Thesis Title

The European Threat Assessment and the Role of British and French Nuclear Weapons in an Integrating Europe


Todd Koca

Date of Graduation

Summer 2001


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Ulrike Schumacher

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


Since the collapse of the Soviet bloc in the early 1990s, most of the Western European democracies have refocused their political energies toward reshaping their divided continent. Germany peacefully reunified. NATO enlarged to include three former adversaries and made Russia a 'partner for peace.' The European Union also expanded its membership and is preparing to do so again. And now, as monetary union marks a high point in economic integration, greater cooperation and coordination of defense and foreign policy heightens. But even as integration continues, the defense budgets of most European Union (and NATO) member states remain stagnant or are declining. Meanwhile, American security concerns, and resulting defense expenditures, are on the rise. What, then, accounts for this apparent divergence between the United States and its European allies? To answer this question, this thesis examines the threats to European security posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD), or, more accurately, those which the Europeans themselves perceive to be threats. This thesis analyzes how the 'European' WMD threat assessment affects the nuclear policies of Europe's two nuclear powers, France and Britain. Additionally, this thesis addresses the effect of European political integration on British and French nuclear policies and how nuclear weapons are viewed by their European partners in integration.


© Todd Koca