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By Jorge A. Sábato and Jairam Ramesh

This paper is the first product of Dr. Sábato's research as a Guest Scholar at the Wilson Center, April-June 1979, on the nuclear non-proliferation policy of the United States. It deals with the question of why some developing countries decided "to go nuclear" in the first place. This is an important question because, explicitly or implicitly, it has been assumed in the United States that the main reason for that decision was to develop nuclear weapons. This paper argues that there were several other reasons for nuclear development, some of them of much greater importance. Because these other motives have been ignored in the design of the new U.S. non-proliferation policy, there could be reactions in some countries that will be hard to understand in the United States.


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