chapter  1
6 Pages

Introduction: Britain and Disarmament: Weapons Programmes and Arms Control: Balancing Conflicting Requirements

This chapter provides an account of UK thinking on Atlantic Nuclear Force (ANF) and Multilateral Nuclear Force (MLF) issues, essentially differing and competing approaches to the vexed question of nuclear sharing and nuclear decision making within the NATO alliance. MLF was originally promoted by the Kennedy Administration, whilst the ANF was a UK alternative favoured by the Labour Government of Harold Wilson from 1964 onwards. The chapter discusses that how these concepts could impact on the UK's own warhead programme and its and international efforts to negotiate a nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), which had begun in the ENDC in 1965. It presents the extent to which UK-US nuclear collaboration under the 1958 UK-US Mutual Defence Agreement was taken into account during the formative stages of the NPT negotiations in 1965 and 1966, which in many ways were the key multilateral arms control agreement negotiated in the 1960s.