Australia's decision to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and forego the acquisition of nuclear weapons was taken on medium-term strategic grounds. While similar circumstances prevail today, it is possible to identify three conditions for the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Australia to be a credible option: the existence of a major threat to Australia; a loss of confidence in US guarantees; and allied acquiescence to an Australian nuclear program. These conditions interact with Australia's relationship with Indonesia and the technological and industrial feasibility of "tactical" and "strategic" nuclear weapons postures, respectively. The only Australian nuclear posture that does not lack credibility in light of all these factors is the use of "tactical" weapons to deter major landings on the Australian mainland.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|