New Report Examines the NATO Policy Debate on
Reducing the Role of Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe
For Immediate Release: May 12, 2011
Media Contacts: Oliver Meier, ACA International Representative in Berlin (+49-171-359-2410); Daryl G. Kimball, ACA Executive Director in Washington (202-463-8270 x107)
(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.
The report, Reducing the Role of Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Perspectives and Proposals on the NATO Policy Debate, examines the debate about NATO nuclear policy leading up to the November 2010 Lisbon summit.
Several of the authors also analyze the options and issues for the NATO Defense and Deterrence Posture Review, which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in April would be completed before the next NATO summit in 2012. This review will determine the mix of conventional, nuclear, and missile defense forces NATO will need going forward.
President Obama has said that he wants tactical nuclear weapons to be included in the next round of U.S.-Russian arms reduction talks, along with strategic weapons and those in storage. The United States and its NATO allies are seeking to encourage Russia to take reciprocal measure to increase transparency related to its relatively larger tactical nuclear weapons stockpile left over from the Cold War.
The report, produced by the Arms Control Association (ACA), the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH), contains a selection of views from participants in ACA-BASIC-IFSH policy seminars held in 2010 and 2011.
The report includes essays by leading European and American experts, such as German Ambassador Peter Gottwald, Lukasz Kulesa of the Polish Institute of International Affairs, former British defense secretary Des Browne, Mustafa Kibaroglu of Bilkent University in Turkey, Paul Zajac of the French embassy in Berlin, and Steven Pifer of the Brookings Institution.
As co-editor and ACA International Representative Oliver Meier writes in the volume, "NATO can and should reduce its reliance on nuclear weapons. The remaining U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in Europe do not have a military value. The most politically viable course of action would be a decision to phase out nuclear sharing and to develop more credible non-nuclear instruments that would provide assurance and spur constructive dialogue with Russia over European security."
To download a pdf version of the full report click here.
The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.