Chapter

British Nuclear Strategy and Co-ordination with the USA

Ian Clark

in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

Published in print April 1994 | ISBN: 9780198273707
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191684067 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198273707.003.0005

Series: Nuclear History Program

British Nuclear Strategy and Co-ordination with the USA

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This chapter shows that towards the end of the 1950s, Britain's nuclear strategy was to be influenced not merely by access to American delivery systems and warhead designs, but also by a much freer exchange between the two countries on strategic planning and nuclear targeting. In operational terms, the nuclear preparations of the two partners became much more closely co-ordinated. However, this drawing together itself coincided with a rhetorical emphasis on independence in British Governmental statements. It also occurred at a time when there were ostensibly widening fissures in British and American strategic conceptions — the former laying more stress on the implications of the nuclear deterrent for strategy precisely at the moment when the United States was diluting its earlier notions of massive retaliation.

Keywords: nuclear targeting; warhead designs; delivery systems; retaliation; nuclear strategy; deterrence

Chapter.  18657 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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