Smiling Buddha' had caught US off-guard in 1974

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Yusuf, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    MUMBAI: The American intelligence community in the Nixon era missed India's preparations for a nuclear weapons test and was caught unawares when "Smiling Buddha" was successfully conducted at Pokhran on May 18, 1974.


    The revelation means India managed to keep the US in the dark over Smiling Buddha as well as the Pokhran-II tests in 1998, some 25 years later.


    A recently declassified intelligence community staff post-mortem made public on Monday by the US National Security Archive and the American Nuclear Proliferation International History Project shows America had taken its eye off India as it was caught up with its initiatives with China and the Vietnam war.


    The record says: "India's peaceful nuclear explosion on 18 May, 1974, caught the US by surprise in part because the intelligence community had not been looking for signs that a test was in the works."


    Nixon administration policymakers assigned a low priority to the Indian nuclear programme and there was no sense of urgency "to determine whether New Delhi was preparing to test a nuclear device. Intelligence and production (analysis and reporting) on the topic fell off during the 20 months before the tests". The oversight can be attributed to icy vibes between New Delhi and Washington during the Nixon era.


    In early 1972, however, two years before the test, the US State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) predicted India could make preparations for an underground test without detection by American intelligence.


    The INR report warned the US government had given a "relatively modest priority" to relevant intelligence collection activities. The White House was more focused on the Vietnam war and "a grand strategy" towards Beijing and Moscow.


    However, the small spate of reports about a test had such "apparent reliability and seeming credibility," that they prompted a review of India's nuclear intentions by INR and other government establishments. "In the end government officials (US) could not decide whether India had made a decision to test although a subsequent lead suggested otherwise," it said.


    While the US State Department had cautioned India against nuclear tests in late 1970, the concern was never quite overwhelming. The upshot: India succeeded in concealing its plan of preparing for the first nuclear weapons' test at Pokhran on May 18, 1974.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...us-off/guard-in-1974/articleshow/11013437.cms
     
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Why did Lord Buddha smile?
     
  4. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Its a perfectly ironic name, considering the nature of the test.

    In retrospect I think Indira Gandhi was just being a troll.
     
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  5. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Just like Arihant was used for the SSBN.

    Actually I remember some Jain organisations even protested using that name for a weapon of mass destruction.
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Lemme give it a shot!

    Lord Buddha was worried because he knew there was going to be a nuke explosion but smiled when he saw it was peaceful and not intended to kill any humans or attack any city. Understandably, he was happy. :)
     
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  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I think Pokran was more suprising to US. Since the exact flyby times of US satellites were known and evaded.
     
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  8. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    THE SMILING BUDDHA

    [​IMG]

    The test denotes the peaceful nature of the test conducted as in the above picture of BUDDHA SMILING.

    Basically all INDIANS are very peace loving people and our cultural heritage speaks for itself. In INDIAN view defeating an enemy is not killing or destroying the enemy, instead it is bring the enemy on his knees and pleading guilty of his wrong doings and making him realize his mistakes. The reason INDIA tested NUCLEAR DEVICE was in the view of its defence from its enemies and not to create HAVOC among other countries.
     
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  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Lesson learnt - Let your eye rove, even if the mind is elsewhere!
     
  10. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Buddha's smile is an explosion of joy and realisation of peacefilled nothingness. He smiled at another explosion meant for peace as also he was facing China.
     
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  11. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    The USN has a submarine named the Corpus Christi for the city in Texas.
     

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