The United Kingdom and the nuclear future. The strength of continuity and the chance for change

Simpson, John (2007) The United Kingdom and the nuclear future. The strength of continuity and the chance for change. The Nonproliferation Review, 14, (2), 227-249. (doi:10.1080/10736700701383288).


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In December 2006, the British government published a White Paper on the future of its nuclear deterrent that was endorsed by its House of Commons in March 2007. The White Paper focused on constructing new Trident ballistic missile submarines to be deployed in the early 2020s and also contained a number of statements about the United Kingdom's future nuclear doctrine. The Trident's role is now for strategic deterrence alone; the concept of sub-strategic deterrence (and nuclear war fighting) has been abandoned; uncertainty over the specific circumstances of use continues to be an integral part of the U.K. deterrence posture; and any actual use would adhere to the guidelines set forth in the 1996 International Court of Justice advisory opinion. The United Kingdom is also committed to participating fully in any multilateral disarmament negotiations. These decisions offer a clear vision of the strategic nuclear future of the United Kingdom.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/10736700701383288
ISSNs: 1073-6700 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: United Kingdom, United States, NATO, nuclear weapons, nuclear policy, submarines
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JZ International relations
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Politics and International Relations
ePrint ID: 47434
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
July 2007Published
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:23

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