Issue Brief #1 - Chasing Mirages: Australia and the U.S. Nuclear Umbrella in the Asia-Pacific

By
Christine M. Leah and Crispin Rovere

NPIHP Issue Brief #1: Senior Australian officials worked from 1944 to around 1973, when Australia ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to equip their country with a nuclear weapons capability. When Australia did choose to permanently forego the nuclear option, it wasn’t because of the U.S. nuclear umbrella, but rather because of significant geo-political changes taking place throughout Asia in the mid-1970s. New Australian government documents describe how a reversal in these trends at some point in the future could lead Australia to consider reversing its long-standing policy of nuclear abstinence, even in the presence of an American nuclear security guarantee.

EMAIL UPDATES

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Leopoldo Nuti // Co-Director, Nuclear Proliferation International History Project; Public Policy Scholar
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant