By G. Wyn Rees (auth.)
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Extra info for Anglo-American Approaches to Alliance Security, 1955–60
66 But the Army argued in return that there was no clear guidance in what circumstances nuclear weapons would be used. It did not want to be in the position where through lack of conventional capabilities, there was no choice other than to employ nuclear weapons. Maintaining a variety of conventional capabilities would ensure flexibility and they pointed to the experience of the French in Indochina to support their case. Yet there were problems with the concept of a strategic reserve other than the limitations of manpower.
28 Nuclear 'sufficiency' could be said to have lessened the military utility of the British nuclear force. This was because the USSR was approaching an ability to retaliate with nuclear weapons, even after an overwhelming strike upon her homeland. The value of the British force, as an adjunct of the larger American capability, would thereby be reduced. Based upon such warfighting logic, the importance of the UK force in global war was decreasing. As far as the international situation was concerned, the British thought that the outbreak of a global war was unlikely, even to occur by accident.
Chairman Radford was against the concept of maintaining large forces in the US for overseas 36 Anglo-American Approaches to Alliance Security, 1955-60 intervention. In July 1957, he argued that the Basic National Security Policy (NSC 5707/8) did not envisage sizeable deployments of US ground forces to fight in limited wars. On this basis he argued that: there is . . 65 Radford proposed instead that conventional forces should be reduced in size and constituted around tactical nuclear weapons, thereby increasing their deterrent value.
Anglo-American Approaches to Alliance Security, 1955–60 by G. Wyn Rees (auth.)