Political Perceptions of Nuclear Disarmament in the United Kingdom and France: A Comparative Analysis

Introduction

Since the publication of the first Kissinger-Nunn-Perry-Shultz op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in January 2007, both France and the United Kingdom have, as recognized nuclear weapon states, found themselves at the center of an evolving debate on nuclear disarmament.[1] In response, they have chosen to adopt two very different positions. While the United Kingdom speaks openly about its desire to move towards zero, France has been less active in this regard.

The sensitivity of the disarmament discussion within France was highlighted by the reaction to an op-ed published in Le Monde on 14 October 2009 which echoed the arguments of the "four horsemen" in The Wall Street Journal.[2] Although the article was signed by four French statesmen, including two former prime ministers, it does not appear to have provoked any significant political or public reaction.[3] In contrast, three of the four British figures that authored a similar piece in The Times in June 2008 are now members of a cross-party parliamentary group that is advocating multilateral nuclear disarmament.[4] This contrast in response provides the latest indication that France's political establishment and general public is, for the time being, less willing to engage in the disarmament debate.

In many ways these differences are surprising as the two countries maintain similar sized arsenals, face the same strategic threats, and believe that disarmament can only be achieved on a multilateral and incremental basis. Nevertheless, a divergence of views does exist, primarily because of France's strategic culture and the central role that nuclear weapons play in its national security doctrine.

This issue brief will discuss comments made by politicians from both countries regarding the subject of nuclear disarmament. It will also examine the likely impact of the recently formed British "Top Level Group" and why its establishment represents a significant step that has not yet been replicated in Paris. Finally, it will consider the prospects for French engagement on this issue and what further measures may be taken by both countries to advance international nuclear disarmament.

The Role of Nuclear Weapons in National Security Policy

France's nuclear weapons are seen as the cornerstone of her freedom and independence, a view that still prevails in the nation's strategic culture today.[5] Their role in national security policy is wide ranging, including the prevention of state aggression against France wherever it may come from and in whatever form.[6] French policy calls for the use of nuclear weapons in response to an attack on its vital interests and this could, in theory, include state-sponsored terrorism.[7] By comparison, the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent plays a more marginal role in national security policy with the primary rationale for its retention being to prevent nuclear blackmail.[8] As a result, nuclear weapons are not as closely linked to national independence in the United Kingdom as they are in France and this makes questioning their existence a less politically sensitive issue.

Public opinion plays a significant role in shaping nuclear policy in both countries. There is widespread support in France for maintaining the country's nuclear weapons capability and this has resulted in an absence of any significant public debate on disarmament. Although French opinion polls on this subject are relatively rare, one taken by the French Department of Defense in 2006 found that 61% of the population still believes France requires nuclear weapons in order to defend herself.[9] Public opinion in the United Kingdom, on the other hand, is less supportive of maintaining the nation's nuclear deterrent and a July 2009 poll conducted by The Guardian found that 54% of British respondents would rather abandon nuclear weapons than invest in a new generation of Trident warheads.[10] This lack of UK public support for nuclear weapons, combined with the more marginal role that they play in British defense policy, creates an environment that is ripe for a national debate.

Political Perceptions of Disarmament

In recent years the United Kingdom has, rightly or wrongly, been receiving recognition for its approach to nuclear disarmament, particularly from non-nuclear weapon states. Japan, for instance, has urged all nuclear weapon states to follow the United Kingdom's approach to nuclear disarmament initiatives.[11] Similar praise has not been directed towards Paris. Although the United Kingdom possesses a smaller number of warheads than France and is currently carrying out research into verification techniques, much of the acclaim it has received regarding nuclear disarmament is the result of highly publicized speeches made by the UK Prime Minister and his cabinet. It may have been partly in response to these statements that President Sarkozy claimed in his address in Cherbourg on 21 March 2008 that "rather than making speeches and promises that are not translated into deeds, France acts."[12] This may, to some extent, be true. But first we must consider the remarks that have been made by politicians in both countries and the extent to which these have been translated into policy documents that illustrate future intentions.

Leading British politicians have, over the last three years, been consistently asserting the United Kingdom's support for global nuclear disarmament. This reenergizing of Britain's efforts came largely in response to the first "four horsemen" article from the Wall Street Journal in January 2007 and the belief that a window of opportunity on disarmament had now opened. As a result, the UK government began a coordinated strategy that involved a number of high-profile speeches. A keynote address delivered by then British Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, at the Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference in June 2007 formed part of this strategy,[13] as did a speech from Des Browne, then Secretary of Defence, to the Conference on Disarmament in February 2008.[14] This position has since been reasserted by both Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the current Foreign Secretary David Miliband.[15] An article written by Miliband for The Guardian in December 2008 stated unequivocally that the United Kingdom "is committed to working actively to create a world free of nuclear weapons."[16] These words encapsulate what has been a consistent UK message since June 2007.

Government publications outlining the United Kingdom's nonproliferation and disarmament policy have reinforced these public statements. In July 2009 the UK Cabinet Office published The Road to 2010: Addressing the nuclear question in the twenty first century. [17] This document refers to the steps that the government believes need to be taken in order to ensure that the 2010 NPT Review Conference will be a success. In particular, how the United Kingdom can contribute to initiatives that show the nuclear weapon states are serious about disarmament and meeting their own Article VI obligations. The Road to 2010 reflects this vision by signaling that the United Kingdom wishes to "play a full part in leading the global debate on, and research into, overcoming the obstacles to eliminating the need for nuclear weapons."[18] In addition, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office publication Lifting the Nuclear Shadow contains six key steps[19] towards international disarmament as well as comments from Foreign Secretary David Miliband in which he underlines the fact that "the United Kingdom is wholeheartedly committed to playing its part" in furthering the cause to eliminate all nuclear weapons.[20]

French politicians have been less forthcoming in establishing the fact that France will join nuclear disarmament negotiations at the appropriate time. This is partly due to them being unconvinced that disarmament will result in increased security. Although President Sarkozy's Cherbourg speech did address the disarmament subject directly, something that marks a subtle change in French policy, it also urged caution and reinforced the message that France will continue to maintain a doctrine of "strict sufficiency" with nuclear forces that are applicable to the strategic context.[21] Although this doctrine is not significantly different from the British policy of "minimum deterrence," the emphasis that Paris places on maintenance as opposed to willingness to engage, continues to create some ambiguity over France's position.[22] This ambiguity was further demonstrated by the French delegation's intransigence at the 2009 NPT Preparatory Committee (PrepCom), during which it appeared out-of-step with the positive positions taken by the United States and United Kingdom. The French delegation was not eager to adopt language that reinforced the Nuclear Weapon States' unequivocal commitment to work towards nuclear disarmament and this may be demonstrative of France's future position should the disarmament process gain momentum.[23]

Visions for Achieving International Nuclear Disarmament

British politicians from all major parties appear to share a common vision of how the world can move towards zero and what part the United Kingdom can play in facilitating this process. Although the steps envisioned are consistent with those that have been advocated by Kissinger, Shultz, Nunn and Perry, what is significant is the broad consensus that exists in favor of these measures. Historically, the Conservative Party has been the strongest advocate of a robust deterrence posture. However, largely as a result of what they consider to be a very different security environment, the Conservatives now support the strategic goal of reaching zero but believe this can only be achieved by establishing a series of realistic short-term bench-marks.[24]

The British cross-party consensus focuses on a number of key issues that has resulted in a coherent long-term policy. Both Labour and the Conservative Party believe that the process must be multilateral, involving nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states, and incremental, with the establishment of attainable short-term goals. Furthermore, there can be no separation of the disarmament discussion from the wider security context, which includes the reduction of regional tensions. As expected, both parties support the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. They also agree that states must reduce the role that nuclear weapons play in their security policies. Finally, there must be sufficient international confidence that safeguards and verification techniques will detect any clandestine nuclear weapons program.

Although France is often criticized for its disarmament record, Paris has also made some significant contributions towards the creation of an environment that is conducive to disarmament. The decisions to reduce its fleet of SSBNs from six to four and to dismantle the land-based component of its nuclear triad were both notable disarmament measures. Furthermore, the closure and dismantlement of its fissile material production facilities at Pierrelatte and Marcoule, as well as the dismantlement of its nuclear testing site at Mururoa, are also positive developments.[25] Of particular significance was the decision to invite international visitors to Pierrelatte and Marcoule in order to maximize transparency, something that has not been seen in other nuclear weapon states.

President Sarkozy's Cherbourg speech provided a framework of the steps that France believes may be required in order to move towards disarmament.[26] It highlighted the need for: dismantlement of nuclear testing sites in a transparent and open manner; the launching of negotiations on a treaty to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons purposes; an agreement on transparency measures among the five recognized nuclear weapon states; the opening of negotiations on a treaty banning short- and intermediate-range surface-to-surface missiles; and, mobilization in all other areas of disarmament. This link between nuclear and conventional disarmament is consistently made by France and it reflects Paris' strict interpretation of Article VI; in relation to which it hopes its actions on biological, chemical and conventional disarmament will be recognized.[27] This is, in many ways, the main difference between the visions of London and Paris as the disarmament agenda laid out in the Cherbourg speech is an attempt to place us "on the path to both nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament."[28] Although the United Kingdom acknowledges the importance of resolving regional security issues as a condition for moving towards zero, it does not take the additional step of calling for complete conventional disarmament.

Nuclear Weapons Modernization

Both France and the United Kingdom have, however, come under criticism for the decisions to replace their respective fleets of ballistic missile nuclear submarines. The UK decision, which was taken by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, was particularly significant given that the United Kingdom's four Vanguard Class SSBNs are its sole remaining delivery platform. Therefore, any decision not to build a replacement would have resulted in there being no British deterrent beyond the current and extended service lives of the existing fleet of submarines. In all the speeches relating to nuclear disarmament that have been given by British politicians since 2007, not one has failed to reassert the fact that the process must be multilateral. With this in mind, the 2006 decision can not be viewed as contradictory to these statements. Paradoxically, there is also a belief that in order for London to retain its ability to facilitate nuclear disarmament initiatives, it must — in the short-term at least - maintain its nuclear weapons capability at the risk of losing political leverage over the issue.

France is also in the process of modernizing its nuclear weapons capability with the fourth and final vessel of a new fleet of SSBN's, Le Terrible, due to be commissioned in 2010. It will then begin replacing the Mirage 2000N aircraft, which carries the new ASMP air-to-ground nuclear missile, with the new Rafale combat fighter from 2010 onwards.[29] Both Paris and London cite similar reasons as to why the decision was taken to build a new generation of nuclear submarines. In the case of the United Kingdom, there was a relatively wide public debate on the issue with large amounts of information placed in the public domain.[30] The decision was finally taken to renew the submarine fleet on the basis that the government can not be "certain" that a major nuclear threat to the United Kingdom's strategic interests will not emerge in the future.[31] A similar rationale was also given by President Sarkozy when he claimed that he did not want France "to find herself unarmed in the face of a strategic surprise."[32]

In spite of their respective decisions to maintain a sea-based nuclear deterrent, both the United Kingdom and France have further reduced their stockpiles of nuclear warheads. In Tony Blair's parliamentary statement on Trident in December 2006, he committed the United Kingdom to reducing its number of "operationally available" warheads from 200 to fewer than 160.[33] A similar decision was also announced by President Sarkozy in his Cherbourg speech, but he effectively went a step further and stated that France now possessed less than 300 nuclear warheads with none in reserve.[34] This transparency on the part of France differs from the British position of declaring the number of "operationally available" warheads, which suggests that the UK continues to hold some in reserve. Although these reductions were seen by many as an attempt at deflecting attention away from the French and UK decisions to renew their nuclear deterrent, it was, nonetheless, a step towards greater transparency and a commitment not to re-upload nuclear warheads.

"Four Horsemen" Initiatives

In an attempt to precipitate a wider debate on nuclear disarmament within France, four prominent French individuals — former Prime Ministers Alain Juppé and Michel Rocard, former Defense Minister Alain Richard, and retired General Bernard Norlain - recently published a bipartisan opinion piece in Le Monde.[35] Although Michel Rocard is a long-term opponent of nuclear weapons and a member of the Global Zero organization, the other three authors had not previously been advocates of nuclear disarmament. Published on 14 October 2009, the article refers to the declining relevance of nuclear deterrence and the need for disarmament initiatives as a means of strengthening international nonproliferation efforts. In addition, it also takes the significant step of calling on France to state firmly its intention to engage in the disarmament process.[36] In contrast to its UK and US equivalent, the Le Monde article received only limited media coverage and has, so far, facilitated little debate in Paris. This in itself is significant and highlights a distinct lack of French public and political interest in disarmament discussions.

A similar article was published by The Times in June 2008 and was authored by Douglas Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, David Owen and George Robertson, all former UK foreign and defense secretaries.[37] It is notable that one of the four, Lord George Robertson, is also a former NATO Secretary-General. The article was an expression of support for the original US horsemen and a reflection of the growing political consensus in the United Kingdom that "substantial progress towards a dramatic reduction in the world's nuclear weapons is possible."[38]

The UK's Top Level Group for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament

In a similar vein to the Nuclear Security Project in the United States, the opinion piece published in The Times has now evolved into a grouping that seeks to further that article's vision.[39] Three of its authors, Malcolm Rifkind, Douglas Hurd and George Robertson, are now members of the "Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Disarmament and Non Proliferation" (TLG) which was launched on 29 October 2009 in London. This cross-party group consists of most UK foreign and defense secretaries from the previous two decades. Baroness Shirley Williams, an adviser to Prime Minister Gordon Brown on nonproliferation and a Director of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, is also a member of the group, as are two former heads of the UK armed forces. The TLG will seek to reach into the US Congress, but it also aims to cooperate with politicians in other European states in order to raise the level of debate on nuclear disarmament within the European Union.

Although all members of the Top Level Group share a common vision of disarmament, they believe that this can only be achieved on a multilateral and incremental basis. [40] It is, therefore, a group that reflects the government's stated policy of taking a lead on nuclear disarmament and it will seek to advance that policy wherever possible. This will be done by the facilitation of debate in both houses of the UK Parliament, conducting meetings with key policy makers, as well as cooperating with European counterparts.[41] Significant public outreach will also be pursued in order to bring the debate into the public domain and to have a coordinated presence at key meetings and conferences. It is hoped that this will provide a consistent and unequivocal voice that leaves politicians from around the world in no doubt what the position of the UK government is on nuclear disarmament issues.

The establishment of a group that advocates nuclear disarmament by a collection of individuals that were previously at the heart of nuclear decision making marks a clear contrast in the levels of political support for disarmament in London and Paris. Given that the Le Monde article was only published in October 2009 it is, perhaps, too early to suggest that a French equivalent of the TLG will not be established in the near future. If one is, then it is highly likely that the four authors of the article — Juppé, Norlain, Richard and Rocard — will be the individuals that form such a group. Nevertheless, given the level of response that greeted their opinion piece, it is unlikely that they will be emboldened to pursue this agenda any further for the time being.

Verification Research and the "Disarmament Laboratory"

In addition to statements of intent and the formation of the TLG, it should be highlighted that the United Kingdom is also engaged in research towards the development of tried and tested verification measures. These activities are being conducted at the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment in partnership with the Norwegian government and the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC). The 1998 UK Strategic Defence Review (SDR) called on the United Kingdom to use its expertise in the monitoring of fissile material to develop capabilities which could be used to verify reductions in nuclear weapons.[42] This led to an 18 month study directed by the Ministry of Defence's Chief Scientific Adviser which was concluded in 2000.[43] The continuation of these efforts now forms part of the "disarmament laboratory" policy that British politicians have been referring to since Margaret Beckett's Carnegie speech in 2007.[44] This policy envisions the United Kingdom providing leadership in the technical measures that need to be taken in order to authenticate warheads and warhead components, verify dismantlement, and establish the existence and status of a clandestine nuclear weapons program. It is imperative that such verification measures are conducted without undermining national security or revealing proliferation sensitive information. The intention of both Norway and the United Kingdom is to be as transparent as possible about the research they are conducting and this will include reporting on their progress at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.[45]

Future Prospects

If the international momentum towards disarmament continues to gain pace, then both France and the United Kingdom are likely to reduce their nuclear arsenals further and become engaged in discussions on how additional milestones can be achieved. In contrast to the United Kingdom's reliance on its four ballistic-missile carrying submarines, France also maintains an air-launched nuclear capability. Its justification for continuing to operate a nuclear diad is that Britain's U.S.-designed Trident-2 missiles are more accurate than both the current French M45 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and the newer M51.[46] There is also a suggestion that in order for French deterrence to be credible, and to assure operational flexibility, it is necessary to maintain two nuclear components.[47] These arguments are not entirely convincing as it is questionable how accurate a nuclear missile really needs to be in order for it to represent a sufficient deterrent. With this in mind, there does appear to be scope for France to revert to a monad and rely solely on its new fleet of SSBNs. If it does take this decision in the future, then it could be viewed as a significant contribution to disarmament.

The muted response to the recent Le Monde article indicates that a group similar to that of the British TLG is unlikely to be established in France any time soon. If it is, then it will be unlikely to gain a great deal of media coverage. France's political establishment is not yet prepared to devote much time to this issue and continues to stress the need for caution. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that it will support a general trend towards disarmament if it involved all the recognized nuclear weapon states. In this situation the political pressure, particularly that emanating from within the European Union, would be too overwhelming for it to resist. Germany, for instance, is highly skeptical of the continued relevance of nuclear weapons and has recently reconsidered its own position regarding the stationing of NATO nuclear weapons on its territory.[48]

The United Kingdom can also do more to increase transparency and, like France, declare its complete stockpile of nuclear warheads rather than just those that are operationally available. Furthermore, although there is some truth to the claim that London's actions so far have been mainly rhetorical, the options for concrete measures at this stage are limited and statements of intent commit it to supporting these words with action in the future. If it does not do so then the United Kingdom could lose credibility within the international community. Tangible results from its verification research will also be expected otherwise this initiative will have limited impact. In the short term, however, the United Kingdom can be seen to have contributed to furthering the disarmament debate by eradicating ambiguity over its future intentions.

Conclusion

When discussing nuclear disarmament during his April 2009 speech in Prague, President Obama stated that "we cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it."[49] It is certainly true that the greatest responsibility for disarmament lies with the United States and Russia, but France and the United Kingdom can also make a significant contribution to this process. Most importantly, they could firmly establish their intent to reduce their own warhead numbers in order to create confidence that all the recognized nuclear weapon states share the same goal. It is within this context that public statements become important and the United Kingdom has certainly been more forthcoming in this regard.

Nevertheless, words will eventually have to be translated into deeds and it is imperative that both nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states believe that France and the United Kingdom will move towards zero at the appropriate moment. If they do not, then it will become increasingly difficult to shore up the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and to reinforce the international nonproliferation regime.

Resources

Speeches

  • Margaret Beckett, Keynote Address: A World Free of Nuclear Weapons? Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference, 25 June 2007, www.carnegieendowment.org.
  • Des Browne, Laying the Foundations for Multilateral Disarmament, Address to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, the Ministry of Defence, 5 February 2008, www.mod.uk.
  • Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Speech on Nuclear Energy and Proliferation at Lancaster House, 17 March 2009, www.number10.gov.uk.
  • President Sarkozy, Presentation of 'Le Terrible', Cherbourg, 21 March 2008, www.carnegieendowment.org.

Policy documents

  • The United Kingdom Cabinet Office, The Road to 2010: Addressing the nuclear question in the twenty first century, July 2009, www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk.
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lifting the Nuclear Shadow, February 2009, www.carnegieendowment.org.
  • French White Paper on Defence and National Security, June 2008, www.ambafrance-ca.org.

Op-eds

  • George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn, A World Free of Nuclear Weapons, The Wall Street Journal, 4 January 2007, http://cisac.stanford.edu.
  • Alain Juppé, Bernard Norlain, Alain Richard and Michel Rocard, Pour un désarmement nucléaire mondial, seule réponse à la prolifération anarchique, Le Monde, 14 October 2009, www.afcdrp.com.
  • Douglas Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, David Owen and George Robertson, Start worrying and learn to ditch the bomb, The Times, 30 June 2008, www.timesonline.co.uk.

Sources:

[1] George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn, "A World Free of Nuclear Weapons," The Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com, 4 January 2007.
[2] George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn, "A World Free of Nuclear Weapons," The Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com, 4 January 2007.
[3] Alain Juppé, Bernard Norlain, Alain Richard and Michel Rocard, "Pour un désarmement nucléaire mondial, seule réponse à la prolifération anarchique," Le Monde, www.lemonde.fr, 14 October 2009.
[4] Douglas Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, David Owen and George Robertson, "Start worrying and learn to ditch the bomb," The Times, www.timesonline.co.uk, 30 June 2008.
[5] Bruno Tertrais, "French Perspectives on Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Disarmament," in Unblocking the Road to Zero, (ed) Barry Blechman, The Stimson Center, February 2009, p. 5.
[6] "French White Paper on Defence and National Security," President of the French Republic, June 2008, www.livreblancdefenseetsecurite.gouv.fr.
[7] Bruno Tertrais, "French Perspectives on Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Disarmament," in Unblocking the Road to Zero, (ed) Barry Blechman, The Stimson Center, February 2009, p. 7.
[8] Secretary of State for Defence and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, "The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent," U.K. government, December 2006, p. 17.
[9] To the question "Could a country like France defend herself without a deterrence force(nuclear)?", The Ministry of Defence, Les Français et la Défense, 2006, in Bruno Tertrais, "La dissuasion nucléaire en 2030," Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, www.frstrategie.org, December 2006, p.40.
[10] Julian Glover, "Voters want Britain to scrap all nuclear weapons, ICM poll shows," The Guardian, www.guardian.co.uk, 13 July 2009.
[11] Ambassador Sumio Tarui, Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament, "The necessity of bold disarmament initiatives by the nuclear-weapon states," UN Conference on Disarmament Issues, 27 August 2007, www.disarm.emb-japan.go.jp.
[12] President Sarkozy, "Presentation of 'Le Terrible'," Cherbourg, 21 March 2008, www.ambafrance-uk.org, Embassy of France in the UK.
[13] Margaret Beckett, "Keynote Address: A World Free of Nuclear Weapons?" Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference, www.carnegieendowment.org, 25 June 2007.
[14] Des Browne, "Laying the Foundations for Multilateral Disarmament," Address to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, The Ministry of Defence, www.mod.uk, 5 February 2008.
[15] Prime Minister Gordon Brown, "Speech on Nuclear Energy and Proliferation at Lancaster House," 17 March 2009, www.number-10.gov.uk.
[16] David Miliband, "A world without nuclear weapons," The Guardian, www.guardian.co.uk, 8 December 2008.
[17] The United Kingdom Cabinet Office, "The Road to 2010: Addressing the nuclear question in the twenty first century," www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk, July 2009.
[18] The United Kingdom Cabinet Office, "The Road to 2010: Addressing the nuclear question in the twenty first century," www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk, July 2009, p.14.
[19] The six steps that the document refers to include: stopping further proliferation; helping states to develop their civilian nuclear industries; US-Russia agreement on substantial arms reductions; bringing CTBT into force; making progress on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty; and to explore the many complex political, military, technical and institutional issues that need to be resolved to allow nuclear weapon states to eliminate their arsenals securely. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, "Lifting the Nuclear Shadow," www.fco.gov.uk, February 2009.
[20] The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, "Lifting the Nuclear Shadow," www.fco.gov.uk, February 2009.
[21] President Sarkozy, "Presentation of 'Le Terrible'," Cherbourg, 21 March 2008, www.ambafrance-uk.org, Embassy of France in the UK.
[22] Secretary of State for Defence and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, "The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent," The United Kingdom Government, December 2006.
[23] Miles Pomper, "Report from the NPT Preparatory Committee 2009," James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, www.cns.miis.edu, 26 May 2009.
[24] William Hague (Shadow Foreign Secretary), "Preventing a new age of nuclear insecurity," International Institute of Strategic Studies, 23 July 2008, The Acronym Institute, www.acronym.org.uk, 23 July 2008.
[25] "Le Livre Blanc: The French White Paper on defence and national security," Presidence de la Republique, www.livreblancdefenseetsecurite.gouv.fr, June 2008.
[26] President Sarkozy, "Presentation of 'Le Terrible'," Cherbourg, 21 March 2008, www.ambafrance-uk.org, Embassy of France in the UK.
[27] Bruno Tertrais, "French Perspectives on Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Disarmament," in Unblocking the Road to Zero, (ed) Barry Blechman, The Stimson Center, February 2009, p. 7.
[28] Statement by H.E. Ambassador Jean-François Dobelle, Permanent Representative of France to the Conference on Disarmament, Head of the French delegation to the Second Session of the 2008 Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference, Geneva, 30 April 2008, www.ploughshares.ca
[29] Bruno Tertrais, "French Perspectives on Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Disarmament," in Unblocking the Road to Zero, (ed) Barry Blechman, The Stimson Center, February 2009, p. 10.
[30] Secretary of State for Defence and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, "The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent," The United Kingdom Government, December 2006.
[31] Prime Minister Tony Blair, "Parliamentary Statement on Trident," www.number10.gov.uk, 4 December 2006.
[32] President Nicolas Sarkozy, "Presentation of SSBN 'Le Terrible'," Cherbourg, 21 March 2008, www.ambafrance-uk.org.
[33] Prime Minister Tony Blair, "Parliamentary Statement on Trident," www.number10.gov.uk, 4 December 2006.
[34] President Nicolas Sarkozy, "Presentation of SSBN 'Le Terrible'," Cherbourg, 21 March 2008, www.ambafrance-uk.org.
[35] Alain Juppé, Bernard Norlain, Alain Richard and Michel Rocard, "Pour un désarmement nucléaire mondial, seule réponse à la prolifération anarchique," Le Monde, www.lemonde.fr, 14 October 2009.
[36] Alain Juppé, Bernard Norlain, Alain Richard and Michel Rocard, "For Global Nuclear Disarmament, the Only Means to Prevent Anarchic Proliferation," Translated from the French original by Martin Butcher of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, www.ploughshares.org, 14 October 2009.
[37] Douglas Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, David Owen and George Robertson, "Start worrying and learn to ditch the bomb," The Times, www.timesonline.co.uk, 30 June 2008.
[38] Douglas Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, David Owen and George Robertson, "Start worrying and learn to ditch the bomb," The Times, www.timesonline.co.uk, 30 June 2008.
[39] Douglas Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, David Owen and George Robertson, "Start worrying and learn to ditch the bomb," The Times, www.timesonline.co.uk, 30 June 2008.
[40] "Senior Parliamentarians Urge UK Leadership on Multilateral Disarmament," Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non Proliferation, www.toplevelgroup.org, 29 October 2009.
[41] "Senior Parliamentarians Urge UK Leadership on Multilateral Disarmament," Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non Proliferation, www.toplevelgroup.org, 29 October 2009.
[42] Strategic Defence Review, UK Ministry of Defence, www.mod.uk, July 1998.
[43] "Confidence Security and Verification," The Atomic Weapons Establishment, www.awe.co.uk, 2000, p. 8.
[44] Margaret Beckett, "Keynote Address: A World Free of Nuclear Weapons?" Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference, 25 June 2007.
[45] "Verifiable Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament," VERTIC Fact Sheet #9, www.vertic.org, April 2009.
[46] Bruno Tertrais, "French Perspectives on Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Disarmament," in Unblocking the Road to Zero, (ed) Barry Blechman, The Stimson Center, February 2009, p. 11.
[47] President Nicolas Sarkozy, "Presentation of SSBM 'Le Terrible'," Cherbourg, 21 March 2008, www.ambafrance-uk.org.
[48] Julian Borger, "Germans press for removal of US nuclear weapons in Europe," The Guardian, www.guardian.co.uk, 6 November 2009.
[49] President Obama's remarks in Prague, Czech Republic, 5 April 2009, www.whitehouse.gov.

December 1, 2009
About

In this 2009 article, Thomas Young examines recent statements made by high level officials in the United Kingdom and France on the subject of nuclear disarmament.

Authors
Thomas Young

Research Associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.