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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. National security affairs; foreign economic policy

United States policy at the United Nations with respect to the regulation of armaments and collective security: the international control of atomic energy; regulation of conventional armaments; efforts to implement article 43 of the United Nations charter by placing armed forces at the disposal of the Security Council,   pp. 1-125 PDF (51.4 MB)

Page 13

Policy Planning Staff Files
Memorandum by the Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Nitze)
                      to the Secretary of State
TOP SECRET                        [WASHINGTON,] January 17, 1950.
Subject: Counselor's Paper on International Control of Atomic
  Though agreeing with much of this paper, there are a number of
important points where I would place a different weight on the various
  As I see it, there are two important new facts dealt with in this
paper and five interrelated problems on which these facts have fa bear-
ing. The two new facts are (a) the demonstrated Soviet fission bomb
capability, and (b) the possible thermonuclear bomb capability of the
Soviets and of ourselves.
  The five problems on which these facts have a bearing are:
  (a) wiheher the United States should ,accelerate its program to
determine the feasibility or non-feasibility of a thermonuclear
  (b) (wheter our strategic plans and our related objectives and pro-
grams should be revised in the light of the probable fission bomb
capability and ,possible thermonuclear bomb 'capability of the Soviet
Union or for other reasons;
   (e) whether the present policy of the Defense Establishment with
respect to the conditions under which atomic bombs would be used in
the event of war should be revised;
  (d) whether our present position with respect to the international
control of atomic energy should be revised;and
   (e) ;whether our ,public relations stance with respect to atomic
energy should be revised.
  With respect to these problems and the order in which it is sug-
gested they be taken up, the 'following considerations appear to be
  (a) There are considerations which make it advisable to accelerate
the program to determine the feasibility or non-feasibility of 'a thermo-
nuclear weapon while deferring a determination as to whether to
manufacture the weapon for stockpile, if it should prove feasible.
Even though there may be some tendency to manufacture for stock-
pile if the investment has been made in testing feasibility, the major
portion of the investment would be useable either for fission or thermo-
nuclear weapons. It must 'be ,assumed that the U.S.S.R. is proceeding
with a program in this field, and it would seem that the military and
political advantages which would accrue to the U.S.S.R. if it possessed

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