Nuclear sharing in NATO: hardware or software?

Terry Macintyre

in Anglo-German Relations During the Labour Governments 1964-70

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780719076008
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701485 | DOI:
Nuclear sharing in NATO: hardware or software?

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This chapter covers the exchanges between London, Bonn, and Washington over the MLF proposal and the British alternative, of an Atlantic Nuclear Force (ANF). Wilson claimed that the ANF proposals were designed to ‘kill off’ the MLF concept, although it is clear that US President Lyndon B. Johnson's role was pivotal in the eventual outcome. In this context, whilst Britain and the United States were anxious to accommodate German demands for a greater say in the use by NATO of nuclear weapons, both governments agreed that this could not be at the expense of a non-proliferation agreement with the Soviet Union. Britain's underlying concern was to prevent any suggestion of German control of nuclear weapons; this objective was achieved by the creation of the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG), with German representation, as the solution to NATO's nuclear sharing problem.

Keywords: MLF proposal; Atlantic Nuclear Force; Lyndon B. Johnson; United States; Britain; NATO; nuclear weapons; Soviet Union; Nuclear Planning Group

Chapter.  12450 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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