A state in denial: Britain's WMD dependency on the United States

Dan Plesch

Abstract


Britain is not an independent nuclear power. Its nuclear warheads and delivery systems depend upon American supplied management and technology and have done so since the dawn of the nuclear age. For years these matters were classified and today both governments only supply partial information. Nevertheless, an analysis of the historical records and such government information as is available, particularly from U.S. sources, shows clearly that the U.K. has no independence of procurement and little if any genuine independence of operation. This reality has never been made clear to the public or to many in government and the political and media elites. As a result, the debate in the U.K. and internationally on the future of nuclear weapons is conducted on the false premise that the U.K. is an independent nuclear power.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ainslie, J. 2005. “The Future of the British Bomb.” Posted at http://www.comeclean.org.uk/articles.php?articleID=132 [accessed 29 September 2007].

Arnold, L. 2001. Britain and the H-Bomb. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Baylis, J. 1984. Anglo-American Defense Relations, 1939-1984. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan.

Baylis, J. 1997. Anglo American Relations since 1939. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Bellamy, C. 2005. "British Nuclear Forces, the decision that dare not speak its name", The World Today, Vol. 65, No.1 (May).

Bush, G.W. 2004. “Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy.” 14 June 2004. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/06/20040614-15.html [accessed 29 November 2007].

Clark, I. 1994. Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship: Britain’s Deterrent and America, 1957-1962. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

[DSCR8] Defence Select Committee Eighth Report. 2005-6. “The Future of the UK’s Strategic Nuclear Deterrent.” House of Commons session 2005-2006.

[DSCR6] Defence Select Committee Sixth Report. 1993. “The Progress of the Trident Programme.” 16 June 1993.

[DSCR3] Defence Select Committee Third Report. 1987. “Progress of the Trident Programme.” HC 1987-1988.

Dumbrell, J. 2000. A Special Relationship. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

[FCSC] Foreign Office Steering Committee. 1958. “Planning Paper on Interdependence.” (58)8, 27 January 1958, PRO FO371/132330.

Gowing, M. 1974. Independence and Deterrence. Vol. 1. London: Macmillan.

Groom, A.J.R. 1974. British Thinking about Nuclear Weapons. London: Pinter.

Hennessy, P. 2002. The Secret State. London: Penguin/ Allen Lane.

[JAIEG] Joint Atomic Information Exchange Group. 1983. “Annual Historical Summary [U].” HQ Defence Nuclear Agency (1 October 1982-30 September 1983).

Menaul, S. 1980. Countdown. London: Hale.

Miall, H. 1987. Oxford Research Group. London: Macmillan.

[NAO] National Audit Office. 1987. “Ministry of Defence and Property Services Agency: Control and Management of the Trident Programme.” ISBN 0102027889. London: National Audit Office.

Norris R.S., et al. 1994. Nuclear Weapons Databook: British, French and Chinese Nuclear Weapons. Vol. 5. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Paul, S. 2000. Nuclear Rivals: Anglo-American Atomic Relations, 1941-1952.Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.

Peden, W. 1991. “Safety of British Nuclear Weapon Designs.” British American Security Information Council.

Peden, W. 1999. “The Next Chevaline Scandal.” London: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Plesch, D. 2006. “Trident, We’ve Been Conned Again.” New Statesman (27 March).

Quinlan, M. 2006. “The Future of United Kingdom Nuclear Weapons: Shaping the Debate.” International Affairs, Vol. 82, No. 4, pp. 627–637.

Simpson, J. 1986. The Independent Nuclear State. London: MacMillan.

Spinardi, G. 1997. "Aldermaston and British Nuclear Weapons Development: Testing the 'Zuckerman Thesis'." Social Studies of Science, Vol 27, pp. 547-582.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15355/epsj.3.1.40

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.