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.
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