Accession Number : AD1013639

Title :   Deception in Covert Nuclear Weapons Development: A Framework to Identify, Analyze, and Mitigate Future Long-Term Deception Efforts

Descriptive Note : Technical Report

Corporate Author : RAND Corporation Santa Monica United States

Personal Author(s) : Gordon,Brian J

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Mar 2016

Pagination or Media Count : 318

Abstract : On the second day of the Gulf War in 1991, U.S. defense officials claimed that air strikes the previous night had dealt a crippling blow to Iraqs small nuclear weapons program, though later analysis would find the program to be much larger than, and not as damaged as, it appeared. In March 1993, the South African government announced that it had not only researched the means to build nuclear weapons, but had in fact constructed a handful of the devices and then voluntarily disassembled them all without the international community becoming aware of the weapons existence. The Indian government would also surprise the world several years later, in May 1998, when they conducted a nuclear test of which U.S. officials first learned through CNN coverage. In each of these cases, U.S. officials were aware of the states desire for nuclear weapons and its potential capability to build them. That awareness was not accompanied by an understanding of the states motivations for pursuing nuclear weapons, its intentions for their use, or the success the state was having in research and development (R and D). A lack of complete knowledge is understandable due to the extreme secrecy that surrounds such efforts. But each of these programs was protected by more than secrecy. Each involved a coordinated deception effort that spanned years, involved thousands of individuals, and confused the efforts of U.S. analysts to present policymakers with timely and accurate information. Intelligence analysts, military planners, and scholars often define deception in strategic, operational, or tactical terms. This dissertation proposes that the long-term deception surrounding these R and D efforts is distinctive in its characteristics and calls for new methods mitigate its effects.

Descriptors :   Deception , nuclear weapons , strategy , Foreign government , india , Iraq , South Africa , Nuclear proliferation , Security

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE