‘I think we cannot refuse the order’: Britain, America, nuclear non-proliferation, and the Indian Jaguar deal, 1974–1978
- Publisher: Taylor & Francis
This article sheds light on the way in which British negotiations with India over the potential purchase of the Jaguar strike aircraft during the 1970s complicated global nuclear non-proliferation diplomacy. It argues that this case demonstrates British unwillingness to subordinate the economic well-being of the state to the requirements of non-proliferation diplomacy, even under pressure from the US government. Despite internal and external criticism (most notably from the administration of President Jimmy Carter) of the sale focusing on nonproliferation, it was the economic contentions of internal supporters arguing against a background of fiscal crisis that eventually won the day. Through analysis of this overlooked incident, this article adds to the complexity of nuclear non-proliferation history in the 1970s, offering an example of the interactions between the domestic priorities and the non-proliferation policy of an outwardly ‘leading’ anti-proliferationist state.