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U.S. Opinion on Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

November 19, 2009
This publication is now archived.

Concerns about Nuclear Proliferation

A large majority of Americans are concerned about the possibility of unfriendly countries becoming nuclear powers and believe that preventing the spread of nuclear weapons is an important foreign policy goal for the United States. Download full chapter (PDF).

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Goal of Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

A large majority of Americans favor an international agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons, even when this would include an intrusive international inspection regime. Download full chapter (PDF).

Use of Force by the United Nations to Prevent Nuclear Proliferation

Americans favor the UN Security Council having the power to authorize the use of military force to prevent a country from acquiring nuclear weapons. Download full chapter (PDF).

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

An overwhelming majority of Americans support U.S. participation in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Download full chapter (PDF).

Multilateral Control of Nuclear Fuel Production

There is substantial U.S. public support for prohibiting some countries from developing nuclear fuel out of concern that they will use it to develop nuclear weapons. Americans would also favor an international regime under the United Nations that would stop new countries from beginning production of nuclear fuel and instead supply them with the fuel they need for energy production. Americans even favor giving the UN Security Council the right to authorize military force to prevent a country from developing nuclear fuel that could be used to develop nuclear weapons. Download full chapter (PDF).

Dealing with Iran’s Nuclear Program

A large majority of Americans perceive Iran as pursuing nuclear weapons, rather than limiting itself to energy production, and there is substantial concern over this. Most want to put international pressure on Iran to stop it from producing nuclear fuel, but to date they have rejected the option of military force. Americans support the idea of allowing Iran to produce nuclear fuel if it accepts intrusive UN inspections. Asked which institution would best handle the issue of Iranian nuclear weapons, Americans are divided, though a plurality chooses the United Nations. Download full chapter (PDF).

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