Publication:
Scotland’s potential independence defense implications for Britain, NATO, and the United States

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Authors
Overn, Joshua A.
Subjects
Scottish independence
Brexit
UK armed forces
UK nuclear program
NATO-nuclear deterrence
NATO-security policy
U.S. foreign policy
Advisors
Abenheim, Donald
Yost, David S.
Date of Issue
2018-03
Date
Mar-18
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The significance of an independent Scotland would reach far beyond the borders of the United Kingdom (UK). Although the first Scottish independence referendum did not pass in September 2014, it raised some important questions that could affect the security of Europe and North America. The June 2016 Brexit vote calling for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union has fueled speculation about a second possible referendum on Scottish independence, owing to the fact that a majority of Scots voted to remain in the EU. This thesis examines the potential consequences of an independent Scotland through the lessons learned from Scotland’s 2014 referendum and analysis by scholars in international relations and strategic studies. These possible consequences could include the weakening of the UK’s defense posture, the UK’s possible abandonment of its nuclear weapons, and uncertain prospects for a Scottish application to join NATO. The ramifications could be substantial for the security policies of the United Kingdom, the United States, and NATO as a whole.
Type
Thesis
Description
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Organization
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
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Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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