The United States and Pakistan's Quest for the Bomb
Newly Declassified Documents Disclose Carter Administration's Unsuccessful Efforts to Roll Back Islamabad's Secret Nuclear Program

Nationalistic Pakistani Officials Insisted That Their Country had an "Unfettered Right to do what It Wishes"

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 333

Posted - December 21, 2010

For more information contact:
William Burr -

Pakistani dictator General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq shaking hands with national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski; President Jimmy Carter stands by smiling, 3 October 1980.   The Carter administration had pressed Zia to abandon Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, but it moved forward nevertheless.  After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Washington turned down the heat and Carter offered Pakistan $400 million in assistance, an offer which Zia dismissed as “peanuts.” Not only did he want more money, he wanted stronger security commitments, including a guarantee against an attack from India.  Those issues remained unsettled during 1980, but later in the year Zia had a friendly meeting with Carter at the White House.  (Photo from Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, contact sheet 19520.24)


Career ambassador Arthur W. Hummel (1920-2001) served as U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan from June 1977 to July 1981.  The telegraphic reports of his meetings with general Zia on nuclear issues remain classified, but in one of them, on 24 January 1979, he apparently confronted the general with satellite photography of the gas centrifuge plant at Kuhuta (see document 25).  (Photo source: National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, RG 59-S0, box 8)



Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher (b. 1925) traveled to Islamabad in March 1979 for difficult talks on the nuclear program with general Zia (see documents 26A-B).  During Bill Clinton’s first term as president, Christopher served as secretary of state. (Photo source: National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, RG 59-S0, box 4)



Washington, D.C., December 21, 2010 - The Wikileaks database of purloined State Department cable traffic includes revelations, published in the Washington Post and the New York Times about tensions in U.S.-Pakistan relations on key nuclear issues, including the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and the disposition of a stockpile of weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium. (Note 1) These frictions are not surprising because the Pakistani nuclear weapons program has been a source of anxiety for U.S. policymakers, since the late 1970s, when they discovered that Pakistani metallurgist A.Q. Khan had stolen blueprints for a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility.  U.S. officials were alarmed that a nuclear Pakistan would bring greater instability to South Asia; years later, the rise of the Pakistani Taliban produced concerns about the nuclear stockpile's vulnerability to terrorists.  Since 2002-2004 the discovery that the A.Q. Khan's nuclear supply network had spread nuclear weapons technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea, and elsewhere raised apprehensions even more. (Note 2) Last week, before the Wikileaks revelations, the recently disclosed North Korean gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant raised questions about the proliferation of sensitive nuclear technology by the Khan network. (Note 3

Recently declassified U.S. government documents from the Jimmy Carter administration published today by the National Security Archive shed light on the critical period when Washington discovered that Pakistan, a Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT] hold-out, had acquired key elements of a nuclear weapons capability.  Once in power, the Carter administration tried to do what its predecessor, the Ford administration, had done: discourage the Pakistani nuclear program, but the CIA and the State Department discovered belatedly in 1978 that Islamabad was moving quickly to build a gas centrifuge plant, thanks to "dual use" technology acquired by Khan and his network.   The documents further disclose the U.S. government's complex but unsuccessful efforts to convince Pakistan to turn off the gas centrifuge project.  Besides exerting direct pressure first on President Zulkifar Ali Bhutto and then on military dictator General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Washington lobbied key allies and China to induce them to pressurize Islamabad, but also to cooperate by halting the sale of sensitive technology to Pakistan. 

Declassified government documents show that the Carter administration recognized that export controls by industrial countries could not sufficiently disrupt Pakistan's secret purchases of uranium enrichment technology, so it tried combinations of diplomatic pressure and blandishments to dissuade the Pakistanis and to induce them to reach an understanding with India.  Washington's efforts met with strong resistance from top Pakistani officials; seeing a nuclear capability as a matter of national survival, they argued that Pakistan had an "unfettered right" to develop nuclear technology.  The Indians were also not interested in a deal.  Senior US officials recognized that the prospects of stopping the Indian or the Pakistani nuclear programs were "poor"; within months arms controller were "scratching their heads" over how to tackle the problem.

Among the disclosures in the documents:

▪  U.S. requests during mid-1978 by U.S. diplomats for assurances that Pakistan would not use reprocessing technology to produce plutonium led foreign minister Agha Shahi's to insist that was a "demand that no country would accept" and that Pakistan "has the unfettered right to do what it wishes."

▪ By November 1978, U.S. government officials, aware that Pakistan was purchasing technology for a gas centrifuge enrichment facility, were developing proposals aimed at "inhibiting Pakistan" from making progress toward developing a nuclear capability.

▪ By January 1979, U.S. intelligence estimated that Pakistan was reaching the point where it "may soon acquire all the essential components" for a gas centrifuge plant.

▪   Also in January 1979, U.S. intelligence estimated that Pakistani would have a "single device" (plutonium) by 1982 and test a weapon using highly-enriched uranium [HEU] by 1983, although 1984 was "more likely".
▪ On 3 March 1979, Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher spoke in "tough terms" with General Zia and Foreign Minister Shahi; the latter claimed that the U.S. was making an "ultimatum." 

▪  On 23 March 1979, senior level State Department officials suggested to Secretary of State Vance possible measures to help make the "best combination" of carrots and sticks to constrain the Pakistani nuclear program; nevertheless, "prospects [were] poor" for realizing that goal.

▪ The decision in April 1979 to cut off aid to Pakistan because of its uranium enrichment program worried State Department officials, who believed that a nuclear Pakistan would be a "new and dangerous element of instability," but they wanted to maintain good relations with that country, a "moderate state" in an unstable region.

▪ During the spring of 1979, when Washington made unsuccessful attempts to frame a regional solution involving "mutual restraint" by India and Pakistan of their nuclear activities, Indian prime minister Morarji Desai declared that "if he discovered that Pakistan was ready to test a bomb or if it exploded one, he would act at [once] 'to smash it.'"

▪ In July 19799, CIA analysts speculated that the Pakistani nuclear program might receive funding from Islamic countries, including Libya, and that Pakistani might engage in nuclear cooperation, even share nuclear technology, with Saudi Arabia, Libya or Iraq.

▪    By September 1979 officials at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency said that "most of us are scratching our heads" about what to do about the Pakistani nuclear program.

▪  In November 1979, ambassador Gerard C. Smith reported that when meeting with senior British, French, Dutch, and West German officials to encourage them to take tougher positions on the Pakistani nuclear program, he found "little enthusiasm … to emulate our position."

▪ In the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, when improving relations with Pakistan became a top priority for Washington, according to CIA analysts, Pakistani officials believed that Washington was "reconciled to a Pakistani nuclear weapons capability."

Like the Israeli bomb, the Pakistan case illustrates how difficult it is to prevent a determined country, especially an ally, from acquiring and using nuclear weapons technology.  It also illustrates the complexity and difficulty of nuclear proliferation diplomacy: other political and strategic priorities can and do trump nonproliferation objectives.  The documents also shed light on a familiar problem: a US-Pakistan relationship that has been rife with suspicions and tensions, largely because of Washington's uneasy balancing act between India and Pakistan, two countries with strong mutual antagonisms, a problem that was aggravated during the Cold War by concerns about Soviet influence in the region. (Note 4)

The Pakistani nuclear issue was on Jimmy Carter's agenda when he became president in early 1977 because he brought a significant commitment to reducing nuclear armaments and to checking nuclear proliferation.  His initial, though unrealized goal, of deep cuts of strategic nuclear forces, and his support for the comprehensive test ban treaty were of a piece with his support for the long-term abolition of nuclear weapons, suggesting that his concerns about proliferation were not the usual double standard of "what's good for us is bad for you."  Carter made the danger of nuclear proliferation one of his campaign themes and during his presidency government agencies and Congress tightened up controls over nuclear exports; this led to the 1978 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act, whose unilateral features were controversial with some allies, especially Japan and West Germany. The administration also engaged in a protracted, but generally successful, attempt to curb the Taiwanese nuclear weapons programs, although the effort to tackle South Africa's met with less short-term success.  Another tough challenge was a West German contract to sell uranium enrichment and reprocessing plants to Brazil, although technical problems would ultimately undercut the agreement. (Note 5)

Pakistan's successful drive for a nuclear arsenal was perhaps the most significant frustration for the Carter administration's nonproliferation policy.  Five years before Carter's inauguration, following Pakistan's defeat in the 1971 war with India, President Bhutto made a secret decision to seek nuclear weapons which he followed up in 1973 with negotiations to buy a nuclear reprocessing facility (used for producing plutonium) from a French firm. (Note 6)  Apparently U.S. intelligence did not seriously examine the prospects for a Pakistani bomb until after India's May 1974 "peaceful nuclear explosion." In the following months, the authors of Special National Intelligence Estimate [SNIE] NIE 4-1-74, "Prospects for Further Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," expected Pakistan to "press ahead" with a nuclear weapons program, which they projected as "far inferior to its prime rival, India, in terms of nuclear technology." (Note 7)  In August 1974, US intelligence estimated that Pakistan would not have nuclear weapons before 1980 and only as long as "extensive foreign assistance" was available.  Over a year later, however, a new prediction emerged: that Pakistan could produce a plutonium–fueled weapon as early as 1978, as long as it had access to a reprocessing plant. 

By 1978 Pakistan did not have a reprocessing plant or the bomb.  Nevertheless, that same year a pattern of suspicious purchases detected by British customs officials led to the discovery that Pakistan was secretly acquiring technology to produce highly-enriched uranium as an alternative path to building the bomb.  The "extensive foreign assistance" postulated by the SNIE turned out to be the theft of plans for a gas centrifuge enrichment technology from the Uranium Enrichment Corporation [URENCO] in the Netherlands.  The perpetrator was metallurgist Abdul Q. Khan who founded a worldwide network to acquire sensitive technology for his country's nuclear project and later for providing nuclear technology to Pakistan's friends and customers. (Note 8)

Recent studies of the U.S.–Pakistan nuclear relationship see moments during the mid-to-late 1970s when it may have been possible to bring the Pakistani program to a halt by preventing Khan from acquiring sensitive technology. The Dutch may have had the best chance in 1975 when they suspected that Khan was a spy; whether the U.S. and British governments had similar opportunities to nip the Pakistani nuclear effort in the bud remains a matter of debate. (Note 9)  For example, when British officials learned that Khan and his associates were trying to purchase high frequency electrical inverters needed to run centrifuges, they acted too late to stop the Pakistani from acquiring this technology, which they soon learned how to copy and manufacture.   So far declassified documents do not shed light on when the British told the U.S. government about this development and how Washington initially reacted to it, or what else U.S. intelligence may have been learning from other sources.  In any event, some of the documents in this collection suggest that the U.S. intelligence establishment may have had a mindset that prevented it from acquiring, or looking for, timely intelligence about the Pakistani secret enrichment program.  

A significant problem was U.S. intelligence's assumption during 1974-1978 that Pakistan would take the plutonium route for producing the bomb.  SNIE 4-1-74, "Prospects for Further Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," (published by the National Security Archive in January 2008) and two documents in this collection, a "Memorandum to Holders" of SNIE 4-1-74 and a 1978 CIA report, shed some light on the former assumption.  Both documents give virtually exclusive emphasis to the plutonium route for acquiring the fissile material required for building the bomb.  Thus, intelligence analysts assumed that countries like Pakistan would try to try to acquire reprocessing technology so that they could chemically extract plutonium from the spent fuel rods taken from nuclear power reactors.  This was a reasonable premise because plutonium has played a central role in modern nuclear arsenals.   Nevertheless, during the early 1960s, U.S. intelligence had assumed that China would first build and test a plutonium weapon, but as it turned out, Beijing found it more expedient to produce highly-enriched uranium for the nuclear device which it tested in October 1964.  This surprised Washington, but if the intelligence community conducted any postmortems, they did not yield long-lasting lessons. (Note 10

That Pakistan could try to acquire and develop advanced gas centrifuge enrichment technology was not an element in intelligence analysis. While the authors of SNIE 4-1-74 recognized the possibility that interested nations could secretly undertake a gas centrifuge enrichment program for producing highly-enriched uranium, they posited that it was "highly unlikely" that it could be undertaken "without our getting some indications of it."  The possibility that "indications" might come too late was not discussed, but the tight secrecy controls over the gas centrifuge technique may have created a certain confidence that it would not leak out.  Thus, the "Memorandum to Holders" did not include any discussion of what it would require for a country to build a gas centrifuge plant by purchasing "dual use" or "gray area" technology; no doubt its authors assumed that poor countries such as Pakistan were unlikely to pull off such a stunt.  Indeed, according to some accounts, U.S. intelligence analysts dismissed Pakistan's competence to take the enrichment route. (Note 11) Whether such thinking may have made U.S. intelligence somewhat less watchful when Khan and his associates were creating their network will require more information than is presently available.

So far no U.S. government reports on the actual discovery of the enrichment program and the Khan network have emerged, although a few declassified CIA items in this collection include estimates how far Pakistan could go with the stolen technology.  Most of the documents published today reflect the thinking of State Department officials— ambassadors and assistant secretaries--who worried about the Pakistani bomb, but were less than wholehearted supporters of a rigorous nuclear nonproliferation agenda because it might interfere with securing Pakistan's cooperation on regional issues.  This collection does not tap the resources of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, but several documents at the National Security Council-level provide insight into high-level policy debates and strategy discussions.  A few items provide some insight into President Carter's thinking because they include his observations in handwritten marginalia (see documents 2 and 36).  No documents from the files of the former Arms Control and Disarmament Agency are yet available, although a few forceful memoranda by special ambassador on nonproliferation Gerard C. Smith may have dovetailed with ACDA views.


Read the Documents

Part I:  The Controversy over Reprocessing and the Discovery of the Uranium Enrichment Program

Document 1: "A Nuclear Device in Four Years"
Memorandum to Holders, Special National Intelligence Estimate, "Prospects for Further Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," SNIE 4-1-74, 18 December 1975, Secret, Excised copy
Source: FOIA release

Before the United States government realized that Pakistan was developing a secret network to acquire enrichment technology, one of its objectives was to thwart that country's efforts to purchase reprocessing technology from France.  While a reprocessing plant would have an important non-military application—by recovering uranium from spent fuel in order to make fresh reactor fuel—the other byproduct from reprocessing—plutonium—had significant proliferation implications.  Concern about Pakistan's nuclear ambitions emerged after May 1974, when India staged its Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE) and the U.S. intelligence community, in SNIE 4-1-74, issued in August 1974, estimated that Pakistan was "likely to press ahead."  The purpose of the "Memorandum to Holders" of SNIE 4-1-74 was to explore a reference ("Conclusion J") that some countries could acquire a "very modest nuclear explosive capability" without trying to produce, or "weaponize," devices suitable for bombers and missiles.  The criteria used for the definition of a modest capability included possession of a small "nuclear device based on the possession of about 10 KGs or more" of plutonium or a larger amount of highly-enriched uranium, an "indigenous development program," or a "production capability" that just skirted violations of the NPT or IAEA safeguards by not actually producing nuclear explosives.

Using those criteria and the available evidence, the drafters of the memorandum estimated the "earliest technical feasible date that a country could have an unweaponized nuclear device in hand."  Even though the description of the fuel for a device included either plutonium or highly-enriched uranium, the estimate focused (except for the South African case) on the development of a capability to produce weapons-grade or reactor-grade plutonium.  Based on that assumption, the Memorandum estimated that Taiwan could have a weapon as early as 1978, the Republic of Korea by 1979, Argentina by 1978, Brazil by 1980, Iran by 1982, and Yugoslavia by 1980.  South Africa could have an HEU-based weapon sometime during 1976-1978.  As for Pakistan, it could have a weapon as early as 1978.

Document 2: "We Have a Good Chance of Persuading Bhutto"
Acting Secretary of State Warren Christopher to the President, "Reprocessing Negotiations with Pakistan: A Negotiating Strategy,"2 April 1977, Secret
Source: National Archives, Record Group 59, Department of State Records [hereinafter RG 59], Records of Warren Christopher, 1977-1980, box 17, Official Chrons Jan-Dec 1977 [1 of 2]

The Carter administration opposed a French contract with Pakistan to sell a reprocessing plant.  Believing that Prime Minister Bhutto might have been willing to trade away Pakistani's nuclear program in return for "significant benefits," Warren Christopher proposed a deal to President Jimmy Carter that, in part, reprised what Henry Kissinger had offered when he was Secretary of State. (Note 12)  The idea was to offer Bhutto cash sales of advanced weapons systems, such as F-5E fighters, along with economic assistance, assured fuel supply for nuclear reactors, and financing of a French nuclear reactor.  The package would have to "stand on its own feet," thus arms sales would not be so excessive as to "start an arms race with India."  Carter's reaction, as evident in his marginalia, was skeptical; for example, he favored sale of the Navy's A-5 fighter jets only, opposed the proposed economic aid budget, and questioned the idea of financing a French sale.  

Whether Bhutto, who had said "we will eat grass" to get nuclear weapons, would have accepted such a deal is debatable.  In any event, on 5 July, talks with him became irrelevant when the military seized power and placed Bhutto under arrest, in the wake of controversy over recent national elections, including charges of electoral rigging. General Zia became Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA).

Document 3: "Are We Just Asking [Congress] for (a) Forbearance or (b) Trouble?"
Assistant Secretaries Alfred L. Atherton and Douglas J. Bennet, Jr. through Mr. Habib to the Acting Secretary, "Pakistan's Purchase of  a Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant: the Symington Amendment and Consultations with Congress," 23 June 1977,  Confidential, with cover note from Christopher to "Roy" Atherton
Source:  RG 59, Records of Warren Christopher, 1977-1980, box 17, Official Chrons Jan-Dec 1977 [1 of 2]

Press reports about the transfer of French nuclear reprocessing technology, mostly in the form of blueprints, sparked concern that Congress might ask the State Department why it had not yet invoked laws requiring the termination of economic and military assistance if Pakistan was trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability.  Oddly, the authors of this memorandum appear to have had a fundamental confusion about what law was applicable.  The Symington Amendment (after Sen. Stuart Symington [D-Mo]), but the Glenn Amendment (after Sen. John Glenn [D-OH]) was not at issue in the debates over the export of reprocessing technology.  While the Glenn amendment, as later modified, covered both  reprocessing and enrichment technologies, the Symington Amendment would go into effect only if Pakistan was importing and developing uranium enrichment capabilities. (Note 13) While the authors of this memorandum argued that Congressional restrictions were not applicable as long as Washington was trying to "prevent Pakistan from acquiring a reprocessing capability," Christopher was not so sure. "Can we make a persuasive case that the Amendment is not yet applicable or are we just asking for (a) forbearance, or (b) trouble."

Document 4: "This Seems an Untenable Position"
Alfred L. Atherton and George S. Vest thru: Mr. Christopher, Mr. Habib, Mrs. Benson to the Secretary, "The Nuclear Reprocessing Issue with Pakistan and France: Whether to Resume Aid to Pakistan,"18 October 1977, with draft instructions and telegrams from embassies in Paris and Islamabad attached, Secret
Source: RG 59, Records of Warren Christopher, 1977-1980, box 17, Official Chrons Jan-Dec 1977 [1 of 2]

Apparently not seeking "trouble" with Congress, Pakistan's pursuit of French reprocessing technology convinced the administration to cut off development aid in September 1977, but it made no formal announcement, perhaps to minimize the diplomatic repercussions. Within a few weeks, however, U.S. Ambassador Arthur Hummel was proposing the resumption of aid because the French were trying to figure out how to back out of the contract with Pakistan.  According to Hummel, that meant that we have "virtually achieved our objective of assuring that the … contract for a reprocessing plant in Pakistan will not be carried out."  U.S. Ambassador to France Arthur Hartman argued that was not good enough; Washington needed "adequate assurances" that the contract was dead.  Moreover, resuming aid could weaken France's handing in liquidating the reprocessing contract.  Key State Department officials agreed, concluding that it was better to see how the situation developed rather than take premature action and risk "tough questions" from Congress.
Document 5:  "A Very Crude Pakistani Nuclear Device is Probably Many Years Away."
Central Intelligence Agency, "Pakistan Nuclear Study," 26 April 1978, Top Secret, excised copy
Source: Mandatory Declassification Review [MDR], currently under appeal

This study was written not long before the French made their decision to terminate the reprocessing plant contract with Pakistan.  According to the CIA, the reprocessing plant "is of the appropriate size to handle the KANUPP [Karachi Nuclear Power Plant] output if the reactor should be operated in a manner to maximize the production of weapons grade plutonium."  While the KANUPP reactor was under international safeguards, the possibility of successful diversion existed.  That very possibility contributed to France's decision, taken during early 1978, against the sale of a reprocessing plant; the Giscard d'Estaing government had decided that the nonproliferation disadvantages outweighed the commercial advantages.  Thus, it tried to thwart a weapons capability by proposing to configure the plant so that it produced a mixture of uranium and plutonium which could not be used for a weapon.  According to an authoritative account, when General Zia rejected the French suggestion, the latter "became 'convinced Pakistan wanted the atomic bomb' and decided definitely to back out of the contract." (Note 14)

If the deal with Paris fell through, the CIA analyst speculated that the "odds favoring any sort of explosive program on [Pakistan's] part would sharply diminish."  The Pakistanis could try to build a "crude reprocessing facility"—a "quick and dirty" installation—but that could take 5 years because their technical skills were "rudimentary."  The report showed that CIA believed that Pakistan had approached China for plutonium and for technical support, but it took several years before the Agency realized how far nuclear cooperation between Beijing and Islamabad was actually going. (Note 15) While the analysts believed that Pakistan's leadership had a strong motivation to acquire a "potential nuclear capability," they believed (mistakenly) that the martial law regime under General Zia that had deposed Bhutto in 1977 was giving it "relatively lower priority."  Moreover, all the "adverse factors," including "lack of scientific know-how," financial problems, fear of India, and political uncertainty, "increase the odds against Pakistan going nuclear –perhaps for the next decade or longer."  Thus, "even a very crude Pakistani nuclear device is probably many years away."

By the time this study was written, Khan's secret purchasing network was making significant progress in acquiring dual use technology needed to construct a gas centrifuge enrichment facility.  While British and then U.S. intelligence would soon learn about this development, the possibility that Pakistan would take the uranium enrichment path to build the bomb was not in the scope of this report (the excisions appear to be on other issues). 

Document 6: "A Memorable Memorial Day Weekend"
State Department cable 136685 to Embassy Islamabad, "Reprocessing Issue," 30 May 1978, Secret
Source: FOIA request

At the end of May 1978, the Carter administration learned that French president Giscard d'Estaing had decided against the reprocessing plant sale.  For the State Department this meant it was time to think about resuming aid to Pakistan because the Glenn amendment strictures would soon be irrelevant.   Vance and his aides thought that "a package of tangible inducements" could help dissuade Pakistan from taking further steps to develop a nuclear capability, but they also saw aid as a necessity in light of the Communist coup in Afghanistan a month earlier.  Thus, the talking points that the Department prepared for Vance's meeting with Foreign Minister Agha Shahi were designed to provide the reassurances that Washington would be of assistance if the new regime in Kabul "made trouble for its neighbors."
Document 7: "The French Government Remains Firm in Its Decision"
U.S. Embassy Paris cable 24112 to State Department, "French Complaint Concerning US Action on Pakistan Reprocessing Plant," 1 August 1978, Secret
Source: MDR request 

Having made their decision to cancel the reprocessing contract, the French had informed General Zia and a few other governments, but not China.  Zia responded with a letter and while the French considered a reply, they were chagrined to learn that U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Arthur Hummel had unilaterally told his Chinese counterpart about the decision (Hummel was an old China hand and had close contacts with Chinese diplomats). (Note 16)  Beijing would have found out eventually, but the French were uncomfortable about the leak: 1) because it could look like Paris had succumbed to U.S. pressure, and 2) they had not yet informed Beijing, because it favored the reprocessing plant as a way to strengthen Pakistan.

Document 8:  "Not Sin in the Future"
State Department cable 191467 to Embassy Islamabad, "Pak Ambassador's Call on Undersecretary Newsom," 1 August 1978, Secret
Source: MDR request

With the French decision to cancel the contract for the reprocessing plant, the Carter administration wondered what Pakistan would do next, whether it would begin work on an "indigenous" reprocessing facility.  If Washington could be sure that Pakistan had no such plans, it might be possible to restore the economic aid that had been cut off in September 1977 under the Glenn amendment. (Note 17)  In light of the impending French action, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Newsom discussed the problem with Pakistani ambassador Yaqub Khan.  Under the terms of the Glenn amendment, the United States would not require written assurance from Pakistan on "indigenous construction."  Nevertheless, the State Department needed to consult with Congress and provide its estimate of Pakistan's intentions.  While Newsom did not ask for an assurance, the implication was that one would be desirable (Washington had already asked for a private commitment; see document 10).  Khan, however, would have none of it, asserting that Pakistan would see a request for a pledge as "a new condition, namely that GOP not sin in the future."  Asking for an assurance was unrealistic because if Pakistan really wanted to go ahead with reprocessing "it would not matter how many assurances [it] provided." Newsom did not object, observing that he was "trying to clear away an obstacle" and find a "formula" for improving relations between the two nations.

Document 9: "A Weapons Proof Reprocessing Plant"
U.S. Embassy Paris cable 24312 to State Department, "French Go Public (Partly) on Reprocessing Issue with Pakistan," 3 August 1978, Secret
Source: MDR release
News reports from Islamabad that the French had tried to modify the reprocessing agreement led the Foreign Ministry to make a public statement explaining why, in light of Pakistan's statements about its non-pursuit of nuclear weapons, France believed it was necessary to ensure that the reprocessing plant was technically compatible with nonproliferation purposes.

Document 10: "No Government of Pakistan …Could Survive"
U.S. Embassy Islamabad cable 7591 to State Department, "Pakistan Reprocessing Plant: USG Stipulation," 5 August 1978, Secret
Source: MDR release

The problem of assurances came up again at a meeting between Hummel, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Agha Shahi,  Foreign Secretary Shawnawaz, and Ambassador Khan (at home for consultations).   After discussing some unverified news reports about the cancellation of U.S. aid, Shahi and his colleagues brought up their main concern: whether Washington expected commitments from Pakistan if the French cancelled the reprocessing contract (neither side acknowledged what it already knew about Giscard d'Estaing's decision).  Khan reviewed his discussion with Newsom of a few days earlier and Shahnawaz quoted a recent State Department démarche suggesting private assurances about Pakistan's nuclear intentions.  Shahi insisted that even private assurances were politically impossible.

Document 11: "Reinforce the Power of the Muslim World"
U.S. Embassy Islamabad to cable 7624 to State Department, "Nuclear Reprocessing," 6 August 1978, Secret
Source: MDR release

The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan discovered General Zia's statement to a Saudi newspaper that no Muslim country had nuclear weapons and that a Pakistani bomb "would reinforce the power of the Muslim world."  Seeing the statement as a "gaffe," Hummel did not want to publicize it to avoid creating problems for Zia, but he thought it useful to hold in reserve to justify U.S. policy.  In any event, he acknowledged that Reuters and BBC, among others, knew about the interview and might publish it.  

Document 12: "Many in Congress Remained Deeply Suspicious"
State Department cable 204785 to Embassy Islamabad, "Pakistan Reprocessing," 12 August 1978, Secret
Source: MDR request  

Meeting with Senator John Glen (D-0H), chairman of the Committee on Governmental Affairs and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Clement Zablocki (D-Wi), chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, two influential Democrats with strong nonproliferation interests, Undersecretary Newsom wanted to find a way to get Congressional support to restore aid to Pakistan. It was evident that Congress would not resume funding until Islamabad "laid to rest" suspicions about reprocessing capabilities.

Document 13: "Unfettered Right to Do What It Wishes"
State Department cable 205550 to Embassy Islamabad, "Discussion between Under Secretary Newsom and Pakistan's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Agha Shahi on the Reprocessing Issue," 14 August 1978, Secret
Source: MDR request  

A meeting between Newsom and Agha Shahi did not advance the situation.  Briefing the Pakistanis on his meeting with Glenn and Zablocki and holding back what he knew about France's decision, Newsom explained that if Washington was to resume economic aid, an assurance from Pakistan about nuclear reprocessing would greatly help.  Shahi, however, insisted that that was a "demand that no country would accept" and that if the French suspended the processing plant that his government would not inform Washington.  Pakistan "has the unfettered right to do what it wishes and will retain all its options."

Document 14: "The Most Extraordinarily Obscure Diplomatic Communication"
U.S. Embassy Islamabad to cable 8167 to State Department, "Reprocessing Plant," 21 August 1978, Secret
Source: MDR release

After Giscard D'Estaing informed Zia that France had decided to cancel the contract, the latter wrote back asking France to reconsider the decision.   D'Estaing responded, and French Ambassador Pol Le Gourrierec read the letter to Hummel, who found it full of "pious sentiments."   While Giscard had suggested that the matter could be reconsidered after the completion of the INFCE [International Nuclear Fuel Cycle] studies on reprocessing, the Pakistanis understood that the deal was off.   The French decision was still a secret and Le Gourrierec hoped that Washington would not inform Congress until the Pakistani government had released the news.   Whether the Chinese could fill the gap by building a reprocessing plant, Hummel would try to find out.

Document 15: "The Time to Get Back on Normal Tracks"
U.S. Embassy Islamabad to cable 8281 to State Department, "Fon Sec Says Reprocessing Problem is Solved," 24 August 1978, Secret
Source: MDR Release

During a conversation with Hummel and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Adolph "Spike" Dubs, Foreign Secretary Shahnawaz spoke "with unusual animation that the reprocessing issue is already behind us and now is the time to get back on normal tracks."  This, Hummel believed, was a "good sign."

Document 16: Chinese Assurances "Seem Credible"
State Department cable 216584 to Embassy Islamabad, "PRC Assistance to Pakistan in Reprocessing," 25 August 1978, Confidential
Source: MDR Release

Responding to Hummel's cable reporting on a discussion with Chinese ambassador Lu Weizhao, the State Department commented that the assurance that Beijing would not help Pakistan develop a reprocessing plant seemed "credible."  Drafted by nuclear expert Robert Gallucci, the cable nevertheless opined that Beijing had the capability to build a plant, "less sophisticated and versatile" than the French facility, but which could extract plutonium from the KANUPP nuclear power plant.

Document 17: "Very Tough, Even Insolent"
U.S. Embassy Paris cable 28414 to State Department, "French Views on Pakistan Reprocessing Plant," 25 August 1978, Confidential
Source: MDR release

On 23 August, the Pakistanis announced the cancellation of the reprocessing deal and the State Department followed that quickly with a statement that it hoped to sign a new aid agreement with Islamabad. (Note 18)  U.S. Ambassador to France Arthur Hartman discussed some of the implications of the cancellation with Jean-Marie Soutou, a senior official at the French Foreign Ministry.  Although Zia's letter was "very tough, even insolent," the French did not expect economic retaliation.  With the Pakistan contract cancelled, the French wondered whether it would be possible to encourage West Germany to take a more "reasonable" approach to its controversial nuclear deal with Brazil.

Document 18: "Now in a Position to Resume Aid Programs"
Memo to Chris [Warren Christopher] from Steve [Oxman], 4 October 1978, enclosing edits to draft cable to Islamabad and "Evening Reading" reports to President Carter on Pakistan, Secret, excerpts

Source: National Archives, Record Group 59, Department of State Records, Records of Warren Christopher, 1977-1980, box 56, Pakistan I

On 2 October 1978, a little over the month after the announcement of the French reprocessing plant cancellation, Vance informed Shahi that the United States was in a position to "resume aid programs and consider military sales."   Nevertheless, Vance stated that Washington remained concerned about Pakistan's nuclear ambitions and that it was resuming aid "on the assumption that the government … has no intention of developing a nuclear capability."  Hummel was to inform the Pakistanis that the United States would have to review the "overall relationship" if it discovered that they were developing an indigenous reprocessing or enrichment capability.   Nevertheless, Washington was ready to approve agreements with AID totaling $37 million, with additional PL-480 (Food for Peace) funds totaling $40 million ready to be committed and an additional $40 million under consideration.

According to one of the "Evening Reading" items, U.S. intelligence was learning that Pakistan was looking  into ways to acquire a reprocessing plant or other means to keep the "nuclear option" viable.  The CIA's estimate that Zia's martial law government was less interested in the nuclear option was unfounded.  Rather optimistically, the State Department had told members of Congress that the Pakistan nuclear problem had not been "completely solved" but that the "restoration of normal relations" would "best serve our nonproliferation objectives and our interest in regional stability." 

Document 19: "We Should Expect Pakistan to Explore a Variety of Options"
Memorandum of Conversation, Prepared by Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Nye, "Consultations on Pakistan: Details on Indigenous Nuclear Capabilities (Supplement to Memcon Prepared by Ambassador Hummel)," 6 October 1978, Secret
Source: FOIA release

Briefing Senator Glenn, Joseph Nye reported that "we had indications that Pakistan is attempting to acquire an indigenous centrifuge enrichment capability."  Nye thought that organized action by nuclear suppliers could "reduce" Pakistan's ability to purchase "sensitive 'gray areas' equipment."  While Pakistan was not likely to complete the French reprocessing plant, it could build a "smaller and less efficient" version.

Document 20: "Inhibiting Pakistan from Moving Toward Nuclear Capability"
Harold Saunders and Anthony Lake through Mr. Newsom and Mrs. Benson to the Secretary, "PRC Meeting, November 30, 1978 - Pakistan," 29 November 1978, Secret

Source: RG 59, Records of Anthony Lake, box 4, TL 11/16-30/78

This paper was prepared for a meeting of the National Security Council's Policy Review Committee (PRC) to discuss the problem of aid to Pakistan.  The Iranian revolution and the Shah's increasingly shaky status, the Communist coup in Afghanistan earlier in the year, and concern over the stability of Yemen, increased State Department officials worries about the future of Pakistan and the implications for the U.S. position if regional disorder led to radicalization or disintegration.   While Pakistan wanted more—security guarantees, military sales, and economic aid—than Washington could give, Vance's top advisers--Deputy Secretary Newsom and Undersecretary for Security Assistance, Science, and Technology Lucy Benson--were willing to recommend some military sales and an increase in development aid, and even further if the regional situation deteriorated.  Nevertheless, the nuclear issue remained unsettling.  Congress remained unlikely to support military assistance if Pakistan was known to be pursuing a nuclear option, and increased aid would never give the U.S. "decisive leverage" over Pakistan's nuclear ambitions.

Washington was already working with other nuclear exporters to try to control the sale of sensitive nuclear-related technology and a recent State Department report to national security adviser Brzezinski recommended a strategy to inhibit the Pakistani nuclear program. (Note 19)  What intelligence information supported this effort remains to be learned, but the CIA was worried about compromising sources if a U.S. démarche helped the Pakistanis learn how much U.S. intelligence knew about "what they were up to." 

Document 21: "More Extensive and Sophisticated Than Previously Indicated"
John Despres, National Intelligence Officer for Nuclear Proliferation via Deputy Director for National Foreign Assessment [and] National Intelligence Officer for Warning to Director of Central Intelligence, "Monthly Warning Report – Nuclear Proliferation,"  " Warning Report" attached, 5 December 1978, Secret
Source: CIA Research Tool [hereinafter cited as CREST], National Archives, College Park, MD

According to this report, U.S. intelligence was learning that Pakistan's technology acquisition network was "more extensive and sophisticated than previously indicated."  The "best efforts" to "thwart those activities" have not been enough and Pakistan "may succeed in acquiring the main missing components for a strategically significant gas centrifuge enrichment capability."  If the Indians learn about the Pakistani program, their interest in "more nuclear weapons-oriented activities may be strengthened substantially" as would be their resistance to safeguards on nuclear facilities.

Document 22: "May Soon Acquire All the Essential Components for a Plant"
John Despres, NIO for Nuclear Proliferation, to Interagency Intelligence Working Group on Nuclear Proliferation, "Monthly Warning Report," 18 January 1979, Top Secret, excised copy
Source: CREST

Compounding concern about the direction of the Indian nuclear program was more definitive intelligence about Pakistan's success in acquiring uranium enrichment technology.  It "may have a ready succeeded in acquiring the main missing components for a gas centrifuge plant" that could be producing enriched uranium possibly by 1982.   While export controls by nuclear suppliers could "marginally complicate" the Pakistani nuclear program, it "has probably acquired all the technology—designs, plans, and technical expertise—that is critical for the eventual operation of the plant." Nevertheless, as would be learned later, the Pakistanis had not acquired all of the relevant information, e.g., designs that Dutch had fashioned to prevent the centrifuges from vibrating excessively and crashing, a problem that Khan and his colleagues would have to solve on their own. (Note 20)


Part II: The Struggle against the Enrichment Program

Documents 23A-C: "Moving Rapidly and Secretly"

Document 23A: Harold Saunders and Mr. Pickering through Mrs. Benson to Mr. Newsom, "Mini-PRC Meeting on the Pakistan Nuclear Program," 20 January 1979, Secret
Document 23B: Marshall Shulman, Paul Kreisberg, and Robert Barry to Mr. Newsom, "The 'Mini-PRC' Meeting on Pakistani Nuclear Intentions," 22 January 1979, Secret
Source: RG 59, Records of Anthony Lake, box 17, Sensitive 1/1-3/31/79
Document 23C: Presidential Review Committee Meeting, January 22, 1979, "Summary of Conclusions: Mini-PRC on Pakistani Nuclear Matters," 23 January 1979, Secret, excised copy
Source: FOIA request

The latest intelligence warning report raised the Carter administration's hackles about the progress of the Pakistani nuclear program. (Note 21)  Unspecified intelligence going back to 1977 on Pakistan's attempts to "import critical components" had also surfaced.  Hoping that diplomatic action could "dissuade" Zia, senior State Department officials envisioned a comprehensive campaign of diplomatic pressure, with approaches to China, Saudi Arabia, and the Soviet Union, a "quiet overture" to India on a India-Pakistan "non-use declaration," coordination with key allies, and controls over "sensitive exports."  Once the "dust has settled" from the Bhutto case, President Carter could invite General Zia for a visit, although it was not clear whether hanging Bhutto would settle the dust.  More evidence of an enrichment program could trigger a new aid cutoff under the Symington amendment proscribing aid to non-NPT countries that launched enrichment efforts. (Note 22) That could cause "serious" diplomatic problems, but the State Department hoped that it would be possible to change the law to gain "more flexibility and time."

A few days later, State Department Soviet expert Marshall Shulman and colleagues recommended against an approach to Moscow on the grounds that it was inconsistent with U.S. policy to "constrain" Moscow's influence in that part of the world.  Moreover, in light of Beijing-Moscow tensions, Washington could risk losing Chinese support. 

The Policy Review Committee [mistakenly named Presidential Review Committee in document 23C] agreed that Moscow should not be approached, but endorsed discussions with Deng Xiaoping and "selected Europeans." The ambassadors to India and Pakistan would consider the possibility of asking Indian Prime Minister Desai to consider a joint Indo-Pakistani understanding not to develop nuclear weapons.  Moreover, Ambassador Hummel would meet with General Zia and brief him on the nuclear program's "implications for US-Pakistani relations."

The possibility of seeking changes in the Symington amendment was considered, but the administration would not invoke the amendment because the "critical importance of Pakistan" made cutting aid an unwelcome prospect. In any event, the PRC agreed that Congress had to be kept informed on diplomatic strategy. 

Document 24: "At Least Three-to-Five Years to Produce a Device"
Department of State cable 22212 to Embassy New Delhi, "Ad Hoc Scientific Committee and Related Topics," 27 January 1979, Secret
Source: National Archives, Record Group 59, Department of State Records, Records of Warren Christopher, 1977-1980, box 56, Pakistan II

Discussions between U.S. embassy and Indian officials of personnel selection for the International Atomic Energy Authority produced advice from the State Department and some observations on the Pakistani nuclear problem.  While somebody, apparently in New Delhi, had cited an estimate of two to three months for Pakistan to get the bomb, the State Department wanted to correct that by suggesting a time frame of a "number of years," although privately it told the Embassy that its current estimate was three to five years. (Note 23) Also, when the circumstances arose, the Department wanted the Embassy to highlight the need for India to accept international safeguards for its nuclear facilities "to help assure the Paks of the peaceful nature" of the Indian program," reduce their incentive for the nuclear option, and provide a disincentive for non-safeguarded facilities.

Document 25: "Clear, Unequivocal, and Repeated Offers by Pres. Zia"
 U.S. Embassy Islamabad to cable 2413 to State Department, "Pakistan Nuclear Program: Technical Team Visit," 27 February 1979, Secret
Source: National Archives, Record Group 59, Department of State Records, Records of Warren Christopher, 1977-1980, box 56, Pakistan II   

On 24 January, as an element of the U.S. campaign, Ambassador Hummel met with General Zia for a discussion of the Kahuta facility. According to Hummel's later account, he brandished satellite photography of Kahuta, but Zia said "That's absolutely ridiculous.  Your information is incorrect. We have to clear this up. Tell me any place in Pakistan you want to send your experts and I will let them come and see." (Note 24)  Apparently, Zia said much the same thing on 9 February, but when Hummel called on the Pakistanis to follow up Zia's offer, Foreign Ministry officials said they would not let U.S. inspectors visit the facilities because India also refused inspections.  Hummel replied that the discrepancies between U.S. information and Pakistani claims about peaceful purposes would have an impact on U.S. opinion and, making a veiled threat, "that applicable U.S. law might have to be implemented."  That is, the Symington Act might go into effect with economic aid terminated.

Documents 26A-B: Warren Christopher Meets General Zia

Document 26A: U.S. Embassy Islamabad cable 2769 to State Department, "Nuclear Aspects of DepSec Visit Discussed with UK and French Ambassadors," 7 March 1979
Document 26B: Handwritten notes, Warren Christopher Meetings with General Zia and Foreign Minister Shahi, 1 and 2 March 1979
Source for both: National Archives, Record Group 59, Department of State Records, Records of Warren Christopher, 1977-1980, box 56, Pakistan II

When Hummel sent his 27 February cable, Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher was in New Delhi and ready to fly to Rawalpindi for meetings with General Zia and Minister of Foreign Affairs Shahi.  Detailed records of the meetings have not surfaced, but Ambassador Hummel's briefing to the British and French has.  According to Hummel, neither Zia nor Shahi denied Pakistan's effort to build the bomb and both refused to halt it.  Christopher warned them that Pakistani nuclear activities could lead Washington to invoke the Symington Amendment.  State Department officials may have been taken aback by Hummel's frank discussion of some of the issues (e.g., economic aid from "Islamic nations," possible Libya-Pakistan nuclear cooperation, risk of a Pakistani understanding with the Soviet Union) because someone wrote "Not an understated report" on the cable.

Notes on the meetings with Zia and Shahi, possibly taken by NSC staffer Thomas Thornton, convey impressions of some of the discussion.   Most of the notes concern the talks with Shahi the next day.  Shahi made it plain that Pakistan's efforts to normalize relations with India had "been carried as far as possible."  He also said in "several different ways that there is a double standard in our treatment of India and Pakistan re (1) arms (2) reprocessing."  One implication was that the United States had never pushed India as hard as it was pushing Pakistan.   After Christopher spoke in "tough terms" about the nuclear issue, Shahi characterized the U.S. position as an "ultimatum."  He also stated that Pakistan was willing to support a South Asian nuclear weapons free zone [SANWFZ], or if India would not accept, a "multilateral declaration" toward the same end, or as a fall back "reciprocal inspections" between India and PakistanBut Pakistan would not accept a U.S. "survey team," even a "one man survey team" consisting of Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Thomas Pickering.  Hummel explained that a visit by Pickering would be for discussion only, not for visiting installations.  Regarding possible U.S. supply of F-5 fighters, Shahi argued that they were not good for night interception and that Pakistan needed that "in view of [Indian] Jaguars' night strike capability."

On Pakistan's and nuclear weapons, Shahi claimed that his country "is not capable of pursuing a nuclear option."  Further, "we are committed," he said "to "not using reprocessing capability to make nuclear weapons."

The notes also include some of Christopher's questions to Thornton during the meeting and the latter's answers.   One was "How do Indians reconcile 'non-alignment' with their treaty with Soviets?"  The answer was the treaty "doesn't commit them to anything.  Also [Prime Minister] Desai govt didn't [negotiate?] and tones it down."  Two other questions and answers: "Tom – Are Pathans usually light skinned? " "Relatively so."  "If you were President of Pakistan would you seek to develop nuclear weapons?"  "Yes, but I would be acting irrationally."

Document 27: "No Unilateral or Multilateral Pressure …. Will Persuade Pakistan to Forego Its Efforts"
U.S. Embassy Islamabad to cable 2655 to State Department, "Pakistan's Nuclear Program: Hard Choices," 5 March 1979, Secret

Source: National Archives, Record Group 59, Department of State Records, Records of Warren Christopher, 1977-1980, box 56, Pakistan II

After the discussions with Zia and Shahi, Hummel saw only "meager policy options" to "head off" the Pakistani nuclear program, namely, reciprocal India-Pakistani guarantees, suppliers' controls without sanctions, or multilateral security guarantees for Pakistan.  From the U.S. perspective, he thought reciprocal guarantees were the best solution because they would incur no costs for Washington, but that they could not be negotiated.   Option two would only "buy time" so security guarantees against India were all that was left to get Pakistan out of the nuclear business.  "Only a bold initiative … will meet the fundamental security requirement as perceived by Pakistan." 

Document 28: "An Audacious Buy-Off" Proposal
Steve [Oxman] to Chris [Warren Christopher], 5 March 1979, enclosing memorandum from Harold Saunders and Thomas Pickering through Mr. Newsom and Mrs. Benson to the Secretary, "A Strategy for Pakistan," 5 March 1979, Secret
Source: National Archives, Record Group 59, Department of State Records, Records of Warren Christopher, 1977-1980, box 56, Pakistan II

One option that Hummel did not mention, but which was proposed by senior State Department officials was an "audacious buy off."  Assistant Secretaries Pickering and Saunders proposed a "security and stability package" totaling $290 million (Fiscal Year 1980) in military and economic aid to help assuage the fears of India that motivated Pakistan's search for a nuclear option.   If Zia was responsive on the nuclear front, Pickering and Saunders then proposed India-Pakistan negotiations on a "no weapons building, no weapons use" understanding. This proposal, however, was still-borne; Newsom believed that it should be "killed" and Christopher's assistant Steven Oxman suggested that the need to stabilize Pakistan was insufficiently analyzed.  Another problem was that Congress would never accept it when it was so evident that Pakistan was trying to build the bomb.  Moreover, according to Oxman, Pickering and Saunders had to be "dreaming" if they believed that the proposal could be presented in a way that "did not give the impression" of a buy-off.

Document 29: "Will Require Action Under the Symington Amendment"
Presidential Review Committee [Sic] Meeting, March 9, 1979, "Pakistan," n.d., Secret, excised copy
Source: FOIA release

The evidence of transfers of "critical equipment" to Pakistan and General Zia's virtual confirmation of the enrichment program made action on the Symington Amendment inescapable.  What the PRC wanted to do was ensure "maximum flexibility within the law in order to be able to respond to changes in circumstances and to maintain the broader possible basis for continuing close relations with Pakistan."  The Committee also tasked an interagency group to prepare, on a "tight deadline," "diplomatic scenarios," including multilateral and bilateral approaches.

Document 30: "Convincing Evidence"
Herbert J. Hansell through Lucy Wilson Benson to Mr. Newsom, "Pakistan and the Symington Amendment," 17 March 1979, Secret
Source: National Archives, Record Group 59, Department of State Records, Records of Warren Christopher, 1977-1980, box 56, Pakistan III

In light of the "convincing evidence" of Pakistan's enrichment program, State Department Legal Adviser Herbert Hansell saw a clear violation of the Symington amendment and recommended to Deputy Secretary Newsom a strategy for carrying out the required prohibition of military or economic aid to countries receiving nuclear enrichment technology without appropriate safeguards.  Enforcing the Amendment would mean "prohibiting new obligations" of economic and military assistance to Pakistan, but not the disbursement of funds already obligated. To wind up old projects, it would also be necessary to enter into small new obligations.  Hansell recommended not telling the Pakistani right away, so that Washington could "buy time to develop a strategy."  He also forwarded talking points that could be used for discussions with Congress. The points included statements that the United States faced a "very real and serious dilemma": on the one hand, a nuclear Pakistan would be a "new and dangerous element of instability," but on the other, as a "moderate state," Pakistan had contributed to regional stability.  Under those circumstances, the Carter administration wanted to delay informing Zia and Shahi, in order to avoid public controversy.  In the next few days the Department instructed the Defense Department and the Agency for International Development to start winding up programs that the amendment covered.

Document 31: "Ask the President to Take a Personal Hand"
Ambassador Pickering, Paul Kreisberg, and Jack Miklos through Mr. Newsom and Mrs. Benson to the Secretary, "Presidential Letter to President Zia on Nuclear Issues," 21 March 1979
Source: RG 59, Records of Anthony Lake, box 17, Sensitive 1/1-3/31/79

With press stories on the Pakistani program appearing in India and the UK, State Department officials only saw a "few days" before the story reached the U.S. media, Congress, and the public.   To try to keep the dialogue open with Zia, even after the implementation of the Symington amendment became known, State Department officials recommended a letter from President Carter to the General Zia.  The letter would provide general references to what was known, ask Zia to halt the enrichment program and accept a visit by U.S. officials to discuss ways to strengthen Pakistan's economy and security.  Carter would also invite Zia to come to Washington, whatever happened to Bhutto, for high-level discussions.   State Department advisers believed that an invitation would show that Carter was trying to find a solution despite the "bleak results" of the talks with Christopher.  While there was a risk that Zia could make the letter public, the stakes were high enough to make it worth taking.

Documents 32A-D: "Prospects Are Poor"

Document 32A: Anthony Lake, Harold Saunders, and Thomas Pickering through Mr. Newsom and Mrs. Benson to the Deputy Secretary, "PRC Paper on South Asia," enclosing Interagency Working Group Paper, "South Asian Nuclear and Security Problems, Analysis of Possible Elements in a U.S. Strategy," 23 March 1979, Secret
Document 32B: Harold Saunders, Thomas Pickering, and Paul H. Kreisberg through David Newsom and Lucy Benson to the Deputy Secretary, "PRC Meeting on Pakistan, Wednesday, March 28, 3:00 P.M., 27 March 1979, Secret
Source for both: RG 59, Records of Anthony Lake, box 17, Sensitive 1/1-3/31/79
Document 32C:  Memorandum from Gerard C. Smith, Special Representative of the President for Non-Proliferation Matters, to the Deputy Secretary, 27 March 1979, Secret
Source: RG 59, Records of Warren Christopher, box 56, Pakistan III
D: Policy Review Committee Meeting, March 28, 1979, "PRC on Pakistan: Summary of Conclusions," n.d., Secret, excised copy
Source: FOIA request

Whether Carter's letter was sent to Zia remains to be learned; these memoranda treat it as something to be done.  In any event, the proposed letter was only one element of a number of suggestions that an interagency panel had worked up at the request of the Policy Review Committee.  The task of the policymakers would be to look at the suggestions and chose "the best combination of inducements, prospects of penalties and sanctions, offer of a US security agreement, and pursuit of some imaginative Indo-Pak non-nuclear and security arrangement" that might dissuade Pakistan from going any further with the enrichment activities.  The "working level" officials who prepared the report had concluded that a sanctions-based strategy was insufficient to persuade Zia to change course.  Believing that the problem was not just a Pakistan problem, but an India-Pakistan dilemma, they developed proposals for "regional nuclear restraint" by both nations, for example, through a bilateral treaty, backed by the other nuclear powers, for the non-development and non-use of nuclear weapons in the region.  Also suggested were security guarantees and significant military and economic aid packages. The trick was to balance approaches to India and Pakistan because too much aid to the latter could make India feel "beleaguered" and stimulate a regional conventional arms race.  Whatever combination of measures the policymakers selected, the drafters of the working group paper conceded that the "prospects are poor that any approach will be successful in deflecting Pakistan and India from continuing their current nuclear programs."

Annex A of document 26A included an estimate of Pakistan's nuclear potential and India's likely response.  As in January, U.S. intelligence thought in terms of 3 to 5 years. Pakistan could have enough plutonium for a "single device" by 1982 and enough HEU to test a weapon by 1983, although 1984 was "more likely."  If Pakistan pursued its present course, Indian President Desai "may eventually have to publicly authorize explosive research to convince his opponents that he is prepared to get tough with Pakistan."   

A contrast with State Department ideas was a proposal for an all-out campaign against the Pakistani bomb prepared by special envoy on nuclear nonproliferation Gerard C. Smith.  Seeing the Pakistani nuclear program as "the sharpest challenge to the international structure since 1945," Ambassador Smith proposed "mobilizing international opinion against it," with approaches to the Soviets and China.  The PRC consensus, however, was for low profile action, including strengthening nuclear suppliers' controls over exports to Pakistan, presidential letters to counterparts in Western Europe, and an attempt at forging an India-Pakistan agreement on nuclear issues.  If the administration decided that compliance with the Symington Act was necessary, it would not "go beyond the legal requirements to apply any further sanctions." 

Document 33: "Indeed Regrettable"
Paul H. Kreisberg to Mr. Newsom, "Presidential Letter on Pakistan Nuclear Program to Western Leaders,"30 March 1979, Secret
Source: RG 59, Records of Anthony Lake, box 5, TL 3/16-3/31/79

The State Department followed up on the PRC directive to draft a letter from President Carter to Prime Ministers Pierre-Eliot Trudeau (Canada) and James Callaghan (UK), President Valerie Giscard d'Estaing (France), and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (West Germany) to alert them to the danger of a Pakistani nuclear program and the importance of concerted action to prevent its completion.  The text, drafted by Robert Gallucci, may have undergone further revision, but something like it was sent. Western press coverage of Pakistani nuclear developments had been spotty so the high-level readers of Carter's letter may have seen it as a confirmation of the existence of the nuclear weapons program, which was described as a threat to the "stability of South Asia" and a global nonproliferation system.  The text also notified Callaghan et al. that the Carter administration was enforcing the Symington amendment, an action which produced a "regrettable" situation because Washington was cutting aid at a time when regional instability was growing. 

Six days after the draft letter went to the White House, on 6 April 1979, the United States announced that it had suspended aid to Pakistan because of the nuclear program.  Two days earlier, General Zia, rejecting requests from the U.S. and other governments for clemency, ordered Bhutto's hanging.

Documents 34A and B: Mediation by a "Distinguished Individual"

Document 34A: Paul H. Kreisberg, Policy Planning Staff through David Newsom to the Deputy Secretary, "A Mediator for the South Asian Nuclear Problem," 22 May 1979
Source: RG 59, Records of Anthony Lake, box 5, 5/16-31/79
Document 34B: Policy Review Committee Meeting, 23 May 1979, "PRC on Pakistan and Subcontinent Matters -- Summary of Conclusions," n.d., Secret, excised copy
Source: FOIA request

One idea that emerged during State Department discussions was the possibility that a high-level mediator or negotiator could use "his good offices to help negotiate a settlement on the subcontinent."  As the history of international mediation had not been a happy one for either India or Pakistan, Paul Kreisberg suggested that if the concept appeared to be feasible, the "selected person" be designated as a "special envoy or emissary."  As an inducement to India, the Chinese would have to be included in the negotiations because China's nuclear capability had been a significant motive for the Indian nuclear project.  Kreisburg suggested a number of names, but concluded that it would be better if the emissary was not an American because of Prime Minister Desai's opposition to U.S. support for full-scope safeguards on Indian nuclear facilities.

The PRC was responsive to Kreisburg's proposal, but thought it made sense only if there were good prospects for an Indian-Pakistan nuclear "non-use/non-development" agreement.  In the meantime, Ambassador Robert F. Goheen should meet with Desai to explore the possibilities.

Documents 35A-B: "If [Pakistan] Exploded One, He Would Act at Once to 'Smash It'"
Document 35A: Department of State cable 140858 to embassy New Delhi, "Nuclear Dialogue with India," 2 June 1979, Secret
Document 35B: U.S. embassy New Delhi cable 9979, "India and the Pakistan Nuclear Problem," 7 June 1979, Secret
Source: MDR release

Following up on the PRC suggestion, the State Department cabled Ambassador Goheen with instructions to meet with Prime Minister Desai on an "informal, exploratory and non-committal" basis.   Starting with the premise that Washington wanted to work with New Delhi to "deflect" the Pakistani nuclear threat, Goheen could get across the idea that "India is an essential part of any solution."  Desai, however, was not interested in the idea of a joint agreement on the non-use and non-development of weapons.  Arguing that he had already made a pledge to that effect, Desai said that if Pakistan did the same "the two pledges would be as good as a joint agreement." He rejected Goheen's suggestion that a formal agreement would be more effective and dismissed altogether the nuclear weapons free zone concept.  Responding to Goheen's query about a prospective Indian reaction to a Pakistani weapons test, the prime minister was belligerent: "If he discovered that Pakistan was ready to test a bomb or if it exploded one, he would act at [once] 'to smash it.'"

Document 36: "A Mistake to Acquiesce"
Gerard C. Smith, Special Representative of the President for Non-Proliferation Matters, to the President, "Nonproliferation in South Asia," 8 June 1979, Secret
Source: FOIA request

In a memorandum to President Carter, special envoy Gerard C. Smith took issue with U.S. diplomat Peter Constable's suggestion that Pakistan would not test the bomb and would be content with a capability to reprocess plutonium and enrich uranium.  But whatever Islamabad did, Smith argued that it would be a mistake to assent to its nuclear program because "We are already vulnerable to the charge of such behavior with respect to Israel.  If Pakistan was also treated as an exception it "would drain most of the consistency out of your nonproliferation policy."  Carter wrote that he agreed.

Document 37: "Impasse"
Brzezinski to the Secretary of State, "The South Asian Nuclear Problem," 19 June 1979, Secret
Source: FOIA request

Whatever combination of incentives and penalties the PRC had approved and U.S. agencies carried out, there was no improvement in the situation, as U.S. government experts had anticipated.  To deal with the "impasse", which put U.S. nonproliferation goals and U.S. diplomacy in the region in "great jeopardy," Brzezinski asked Secretary Vance to initiate a "complete rethinking" of U.S. policy.  Alternative policies had to be considered, although Brzezinski acknowledged the possibility that the study might end up affirming existing course of action.   Vance's special adviser on nuclear nonproliferation policy, Gerard C. Smith, would direct the study.

Document 38: "To Seek a Regional Solution"
State Department cable 158902 to U.S. Embassy, Beijing, "South Asia Nuclear Problem: Exploratory Discussion with the PRC," 20 June 1979, Secret, excised copy
Source: FOIA request

Apparently not entirely giving up on a diplomatic solution, the State Department instructed Ambassador Leonard Woodcock in Beijing to bring up the Pakistani nuclear problem with Chinese officials.  Talking points sent with the message emphasized the dangers of a South Asian nuclear arms race and the importance of a "regional arrangement" that included "mutual restraint" in nuclear activities.  Of particular interest was that on 21 April 1979, after the Symington Act aid cutoff had gone into effect, Ambassador Hummel had proposed to the Pakistanis an "interim arrangement."  Under it, Pakistan would agree to limit its uranium enrichment activities to a research scale program" and "accept safeguards on all reprocessing activity" in return for the resumption of U.S. economic aid and the "possibility of gaining some reciprocal response from the Indians." 

Document 39: "The More Alarmed the Indians Will Become"
"Morning Meeting – June 29, 1979," Memorandum by Richard Lehman, NIO [National Intelligence Officer] for Warning, Secret
Source: National Archives, CIA Research Tool

Usually the Director of Central intelligence presided at morning meetings with senior staff, but this time Deputy Director Frank Carlucci presided.  The briefing by Richard Lehman, one of the inventors of the President's Daily Brief, included an item about the Pakistani nuclear program and the danger that the Indians would become "more alarmed" as more attention was called to it. While Lehman did not mention Prime Minister Desai's statement to Ambassador Goheen, he may have had it in mind when he stated that the "Indians would be strongly motivated to prevent acquisition by the Pakistani of a nuclear capability by military force."

Document 40: "Deeply Shocked"
State Department cable to U.S. Embassy, Austria, "Pakistan Nuclear Issue: Briefing of IAEA Director General Eklund", 9 July 1979, Secret
Source: FOIA request 

In early June 1979, Robert Gallucci, the State Department's expert on Pakistan's nuclear program, to Islamabad and drove to the site of the enrichment plant at Kahuta. He had a chance to take a few photos before security guards challenged his presence (he told them he was on a picnic). (Note 25)  Later that month, Gallucci accompanied Gerard C. Smith to Vienna when the latter briefed Sigvard Eklund, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, on the evidence of Pakistan's efforts to develop reprocessing facilities and acquire technology for producing HEU.  Gallucci gave the briefing, showing his photos. While the details of the briefing are not in the text of this cable, the questions and answers are, and its profound impact on Eklund is evident.  "Deeply shocked ," Eklund  said he was aware of Pakistan's nuclear interests, but it "was another thing to learn how such extensive facilities were already built and under construction." Two days later, during another meeting, Smith expressed some optimism that there was "time" to stop the Pakistanis, but Eklund was not so sanguine: "the more work the Pakistanis did the harder it was to stop them."  Given Pakistan's status as a non-NPT signator and a nonmember of the IAEA, Eklund and the IAEA had no leverage to stop Islamabad.

On 26 June, in between the two Smith-Eklund meetings, an aide drove French ambassador Pol le Gourrierec by the Kahuta facility so he could see it for himself, but they were not as lucky as Gallucci.  Pakistani security men followed them and beat them up severely.

Document 41: "Possible Future Nuclear Cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Libya or Iraq"
John Despres, NIO for Nuclear Proliferation via Deputy Director for National Foreign Assessment [and] National Intelligence Officer for Warning to Director of Central Intelligence, "Monthly Warning Report—Nuclear Proliferation," 24 July 1979, Secret, excised copy
Source: CREST

With the Pakistani nuclear program moving forward, NIO John Despres believed that India was likely to move more quickly in producing an "acceptable nuclear weapon," although it would take "at least two years."  If diplomacy did not check the Pakistani nuclear program, India was likely to "improve its unilateral military options" to take preventive action, but "pre-emptive air strikes" would not be on the table unless the production of a Pakistani bomb was imminent or Pakistan had acquired "an invulnerable capability to stockpile" fissile materials.  Either prospect would take at least two years.  India's military preparations were bound to increase Pakistan's nervousness as well as make it more resistant to "foreign pressure on its nuclear development plans.  It was in the realm of possibility that Pakistan would engage in "nuclear cooperation" with friendly Islamic states, even consider sharing "sensitive nuclear equipment."  Even if Pakistani leaders were "unwilling" to transfer nuclear explosives, they could be tempted by "possible offers of political and financial support."

Document 42: "Most of Us Are Scratching Our Heads"
Friday Morning Session, September 14, 1979, General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament, Secret, Excised Copy, Excerpt
Source:  FOIA request

The General Advisory Committee (GAC) on Arms Control and Disarmament was a high-level presidentially-appointed body of former officials and scientific experts who offered policy advice to the White House, the State Department, and the former Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA).  During the Carter administration IBM executive Thomas Watson chaired the GAC; other members included McGeorge Bundy, Brent Scowcroft, Wolfgang Panofsky, and Paul Doty. When the committee met on 14 September 1979, nuclear proliferation was high on the agenda and Charles Van Doren, the assistant director of ACDA's Non-Proliferation Bureau, provided a detailed briefing on the "immediate tough cases." Pakistan headed the list--the "makings ….of another Indian disaster"—and he reviewed efforts aimed at "slowing down the process", the impact of the Symington amendment, the implications for global nuclear trade, and apparent Israeli consideration of military action against Pakistan. Van Doren claimed that Washington did not have "preemptive plans" under "active consideration," although a New York Times report from a few weeks earlier stating that such plans had been contemplated sparked an angry reaction from Islamabad. (Note 26)  U.S. government officials had discussed a variety of approaches, "carrot-and-stick," multilateral action, regional solutions (India-Pakistan "mutual restraint"), but plainly Van Doren and his colleagues were perplexed: "most of us are scratching our head [sic] over what is the best thing to do." 

As for China's role, Van Doren did not believe that Beijing was doing anything to "help" Pakistan's nuclear effort (although that belief was mistaken).  Indeed, Beijing was advising Washington to aid Pakistan against the "Soviet peril" and to refrain from punitive action ("cutting off your nose to spite your face").  

Document 43: "Pakistani Plan for an Early Nuclear Test"
Richard Lehman, National Intelligence Office (Warning) to Distribution, "Alert Memorandum on Pakistani Plan for an Early Nuclear Test," 10 October 1979, Secret
Source: CREST

In August the New York Times reported on reports that Pakistan was beginning to construct a test site; new information relating to this development may have produced a request for an "alert memorandum," which has not yet been declassified.  The State Department may have been especially interested in the status of a test site because in a week, Secretary Vance and Ambassador Smith would meet with Foreign Minister Shahi.  According to one account of the meeting, Smith and Vance warned Shahi that a nuclear test would harm U.S. –Pakistani relations, with Smith arguing that Pakistan was "entering the valley of death" because India "can utterly destroy you."  Apparently Shahi responded that "he did not have to be a nuclear expert to understand that 'the value of a nuclear capability lies in its possession, not in its use." (Note 27)
Document 44: "No 'Quick Fix'"
Assistant Secretaries Harold Saunders, Thomas Pickering, and Anthony Lake through Mr. Christopher, Mr. Newsom, and Mrs. Benson to the Secretary, "November 14 PRC Meeting on South Asian Nuclear Issues," 10 November 1979, Secret
Source: RG 59, Records of Anthony Lake, box 5, TL 11/1 - 11/15/79   

The PRC was to consider two South Asian nuclear issues at its 14 November 1979 meeting and top officials in the Department provided Secretary Vance with a detailed briefing.  The first issue concerned the conditions for providing fuel for India's Tarapur reactor.  With India resisting U.S. policy on full-scope safeguards (opening all nuclear facilities to inspection),  State Department officials wanted to avoid decisions that could lead to an "abrupt and acrimonious" rupture of nuclear relations with India or to loss of control over U.S.-originated spent fuel at Tarapur (which could be used for weapons material).   Further research and declassifications may elucidate what the PRC recommended, but in the end, President Carter approved the fuel shipments apparently without the nuclear policy commitments supported by the State Department, e.g. to rule out future nuclear testing. (Note 28)

On Pakistan, Saunders and his colleagues proposed that Washington continue working with allies to curb "gray area" exports, but also "to deter a Pakistani nuclear explosion."   In the hope that diplomacy could induce Zia to change course, a new proposal was under consideration: multilateral assistance for a nuclear power program as a "face-saving way [for Pakistan] to discontinue work or to accept appropriate safeguards" on sensitive nuclear facilities.  In general, the State Department saw multilateral solutions as "essential if there is any hope of resolving the problem."

Also under review was a proposal to sell Gearing-class destroyers as a way to "keep the nuclear dialogue going."   During the recent talks with Vance, foreign minister Shahi had given assurances that Pakistan would not manufacture nuclear weapons or help others do so and that the "present government" would not test nuclear weapons.   State Department officials sought to expand the assurances so that they covered future governments headed by General Zia.  

Document 45: "Little Enthusiasm in Europe to Emulate our Position"
Gerard C. Smith to the Secretary, "Consultations in Europe on Pakistan," 15 November 1979, Secret
Source: FOIA release 

A trip to Western Europe by special envoy Gerard C. Smith suggested that cooperation with western European allies would not be productive as State Department officials were hoping.    Smith hoped that the French, British, Dutch, and West Germans would say to the Pakistanis what he and Vance had told Shahi: that a Pakistani nuclear test would have a bad effect on international relations. (Note 29)  Smith found the allies to be unresponsive.  The French said they had done enough by cutting off the reprocessing contract, the West Germans were also "non-committal," the Dutch had to think about it, and the British argued that the problem had to be solved through India.  Both British and Germans officials observed that another recent visitor, Chinese Premier Hua Guofeng, had "advised against a tough line" because of Pakistan's major role in the regional "anti-Soviet structure." A week later, on 21 November 1979, U.S.-Pakistan relations reached their nadir when thousands of demonstrators, angered by rumors that Washington was behind a recent attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca, invaded and burned the U.S. embassy compound.  An officer with the Defense Attaché Office and a U.S. embassy guard were killed along with two Pakistani employees.  Failing to break into the embassy vault, where the staff had taken shelter, the rioters had begun leaving the grounds by the time General Zia sent in army units.  The Pakistani government later compensated the State Department for the destruction, but, according to NSC staffer Thomas Thornton, U.S. relations with Pakistan had become "as bad as with any country in the world, except perhaps Albania or North Korea." (Note 30)

Document 46: Implications of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
State Department cable 25686 to U.S. Embassy Switzerland et al., "Non-Proliferation Policy and Renewed Assistance to Pakistan," 30 January 1980, Confidential
Source: State Department FOIA Reading Room

In December 1979, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and U.S. relations with Pakistan soon began to improve.  The top policy priority became working with Islamabad to check the Soviet invasion.  Washington would continue to work with Western Europe and Japan to try to deny Pakistan access to sensitive nuclear technology, but direct pressure on the nuclear issue relaxed.   Language in this cable about not trying to change the Symington and Glenn amendments was spin of a high order; the White House was actually seeking to nullify them by obtaining an open-ended waiver of sanctions as long as Pakistan did not actually test a nuclear weapon.  Congress, however, did not grant such a waiver until Ronald Reagan came to power. (Note 31

Document 47: "Reinforcing Pakistani Resolve to Go Ahead"
Special Assistant for Nuclear Proliferation Intelligence via Deputy Director for National Foreign Assessment [and] National Intelligence Officer for Warning to Director of Central Intelligence, "Warning Report --Nuclear Proliferation," 30 April 1980, secret, excised copy
Source: CREST 

According to the CIA, officials in Islamabad believed that Washington had become "reconciled to a Pakistani nuclear weapons capability." Also, according to the CIA, recent Indian government statements that it was "committed to 'peaceful nuclear experiments'" strengthened Pakistani determination on the nuclear front.   Work on the Kahuta uranium enrichment plant was proceeding apace as were efforts to upgrade defenses against air strikes. Undoubtedly what made Islamabad more comfortable about the U.S. stance was that Washington was seeking Pakistani cooperation with its effort to thwart the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.  That new priority put the Pakistani nuclear program more or less in the backburner, at least in terms of high-level initiatives, but Washington would continue to try to slow it down and complicate it. (Note 32)    



1. Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller, "WikiLeaks cables show U.S. focus on Pakistan's military, nuclear material," The Washington Post, 1 December 2010, and Jane Perlez et al., "Nuclear Fuel Memos Expose Wary Dance With Pakistan," The New York Times, 30 November 2010.  For earlier coverage of the HEU stockpile issue, see Bryan Bender, "Pakistan, US Talks on Nuclear Security," Boston Globe, 5 May 2009. See also, Jeffrey Lewis, "Pakistan HEU Repatriation,", 2 December 2010.

2. For the Khan network and Libya, see David Albright, Libya: A Major Sale at Last, Institute for Science and International Security.

3. Joshua Pollock, "North Korea's Mixed Messages," 22 November 2010.

4. For background, see Robert J. McMahon, Cold War on the Periphery: The United States, India, and Pakistan (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).

5. J. Samuel Walker, "Nuclear Power and Nonproliferation: The Controversy Over Nuclear Exports, 1974-1980," Diplomatic History 25 (Spring 2001): 235-249; William Glenn Gray, "Commercial Liberties and Nuclear Anxieties: The German-American Feud over Brazil, 1975-1977," SHAFR Conference Paper (provided by courtesy of the author);  William  Burr, ed., "U.S Opposed Taiwanese Bomb During the 1970s," National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book 221.

6. For background, see Jeffrey Richelson, Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea (New York: W.W. Norton,  2007), 326-332.

7. For background on India-Pakistan rivalry, see Joyce Battle, ed., "India and Pakistan -- On the Nuclear Threshold," National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book 6.

8. Besides Richelson, Spying on the Bomb, 329-332, see the following major studies of the Khan network and the Pakistani nuclear project,  David Albright, Peddling Peril: How the Secret Nuclear Trade Arms America's Enemies (New York: Free Press, 2010); David Armstrong and Joseph Trento, America and the Islamic Bomb (Hanover, NH: Steerforth Press, 2007),  Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins, The Nuclear Jihadist (New York: Twelve, 2007), and Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons (New York: Walker and Company, 2007).

9. See books by Albright, Armstrong and Trento, Frantz and Collins, and Levy and Scott-Clark cited above, and a review of them (except Albright) by Mark Hibbs, "Pakistan's Bomb: Mission Unstoppable," Nonproliferation Review 15 (July 2008), 382-391.

10. Richelson, Spying on the Bomb, 161-162 and 168-169.

11. Albright, Peddling Peril, 41, and Frantz and Collins, The Nuclear Jihadist, 89-90.

12. For Kissinger's offer, see memorandum from the David Elliott and Robert Oakley of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft), Washington, 12 July 1976, and memorandum of conversation, Washington, 17 December 1976, 3:20-4 p.m.
 , both published in U.S. State Department, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian,  Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume E–8, Documents on South Asia, 1973–1976.

13. Dennis Kux, The United States and Pakistan, 1947-2000: Disenchanted Allies (Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press ; Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001),  408.

14. Ibid., 236.

15. See Albright, Peddling Peril, 46-50, and R. Jeffrey Smith and Joby Warrick, "A Nuclear Power's Act of Proliferation," The Washington Post, 13 November 2009.

16. For oral histories by Hummel covering his years in Pakistan, see the Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection at the Library of Congress Web site.

17. Kux, The United States and Pakistan, 235.

18. "U.S. To Renew Aid to Pakistan," The Washington Post, 25 August 1978.

19. See Albright, Peddling Peril, 41-42, for insights into these initial efforts.

20. Ibid, 34.

21. Armstrong and Trento,  America and the Islamic Bomb, 78

22. Kux, The United States and Pakistan, 409, note 38.

23. By 1983, Pakistan had enough HEU to make a nuclear weapon and during the next two years "cold tested" a device to see whether its components would work.  See Albright, Peddling Peril, 50.

24. Richelson, Spying, 340; Kux, The United States and Pakistan, 236.

25. Levy and Clark, Deception, 65.

26. Kux, The United States and Pakistan, 240.

27. Richelson, Spying on the Bomb, 341.  For details on the Shahi-Vance-Smith talks, see Kux, The United States and Pakistan, 240-241.

28. Dennis Kux, Estranged Democracies: India and the United States, 1941-1991 (New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1993), 358-362 and 37, and Walker, "Nuclear Power and Nonproliferation: The Controversy Over Nuclear Exports, 1974-1980," 245-246.

29. For details on the Shahi-Vance-Smith talks, see Kux, The United States and Pakistan, 240-241.

30. Kux, The United States and Pakistan, 238-245.

31. Ibid, 250; Leonard Spector, Nuclear Proliferation Today (New York: Vintage Books, 1984), 85-86; Levy and Clark, Deception, 85.

32. See for example, Albright, Peddling Peril, 41-44.