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Britain and the BombNuclear Diplomacy, 1964-1970$
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David James Gill

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804786584

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804786584.001.0001

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Constructing the Atlantic Nuclear Force

Constructing the Atlantic Nuclear Force

(p.76) 3 Constructing the Atlantic Nuclear Force
Britain and the Bomb

David James Gill

Stanford University Press

This chapter considers the development of nuclear sharing proposals between 1964 and 1967. Wilson oversaw the creation of the Atlantic Nuclear Force (ANF) as a more palatable replacement to the widely unpopular Multilateral Force (MLF). Although its principal objective was to address the MLF problem, the ANF became a serious proposal that sought to improve broader international nuclear relations and facilitate measures of non-proliferation. Much of the government initially perceived the ANF as an effective method with which to secure future military and economic concessions from NATO and the United States. Moreover, from a domestic and party perspective, the ANF served as a valuable instrument for Wilson to justify the preservation of the British nuclear weapons programme without harming party unity or undermining his slim parliamentary majority. Nevertheless, the ANF was only ever a more acceptable version of a still widely unpopular idea.

Keywords:   Atlantic Nuclear Force, Multilateral Nuclear Force, United States, Federal Republic of Germany, Non-Proliferation Treaty

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