The advent of nuclear weapons in the 1940s brought enormous changes
to doctrines regarding the use of force in resolving disputes. American
strategists have been widely credited with most of these; Canadians,
most have assumed, did not conduct their own strategic analysis.
Avoiding Armageddon soundly debunks this notion.
Drawing on previously classified government records, Richter reveals
that Canadian defence officials did come to independent strategic
understandings of the most critical issues of the nuclear age. Canadian
appreciation of deterrence, arms control, and strategic stability
differed conceptually from the US models. Similarly, Canadian thinking
on the controversial issues of air defence and the domestic acquisition
of nuclear weapons was primarily influenced by decidedly Canadian
Avoiding Armageddon is a work with far-reaching
implications. It illustrates Canada's considerable latitude for
independent defence thinking while providing key historical information
that helps make sense of the contemporary Canadian defence debate
Andrew Richter is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Windsor.
Preface Introduction 1 The Defence and Security Environment, 1945-9 2 Canada's Air Defence Debate 3 Canadian Views on Nuclear Weapons and Related Issues of Strategy 4 The Canadian Debate on the Acquisition of Nuclear Weapons 5 Canadian Conceptual Understanding of Arms Control 6 Links between Canadian Strategic Thinking and Defence Policy, 1950-63 Conclusion Notes Selected Bibliography Index