Towards a New Strategic Concept for NATO

  • Ken Booth
  • John Baylis


To argue that the risks associated with a non-nuclear defence policy are relatively greater than those posed by current defence policies is not to argue for the status quo. Certainly there is room for improvement in both British defence policy and NATO strategy. The kind of changes which will be recommended below will not eradicate the risks of nuclear war completely. Nuclear weapons cannot be disinvented and risks of one kind or another are inevitable in the kind of nuclear world of which we are a part and from which there is no escape. What can be done however, is to shift British and Alliance strategy relatively away from their present nuclear biases towards a more credible conventional response. Nuclear weapons would still have a role in deterring nuclear threats but the emphasis would be very much on improving conventional capabilities.


Nuclear Weapon Flexible Response Ballistic Missile Cruise Missile Alliance Strategy 
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  1. 2.
    Lord Carver, A Policy for Peace ( London: Faber & Faber, 1982 ), p. 113.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    See in particular, Diminishing the Nuclear Threat ( London: BAC, 1984 ).Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    See H. Schmidt, A Grand Strategy for the West ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985 ).Google Scholar
  4. 16.
    Jane Stromseth, The Origins of Flexible Response ( London: Macmillan, 1988 ).Google Scholar
  5. 70.
    See D. M. Snow, The Nuclear Future: Toward a Strategy of Uncertainty, ( Alabama: Alabama University Press, 1983 ).Google Scholar

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© Ken Booth and John Baylis 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken Booth
  • John Baylis

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