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Conclusions: Conceptual Themes

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Abstract

Nuclear weapons have always been central to Australia’s sense of security, either directly or vicariously. This chapter evaluates the extent to which policy-makers had a clear idea about the role of nuclear weapons in the defense of Australia, and the strategies pursued to achieve strategic goals. It examines how and when policy-makers began to think about the concept of extended nuclear deterrence (END); to what extent they believed in it and how they articulated it; and how combined elements in Australia’s strategic environment shaped attitudes toward the desirability of a national nuclear capability. This chapter attempts to answer both questions about Australian thinking about nuclear weapons, and what the case study can illustrate about the broader issue of the role of nuclear weapons in international security.

Keywords

Nuclear Weapon Nuclear Posture Security Assurance Alliance Management Nuclear Disarmament 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Francis J. Gavin, Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 2012), p. 11.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Brad Roberts, Extended Deterrence and Strategic Stability in Northeast Asia (The National Institute for Defense Studies, Washington, DC, August 2013), p. 10.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Robert Ayson and Christine M. Leah, “Missile Strategy in a Post-Nuclear Age,” Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 37, No. 2 (2014), pp. 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 8.
    John Weltman, “Managing Nuclear Multipolarity,” International Security, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Winter 1981/82), p. 2.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    For a brief overview of problems of nuclear strategy with the newest members of the nuclear club, see Therese Delpech, Nuclear Deterrence in the 21st Century: Lessons from the Cold War for a New Era of Strategic Piracy (RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, 2012), pp. 97–114.Google Scholar

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© Christine M. Leah 2014

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