368. Paper Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1

RP 78–10315

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Looking Toward the 1980 Review Conference

Key Judgments

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), an important bulwark against the spread of nuclear weapons, will receive its second five-year review at a conference to be held in 1980. Forces operating outside the treaty—especially the security concerns and regional rivalries of nonnuclear weapons states—will continue to be the main determinants of the scope and rate of the proliferation process. But the [Page 937] NPT, if it remains at its present level of effectiveness, will provide significant political, legal, and moral constraints on the behavior of adherents (over 100 countries) and nonadherents alike.

The Second NPT Review Conference is likely to reveal a number of concerns and misgivings about the operation of the treaty. It may also give an opportunity to some states to criticize US nonproliferation policy, which has relied heavily on the NPT and its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system. The following critical questions will probably dominate the review conference agenda:

Have the nuclear supplier states allowed “the fullest possible” flow of nuclear technology and goods for peaceful uses to NPT adherents, as promised?

Have the nuclear weapons states delivered on their pledge to seek “in good faith” nuclear and general disarmament?

Are IAEA safeguards adequate to protect against violations of the letter and spirit of the treaty?

The conference may also debate such sensitive political issues as whether or not adherents should continue nuclear cooperation with “pariah” states, such as Chile, Israel, South Africa, and Taiwan.

The ability of the NPT to attract additional adherents and keep those it has—and even its long-term viability—will hinge, in part, on how successfully these questions are addressed, not only at the review conference, but also in other international forums, as well as on the general course of the proliferation process.

[Omitted here is the body of the paper.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Unfiled File, Box 144, Nuclear Non-Proliferation: 9/78–1/81. Confidential.