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NPIHP Issue Brief #1: Senior Australian officials worked from 1944 to around 1973, when Australia ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to equip their country with a nuclear weapons capability. When Australia did choose to permanently forego the nuclear option, it wasn’t because of the US nuclear umbrella, but rather because of significant geo-political changes taking place throughout Asia in the mid-1970s. New Australian government documents describe how a reversal in these trends at some point in the future could lead Australia to consider reversing its long-standing policy of nuclear abstinence, even in the presence of an American nuclear security guarantee.

Nuclear Proliferation International History Project

The Nuclear Proliferation International History Project is a global network of individuals and institutions engaged in the study of international nuclear history through archival documents, oral history interviews, and other empirical sources. At the Wilson Center, it is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more