FUNDAMENTALS OF OUR DEFENCE POLICY
33. From all the above factors we can now deduce the fundamentals of our Defence
The supreme object of British policy is to prevent war, provided that this
can be done without prejudicing our vital interests. This entails support of
the United Nations and ability to defend our own interests.
The most likely and most formidable threat to our interests comes from Russia,
especially from 1956 onwards, and it is against this worst case that we must
be prepared, at the same time taking every possible step to prevent it.
The most effective step towards preventing war is tangible evidence that
we possess adequate forces and resources, that we are fully prepared, and that
we have the intention and ability to take immediate offensive action.
Essential measures required in peace to give us a chance of survival and
victory in the event of war are:
Retaining at a high state of readiness properly balanced armed forces for
immediate use on the outbreak of war, with the necessary reserves of resources
to support them.
Maintaining the united front of the British Commonwealth and doing everything
possible to ensure that in the event of war we have the immediate and active
support of all its members.
Ensuring that we have the active and early support of the United States
of America and of the Western European States.
Increasing and exploiting our present scientific and technical lead, especially
in the development of weapons of mass destruction.
Actively opposing the spread of Russian influence by adopting a firm attitude
to further Russian territorial and ideological expansion, particularly in all
areas of strategic value to the defence of the British Commonwealth.
Arresting by all possible means the deterioration that has already begun
in our own position and prestige in the Middle East, and encouraging the continued
independence of Greece and Turkey.
Maintaining our Intelligence Organisations at a high standard of efficiency.
Being prepared to take offensive air action from the outset since the
war will rapidly reach a climax and the endurance of the United Kingdom cannot
be guaranteed for any considerable period against attacks by modern weapons,
still less by weapons of mass destruction. The best bases for this offensive
action are United Kingdom, Middle East and if possible North- West India.
Being ourselves prepared, equipped and able to use weapons of mass destruction
as a part of this offensive action.