Britain's interdependence policy and Anglo-American cooperation on nuclear and conventional force provision, 1957-1964.
Chapter One describes Britain's nuclear and conventional defence policy towards the United States
during 1957-1959. Britain's nuclear policy during these years was based on reconciling British
independence with Anglo-American cooperation and cost effectiveness. The British government
reduced Britain's conventional forces, but Britain's force strength In Europe had to be adjusted as
the Americans began to support calls for a build-up of conventional forces in Europe. Chapter Two
deals with Macmillan's policies on SKYBOLT, POLARIS and the NATO MRBM force during 1960.
The British government was keen on getting both missiles from the Americans, aiming at a deal that
would leave Britain with a maximum degree of independence for her deterrent. The Eisenhower
Administration's support for SACEUR's NATO MRBM force proposals thwarted British attempts to
get POLARIS. Chapter Three describes Macmillan's attempt at reconciling Britain's nuclear
cooperation with the United States with British offers of military cooperation with France during
1961-1962. Such options were considered in order to prevent Britain's deterrent from being
subsumed within a multilateral force. An Anglo-French nuclear alignment was one possible
alternative to a more obvious example of alliance interdependence, a NATO nuclear force backed
by the United States. In Chapter Four Britain's efforts to reduce her conventional forces during the
years 1960-1962 are discussed. These efforts coincide with American pressure to build up
conventional forces in Europe in the wake of the Berlin crisis. Anglo-American discussions over the
conventional force strength issue culminated in the Nassau meeting of December 1962. The general
British debate on future commitments and deployments overshadowed the coordination of efforts
with the Americans on conventional forces overseas. Chapter Five describes Britain's nuclear
relationship with the United States in the aftermath of Nassau. This centred on the drafting of a
POLARIS Sales agreement and finding some common ground on the NATO multilateral force issue.
On the former, the British position was challenged by American efforts at renegotiating the Nassau
agreement. On the latter, the British government was divided over if and to what extent it should
cooperate with the Americans on the MLF. The US Administrations under Kennedy and Johnson
were only half-hearted in their support for the mixed manned multilateral force. Macmillan
meanwhile remained hesitant about suggestions to embark upon a nuclear rapprochement with
France. Chapter Six follows Britain's attempt to reach a decision on commitments and conventional
force deployments during the years 1963-1 964. Members of the British government were inclined
to look at the division of defence tasks between Brita n and the United States in areas outside NATO
as another form of Anglo-American interdependence at work. During Douglas-Home's premiership,
Britain's role in out-of-NATO areas assumed greater significance.