NATO allies plan to announce at their May 20-21 summit in Chicago that the European missile interceptor system has reached an “interim capability,” a senior U.S. official said on March 26.
European security policy currently is characterized by a striking contradiction between declarations and deeds. The November 2010 NATO Strategic Concept says the alliance is striving for “true strategic partnership between NATO and Russia”;1 in the Astana Commemorative Declaration, the 56 member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) even commit themselves to the “vision of a free, democratic, common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community stretching from Vancouver to Vladivostok.”
In response to the long-running dispute with Russia over the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty regime, the U.S. Department of State announced in a Nov. 22 press release that Washington “would cease carrying out certain obligations” under the CFE Treaty with regard to Russia, putting the future of the 1990 pact in serious doubt.
At its November 2010 summit in Lisbon, NATO proclaimed itself a nuclear alliance, declaring that any change in the status of the 200-odd U.S. B61 gravity bombs stored in various sites around Europe would have to be made by consensus among all 28 allies.
Indeed, paragraph 17 of the Strategic Concept approved at the Lisbon summit made clear the intended duration of this policy:
Deterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of our overall strategy. The circumstances in which any use of nuclear weapons might have to be contemplated are extremely remote. As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.
The organizers of a planned 2012 conference on creating a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East have chosen a Finnish diplomat as the coordinator and Finland as the host country, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in an Oct. 14 press statement.
After an extended delay, the U.S. Department of State announced on Sept. 2 that Turkey had agreed to host an early-warning radar as a key part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, the Obama administration’s plan for missile defense in Europe.
NATO has agreed on the process for its deterrence and defense posture review, launched at the alliance’s summit in Lisbon last November.
Fifteen years after the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signature, more than 160 senior government officials met at a Sept. 23 conference at the United Nations to urge its signature and ratification by nine key remaining states to trigger entry into force.
The Obama administration’s effort to revive the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty has stalled. Officials do not expect progress to be made at an upcoming review conference, and the treaty’s future is unclear.
(Washington, D.C.) More than two dozen nuclear experts and former senior government officials are calling on NATO "to declare a more limited role for its nuclear capabilities that would help open the way for overdue changes to its Cold War-era policy of forward-basing U.S. tactical nuclear weapons. This would help facilitate another, post-New START round of reductions, which should involve of all types of Russian and U.S. nuclear weapons."
(Washington, D.C.) A report released today on the future of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe finds that upcoming NATO policy decisions about the approximately 180 remaining warheads on five European NATO bases will affect relations among NATO members, and help determine the pace and shape of the next round of U.S.-Russian nuclear arms reductions.