Nuclear sharing and mutual dependence
Germany and NATO nuclear weapons cooperation
in Partners in deterrence
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Chapter 2 focuses on (West) Germany as the single most important non-nuclear ally for the US in NATO. During the Cold War, West Germany remained central to debates within NATO about nuclear sharing and played a crucial role in promoting institutional integration in NATO that fostered compromise on nuclear cooperation, while at the same time creating mutual dependence with the US. NATO allies were dependent on the US release of nuclear warheads, but the US was dependent on allies’ cooperation to alter nuclear strategy in Europe. For (West) Germany, this mutual dependence provided a degree of influence that widened options to achieve national policy objectives. For NATO as a whole, mutual dependence meant that nuclear cooperation became so central to the alliance’s identity that it survived as a ‘nuclear alliance’ in the post-Cold War era.

Partners in deterrence

US nuclear weapons and alliances in Europe and Asia

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