British Nuclear Strategy, France, and the Nassau Meeting

Ian Clark

in Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship

Published in print April 1994 | ISBN: 9780198273707
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191684067 | DOI:

Series: Nuclear History Program

British Nuclear Strategy, France, and the Nassau Meeting

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The issues generated by Skybolt's demise spilt over into the subsequent Nassau meeting and the agreement, in principle, to sell Polaris missiles to Britain. Again, questions must be faced as to the nature of British objectives at this meeting, such as whether rescuing Skybolt remained a goal of some sections of the British policy apparatus, or whether there lobbies within the British side which were happy to use the situation to bring about a reordering of British priorities in the shape of a Polaris purchase From the American point of view, the outcome of the meeting was hostage to wider policy issues. In particular, there was concern about the impact of Nassau upon the two elements of European strategy, namely Britain's application for membership of the Common Market, and also the projected MLF Before exploring the background to the Nassau meeting. This chapter takes stock of developments in British nuclear strategy. It is only in the context of these changes that the significance of the switch to a Polaris system can be fully addressed.

Keywords: Nassau meeting; European strategy; Common Market; nuclear strategy; British policy; Polaris

Chapter.  17833 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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