office in 1961. Roughly 20% of these warheads were based around cities and military installations throughout the U.S.

The History of the Gas Centrifuge and Its Role in Nuclear Proliferation

The discovery of A.Q. Khan's extensive nuclear proliferation network based upon gas centrifuge technology used to enrich uranium to weapons-grade has created a crisis of confidence in the non-proliferation regime. While the beginnings of gas-centrifuge experimentation date back to the 1930s, it was only in the 1970s that the technology advanced enough to become commercially viable. Widely considered an unlikely path to nuclear weapons proliferation until the 1990s, gas-centrifuge technology is now seen by some as a central threat to the non-proliferation regime.

Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement

Public opinion, driven by the international arms control and disarmament movement, was the critical factor which led governments' decisions to reduce, limit, forswear, and abandon nuclear weapons during the past sixty years, according to Lawrence S.

The Nuclear Challenge: Italian Foreign Policy and Atomic Weapons, 1945-1991

For much of the Cold War, the Italian government viewed the nuclear issue as a way of opening the door into the inner circle of European security decision-makers. Leopoldo Nuti, Director of the Machiavelli Center for Cold War Studies, explained that Italian prestige, much more than security concerns, drove the government to allow the deployment of NATO nuclear weapons on Italian soil throughout the Cold War.