Britain's Strategic Nuclear Deterrent: From Before the V-bomber to Beyond Trident

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Taylor & Francis, 1997 - History - 194 pages
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In the light of post-Cold War developments, this book addresses central and poignant questions to Britain's decision to acquire, deploy and maintain a strategic nuclear deterrent.
The scene is set with a resume of the historical background from the discovery of nuclear fission in early 1939 to the deployment of the V-bomber force in the 1950s. The development of nuclear strategy is thereafter summarised with emphasis on Britain's contribution to that process vis a vis the United States, and on the reasons for Britain's adoption of specific strategic doctrines.
Robert Paterson then devotes the central portion of the book to detailed examinations of the decisions to procure and deploy Polaris and subsequently to replace it with Trident.
The book concludes with comparisons with France's experience with an independent strategic nuclear deterrent, and an assessment of the key strategic changes in the post-Cold War period and of how strategic geo-political changes, international aspirations regarding arms control developments and the domestic constraints of public opinion and economics might influence a decision regarding a fourth-generation nuclear deterrent.
It will be of value to those in universities or military training establishments reading strategic studies, as well as others who have a professional or amateur interest in defence policy.
 

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Contents

The Development of Nuclear Strategy
12
The Decision to Deploy a British Nuclear Deterrent
29
The Decision to Replace Polaris
61
Problems Progress and Proliferation
95
British Political Decision Making CND and Public Opinion
116
A Comparison
135
The PostCold War Arena
151
From the VBomber to Beyond Trident?
166
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About the author (1997)

Robert Paterson was the Director of Corporate Affairs at Fife Health Board and later the Director of the NHS in Scotland's Management Efficiency Unit.

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