The Diplomacy of Pragmatism: Britain and the Formation of NATO, 1942-1949

By John Baylis | Go to book overview
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Appendix 2

THE OVERALL STRATEGIC PLAN, MAY 1947
(DO(47))44
(Also CoS(47)102(0)) (Retained by the Cabinet Office)

FUTURE DEFENCE POLICY
Report by the Chief of Staff

OBJECT

The object of this paper is to set out the fundamental principles which should govern our Future Defence Policy and to arrive at a clear statement of the basic requirements of our Strategy, on which the shape and size of our armed forces can subsequently be planned.

We have accordingly arranged the paper in two parts:‐

PART I. - Commonwealth Defence Policy. This Part concludes with a
definition of the fundamentals of our Defence Policy.

PART II. - The Strategy of Commonwealth Defence. This Part be-
gins with a statement of the basic requirements of our Strat-
egy and concludes with a statement in general terms of the
basic tasks of our armed forces and the principles which
should govern their shape and size in order to fulfil this
Strategy.

Any examination of Future Defence Policy inevitably gives rise to some consideration of long-term political and economic developments, since these affect our security quite as much as the shape and size of the armed forces. We have therefore attached at Annex our views on the political and economic objects which should be pursued in support of Commonwealth Defence Policy.


PART I. - COMMONWEALTH DEFENCE POLICY

International Relations

2. The fulfilment of the main object of the United Nations, the maintenance of world peace, depends on the ability and readiness of the Great Powers to keep the peace.

The supreme object of British policy is to prevent war, provided that this can be done without prejudicing our vital interests.

3. The United Kingdom, as the senior member of the British Common

-134-

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