The United States Sale of Trident to Britain, 1977–1982: Deal Making in the Anglo–American Nuclear Relationship

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Abstract

This article provides a comparative analysis of the sales of the Trident nuclear missile system to Britain by the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations. Both governments viewed the Anglo–American nuclear partnership as a tool within their wider foreign policy kit and utilised the sale of Trident to influence British defence policy. For these reasons, each administration saw the Trident sale as part of an Anglo–American transactional defence relationship. This exegesis deepens understanding of the United States perspective on Anglo–American nuclear co-operation. Moreover, it is relevant to current debates on the replacement of Trident because it highlights the ramifications of Britain’s technical dependence and raises questions about the concessions that may have been made, or will need to be made, to the United States in exchange for the latter’s assistance with replacement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-493
Number of pages17
JournalDiplomacy and Statecraft
Volume28
Issue number3
Early online date14 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

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