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The purpose of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is to prevent or at least inhibit the spread of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials to or from states or non-state actors whose possession of such items would be a serious threat to global or regional security. So far, 91 countries have officially affiliated with PSI and participate in its activities. However, five key nations, whose addition would enhance PSI's effectiveness, have so far been reluctant to do so. The authors look at the situation from the perspectives of these five “hold-out” nations — Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, and China — to assess the disadvantages (costs) and advantages (benefits) that, when weighed against each other, have induced them to refrain from PSI affiliation. They then set out ways in which each country's costs-and-benefits balance might be altered to enhance the prospects of its deciding to affiliate with PSI in the near future. They also describe ideas that might be developed and steps that might be taken to enhance PSI's inclusiveness and effectiveness in the future.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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