Nassau Agreement 1962

The next day, during the opening presentations, Macmillan described the UK`s contributions to the development of the atomic bomb and stated unequivocally that the United Kingdom would continue to have an independent nuclear power, regardless of what the United States did to stop it. If the United States were to withdraw from its technology-sharing agreements, the British force would become completely independent, precisely the problem that McNamara was so concerned about. The Nassau Agreement, concluded on December 21, 1962, was an agreement negotiated between the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and Harold Macmillan, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to end the Skybolt crisis. A series of three-day meetings between the two leaders in the Bahamas was followed by Kennedy`s announcement that the Skybolt air-launched missile project would be halted. The United States has agreed to supply the United Kingdom with Polaris submarine missiles for the British Polaris program. In April 1961, the Kennedy administration pursued a policy of resistance against independent British nuclear forces. [38] In a speech in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on June 16, 1962, McNamara stated that “limited nuclear capabilities that operate independently of each other are dangerous, costly, subject to obsolescence and lack of credibility as a deterrent” and that “relatively weak national nuclear forces with hostile cities, such as their objectives, are unlikely to serve as a deterrent.” [39] U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson was even more outspoken; In a speech at West Point, he said: “Britain`s attempt to play a role of own power – that is, a role other than Europe, a role based on a “special relationship” with the United States, a role based on being the leader of a Commonwealth that has no political structure or unity or strength, and which has a fragile and precarious economic relationship. , plays a role in playing. [40] In 1962, Britain committed to completely changing the approach to nuclear deterrence from a bomber-based execution platform to a ballistic missile (SLBM) that took off underwater. The decision was made for more than three days in Nassau, Bahamas, amid political panic.

Even today, its effects mark the UK`s policy of deterrence. In Nassau, Macmillan rejected Kennedy`s other offers and pushed him to supply Polaris missiles to the UK. These represented more advanced technologies than Skybolt and the United States were not inclined to provide them, except as part of a multilateral force within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). As part of the Nassau agreement, the United States agreed to extradite the United Kingdom with Polaris. The agreement provided that the UK`s polaris missiles would be assigned to NATO as members of a multilateral force and could only be used independently if the “highest national interests” intervened.