By Christine M. Leah (auth.)
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Extra info for Australia and the Bomb
While Soekarno believes that Indonesia may some day produce its own atomic weapons, he probably realizes that that day is quite remote, and he hopes to accelerate matters by persuading Peiping to aid in the development of the Indonesian program, and perhaps even to give him an A-bomb to explode in the near future. Although Indonesia signed the 1963 test ban treaty, the Indonesian government has virtually repudiated it in recent months by stating 32 ● Australia and the Bomb that the nations with nuclear capability are using that capability to blackmail non-nuclear nations, a situation perpetuated by the test ban treaty.
For example, a submission to the 1956 Strategic Basis wrote that It is known that the USSR is rapidly approaching parity with the Western Powers in the development of thermo-nuclear weapons, and the means of delivery. 75 That same document said: Planning can reasonably proceed on the basis that Australian forces engaged in operations in conjunction with United Kingdom and United States forces, Almost Oblivious to END, 1945–1957 ● 25 in accordance with common treaty obligations, will be supported by nuclear action by the United Kingdom and United States, when circumstances require such support.
Speaking about Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr. Subandrio and his ideas about Indonesian nuclear weapons, an Australian diplomat wrote: I am cabling in clear Subandrio’s comments on the desirability of all nations possessing Nuclear Weapons. Under the pressure of local power politics I fear that the wily Doctor has gone a little mad . . 8 The war in Vietnam also increased Australia’s sense of vulnerability in the region. Even before Canberra sought bilateral discussions on nuclear issues with Washington, Australians had developed a close working relationship with America, sending signiﬁcant numbers of the Australian Services to contribute to American war efforts in Indochina.