347. National Security Action Memorandum No. 3511


  • The Secretary of State


  • Indian Nuclear Weapons Problem

At the meeting of the National Security Council on June 9, 1966,2 the President noted the increased urgency of dealing with the Indian nuclear weapons problem following the third Chinese Communist nuclear test. He has directed the Secretary of State, in collaboration with the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and heads of other departments and agencies, as appropriate, to study in greater depth the following interrelated issues emerging from the National Security Council review of the Indian nuclear weapons question:

The extent to which it might be in the U.S. interest to use our economic leverage more explicitly to discourage an Indian national nuclear program.
The effect which various arms control agreements might have on Indian nuclear intentions, and what price the U.S. should be prepared to pay for such agreements.
How far it is in the U.S. interest to go in meeting Indian security concerns, what form such action might take, and what the optimum timing might be.
Whether there are other approaches to the problem which need to be pursued. The study should balance the price of each of these suggested courses of action against the damage resulting from India’s choosing the independent nuclear path. For the purpose of this study, no change in our present position on a non-proliferation treaty should be assumed.

The study should result in specific recommendations to the President as to measures which the U.S., in its own interest, should take to delay or prevent India’s choosing that path.

The President requests that the first report of recommendations for his attention be presented to him no later than July 15, 1966.

WW Rostow
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSAMs, NSAM 351, Indian Nuclear Weapons Problem. Secret; Exdis. Copies were sent to McNamara, William Foster, Wriggins, U. Alexis Johnson, and Helms.
  2. See Document 346.