About a month ago, the Nixon Library declassified a bunch of documents. A “selection”:http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/virtuallibrary/documents/mandatoryreview.php#selection of them is available online.
Most of the attention was directed toward “this memo”:http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/virtuallibrary/documents/mr/071969_israel.pdf about Israel’s nuclear weapons program. But there are some other intriguing items.
For example, in the middle of a 1969 “Memorandum of Conversation”:http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/virtuallibrary/documents/mr/082169_korea.pdf regarding talks between Nixon and ROK President Pak, Nixon reveals a US intel assessment of China’s future nuclear arsenal:
bq. President Nixon: According to our intelligence, Communist
China will have *25 to 50 ICBM’s by 1976* which can hit targets in the U.S.
You may have noticed that this didn’t happen by 1976. Nor has it happened 31 years after 1976.
I’m not a Chinese nuke specialist, so I’m not sure how new this is. But a good illustration of the point.
Incidentally, Nixon also explained in the same conversation that China’s arsenal was motivating his decision to deploy a missile-defense network:
bq. Nixon:…without the ABM network a nuclear armed China might be able to use nuclear blackmail against non-nuclear countries in Asia and pose a danger to the U.S. That is why this subject is so important for the defense and security of the Free World.
Fortunately, the Free World is still here.
*Update:* Some related Israel documents can be found “here.”:http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB189/index.htm