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Australia and the Bomb by Christine M. Leah (auth.)

By Christine M. Leah (auth.)

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As a Department of Defense report noted, [India’s nuclear explosion and acquisition of nuclear weapons] . . are not in themselves necessarily a threat to Australia, and this is likely to be true of nuclear development by a number of countries. But with wider proliferation our defense situation would have seriously deteriorated in two primary respects [underline in original]. ”23 This concern over the American alliance is voiced even as late as 1974. No Managed System of Deterrence In that day and age, nuclear weapons were seen as merely bigger and better conventional weapons; the line between the “conventional” and the “nuclear” An Emerging Appreciation of END, 1957–1968 ● 37 way of war fighting was still blurred.

Distinction among the USSR, Communist China [and at least two other countries are blacked out in the text] and apparently dictates that the NSTL/SIOP provide for the attack of a single list of Sino-Soviet Bloc targets . . It is recommended that the Joint Staff be directed to examine our National Strategic Targeting and Attack Policy in connection with NSC 5904/1 to determine how the NSTL/SIOP may be revised to provide for the desired flexibility, and what revision of the NSTAP is required . .

Should effective support not be forthcoming, a country faced by a threat that it believed it could not handle alone by conventional means could be strongly moved towards the acquisition of nuclear weapons . . ” The credibility problems of END increase as the number of nuclear actors grows and more states are able to challenge US access to its allies. It also increases the consequences of misperception in international politics. In the 1960s, there were strong concerns that states in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia would “go nuclear” and the implications this would have for END.

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