Case 148 - The End of the U.S. Atomic Monopoly
Fain, William Taylor and David S. Painter
This case study describes the brief, intense, and highly secret debate within the United States government on how to respond to the loss of the U.S. atomic monopoly. Concentrating on the period between September 3, 1949, and January 31, 1950, this study examines the positions taken by the departments of State and Defense, the Atomic Energy Commission, the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, and the White House. It should stimulate discussion about the foreign policymaking process of the period, and the relationship between technology and policymaking today. It is particularly well-suited to a variety of simulation exercises, depending on the focus and size of the class being taught.