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Anglo-German Relations During the Labour Governments 1964-70NATO Strategy, Detente and European Integration$
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Terry Macintyre

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719076008

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719076008.001.0001

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NATO nuclear strategy and the adoption of ‘flexible response’

NATO nuclear strategy and the adoption of ‘flexible response’

(p.122) Chapter 5 NATO nuclear strategy and the adoption of ‘flexible response’
Anglo-German Relations During the Labour Governments 1964-70

Terry Macintyre

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the background to the formal adoption by NATO in 1967 of the revised nuclear strategy of ‘flexible response’. By the early 1960s, the security guarantee provided to NATO members by the United States had been undermined as the Soviet Union achieved nuclear parity and by the demand that its European allies strengthen their conventional forces assigned to NATO. For the Germans in particular, either the consequences of a failure of deterrence or the prospect of a conventional battle fought on their territory was too serious to contemplate. Britain clearly understood German concerns and to some extent shared them. The agreement on the revised NATO strategy represented a compromise between these respective positions. Britain was a key player in the development of NATO strategy and, with Germany, was influential in developing guidance on the use of tactical nuclear weapons by the Alliance as part of flexible response.

Keywords:   United States, Soviet Union, deterrence, Germany, nuclear weapons, Britain, NATO, NATO strategy, flexible response

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