The advent of nuclear weapons in the 1940s provoked revolutionary changes to doctrines regarding both the threat and the use of force in global politics. American strategists have been widely credited with conceptualizing and articulating most of these changes, and scholars have assumed that Canadians were largely content with copying their analysis. Avoiding Armageddon debunks this notion.Canadian appreciation of deterrence, arms control, and strategic stability differed conceptually from the models that emerged in the United States. Similarly, national interests, not those thrust on Canada by the external environment, were the primary influence on Canadian thinking about air defence and the domestic acquisition of nuclear weapons, the two most controversial defence issues of the 1950s.Richter places key historical developments under scrutiny in the context of contemporary defence debates, suggesting important lessons for today's defence planners.
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