After India's detonation of a nuclear explosive in 1974 publicly demonstrated the proliferation risks from nuclear assistance, the U.S. government increased its efforts to control nuclear exports worldwide. In doing so, U.S. policymakers faced challenges from two major West European allies, France and West Germany, both of which pursued their commercial interests through nuclear exports to countries such as Pakistan, Brazil, Iran, and India, among others. Despite multilateral efforts including the formation of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and bilateral negotiations with the supplier governments, the administrations of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter attained only partial success. The commercial interests of nuclear firms, the influence of pro-export coalitions inside supplier countries, and the emerging importance of the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries as alternative suppliers influenced the outcome. The United States was more successful in restraining the French through a series of quid pro quo arrangements than it ever was with the West Germans. Using recently declassified archival documents, this article sheds new light on U.S. nonproliferation policy in the aftermath of the 1973 oil price shock.

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