By Shaun R. Gregory
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Extra info for Nuclear Command and Control in NATO: Nuclear Weapons Operations and the Strategy of Flexible Response
4 Secondly, research in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s had led to the development of small tactical nuclear weapons whose specifications were apparently well suited to battlefield use. 6 It is unclear exactly when the first US theatre nuclear weapons were introduced into Europe. 8 Within a few years these had been joined by Honest John and Corporal short-range missiles (1953-5); atomic demolition munitions, the so-called ADMs, or nuclear mines (1953-5); Matador longer-range missiles (1954); intermediate-range Thor and Jupiter missiles (1958-9); and the USAF F-100 C/D (1955) and USN A-6 nuclear-capable tactical aircraft (1956) earmarked for European 9 use.
The political consultation process [in NATO] is always restrained somewhat by the natural reticence of governments about disclosing too much, even to closest allies, through fear of a 'leak', a desire to keep national options open as long as possible, or an unwillingness to expose domestic policy-making to the pressures of outside 46 viewpoints. Another study which considered operational decision-making in practice added that: . . 47 These reservations and limitations to the consultative process should not, however, obscure the fact that consultation on a wide range of Political Control of Nuclear Weapons in NATO 29 matters became an established and well-practised process in the NATO alliance.
26 This would have the virtue of allowing the US to retain custody of the weapons in peacetime whilst ensuring - through automatic release - that nuclear weapons were at the disposal of individual European powers prior to war. Moreover, giving each of the European allies involved the power to retaliate with nuclear weapons, Gallois argued, would 'enhance the credibility of the threat of retaliation . . 27 Criticism of the Gallois idea, however, centred on the fact that the 'automatic' release of nuclear control to the allies could not be achieved in practice and that effective control would remain in US hands.