Anglo-American Approaches to Alliance Security, 1955–60 by G. Wyn Rees (auth.) PDF
By G. Wyn Rees (auth.)
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Additional info for Anglo-American Approaches to Alliance Security, 1955–60
Both weapon systems were capable of delivering nuclear weapons against a variety of targets, which was deemed to be a vital capability in a limited war. While the medium bombers had a central role in global war, and the aircraft earners were assigned a secondary function, each system provided nuclear and conventional planning options in local wars. Aircraft carriers possessed the added advantage of being mobile and therefore they were not as vulnerable as fixed bases to enemy nuclear strikes. Thus the importance of limited war planning to the United States and Britain was perceived to be increasing as a result of the developing nuclear stalemate with the Eastern bloc.
NUCLEAR SUFFICIENCY Although the US was the foremost nuclear power in the world, it was foreseen, even in the formulation of the strategy of Massive Retaliation, that superiority would not last forever. The Soviet Union had been able to catch up with the West in many aspects of nuclear technology, for example, testing a thermonuclear weapon in 1955. Eventually a situation of nuclear parity would be reached once the Soviets attained the ability to strike at the United States with large numbers of nuclear warheads.
The projected size of the V-bomber fleet was reduced and multiple successor systems, such as the Avro 730 manned bomber, were axed. The drawback to this situation, from the UK point of view, was that as the Soviet nuclear stockpile reached a 'saturation' capacity,31 the United States might become reluctant to initiate the use of nuclear weapons. This fact was acknowledged privately in American policy making circles throughout the late-1950s. There was no question that the US would retaliate against an attack upon its own territory by the Soviet Union.
Anglo-American Approaches to Alliance Security, 1955–60 by G. Wyn Rees (auth.)