When Sukarno sought the bomb : Indonesian nuclear aspirations in the mid-1960s
Cornejo, Robert M.
Callahan, Mary P.
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Proponents of nuclear nonproliferation, such as the United States, seek to develop policies that address the root causes of nuclear proliferation. The discipline of international relations aids in this effort by providing theories that attempt to explain why states choose to build nuclear weapons. Most theories simplify the process of proliferation by using only one of three generally accepted explanations: security, domestic politics, or norms. The case of Indonesia, however, illustrates that proliferation is best explained by investigating all three dimensions as well as the role of technology. This thesis evaluates competing theories of nuclear proliferation using a historical case study of Indonesia's aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons during 1964- 1965, and supports the view that multiple variables are necessary to explain the spread of nuclear weapons. As evidence, this thesis examines Indonesian President Sukamo's little-known nuclear aspirations in the mid-1960s. Although Sukamo was ultimately unsuccessful in his effort to acquire atomic weapons, his decision to seek them was influenced by a variety of factors that included Indonesia's security needs, domestic political considerations, norms, and available nuclear energy technology.
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