Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

The policies of the United States towards the Indian and the Pakistani nuclear weapons programs

Makreeta Lahti

Master's thesis, December 2002.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.

The study is about the US policies towards the Indian and the Pakistani nuclear weapons programs in 1945-2001. In addition to the two nuclear weapons programs and the reasons behind them, also US policies towards them and the factors that have contributed to the success of the policies are considered, as well as US goals and interests in South Asia in general.

The research method used in this non-experimental case study is critical literature analysis. The research material consists of books, articles, and statements about US non-proliferation policies, the South Asian nuclear weapons programs, and geopolitical and realist theories as well as theories about nuclear weapons.

There are several reasons behind the Indian and the Pakistani nuclear weapons programs, of which the most important seem to be threats to security, the Indian aspiration to become a major international player, and domestic politics. The US seems to have been constantly against nuclear proliferation in South Asia, but its non-proliferation policies have not been totally successful. Preventing nuclear proliferation has not always been ensured because it has been secondary to some other goals of the US, most notably to that of blocking the growth of the Soviet sphere of influence during the Cold War. The US non-proliferation policies have somewhat concentrated on trying to prevent the spread of nuclear material and technologies but it has also tried to affect the reasons for proliferation. However, differing views on the best non-proliferation policies between the US Congress and the President and a lack of support from other states have caused certain ineffectiveness of US policies.

The title page of the publication

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Last updated 16.03.2006

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