By G. Wyn Rees (auth.)
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Additional resources for Anglo-American Approaches to Alliance Security, 1955–60
States therefore face a complex set of choices when deciding what measures they will undertake to implement their alliance commitments, and to what extent they will seek integration. There is a variable amount of involvement for a state within an alliance: at one end of the spectrum lies complete independence, while at the opposite end of the continuum lies integration. At the root of the idea of interdependence is the concept of mutual vulnerability, that both partners will experience pain if the relationship is terminated.
While the stockpile was limited, it was assumed that an attack would probably be aimed at the strategic nuclear facilities of the West. However, by the end of the decade, the Soviets were expected to have a plentiful supply of weapons and a more widespread set of targets were likely to be attacked. 7 Britain was vulnerable at the outset of the period to nuclear gravity bombs dropped from long-range aircraft. 8 By 1958, this assessment was revised to a figure of 300 medium bombers and 150 light bombers.
They contended that global war was now an unlikely eventuality and that thermonuclear weapons would only succeed in deterring global war. Conventional war needs should be accorded a much higher priority and the remaining resources could then be devoted to maintaining the strategic stalemate. This view did not wholly reject the importance of global war forces. Indeed, it continued to emphasise the importance of nuclear forces even in limited war. Such capabilities would be vital in providing an umbrella of deterrence under which conventional military power could participate in limited war.
Anglo-American Approaches to Alliance Security, 1955–60 by G. Wyn Rees (auth.)