Arms Limitations and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

To 1970s

Scoville, Herbert, Jr. "Policing a Nuclear Test Ban." Studies in Intelligence 3, no. 1 (Winter 1959): 1-12.

Reports on the "East-West conference on methods of detecting violations of any international agreement to suspend nuclear tests, held in Geneva from 1 July to 21 August 1968."


Helms, Richard. "Strategic Arms Limitation and Intelligence." Studies in Intelligence 17, no. 1 (Spring 1973): 1-7.

"[T]ext of the DCI's address to the National War College on 13 October 1971."

Talbott, Strobe. "Scrambling and Spying in SALT II." International Security 4, no. 2 (Fall 1979): 3-21.

Willrich, Mason, and Theodore B. Taylor. Nuclear Theft: Risks and Safeguards. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1974.

Written over 30 years ago, this work sounded a clear warning for a number of the concerns that have come more directly to the fore with the end of the Cold War. In fact, Quester, PSQ 90.1, made the point well when he opened his review with the statement that, "This may turn out to have been a landmark book." The authors argue that there is a serious risk of nuclear materials being stolen and weapons assembled and used by criminal or fanatical political groups. I doubt that the "What to do after a theft?" question is any closer to being answered today than it was when Willrich and Taylor wrote this book.


U.S. Congress. House. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Intelligence Support to Arms Control. Report together with Dissenting Views. House Rept. No. 100-450. 100th Cong., 1st sess., 1987. Committee print.

Lowenthal notes that the "two sets of views expressed in the report ... give a good feel for how larger political views can affect the perception of issues and the role played by intelligence."


American Bar Association. Standing Committee on Law and National Security. "Special Conference Issue: Nonproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Conference." National Security Law Report 16, no. 7-8 (Summer 1994): 1-18.

Reports of conference and panel proceedings, 10-11 June 1994.

Deutch, John. "Combating the Threat of Nuclear Diversion." USA Today, Jan. 1997, 36-39.

Former DCI Deutch: "The U.S., in cooperation with other governments, has been able to halt the transfer of a large amount of equipment that could be used in developing nuclear weapons programs."

Pincus, Walter. "U.S. Preparedness Faulted: Weapons of Mass Destruction Concern Panel." Washington Post, 9 Jul. 1999, A2. []

A report from a bipartisan commission headed by former DCI John M. Deutch, the Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, calls "the U.S. government unprepared to prevent or cope with a chemical, biological or nuclear attack." The commission recommends "the appointment of a national director to coordinate the nation's defense against weapons of mass destruction.... The new national director for combating proliferation would sit on the National Security Council and chair a group of senior officials who would coordinate policy. Such a structure might not 'solve' the problem, the report says, but it would at least provide a comprehensive and thorough approach."

Prados, John. "Come Down from the Clouds." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Sep. 1998, 18-19.

"Satellite images are useful, but [in dealing with proliferation issues] U.S. intelligence needs to get back to basics -- namely, it needs more spies."

Sokolski, Henry.

1. Fighting Proliferation: The Role of Intelligence. Working Group on Intelligence Reform. Washington, DC: Consortium for the Study of Intelligence, 1993.

Surveillant 3.4/5: "Deputy for Non-Proliferation Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1989-1993."

2. "Fighting Proliferation with Intelligence." Orbis 38, no. 2 (Spring 1994): 245-260.

Suro, Roberto. "CIA Is Unable to Precisely Track Testing." Washington Post, 3 Oct. 1999, A1. []

Senior officials said on 2 October 1999 that "the Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that it cannot monitor low-level nuclear tests by Russia precisely enough to ensure compliance with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty."

van der Vink, Gregory, et al. "False Accusations, Undetected Tests and Implications for the CTB Treaty." Arms Control Today, May 1998, 7-13.

The authors argue that despite the false accusation of a Russian underground nuclear weapons test, the surprise nuclear tests by India, and the lack of seismic information on some of the Indian and Pakistani tests, "the technical capability of the United States to detect underground nuclear weapons tests is remarkably good." However, in today's information environment, "the technological challenge may no longer be the acquisition of data, but rather the coherent integration of the vast and continually evolving network of global information sources."


Corera, Gordon. Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity and the Rise and Fall of the A.Q. Kahn Network. London: Hurst, 2006.

This is the story of Pakistani national hero and worldwide nuclear proliferator. He was finally taken down in early 2004 -- at least, to the extent of being placed under house arrest by the Pakistani authorities. Peake, Studies 51.2 (2007), finds that the author's "documentation is impressive.... How much damage Kahn did is a question yet to be answered. Corera's story is well told and of value to intelligence officers and students of national security."

Ellis, Jason D., and Geoffrey D. Kiefer. Combating Proliferation: Strategic Intelligence and Security Policy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

Graham, Thomas, Jr., and Keith A. Hansen. Preventing Catastrophe: The Use and Misuse of Intelligence in Efforts to Halt the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009.

Peake, Studies 54.1 (Mar. 2010) and Intelligencer 17.2 (Winter-Spring 2010), finds that in this work "two skilled analysts provide the background necessary to understand the new [post-Cold War and post-9/11] circumstances and the steps required to improve the intelligence-policy aspects of counterproliferation in the future."

Procida, Frank. "Nuclear Dominoes" Real or Imagined?" International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 23, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 461-473.

The author believes that "virtually all practitioners agree that either security concerns or a desire for status are the primary causes of proliferation, accompanied by the widespread consensus that a state's decision to go nuclear inevitably prompts others to follow.... [T]hese assumptions, accepted as dogma, continue to distort the policy debates on the risks and costs of nuclear disarmament and further proliferation."

Williams, Phil. "Intelligence and Nuclear Proliferation: Understanding and Probing Complexity." Strategic Insights 5, no. 6 (Jul. 2006). Available at:

The focus of nuclear nonproliferation efforts today is "in large part on proliferation networks. These networks range from criminals trafficking nuclear materials from the former Soviet Union through the Caucasus, Balkans, and Central Asia, to the A.Q. Khan network which was, in effect, a privatized nuclear diffusion network."

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