History Seminar Series
School of Humanities and Social Science,
The University of Newcastle
Held in the Cultural Collections (near the Information Desk)
Level 2, Auchmuty Library, Callaghan Campus
Friday 18th March, 2011, 11am.
Associate Professor Wayne Reynolds (University of Newcastle)
The Cold War and Beyond: The American Alliance and the Nuclear Choices of Australia and Sweden.
Since the end of the Cold War in 1989 there has been considerable debate about the prospects for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the threat of the spread of nuclear weapons. There are 44 nations that can build nuclear weapons and some are seen as having the potential to revisit past nuclear weapons programs. In 2005 Australia and Sweden were on a list of 16 candidates prepared in the US National Defense University. This paper, part of a broader assessment of Australian nuclear choices, surveys the past views of two states that have been ignored by scholars interested in nuclear weapons. Like NATO and Japan, both Sweden and Australia worked within the American alliance to shape their nuclear choices. American nuclear policy, however, was not consistent during the Cold War with respect to nuclear alliances and has been subject to considerable strain since the end of the Cold War. Wayne Reynolds is an associate professor in history at Newcastle and has recently completed a book: The Longest Wait: The American Alliance, National Security and the Imperative of an Australian Nuclear Future. This paper is based on a chapter published with Professor John Simpson (Southampton University Mountbatten Centre) ‘Australia: A Potential Nuclear Proliferator? in the James Martin Nonproliferation Center, Monterrey volume Forecasting Nuclear Proliferation in the 21st Century: A Comparative Perspective (Stanford University Press 2010)