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Independence Or Reliance: Study On Anglo-American Nuclear Relations During Macmillan Administration(1957-1963)

Posted on:2020-08-13Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:M C LiFull Text:PDF
GTID:2416330575458398Subject:International politics
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Britain's successive Administrations have implemented independent nuclear policies to gain British nuclear deterrence since the World War II.However,The Suez Crisis erupted in 1956 severely hampered Britain's economic strength and diplomatic relations,undermined also Britain's status of big power.This Crisis,at the same time,caused the breakdown of the Anglo-American special relationship that Britain regarded as its diplomatic strategy.The Macmillan administration came to power after Suez Crisis.Macmillan's primary task was to repair the intimate special relations with the US,then tried to influence US foreign policy by establishing interdependent diplomatic relations with the US as to enhance its status as a great power.In defense policy,Macmillan administration decided to focus on the development of nuclear deterrence in order to alleviate domestic economic difficulties and reduce financial pressure brought by defense cost in view of the fact that Britain's strength had been severely damaged by Suez Crisis.In nuclear policy,Britain not only emphasized the development of its own independent nuclear deterrent,it also sought to reach a comprehensive nuclear cooperation relationship with the US.In 1957,Britain and the US repaired bilateral relations during the Bermuda meeting,and then reached an establishment of interdependent diplomatic relations at the Washington Conference of the same year.After the resumption of bilateral relations,Britain further sought to achieve nuclear cooperation with the US and then took the Free Rider way to accelerate its independent nuclear deterrence with the help of America's nuclear resources.During this period,the US faced the Soviet Union's space and missile technology progress and so hoped Europe and the US could achieve nuclear cooperation to jointly deal with Soviet Union's threat.To this end,The US in 1958,amended the Atomic Energy Law,abolished the restrictions on nuclear cooperation,which eventually promoted the Anglo-American nuclear co-relations.In the nuclear cooperation,Britain first reached an agreement with the US to deploy the Thor in Britain,which could implement missile deterrence by American ballistic missiles.Apart that,Britain continued its development of independent nuclear force.However,due to financial and technological constraints,Macmillan administration abandoned its Blue Streak missile program and decided to buy Skybolt from the US as a substitution of its nuclear deterrence.After several negotiations initiated by Britain in 1960,the US agreed to support Britain with its Skybolt that was still under the development.Britain agreed to provide US with its Scottish submarine base at the same time in return for the purchase of Skybolt.After Kennedy administration came to power,the US government implemented Flexible Response strategy.In its NATO's nuclear policy,Kennedy administration pursued a Multilateral Force,trying to limit the independent nuclear power of European allies to gain its priority on the decision-making and control over nuclear weapons.For this reason,the US abandoned the development of Skybolt for technical reasons as an attempt to terminate Britain's independent nuclear force,which led to the Skybolt Crisis and hit Anglo-American relations.The outbreak of Crisis also triggered anti-US sentiments in the Britain and threatened Macmillan administration's ruling position.Macmillan then claimed for Polaris missile from the US out of the moral obligation as the substitute of Skybolt,and sought Polaris as the way to extend Britain's independent nuclear deterrence.Although Kennedy intended to end Britain's independent nuclear policy,he attached more importance to Anglo-American relations.To this end,Britain and the US held Nassau meeting to solve Skybolt Crisis.After the intense bilateral negotiations,the two states reached the Nassau Agreement,which mainly stipulated that the US would provide Britain with Polaris missiles,while Britain would assign its nuclear forces into NATO's Multilateral Force.But Macmillan administration achieved the independent priority of British nuclear force,because the agreement stipulated that when the supreme national interest of Britain was in the state of emergency,Britain had ultimate rights to control and employ its nuclear forces assigned to NATO.So far,Macmillan administration,relying on the interdependent relations with the US,continued its polity of developing independent nuclear deterrence with the aid of American nuclear technology.
Keywords/Search Tags:Macmillan administration, nuclear deterrence, nuclear relations, interdependence
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