Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 12.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback104 pages $15.00

The diffusion of nuclear weapons to additional countries might come about through indigenous development programs, through assistance from the present nuclear powers, or through a combination of both. This diffusion, sometimes called the "Nth country" problem, has been of great concern in discussions of disarmament and U.S. nuclear assistance programs. It has been widely held that the spread of nuclear capabilities is disadvantageous for U.S. security and that an effort to stop it should receive highest priority in disarmament policies. It is the purpose of our study to examine the validity of this proposition. To do so it will be necessary to estimate the political and military effects that might arise from a further diffusion of nuclear capabilities. Such an undertaking is necessarily fraught with great uncertainties.

This report is part of the RAND research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of RAND from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.