Strategies of Peripheralism
The retreat from Lisbon looked simple: U.S. aid evaporated in a climate of retrenchment brought on by the Republicans after 1952, leading the Europeans to plead bankruptcy and demand cheaper security that a fiscally conservative American administration was only too happy to provide. It was not, in fact, this tidy. In this chapter, I look at how France, Britain, and the United States developed national reasons for pursuing nuclear independence, reasons that developed outside these budgetary concerns. I will be criticized for underplaying economic distresses. But the material limits to rearmament were pronounced because of the expansive definitions of interest that the Big Three accepted as the foundation of their identities. In France the cost of Lisbon underlined its vulnerability to German rearmament, a fear that provided the strongest argument for an independent nuclear weapon.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon Military Strength Conventional Force Atomic Program Atomic Attack
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