Critique of the NATO Decision-making Process: Decisions are Neither Democratically Made nor Democratically Accounted For
Chapters 7 and 8 have been an attempt to give a reasonably straightforward account of the nuclear weapon decision-making processes in NATO. But there is a problem here. The breakdown of parliamentary consensus about what these decisions should be (described in Part 1), has now spilled over into a parallel controversy about how they should be made. And here, once again, the distinction between fact and evaluation has become blurred, so that the dispute is not only about what the decision-making process should be in future, but also about what it is now. In other words, accounts such as that given in Chapters 7 and 8 are found to be themselves caught up in the disagreement. What is at issue in this debate? How serious is it? And how should we respond? In this chapter and the next we will aim to bring out the force of what is being argued on either side, and then try to reach an overall conclusion about it.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon National Parliament High Level Group Member Government Defence Minister
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- 7.‘The response of the American administration to the decisions taken during the recent Labour Party conference showed up what the real situation is. Listening to the American Secretary of Defense gave me a surreal feeling that our apparent ally was all at once a potential enemy, threatening the withdrawal of economic favours and the deliberate destabilisation of this country, if we dare try to escape from its sphere of influence’, Rebecca Johnson, 11 November 1986, in Oliver Ramsbotham (ed.), Choices: Nuclear and Non-nuclear Defence Options, London, Brassey’s, 1987.Google Scholar
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