France and the Credibility of Nuclear Guarantees

  • Lawrence FreedmanEmail author
  • Jeffrey Michaels


After 1945 Britain took its position as a great power for granted: much of the rest of the twentieth century was spent adjusting to its declining international standing caused by the loss of its empire and the rise of the US and Soviet superpowers. France wished to restore its position amongst the great powers, following the German occupation, the loss of Indo-China and the struggle in Algeria. After Charles de Gaulle was elected President in 1958, the nuclear programme became a key instrument in his endeavours to reassert France’s distinctive identity.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of War StudiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Defence StudiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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