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Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

Ian Clark

Published in print April 1994 | ISBN: 9780198273707
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191684067 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198273707.001.0001

Series: Nuclear History Program

Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

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The full and fascinating inside story of Anglo-American nuclear relations from 1957 to 1962 is told for the first time in this book. This period saw the creation of a close and exclusive relationship of nuclear collaboration between Britain and the United States, with an agreement on atomic co-operation, the establishment of the facilities for US nuclear submarines in the UK, and the sale of US missiles, including Thor and Polaris for the British strategic submarine force. This book's analysis of newly declassified official documents reveals that, while special, the Anglo-American nuclear partnership was not without tension and rivalry. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan sought to combine interdependence — which reduced costs — with national policies on nuclear strategy, NATO, nuclear co-operation with France, and nuclear testing; the result was conflict with US administrations. This book examines such critical issues as British nuclear targeting of the Soviet Union and co-ordination with US nuclear war plans, cancellation of the Blue Streak missile, the bargain over Skybolt and the Holy Loch base, the diplomacy of the Skybolt crisis in 1962, and British ambitions for Polaris. The frank revelations contained in the formerly top secret British and American documents from the period enable him to offer fundamentally new and sometimes controversial interpretations of events in this dramatic period.

Keywords: Anglo-American nuclear relations; nuclear collaboration; Thor; Polaris; Harold Macmillan; NATO; Skybolt crisis

Book.  470 pages. 

Subjects: International Relations

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

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The Historical Setting in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

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Bermuda and the Negotiation of the Thor Agreement in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

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The Restoration of Nuclear Collaboration in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

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British Nuclear Strategy and Co-ordination with the USA in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

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The Politics of the Blue Streak Programme in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

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The Strategy of Nuclear Test Limitation in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

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Strategy, the Services, and Weapon Systems (ii): Skybolt and Polaris in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

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Britain, the Kennedy Administration, and National Deterrents in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

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