NATO is likely to defer major decisions on its future nuclear weapons policy until after the alliance’s Nov. 19-20
At the summit, the alliance is scheduled to adopt its new Strategic Concept, defining NATO’s role in the coming decade. At their last summit, in April 2009, NATO member states tasked the secretary-general with developing the new concept.
The future role of nuclear weapons in NATO’s deterrence posture, particularly the continued presence of about 150 to 200 tactical
Diplomats told Arms Control Today that expectations in
The level of detail of those guidelines and the mandate and purpose of a possible follow-on process are apparently still controversial issues, according to the diplomats.
The current coalition government, which is led by the Christian Democrats, promised after the September 2009 elections “as part of the development of NATO’s new Strategic Concept, to work within the
In an Aug. 24 interview, Uta Zapf, a Social Democrat who chairs the disarmament, arms control and nonproliferation subcommittee in the Bundestag, said she is disappointed by the government’s current position. The government answers indicate that “not much appears to be left” of
A report delivered by a group of former officials and other experts to NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen May 17 had recommended re-establishing the special consultative group on arms control “for the purpose of facilitating its own internal dialogue about the whole range of issues related to nuclear doctrine, new arms control initiatives, and proliferation.” (See ACT, June 2010.) Asked whether it supports this proposal, the government stated that Germany supports the creation of a “high-level” body to enable NATO to play a stronger role in disarmament, arms control, and nonproliferation, but that the exact mandate of such a body will have to be decided “at the appropriate time” by the alliance.
There is apparently still some uncertainty as to when and how Rasmussen intends to finalize the concept. Some observers say they expect Rasmussen to release his draft Sept. 28, when the new Strategic Concept is on the agenda of a NATO Council meeting. Rasmussen then could invite member states to comment on his draft. But some NATO member states would like to see an earlier release because they want to have adequate time to prepare for the Oct. 14 meeting of NATO foreign and defense ministers, when member states are expected to outline their official responses to the draft.
Although NATO has previously highlighted the importance of transparency on discussions of a new Strategic Concept, some diplomats in