Updated: 06-Nov-2001 1966

[ '45-'49 | '50-'59 | '60-'69 | '70-'79 | '80-'89 | '90-'99 | '00- ]
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The damage done to Anglo-American relations by the Suez crisis was quickly repaired but, in the case of France, the situation was more complex. The Alliance, in being for more than ten years, had inevitably changed. Europe had grown both economically and militarily more powerful and was now less dependent on the United States. The Soviet Union had substantially improved its nuclear capability, underlined by the launch of the Sputnik. Thus not all Europeans were reassured by a US nuclear umbrella that depended on a concept of massive retaliation which foresaw the early use of nuclear weapons in response to aggression.

In the light of such developments as these, France had expressed reservations about the direction of Allied policy and, following his election as President in 1958, General de Gaulle, in particular, made clear his dissatisfaction with aspects of the US leadership role, as well as, more specifically, with NATO's nuclear policy and integrated command structure.

In 1966, France announces that it will no longer assign its forces to NATO and that it will withdraw from the integrated military structure with the consequence that Allied forces and military headquarters must leave the country. This should be completed by 1 April 1967.


10 Mar

President de Gaulle formally announces Frances intention of withdrawing from the integrated military structure of the Alliance.

14 Dec

The Defence Planning Committee establishes the Nuclear Defence Affairs Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group.

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