France: Nukes Stuck Between NATO and EU   [open pdf - 338KB]

From the thesis abstract: "Today, with NATO incorporating policy and strategic changes amid the new perceived threat since September 11, 2001, France must again rethink and recalibrate its nuclear policy. At least since the end of World War II, France has wanted to play a larger role within European politics, financial affairs, defense, and, specifically, it has signified that Paris would offer regional nuclear deterrence for Europe. On the one hand, such an enhancement of France's profile within European defense and deterrence would fulfill the fondest Gaullist aspirations for France as a world power and for European defense autonomy. On the other hand, practical considerations--economic, political, and strategic-- may break French ambitions. Thus, ultimately, this thesis argues that although France may aspire to take center stage in European nuclear defense, it is in no practical or political position to do so. And even if France could present a credible nuclear deterrent for the region on its own, further strategic and political considerations militate against France assuming a different role in European defense. Without question, there may be more for France to do in this regard, but only in connection with NATO and the United States."

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