In 2008, the United States and the United Kingdom celebrated a milestone in defence cooperation with the 50th anniversary of the Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA). After fifty years, although the strategic landscape has altered dramatically, the MDA remains an important element of the defence co-operation between these two countries. At a time when the role of nuclear weapons in international security is hotly debated, and when both countries face important modernization decisions, the anniversary of the MDA offered an opportunity to reflect on the broader significance of the US-UK nuclear relationship.
In a collaborative effort with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC, the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) sought to enable a broad analysis of the prospects for this critical aspect of the US-UK relationship. PONI involved senior and former senior officials, scientists, academics and industry representatives of the defence world.
The project culminated in a substantial published volume, US-UK Nuclear Cooperation After 50 Years, which covers both the history and possible future of the US-UK nuclear relationship.
Chatham House's contribution was co-ordinated by Dr Paul Cornish, Carrington Chair in International Security and Head of the International Security Programme. The CSIS contribution to the project was led by Dr Clark A Murdock, PONI Director and Senior Advisor in the International Security Program at CSIS.