November 18, 2021
This report from UK think tank Centre for European Reform looks at the credibility of the UK’s nuclear deterrence policy.
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the UK plans to increase its nuclear warhead stockpile. Britain’s nuclear weapons have for decades been intended to defend its NATO allies as well as itself, but not all the UK’s allies now see its policy as credible. In this new Centre for European Reform policy brief, Bridging the Channel: The UK’s nuclear deterrent and its role in European security, kindly supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Ian Bond argues that the UK needs to do a better job of explaining how the UK’s nuclear deterrent fits into the current security picture in Europe.
The UK has to deal with different audiences in different countries:
This new paper argues that the UK should leverage its deterrent to strengthen security relations with its European partners. It should revitalise bilateral nuclear co-operation with France, especially if the US decides to reduce the role of its own deterrent; focus German attention on the cuts that Britain has made in its nuclear stockpile since the end of the Cold War; and ensure that its Central European and Baltic allies believe in its nuclear commitment to them.Read Full Report