Thesis ID: CBB887016926

Help, Hinder, or Hesitate: American Nuclear Policy toward the French and Chinese Nuclear Weapons Programs, 1961-1976 (2019)


Holloway, Joshua T. (Author)
Grunden, Walter E. (Advisor)

Bowling Green State University
Grunden, Walter E.
Publication date: 2019
Language: English

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 210 pp.

The purpose of this study is to examine American nuclear policy toward the French and Chinese nuclear weapons programs between the years 1961 and 1976 in order to provide a comprehensive narrative utilizing two parallel case studies of bilateral American nuclear policies. This is accomplished by examining United States government documents obtained from the Foreign Relations of the United States series and the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars according to a method of policy analysis based primarily on a six-step model developed by Garry D. Brewer and Peter deLeon. The thesis examines two case studies of bilateral nuclear policies between the United States and France and the People's Republic of China, characterizing the formation and enactment of each bilateral policy chronologically according to the six-step model in order to provide a fuller picture of the development of American nuclear policy during 1961-1976 than was possible for previous scholarship for which many of these documents remained unavailable. The study argues that US-Franco and US-Sino nuclear policies saw great changes between the Kennedy and Ford years. US officials explored using aid to the French nuclear weapons program to influence French foreign policy, but eventually severed US-Franco nuclear ties under the Johnson administration in response to Charles de Gaulle's increasing hostility toward the United States. Nixon officials reversed this policy and provided direct aid to de Gaulle's successors, eventually expanding aid under the Ford administration in order to shift French foreign policy in line with American interests. Conversely, American officials explored means to stop Chinese proliferation under Kennedy and Johnson, including preemptive American military action, but warmed to Chinese rapprochement by the end of the Johnson era. Nixon officials continued this rapprochement and unilaterally eased nuclear tensions by removing American nuclear weapons from Taiwan while simultaneously protecting Chinese nuclear facilities from Soviet military action, a policy which the Ford administration continued in spite of briefly cooled relations. The broad narrative that this thesis presents gives context and expands upon past literature through providing a more complete picture of American nuclear policy.

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Authors & Contributors
Gordin, Michael D.
Badash, Lawrence
Bernstein, Barton J.
Burke, David Allen
Farmelo, Graham
Gheorghe, Eliza
Cold War History
Technology and Culture
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Diplomatic History
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Journal of Asian Studies
Cornell University Press
Cambridge University Press
Basic Books
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Louisiana State University Press
MIT Press
Nuclear weapons; atomic weapons
Cold War
Arms race
Foreign relations; diplomacy
Science and politics
Science and war; science and the military
Stalin, Joseph
Truman, Harry S.
Churchill, Winston
Huxley, Aldous
Nixon, Richard M.
Oppenheimer, J. Robert
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
20th century, early
21st century
United States
Soviet Union
Great Britain
United States Air Force (USAF)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; Partial Test Ban Treaty; Limited Test Ban Treaty (1963)

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