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As the UK began the process of upgrading its Trident strategic ballistic missile force, it was clear that although this would be the country’s only nuclear system, it would include a proportion of low-yield single warhead missiles which would effectively replace Britain’s previous tactical nuclear weapons. This was seen as a continuation of a long-standing commitment to tactical nuclear weapons which went right back to the 1950s and should be seen in the context of a belief that small nuclear wars can be fought and a posture that the first use of nuclear weapons may sometimes be necessary.
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This text was first published as: Sub-Strategic Trident: A Slow Burning Fuse, London Defence Papers Number 34, (London: Brasseys for the Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College, London, April 1996).
David Fairhall, ‘Nuclear Deterrent aimed at Third World Dictators’, The Guardian, 9 January 1996.
A comprehensive account of the development of British nuclear systems is in Robert S. Norris, Andrew S. Burrows and Richard W. Fieldhouse, Nuclear Weapons Databook: Volume 5, British French and Chinese Nuclear Weapons, Westview Press, 1994.
John Baylis, Ambiguity and Deterrence: British Nuclear Strategy 1945–1964, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995, p 334.
Daniel Charles, Nuclear Planning in NATO, Ballinger Publishing Company, Cambridge, Massachussetts, 1987, pp 12–16.
Although dealing primarily with strategic targeting, a good source on NATO nuclear planning is: Desmond Ball, Targeting for Strategic Deterrence, Adelphi Papers Number 185, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 1983.
Third Report of the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs 1987–88, p 35, para 6.
Published in International Defence Review, February 1986.
Michael McGwire, Perestroika and National Security, The Brookings Institution, Washington DC, 1991, especially chapter 3.
I believe the first account of the remarkable incident was actually published before the end of the Cold War in an article by Gordon Brook-Shepherd in The Sunday Telegraph, 16 October 1988, alter he had interviewed the Soviet defector, Oleg Gordievsky. It is discussed in some detail by Malcolm Dando in: Paul Rogers and Malcolm Dando, A Violent Peace, Global Security After the Cold War, Brassey’s, London, 1992.
Sean M. Lynn-Jones, Steven E Miller and Stephen van Fvera (editors), Nuclear Diplomacy and Crisis Management, 'The MIT Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1990.
See Norris et al., op. cit.
Martin S. Navias, Nuclear Weapons and British Strategic Planning, 1955–1958, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991, p 48.
House of Commons, Volume 568, Column 2182, 2 March 1955.
‘Labour’s Bomb and the White Man’s Burden’, The Observer, London, 28 February 1965.
Milan Rai, ‘Tactical Trident, the Rifkind Doctrine and the Third World’, Drava Papers, London, 1994. Rai references his quotations fully.
David Lee, Eastward A History of the Royal Air Force in the Far Fast, 1945–1972, IIMSO, London, 1984.
Humphrey Wynn, RAF Nuclear Deterrent Forces, HMSO, London, p. 440.
Op. cit., p. 444.
Barry M. Blechman and Stephen S. Kaplan, Force Without War - U.S. Armed Forces as a Political Instrument, The Brookings Institution, Washington DC, 1978.
See Baylis, op. cit., pp 331–337. See also, Ian Clark, Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship, Britain's Deterrent and America, 1957–1962, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1994, pp 120–125.
Michael Dockrill, British Defence since 1945, Blackwell, Oxford, 1988, pp 65–81.
House of Commons, Volume 568, column 1765, 16 April 1957.
Interview with the weapons officer of a Type 21 frigate, 1983.
Andrew Wilson, ‘Deadline Midnight’, The Observer, London, 11 April 1982.
Quoted in a paper by William M. Arkin and Andrew S. Burrows, British Nuclear Weapons in the Falklands, Published by the Institute of Policy Studies, Washington, DC, 1982.
Tam Dalyell, ‘Secrets of Davy Jones’s Locker’, New Scientist, 24 March 1983.
The Times, 3 November 1982.
For a more detailed account of the HMS Sheffield question, see Paul Rogers, ‘A Note on the British Deployment of Nuclear Weapons in Crisis - with particular reference to the Falklands and Gulf Wars and the Purpose of Trident’ Lobster, Number 28, 1994, pp 2–10.
Interviews with Tam Dalyell, 1982–4.
Duncan Campbell and John Rentoul, ‘All Out War’, New Statesman, 24 August 1984.
Interview with BBC journalist, 1984.
Reported, for example, in The Observer, 6 January 1991.
Interviews, 1993 and 1994.
Reported in The Washington Times, ‘Cheney discussed nuke use in the Gulf, 10 September 1995.
‘Iraq’s Secret Arms Programmes Bigger than Once Thought’, Agence France-Presse International News, Dubai, UAE, 23 August 1995. See also, Jack Redden, ‘Iraq had Germ War Missiles Before Gulf War’, Reuter News Reports, Amman, Jordan, 23 August 1995.
Report to the Security Council, S/l995/865, 11 October 1995.
Report to the Security Council, S/l995/1038, 17 December 1995.
Theresa Hitchens, ‘Wargame Finds U.S. Falls Short in Bio War’, Defense News, Washington DC, 28 August 1995.
Reported in The Chemical Weapons Convention Bulletin, Number 30, December 1995, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex.
Strategic Advisory Group of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Group, US Strategic Air Command, ‘The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the New World Order’. Reported in Navy News and Undersea Technology, Washington DC, 13 January 1992.
Eric Schmitt, ‘Head of Nuclear Forces Plans for a New World’, New York Times, p. B7, 25 February 1993.
For example, Barry M. Blechman and Cathleen S. Fisher, ‘Phase Out the Bomb’, Foreign Policy, No. 97, Winter 1994–95, pp. 79–95.
See reference 41.
‘Sandia Redesigning N’arsenal Weapon’, Albuquerque Journal, p. Al, 12 September, 1995.
James H. Patton JR., ‘New Roles on Horizon for Triad’s Last Leg?’, International Defense Review, September 1994, pp. 38–42.
Theresa Hitchens and Anton Zhigulsky, ‘Hard-Line Russians Tout Nukes to Match West’, Defense News, 20 November 1995, p 1. See also: ‘Russia Builds up Nuclear Arsenal As Prospects for START II Fade’, Defense News, Washington DC, 4 December 1995, p. 40.
Discussed fully in David S. Yost, ‘Nuclear Debates in France’, Survival, Vol. 36, No. 4, Winter 1994–95, pp. 113–119.
Op. cit., p. 114.
UK Defence Strategy. A Continuing Role for Nuclear Weapoas’, speech by Malcolm Rifkind at the Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College, University of London, 16 November 1993.
Giovanni de Briganti, ‘France to Replace Mirage IVP Bomber Fleet by 1997’, Defense News, Washington DC, 8 January 1996.
Karin von Stokirch ‘Revamping the Rationale for French Nuclear Deterrence’, Newsletter of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, Spring 1995, pp. 2.
David S. Yost, ‘France’s Nuclear Dilemmas’, Foreign Affairs, Volume 75, Number 1, pp. 108–118, 996.
Press Communique M-DPC/NPG-1(95)57, Paragraph 23, 8 June 1995, Nato Press Service, Brussels.
N-Bomb Need Not Kill Many, says Minister’, The Observer, London, 17 December 1995.
See reference 42.
An Evolving Nuclear Posture. Second Report of the Steering Committee, Project on Eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Henry L. Stimson Centre, Washington DC, 1995. M A notable exception is the work of the British Pugwash Group. See, for example: C.R. Hill, R.S. Pease, R.E. Pierls and J Rotblat, Does Britain Need Nuclear Weapons? Pugwash, London, 1995.
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