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HomeDOCUMENTSCommittee Reports2010 Annual Session212 DSCFC 10 E rev 1 - U.S. NON-STRATEGIC NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN EUROPE: A FUNDAMENTAL NATO DEBATE

212 DSCFC 10 E rev 1 - U.S. NON-STRATEGIC NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN EUROPE: A FUNDAMENTAL NATO DEBATE

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RAYMOND KNOPS (NETHERLANDS)
RAPPORTEUR

I.  INTRODUCTION 
     A.  ON THE NATURE OF THIS REPORT 

II.  THE ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF NATO’S CURRENT NUCLEAR POLICIES 
     A.  NATO’S POST-COLD WAR NUCLEAR POLICY 
     B.  NATO AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS TODAY 

III.  OPTIONS FOR NATO’S FUTURE NUCLEAR POSTURE 
     A.  THE CASE FOR MAINTAINING THE STATUS QUO 
     B.  THE CASE FOR COMPLETE WITHDRAWAL FROM EUROPEAN SITES 
     C.  ALTERNATIVE SCENARIOS 
     D.  ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS 

IV.  CONCLUSIONS 

APPENDIX: STATUS OF US NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN EUROPE 2010 


I. INTRODUCTION

1.  The role of nuclear weapons in the strategy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has come under dramatically increased scrutiny in many Allied countries as well as at NATO Headquarters.  These discussions have focused on the continued value of the presence of US ‘tactical’ or non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNWs) at several sites in Europe, as well as on the arrangements in place for Allies to participate in their potential use.
   
2.  The heightened attention on NATO’s nuclear policies is a reflection of several factors which have, together, raised the profile of nuclear disarmament in general and created what many observers describe as a window of opportunity to re-examine existing assumptions and policies.  First among these is a new approach by the US Administration, outlined in President Obama’s speech in Prague on 5 April 2009 and confirmed in the recent US Nuclear Posture Review, which raised the prospect of a nuclear weapons-free world. 

3.  Obama’s call to “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” has been complemented by public declarations by so-called ‘Gangs of Four’, first by a US group (i.e. former US Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former Defense Secretary William Perry and former Senator Sam Nunn), which set out a similar vision in a January 2007 Wall Street Journal op-ed.1  Declarations by similarly distinguished former officials were subsequently made in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland.   

4.  The Dutch Group of Four, led by former Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, in a statement representative of the tone of all of the Group of Four declarations, affirmed that:

“a nuclear arsenal to restrain superpowers is no longer needed. In combating terrorism, deterrence with weapons of mass destruction has no purpose. Let us be clear: not only did nuclear weapons give shape to the Cold War, the Cold War also shaped the control of nuclear weapons; and that reality has definitely come to an end. This is the main reason why the existence of nuclear weapons has become much more dangerous than before.” 2

5.   Three crucial agreements concluded in the first half of 2010 have kept the issue of nuclear arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation high on the global agenda and provide a further backdrop for the debate on NATO’s nuclear policy.

* New START, a follow-up treaty to the first two Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START I and II, signed in 1991 and 1993 respectively), was signed by the United States and Russia on 8 April 2010, capping strategic arsenals at 1,550 deployed warheads on both sides, which is a 30% reduction from the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty. The treaty is awaiting ratification in the Russian Duma and the US Senate.

* A Nuclear Security Summit was hosted by President Obama on 12-13 April 2010, at which 47 of the world’s leaders affirmed that “[n]uclear terrorism is one of the most challenging threats to international security” and endorsed the President’s plan to secure all vulnerable nuclear material in four years.3
     
* Finally, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference concluded on 28 May 2010. While dramatic new strides were not made, the 189 parties to the Treaty reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating all nuclear weapons. NSNWs were not addressed in the final document, but calls to reduce and eliminate all NSNWs were more prominent than at previous NPT review conferences.

6.  At the NATO level, this renewed attention to nuclear disarmament has resulted in calls for a re-examination of the Alliance’s nuclear policies, including most directly the continued presence of US NSNWs on European soil.  The ongoing development of a new Strategic Concept for NATO itself, intended to define its current raison d’être and priorities going forward, will have to take up the nuclear issue, and has therefore provided an opportunity for a questioning of established policy.  This discussion has also been placed firmly on NATO’s agenda by the current German government’s commitment to seek the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from German territory, a prospect raised forcefully by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on numerous occasions.  In addition, timelines for important budgetary decisions regarding nuclear weapons, including on the modernisation or replacement of aircraft capable of delivering them, are pressing on several member states.

7.  At the urging of five NATO member states (the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Germany and Luxembourg), the Alliance’s Foreign Ministers took up the topic of NATO’s arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation agenda at a meeting in Estonia in April 2010.  Also, on 17 May, the Group of Experts, chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, presented its report NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement, which has been commissioned to ground NATO’s discussions on the new Strategic Concept.  It too broached the question of NATO nuclear policy.

8.  This report, prepared for the Sub-Committee on Future Security and Defence Capabilities, seeks to offer a fact-based discussion of the underpinning arguments in order to inform the debate of members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) on the Alliance’s nuclear policy, as well as provide them an additional input for deliberations in their own national Parliaments on this and related questions.  It is based upon a draft report presented and discussed at the Assembly's Spring Session in Riga, Latvia, in May 2010. It has been updated throughout 2010 to reflect ongoing developments and input from Assembly members. 
   
9.  The report will begin with a short historical overview of the deployment of US nuclear weapons to European soil.  It will then offer a description of what is known about the current arrangements and disposition of these weapons.  The report will then review the principal arguments made regarding their future role and deployment and whether a change in Allied policy is warranted, and will provides$ some additional considerations that will factor into this discussion.  Finally, the report will provide a short summary of the state of play within NATO at the time of writing, followed by brief conclusions by the Rapporteur. 
   
A. ON THE NATURE OF THIS REPORT

10.  The Rapporteur wishes to make clear that this report deliberately focuses on the specific debate on US nuclear weapons based in Europe, rather than a broader analysis of NATO’s non-proliferation and arms control agenda (which could include subjects ranging from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe to the Proliferation Security Initiative) or its declaratory policy.  The former topic is critical and timely, and a subject about which NATO PA members can and should debate.  The latter topics, certainly interesting in their own right, are far too broad to be given justice in the limited space available for this document. 
   
11.  Finally, it must be stated unambiguously that this report contains no classified information.  While NATO officials publicly confirm the presence of US nuclear weapons on European soil, their policy is to discuss neither location nor numbers of any such weapons.  Given the fact that official confirmation of this information is unobtainable, this report relies on the most authoritative and widely used open-source assessments and estimates by independent experts as the best available basis for discussion of relevant policy questions.
   
   
II. THE ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF NATO’S CURRENT NUCLEAR POLICIES

12.  As NATO’s first Strategic Concept of 1949 made clear, NATO was founded in order to produce “a powerful deterrent to any nation or group of nations threatening the peace, independence and stability of the North Atlantic family of nations” and to plan for the use of military force “to counter enemy threats, to defend and maintain the peoples and home territories of the North Atlantic Treaty nations and the security of the North Atlantic Treaty area” if deterrence failed.  NATO officials point out that the earliest strategy documents of the Atlantic Alliance made clear that the US and its Allies understood US security commitments to include nuclear protection against coercion or aggression.

13.  The primary goal of nuclear weapons in NATO policy has consistently been described as political: to deter potential adversaries and preserve peace. The Strasbourg/Kehl Declaration on Alliance Security describes that deterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of NATO’s overall strategy. Only if deterrence fails do they take on military significance, either as instruments to terminate war through deliberate nuclear escalation or to defend the territory of the Alliance.
   
14.  In this context, the US first deployed non-strategic nuclear weapons to Europe in 1953-54.4   Throughout the Cold War, NSNWs in Europe first and foremost provided a counter-weight to the conventional superiority of the Warsaw Pact forces.  As early as 1954, NATO’s Military Committee viewed these weapons as central to preventing the rapid overrun of Europe, should deterrence fail.5
   
15.  The deployment was also intended to reassure European member states of the US nuclear guarantee.  European members – at that time – never doubted US resolve to defend them conventionally, but they were seriously concerned about its willingness to threaten or employ nuclear weapons in their defence. 
   
16.  By the early 60s, seven NATO countries – Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom – hosted US nuclear warheads, with France hosting some until 1959.  These weapons included many different kinds of nuclear weapons, from landmines to intermediate-range ground-launched cruise missiles.  NSNW numbers in Europe peaked in 1971 at around 7,300, after which the numbers of deployed weapons first gradually declined and then dramatically fell after the Cold War ended. 6
   
17.  European Allies held diverse views on the best arrangements regarding nuclear weapons in Europe throughout the Cold War.  Even as the United Kingdom and France saw a need for their own national nuclear forces, West Germany and Italy repeatedly advocated some kind of multilateral nuclear force in Europe.  The United States, for its part, sought to retain the largest degree of control over NATO nuclear policy still compatible with reassuring the European NATO members (and thus forestalling any additional NATO member states from feeling the need to acquire an independent nuclear arsenal). 

18.  By the 1960s, however, an essentially stable arrangement was reached for the ‘sharing’ of nuclear assets and responsibilities, which is still in place today.  Some European member states would, in case NATO decided to use them, deliver US nuclear weapons themselves – with their own aircraft or artillery, for example. They therefore committed to maintaining the necessary capabilities and assets for such attacks.  The United States would maintain control over the warheads until the very moment they were going to be used, at which point the Allies would take over the responsibility of delivering the nuclear strikes.

19.  To complement these shared nuclear responsibilities, the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) was created in 1966 to make decisions on the Alliance’s nuclear policy, covering matters such as the safety, security and survivability of nuclear weapons, deployment issues, and even nuclear arms control and proliferation. Today, it is a forum for all members to shape NATO’s nuclear policy regardless of whether they host or maintain such weapons. Currently, all member states, with the exception of France are represented in the NPG.
       
20.  Since 1977, an advisory body called the High Level Group, chaired by the US and made up of national policymakers and experts, advises the NPG on policy, planning and posture as well as safety, security and survivability; a Special Consultative Group on Arms Control was also added in 1979. 
       
21.  By the end of the Cold War, NATO’s arrangements regarding its nuclear forces had thus evolved to combine a shared physical control over the US nuclear hardware as well as its political counterpart, a permanent institutional framework for consultations on nuclear policy.7

A. NATO’S POST-COLD WAR NUCLEAR POLICY

22.  In the post-Cold War period, NATO de-emphasised the military or war-fighting role its nuclear weapons played in the changed international security environment.  In particular, the overall number of nuclear weapons on European soil was reduced dramatically.  When in 1991 the US unilaterally decided to withdraw all ground-launched, short-range NSNWs on a worldwide basis, this included 2,400 artillery shells, surface-to-surface missiles and anti-submarine bombs in Europe.
       
23.  This left the free-fall B-61 bomb (to be delivered by fighter aircraft) as the only type of non-strategic nuclear weapon left in Europe.  The US also removed half of these roughly 1,400 B-61s.  In subsequent years, readiness times were substantially reduced, and weapons were no longer targeted at any specific potential threat.
       
24.  These steps were prompted by US concerns about ‘loose nuke’ scenarios in the unravelling Soviet Union; it was hoped that the dramatic moves would prompt the USSR to commit to similar reductions, which Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin did, in a series of commitments. These parallel, unilateral US and Russian reductions came to be known as the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives.  However, because no verification measures were in place, some analysts continue to voice uncertainty about Russia’s fulfilment of these commitments. 
       
25.  By 2000, continued reductions meant that only roughly 500 US warheads were still deployed to the seven European countries, according to Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists; in 2001, the US quietly withdrew all of its deployed warheads from Greece (as many as 20), the first such withdrawal since France requested removal of US warheads in 1959.  Beginning in 2004, the US also quietly removed approximately 130 warheads from Germany (leaving only 10-20 warheads), as well as all approximately 110 bombs deployed to the U.K.8
       
26.  Even as NATO scaled down the role of nuclear weapons in potentially fighting a military conflict, key NATO documents gave increasing prominence to their political roles:  first, their deterrent effect (i.e. their ability to prevent a war); and second, their function in maintaining Allied cohesion and solidarity through reassurance.
       
27.  Thus, in the 1990 London Declaration, the Allies declared that, “(…) in the transformed Europe, they will be able to adopt a new NATO strategy making nuclear forces truly weapons of last resort”.  NATO’s 1991 Strategic Concept described the potential for the use of nuclear weapons as “even more remote” than it had been in the Cold War, while underlining that NSNWs continued to provide “an essential link with strategic nuclear forces, reinforcing the trans-Atlantic link”.  These points were largely reiterated in the 1999 version of the Concept, which stated that NSNWs in Europe guaranteed “[a] credible Alliance nuclear posture (…) the demonstration of Alliance solidarity” and the “common commitment to war prevention”.  The 1999 Concept also states that the NSNWs will maintain adequate sub-strategic forces at the minimum level sufficient to preserve peace and stability.
       
28.  NATO’s nuclear policy also featured in commitments made in 1996 to the Russian Federation to allay Moscow’s concerns over NATO enlargement: the North Atlantic Council announced that the Alliance had “no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members, nor any need to change any aspect of NATO’s nuclear posture or nuclear policy”. 
       
B. NATO AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS TODAY
       
29.  Open source estimates suggest that approximately 150-200 US non-strategic nuclear weapons are deployed in European countries today [see Appendix].  Five countries – Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey – reportedly host the remaining B-61 nuclear warheads.  The United Kingdom also has a small number of submarine-launched ballistic missiles committed to NATO for both strategic and non-strategic purposes (as does the United States).  None of France’s nuclear arsenal is directly committed to the Alliance. 
       
30.  In peacetime, these weapons remain under US command and control.  However, where the host nations provide the aircraft, control will be handed over to them in wartime, an arrangement governed under bilateral nuclear agreements.  Depending on the host country, in case of an actual strike, the bombs would be delivered by either host nation or US aircraft, which are designed to carry both nuclear and conventional bombs and have an approximate operational range of 1,350 km.  These aircraft are on extremely low-level alert for their nuclear missions – their readiness is counted in months (rather than minutes, as was the case during the Cold War).
       
31.  NATO’s 1999 Strategic Concept contains the Alliance’s current overall political guidance on nuclear weapons.  It states that:

* In the current security environment, in which “[t]he existence of powerful nuclear forces outside the Alliance also constitutes a significant factor”, conventional military forces alone cannot be counted on to ensure credible deterrence to protect peace as well as prevent war and any kind of aggression. 

* Nuclear forces of the Alliance members thus make a unique and vital contribution to NATO’s deterrence posture “in rendering the risks of aggression against the Alliance incalculable and unacceptable”.

* Achieving NATO’s goal of deterrence additionally “depends critically on the equitable sharing of the roles, risks and responsibilities, as well as the benefits, of common defence”. 

* This requires “widespread participation by European Allies involved in collective defence planning in nuclear roles, in peacetime basing of nuclear forces on their territory and in command, control and consultation arrangements”.

* NATO will thus “maintain for the foreseeable future an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces based in Europe and kept up to date where necessary, although at a minimum sufficient level”.

* In sum, the 1999 Concept concludes that “[t]he presence of United States conventional and nuclear forces in Europe remains vital to the security of Europe”.


III. OPTIONS FOR NATO’S FUTURE NUCLEAR POSTURE

32.  As noted in the previous section, the 1999 Strategic Concept provides current political guidance for NATO’s nuclear weapons policy.  Processes underway to elaborate a new Strategic Concept, for approval at the NATO Summit in Lisbon in November 2010, have therefore rightly been seen as a possible vehicle for re-examining current policy in this area. 
       
33.  This section of the report outlines what your Rapporteur sees as the principal arguments in the debate over the future of US nuclear weapons deployed in Europe, essentially coalescing around three major policy options:  maintaining the status quo, removing the weapons altogether; or any one of several alternative paths.

A. THE CASE FOR MAINTAINING THE STATUS QUO

34.  As pointed out above, NATO policy to date, as spelled out in the previous two Strategic Concepts, has underlined that the nuclear role has remained fundamental to Alliance solidarity.  A high-level US Task Force reporting to the Secretary of Defense in December 2008 echoed this view, stating that “[t]he presence of US nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO remains an essential political and military link between the European and North American members of the Alliance.”9  
       
35.  Former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson similarly argued in a recent paper that “(…) the nuclear arsenal in Europe serves to put the US homeland at risk to nuclear attack if NATO is forced to resort to using Europe-based nuclear bombs to defend its borders. This in turn signals to any potential aggressor that the risk of an attack against NATO far outweighs any possible gains.”10
       
36.  Following these arguments, a US move to withdraw its nuclear weapons from Europe could signal a weakening of the US security commitment to Europe.  As Martin A. Smith from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst points out that the main reasons for keeping NSNWs in Europe after the end of the Cold War were “a reluctance to damage allied cohesion and solidarity and a need for residual nuclear reassurance”.11  Some observers argue that these conditions still exist.
       
37.  Indeed, some NATO members seek strategic reassurance from the weapons’ physical presence in Europe.  NATO officials have told members of the Assembly that NATO’s Eastern most members in particular were very adamant that US nuclear weapons should remain in Europe, pointing out that the nuclear umbrella was one reason they joined the Alliance.  While not mentioning nuclear weapons directly, a recent open letter to President Obama from 22 Eastern European luminaries, among them Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel, illustrates the very real fear of abandonment that the new members feel. They argue that “Central and Eastern European countries are no longer at the heart of American foreign policy” and that “[d]espite the efforts and significant contribution of the new members, NATO today seems weaker than when [they] joined.”12
       
38.  Lord Robertson also argues that reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons in Europe would undermine the concept of burden-sharing.  He and his co-authors suggest that the German Foreign Minister’s push for withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany would only shift a burden to other Allies; the US and the other European host nations would “(…) do the hard work of explaining the logic of nuclear deterrence to their own publics, so that Germany may enjoy the benefits.”13
       
39.  European opponents of withdrawal further suggest that the European influence on NATO (and US) nuclear policy would weaken if institutional arrangements such as the Nuclear Planning Group were to lose their raison d’être because US weapons were no longer on European soil or European Allies had no role in their potential delivery.14  
       
40.  Anticipating arguments that regulating, reducing or withdrawing European-based US nuclear weapons could have positive effects on non-proliferation and arms control efforts, proponents of the status quo suggest that such positive effects on arms control and nuclear disarmament are unlikely.  NATO official Michael Rühle points out that large nuclear cuts after the Cold War “had no discernible impact on the nuclear ambitions of other countries”.  He suggests that withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Europe would be met with nothing more than “a sympathetic nod”.15 
       
41.  Withdrawal also risks the danger of encouraging additional countries to develop their own nuclear deterrents, according to proponents of the status quo.  The 2009 Final Report of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, led by former Secretaries of Defense Perry and Schlesinger, concludes that: “our military capabilities, both nuclear and conventional, underwrite US security guarantees to our allies, without which many of them would feel enormous pressures to create their own nuclear arsenals.”16 
       
42.  In this context, it is clear that the importance of NATO nuclear weapons in Europe could be enhanced should developments in the Middle East take a worrisome turn.  As Rühle argues, “if the nuclearisation of the Middle East were to happen, Europe would be faced with a neighbouring region in which each conventional conflict would carry nuclear escalation risks.” In this case, nuclear sharing would provide a means “to spare Europe the nervousness that is so palpable in the Middle East and Asia”.17  Turkey is often mentioned as the most likely NATO member state to calculate under this scenario that developing its own nuclear arsenal is a necessary strategic investment.18
       
43.  Finally, proponents of the status quo suggest that the future is simply unknowable and ‘hedging’ against potential threats by retaining proven deterrent capabilities is the only prudent course.  Nuclear weapons could be necessary in dealing with a potential future aggressor who might seek to blackmail NATO member states.  Maintaining a nuclear capability in Europe could also prevent an aggressor in a confrontation with the US from seeking out Europe as a ‘second-best’ target.19   Further, any withdrawal would most likely be politically irreversible, even in the lead-up to a crisis.  Any attempt to bring such weapons back to Europe to signal resolve during a crisis could prove to be a dramatically risky escalatory step.20
       
B. THE CASE FOR COMPLETE WITHDRAWAL FROM EUROPEAN SITES

44.  Advocates of withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from European soil use many different lines of argument, often in combination. One example comes from a potentially surprising source: the US European Command (EUCOM), the US military organisation responsible for the weapons, is cited in a 2008 US government study as suggesting that it “no longer recognizes the political imperative of US nuclear weapons within the Alliance”; the US pays “a king’s ransom” to keep them; and “they have no military value”.  Indeed, EUCOM officials are cited as arguing that the physical location of the weapons has no impact on their credibility as a deterrent and that a unilateral withdrawal would have “no military downside”.21 

45.  The following section will lay out and examine these and other principal arguments used by advocates of withdrawal to press their case.

46.  The first and most direct argument used by advocates of the removal of US nuclear weapons from European soil is that the rationale for their deployment expired with the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.  As German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told the 2010 Security Conference in Munich, “[t]he last remaining nuclear weapons in Germany are a relic of the Cold War. They no longer serve a military purpose.”22  Indeed, the argument goes that in their original role as a tactical weapon against large-scale conventional military formations, they seem close to obsolete, given the absence of such a threat. 

47.  Some proponents further point out that absent a state-to-state threat, nuclear weapons based in Europe have little or no role to play in countering international terrorism, the most likely external security threat to the Alliance.  George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace writes that “[t]he moral hazard in Europe today is not in taking useless tactical nuclear weapons out, it is in pretending that they can protect Allies from twenty-first century threats and doing too little in the meantime to develop capabilities and diplomatic strategies to deny those threats.”23  Obama Administration officials have acknowledged that nuclear weapons play little role in deterring terrorist groups “with no return address” in discussions with members of this Committee.
       
48.  Proponents of withdrawal further argue alternatives to European-based US nuclear weapons could serve NATO’s deterrence purposes equally well.  For instance, since the early 90s, US extended deterrence in East Asia has relied on strategic nuclear forces and tactical submarinelaunched cruise missiles in storage in the United States.24 Furthermore, the Review notes that, in addition to the minimum required nuclear force structure, the US Department of Defense is studying non-nuclear ‘Prompt Global Strike’ capabilities, which rely on the use of conventional warheads delivered by intercontinental ballistic missiles.  Experts suggest that such capabilities could, in the future, replace some of the deterrence functions served by nuclear weapons.25
       
49.  Advocates of withdrawal also argue that the idea that newer members of NATO are adamantly opposed to withdrawal of the NSNWs is probably less clear-cut than it appears at first.  For example, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, in a February 2010 editorial co-authored with Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, called “on the leaders of the United States and Russia to commit themselves to early measures to greatly reduce so-called tactical nuclear weapons in Europe”, in order to further reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles and “to build confidence in a better order of security in Europe”.  They add that “[w]hile the strategic nuclear weapons are seen as a mutual threat by the United States and Russia, nations like ours — Sweden and Poland — could have stronger reason to be concerned with the large number of these tactical nuclear weapons”, as NSNWs in Europe appear to be deployed “in theoretical preparation for conflict in our part of the world”.26

50.  Turkey is also often described as adverse to a withdrawal of the US nuclear deterrent at a time when the Iranian nuclear issue appears to be increasingly worrying.  However, even in Turkey there are advocates for withdrawal, the editors of Hürriyet, a newspaper traditionally close to views of the military establishment, recently expressed their hope that the US Nuclear Posture Review would include a “commitment that no nuclear weapons be stockpiled at Incirlik, the NATO base in Adana”.27


51.  Alternative means of reassuring Allies less keen on changing NATO nuclear policies exist, advocates suggest.  These are very much wrapped up in discussions of ensuring the credibility of NATO’s Article 5 mutual defence commitment, and were outlined in detail in “Protecting To Project: NATO’s Territorial Defence and Deterrence Needs,” the 2009 report of the SubCommittee on Transatlantic Defence and Security Co-operation by Ragnheidur Arnadottir (Iceland).28  In brief, these could and should include exercises, consultations and contingency plans, and possibly additional physical demonstrations of Allied presence in these member states.  
       
52.  Advocates further suggest that regulating, reducing or withdrawing European-based US NSNWs would have both direct and indirect positive effects on arms control, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and drive forward the disarmament agenda within the ‘window of opportunity’ created by President Obama’s new approach.

53.  Two arguments are made in regards to obligations of NATO member states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which all NATO member states adhere.  First, nuclear weapons states are committed to taking steps towards the goal of nuclear disarmament under Article VI.  Second, arms control advocates argue that NATO has a responsibility to cease the Alliance practice of nuclear sharing under the Articles I and II.  Article I prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons by nuclear states, and Article II forbids accepting such control by non-nuclear states. 
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)      (excerpts)

Article I
Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.

Article II
Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Article VI
Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
       
54.  NATO’s nuclear-sharing procedures are often cited as infringing on the above articles by arms control advocates, who argue that the current arrangement weakens NATO’s authority to demand stronger non-proliferation mechanisms and undercuts any moral authority or leadership Allies might have in moving towards a nuclear-free world.  Addressing this issue at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the 118-member Non-Aligned Movement called upon the Conference to agree that the nuclear-weapon states “refrain from nuclear-weapon sharing, with other states under any kind of security arrangements, including in the framework of military alliances”.29 NATO maintains, however, that the Alliance’s practices fully conform to the NPT.  NATO public documents point out that its nuclear-sharing practices

were already in place when the NPT was negotiated, and went unchallenged by other delegations at the time.30 

55.  Withdrawal advocates also warn that retaining nuclear weapons would send a signal that Allies continue to value them as the ultimate guarantor of their defence and security, which could emphasise their utility to states seeking their own arsenals.  This, in turn, could encourage other nations, using the same logic, to seek nuclear weapons for themselves.  It would, at the very least, critics argue, undercut NATO’s arguments that nations should not seek these weapons.31
       
56.  Recent incidents have also raised questions regarding the safety and security of US nuclear weapons installations in Europe and whether the potential for theft, diversion or other loss of control exists.  Indeed, a 2008 high-level US Air Force panel determined that most sites used for deploying nuclear weapons in Europe did not meet the Department of Defense’s security requirements.32  The problems cited at the bases included inadequate fencing and security systems, staffing shortages, and inadequately trained security personnel.33
       
57.  In response to charges that a change in NATO nuclear policy could undercut burden sharing, advocates suggest that several measures to enhance burden sharing can be envisaged in the event US NSNWs were repatriated, in order to offset fears that the US would solely bear the political and security costs of the deterrence it would be extending to Europe.  For instance, the creation of a multinational, dual-capable NATO air wing is a possibility considered in a 2009 NATO study.  However, the ‘usability’ – and thus credibility – of such an air wing would be in serious doubt, largely undermining its deterrence value.

58.  Another proposal suggests devising consultative mechanisms for nuclear operational plans, a measure that could potentially be combined with staff secondments to NSNWs units assigned for Europe.  Additional measures relating to US strategic nuclear weapons (which would be relied on for Allied nuclear coverage) could include: raising the profile of the Nuclear Planning Group at NATO; arranging visits of US strategic bombers to European bases; and deploying European NATO personnel to US command facilities and bomber units.34 

C. ALTERNATIVE SCENARIOS

59.  While the above sections dealt with the possibilities of either maintaining the status quo in NATO’s nuclear policies and deployments on the one hand, or the full withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from European soil on the other, a number of intermediate or alternative proposals have gained attention and therefore merit description here.
       
60.  A first possibility, recommended by (among others) the 2008 high-level US Air Force panel cited above, would be to ‘consolidate’ the nuclear weapons in fewer geographic locations.  This could be presented as a forward step towards addressing arms control considerations as well as safety and security and budgetary concerns, while preserving the concepts of burden-sharing and the transatlantic link that underlies NATO’s current nuclear posture.
       
61.  Another option could see little or no change in the deployed posture other than quantitative reductions across the board.  As noted earlier, the numbers of such weapons deployed to Europe are understood to have declined repeatedly since the end of the Cold War.  Further numerical reductions would, to the extent they could be publicly disclosed, help to make the case that Allies remained committed to nuclear disarmament as demanded by Article VI of the NPT.  It would also reassure proponents of the status quo by continuing nuclear burden-sharing, reasserting basic US commitments to European security, and maintaining European influence on NATO’s nuclear policy.35
       
62.  A third option would preserve the current deployments of nuclear weapons in Europe but end the nuclear-sharing procedures that come under criticism under the NPT.  In this scenario, the nuclear strike role would be re-assigned to US aircraft exclusively. Such a move, if made public, might not only address the NPT commitments on sharing nuclear weapons, but could also reassure European NATO members of the US commitment; it could potentially address US concerns regarding the safety and security of the weapons if the US reassumed all aspects of supervision; and it could also spare the European member states difficult decisions on the modernisation of nuclear delivery aircraft.36 

D. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

63.   Beyond the simple merits of any of these policy options laid out above, any decision on the future of NATO’s nuclear policy will have to take into account two fundamental discussions underway within NATO: the future of the Alliance’s role in missile defence; and Russia’s nuclear policy – and more specifically its extensive NSNW arsenal and what, if any, linkages should be drawn with it in discussions about US NSNWs in Europe.

64.  Discussions at NATO about missile defence will, without question, impact discussions of its deterrence needs.  Indeed, some experts argue that a NATO missile defence has the potential to substitute for NATO’s nuclear burden-sharing altogether.37 This argument is strengthened by a central argument made in the US Nuclear Posture Review, namely that the strengthening of missile defence capabilities is one of the factors that led the United States to reduce its reliance on nuclear weapons.38 

65.  At the November 2010 Lisbon Summit, Allies are slated to discuss and possibly endorse territorial missile defence as a core NATO mission, which would entail linking up the Obama Administration’s Phased Adaptive Approach (based on missile interceptors at sea and on land) with European sensors and other capabilities.  NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen argues that such a system “can become a security roof under which all Allies find shelter, not just some. And I am convinced that this roof can be wide enough to include other European countries as well, including Russia.”39 (For a more thorough discussion of missile defence in the context of NATO and its relations with Russia, see “Nuclear/WMD Proliferation and Missile Defence: Forging a New Partnership with Russia” [223 STC 10 E], the 2010 General Report of the Science and Technology Committee by David Scott [US].40)

66.  However, sceptics continue to harbour doubts about whether the implications on NATO’s deterrence posture of a NATO territorial missile defence have been fully thought through, let alone the cost implications and feasibility of such a system.  In addition, it is unclear whether those Allies for whom strategic reassurance is a central concern would see a missile defence system as the right means of protection from the threats they are most concerned about.

67.  A second parallel discussion is of critical importance to the discussion on US NSNWs in Europe:  the dialogue on the present and future relationship between the Alliance and Russia, to include the security concerns presented by the Russian nuclear arsenal, especially its NSNWs.

68.  Official transparency about Russian NSNWs is very low, but it is generally thought that the country still possesses a great number of them, including many stored in areas bordering NATO territory (such as the Kaliningrad region and the Kola Peninsula).  Open source estimates suggest that Russia possesses about 2,000 operational NSNWs, with another 3,300 in storage or awaiting dismantlement.41 

69.  Most analysts agree that Russian reliance on nuclear weapons increased after the Cold War, largely to compensate for the relative deterioration of the strength of its conventional forces.42 The nuclear arsenal thus still plays a large role in current Russian military thinking, even though the 2010 Military Doctrine, contrary to expectations, reduces the role of nuclear weapons somewhat. Until the cycle of ongoing military reforms is completed, Russian reliance on nuclear weapons will thus most likely remain high.

70.  It is less clear, however, what importance Russia attaches to its NSNWs in particular. Nikolai Sokov, a leading expert on Russian nuclear policy, has suggested that, in contrast to its emphasis on strategic nuclear forces, “Russia does not assign a visible role to substrategic (or tactical) nuclear weapons.”43 Also, such weapons have not featured in military exercises in the last decade.44

71.  Nevertheless, comments by Russian officials in recent years, for example on the possible development of new types of NSNWs and operational deployments in the Kaliningrad region (as opposed to merely being stored there), as well as worrying reports regarding the safety and security of these weapons, have given many analysts continued reason for concern.45  These doubts are unlikely to dissipate in the absence of increased transparency on Russian nuclear policy.

72.  It is therefore unsurprising that NATO member states should be concerned about the Russian arsenal, and would see the withdrawal of US NSNWs as a useful opportunity to seek linked measures from Moscow. Three basic proposals for linking US and Russian NSNWs reductions have emerged.

* The first is based on the principle of parity, which has been a cornerstone in arms control treaties between Moscow and Washington since the original SALT I.46  Advocated by former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson among others, this approach is meant to simplify and speed up negotiations, emphasise that both Russia and NATO seek common security goals in Europe and provide transparency, increasing Russian confidence in its own security.47

* A second option would seek common percentage cuts, resulting in much greater numerical reductions on the Russian side.  Such an approach would presuppose agreement among Allies on a single approach.48

* A third approach could be based on geography:  a withdrawal of NSNWs from European territory, with US warheads returning to its territory from Europe, and Russia storing its NSNWs arsenal beyond the Ural Mountains.  Negotiations using such an approach could use territorial zones delineated in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) as a basis.

73.  Not all advocates of reductions on the NATO side agree with linking them to Russian reciprocity.  Polish analyst Lech Kulesa suggests this would offer Russia “a validation of its belief that NATO perceives these weapons to be part of a confrontational posture against Russia” and “an invitation to influence the internal decision-making of the Alliance”.  A unilateral move by NATO might be more productive, Kulesa argues, as it would leave Russian officials in the difficult position of “explaining to their citizens why the ‘aggressive’ Alliance is voluntarily giving up part of its nuclear potential”.49

74.  It is also clear that the nature of NSNWs would make negotiations with Russia on any linked moves especially difficult, raising a host of questions, including the difficulty of verifying any agreement on such highly portable systems; the status of the French force de frappe and possibly the UK’s Trident missiles in any such negotiations; the link with the balance of conventional forces in Europe; and the proper forum for engaging in dialogue.

75.  The highest hurdle for talks on NSNWs might come from the Russian side, however, as officials maintain that the United States should withdraw their NSNWs from Europe before talks can commence, mirroring the argument made by the Soviet Union ever since these weapons were introduced into Europe. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, writing on ‘New START’, has recently argued that Russia is open to comprehensive discussions on NSNWs.  However, he also notes that “we believe that it is quite logical to start considering NSNW-related themes with … returning all stockpiles of such weapons to the territory of the states to which they belong … There is also a need for complete elimination of the entire infrastructure for the rapid deployment of NSNWs in the territory of European NATO member states. This could be an important confidence-building measure.”50  Furthermore, Russia also sees US NSNWs in Europe closely connected to broader security issues between the United States and NATO, on the one side, and the United States and Russia, on the other.  Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington, has thus said that “when you go to substrategic [arms], there will be a lot of other things that need to be entered into the play."51


IV. CONCLUSIONS

76.  Several developments have taken place at the NATO and national levels since the first draft was produced in April 2010, which make it possible to advance some notions of where the debate is heading, at least in the short term. 

77.  NATO Foreign Ministers met in Tallinn on 22 April 2010 and discussed the Alliance’s nuclear policy and its arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation agenda.  The tone for the meeting was set by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who publicly stated his view that “[t]he presence of the American nuclear weapons in Europe is an essential part of a credible deterrent.”52

78.  US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for her part, laid out five principles at the Tallinn meeting that the US believes should inform any Alliance decision on NATO’s nuclear policy:

1.   NATO will remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist;

2.   Sharing nuclear risks and responsibilities widely is fundamental;

3.   The member states’ broad goal is a reduction of nuclear weapons and their role;

4.   NATO must broaden its deterrence against emerging threats through non-nuclear means; and

5.   Transparency regarding Russian NSNWs should be increased, relocation away from NATO member states’ territories should be sought, and this category of nuclear weapons should be included in the next round of US-Russian nuclear arms control discussions.

79.  Subsequent to the Tallinn meeting, on 17 May, the Group of Experts on the new NATO Strategic Concept presented its findings, which largely paralleled Mrs Clinton’s principles in affirming that “[a]s long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO should continue to maintain secure and reliable nuclear forces, with widely shared responsibility for deployment and operational support, at the minimum level required by the prevailing security environment.” Furthermore, “[u]nder current security conditions, the retention of some US forward-deployed systems on European soil reinforces the principle of extended nuclear deterrence and collective defence.” In this regard, “[b]road participation of the non-nuclear Allies is an essential sign of transatlantic solidarity and risk sharing.”

80.  The group of Experts’ report further endorsed talks with Russia on nuclear perceptions, concepts, doctrines and transparency, which could lead to talks on mutual reductions and eventual elimination of all NSNWs.  Crucially, it underlined, that “[a]ny change in this policy, including in the geographic distribution of NATO nuclear deployments in Europe, should be made, as with other major decisions, by the Alliance as a whole.”  While largely reaffirming the status quo on nuclear policy, the Group responded to calls for a higher NATO profile in nuclear arms control more generally, possibly by reviving the Special Consultative Group on Arms Control (which has been moribund for two decades), and supporting efforts “to reduce further the prominence of nuclear arms in the defence doctrines of any country”.53

81.  These milestones in the discussion on nuclear policy suggest that NATO’s New Strategic Concept (due to be adopted at the Summit meeting in Lisbon shortly after the Assembly’s Session in Warsaw) is likely to include fairly conservative, status-quo oriented language on nuclear policy. 

* * * * *

82.  Even if the Strategic Concept drafting process will likely not result in major new initiatives on NATO’s nuclear policy, your Rapporteur believes that recent months have seen the opening of a new chapter in discussions on this issue, and that positive, deliberate changes that will benefit to all member states can be achieved in the medium and longer term.   

83.  Discussion within the Defence and Security Committee of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly has signalled broad empathy with the spirit of the Global Zero campaign.  There is a generally shared desire amongst parliamentarians from member states to diminish the threat posed by the excessive nuclear arsenals that remain a legacy of the Cold War, even if little consensus has emerged on specific steps to contribute to this goal while ensuring that the security of all Allies and NATO’s ability to deter threats remain unaffected and undiminished. 

84.  Indeed, several knowledgeable observers of the Tallinn discussions have suggested that NATO’s member states are now more engaged on these questions than they have been in recent memory, and that frank discussions amongst them on these issues have softened the taboo against raising possible policy changes that would bring NATO’s nuclear posture in line with the post-Cold War security environment. The political climate remains favourable to deliberate, thoughtful proposals on forward progress on this issue. 

85.  One measure that would signal the Alliance’s intent to move in this direction would be a public declaration of the numbers, and possibly even locations, of US nuclear weapons deployed in Europe in the NATO context.  Such a transparency measure would be in line with recent announcements by the United States and the United Kingdom regarding their respective nuclear stockpiles, and would help to demonstrate the Alliance’s united commitment to transparency, to further arms control measures, and to further reducing the relevance and prominence of nuclear weapons in its deterrence posture.

* * * * *

86.  Nuclear weapons policy may seem remote from the concerns of the day, an abstract question that need not distract from more pressing Alliance business such as daily operations in Afghanistan.  This could not be further from the truth: decisions regarding US nuclear weapons in Europe involve fundamental questions for NATO’s present and future.  They therefore rightfully merit a full and substantive discussion, including in the context of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.  And as made clear in the preceding sections of this report, compelling arguments for any number of outcomes can be made.

87.  It should go without saying that parliamentary support and input is indispensable on this issue.  This results not only from parliamentarians’ direct linkage with their public opinions, who must be reassured by the measures in place to defend them; but also from parliamentary control of funding for nuclear assets, in particular the major decisions on whether to fund the modernisation or replacement of the dual-capable aircraft tasked with the nuclear burden-sharing mission.  Input to this debate from the NATO PA can therefore provide an important barometer of member states’ parliamentary and public views, and is particularly warranted by repeated statements by US officials to members of this Committee insisting that the Obama Administration sought input from the Alliance and would take no action either precipitously or unilaterally. 

88.  The NATO Parliamentary Assembly should and will play its full part in this debate, including through reports such as this one and the discussions on which they are based, as a powerful vehicle of transatlantic parliamentary opinion on a topic of fundamental importance to the Alliance. 

APPENDIX: STATUS OF US NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN EUROPE 2010 - click here for the diagram

1   George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Sam Nunn (2007), “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons”, The Wall Street Journal, 4 January 2007.
2   Ruud Lubbers, Max van der Stoel, Hans van Mierlo, and Frits Korthals Altes, “Toward a nuclear weapon free world”, NRC Handelsblad, 23 November 2009.
3   The White House, “Communiqué of the Washington Nuclear Security Summit”, 13 April 2010.
4   The term ‘non-strategic’ is meant to distinguish these relatively shorter-range and less powerful weapons from longer-range, more powerful weapons to be delivered, for instance, by intercontinental ballistic missiles. 
5   North Atlantic Military Committee, "Decision on M.C. 48: A Report by the Military Committee on the Most Effective Pattern of Nato Military Strength for the Next Few Years"  (1954).
6   See Hans M. Kristensen, "U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe: A Review of Post-Cold War Policy, Force Levels, and War Planning"  (2005), and Miles A. Pomper, William Potter and Nikolai Sokov, "Reducing and Regulating Tactical (Nonstrategic) Nuclear Weapons in Europe"  (2009).
7   Martin Smith, "To Neither Use Them nor Lose Them: NATO and Nuclear Weapons Since the Cold War" Contemporary Security Policy 25, no. 3 (2004).
8   In 2005, there were 480 warheads remaining according to Kristensen (see Hans M. Kristensen, "U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe: A Review of Post-Cold War Policy, Force Levels, and War Planning"  [2005]). Adding the up to 20 removed from Greece that makes for about 500 warheads in 2000  (see Nuclear Threat Initiative, "United States Removes Nukes from U.K.", Global Security Newswire, no. 31 January 2010 and Oliver Meier, "U.S. Cuts Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe", Arms Control Today, September 2007).
9   "Report of the Secretary of Defense Task Force on DoD Nuclear Weapons Management: Phase II: Review of the DoD Nuclear Mission"  (2008).
10   Franklin Miller, Lord Robertson and Kori Schake, "Germany Opens Pandora’s Box", Briefing Note, Centre for European Reform (2010).
11   Martin A. Smith, "'In a Box in a Corner'? Nato's Theatre Nuclear Weapons, 1989-1999", Journal of Strategic Studies 25, no. 1 (2002).
12   Valdas Adamkus et al., “An Open Letter to the Obama Administration from Central and Eastern Europe”, Gazeta Wyborcza, 15 July 2009.
13   Franklin Miller, Lord Robertson and Kori Schake, "Germany Opens Pandora’s Box", Briefing Note, Centre for European Reform (2010).
14   See for example Miles A. Pomper, William Potter and Nikolai Sokov, "Reducing and Regulating Tactical (Nonstrategic) Nuclear Weapons in Europe",  (2009) and Hugh Beach, "The End of Nuclear Sharing? US Nuclear Weapons in Europe", RUSI Journal 154, no. 6 (2009).
15   Michael Rühle, "NATO's Future Nuclear Dimension: Managing Expectations for the Strategic Concept Debate", Strategic Insights 8, no. 4 (2009).
16   “America’s Strategic Posture: The Final Report of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States”, United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Press (2009).
17   Michael Rühle, "NATO and Extended Deterrence in a Multinuclear World", Contemporary Strategy 28, no. 1 (2009).
18   At the Assembly’s Spring Session, the Head of the Turkish delegation Vahit Erdem argued that Turkey’s security was adequately provided for by membership in NATO and that it would therefore see no need to seek nuclear weapons.  Erdem underlined Turkey’s very commitment to a world without nuclear weapons, but he believed that they are still critical to the Alliance as long as others have them. Any review of the current status quo should take into account the wider strategic developments, he argued.
19   Lech Kulesa, “Reduce US Nukes in Europe to Zero, and Keep NATO Strong (and Nuclear): A View from Poland,” PISM Strategic Files, no. 7 (2009).
20   At the Spring Session, Teodor-Viorel Melescanu of Romania argued that withdrawal of U.S. NSNWs from   Europe would be a gamble; a sober assessment of the current security environment calls for caution.
21   "Report of the Secretary of Defense Task Force on DoD Nuclear Weapons Management: Phase II: Review of the DoD Nuclear Mission"  (2008).
22   Guido Westerwelle, "Speech at the 46th Munich Security Conference" (2010).
23   George Perkovich, "Nuclear Weapons in Germany: Broaden and Deepen the Debate," Policy Outlook no. 54, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2010).
24   In the context of this report, it is instructive that the extended deterrence provided by the United States to Japan has not come under question, even as the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review has slated the tactical submarine-launched cruise missiles for retirement[0][0].
25   For instance, U.S. Under-Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher said at a February 2010 conference that "while nuclear weapons have a clear role, our deterrent extends beyond nuclear weapons (...) Our improving conventional capabilities make it possible to reduce our reliance on nuclear weapons for some targets and missions. As our conventional weapons have become more precise, we do not have to cling to nuclear weapons to accomplish our objectives."  See Elaine M. Grossman, “Debate Heats Up Over Conventional, Nuclear Deterrence Trade-offs”, Global Security Newswire, March 19, 2010.
26   Carl Bildt and Radek Sikorski, "Next, the Tactical Nukes", The New York Times, February 1, 2010.
27   Hürriyet,, , “From the Bosphorus Straight - Integrating the Nuclear Past and Present”, February 22, 2010.
28   The report is available on the Assembly’s website.
29   The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is an intergovernmental organisation aiming to represent the political, economic and cultural interests of the developing world. Statement of the Group of Non-Aligned States Parties to the Main Committee I at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 7 May 2010.
30   Arms control advocates point out that not all parties to the NPT knew in 1968 about the deal between the US and the Soviet Union on this issue, and that although the nuclear-sharing arrangements went unchallenged at the time, they face growing challenges today, in particular by non-aligned states. 
31     Many senior officials and former officials have made such arguments in recent months; for example, Shultz, Perry, Kissinger and Nunn argued that an urgent step in moving towards ‘Global Zero’ is eliminating “short-range nuclear weapons designed to be forward-deployed”.  See George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Sam Nunn, "Toward a Nuclear-Free World", The Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2008.
32   US Air Force, “Air Force Blue Ribbon Review of Nuclear Weapons Policies and Procedures” (2008).
33   In one recent inconsequential, yet alarming, example of safety problems, a group of Belgian activists breached the Belgian Kleine Brogel base in early February 2010, walked around on the runway for close to an hour and, in fact, reached a Protective Aircraft Shelter wherein nuclear weapons might have been stored (see Jeffrey Lewis, “Activists Breach Security at Kleine Brogel”, Armscontrolwonk, February 4, 2010). Despite these reports, “there is no question that nuclear weapons deployed in Europe are safe and secure”, according to Guy Roberts, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Weapons of Mass Destruction Policy and Director for Nuclear Policy.  Roberts told Arms Control Today in August 2008 that the above-cited U.S. Air Force report contained no new concerns that NATO was not aware of, and that NATO was implementing “a number of enhancements” in response to its internal oversight procedures (see Oliver Meier, “NATO Mulls Nuke Modernisation, Security”, Arms Control Today, September 2008.)
34   Steven Andreasen, Malcolm Chalmers, and Isabelle Williams, “NATO and Nuclear Weapons: Is a New Consensus Available?”, RUSI Occasional Paper, pp. 19-20.
35   On the other hand, merely cutting numbers could leave all sides unsatisfied as there would be a quantitative, rather than qualitative, shift.  Proponents of withdrawal might argue that the cuts might not produce the positive signal for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation that they hope for; that the costs of modernisation and upgrading safety and security measures would not be reduced substantially; and that the credibility of the nuclear deterrent might still be compromised.  Advocates of the status quo, for their part, may suspect that a numerical reduction would eventually lead to a complete withdrawal they could not support.
36   Critics of such a move argue that it would result in a nearly total loss of European influence on NATO nuclear policy, even if some measures to strengthen nuclear burden-sharing in other ways have been proposed, as laid out above.
37   Steven Andreasen, Malcolm Chalmers, and Isabelle Williams, “NATO and Nuclear Weapons: Is a New Consensus Available?”, RUSI Occasional Paper, p. 20.
38   U.S. Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review Report, April 2010, p. 5.
39   Anders Fogh Rasmussen, “Success Generates Success: The Next Steps with Russia”, Speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the Aspen Institute in Rome, 17 September 2010.
40   The report is available on the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s website.
41   Robert Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2010”, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January/February 2010, p. 76.
42   David Yost, “Russia’s Non-Strategic Nuclear Forces” International Affairs, no. 77, vol. 3, 2001, pp. 531-551.
43   Nikolai Sokov, “The New, 2010 Russian Military Doctrine: The Nuclear Angle”, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies Feature Story, 5 February 2010.
44   Miles A. Pomper, William Potter and Nikolai Sokov, "Reducing and Regulating Tactical (Nonstrategic) Nuclear Weapons in Europe", (2009), pp. 14-ff.
45   “Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons”, Amy F. Woolf, Congressional Research Service, 14 January 2010.
46   David Yost, “Assurance and US Extended Deterrence in NATO”, International Affairs, no. 85, vol. 4, 2009, p. 757.
47   Franklin Miller, Lord Robertson and Kori Schake, "Germany Opens Pandora’s Box, " Briefing Note, Centre for European Reform (2010).
48   Franklin Miller, Lord Robertson and Kori Schake, "Germany Opens Pandora’s Box", Briefing Note, Centre for European Reform (2010); Joe Ralston, Lord Robertson, Franklin Miller and Kori Schake, “The Next Arms-Control Agreement”, The Washington Times, 22 April 2010; and Karl-Heinz Kamp, “NATO’s Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Beyond ‘Yes’ or ‘No’”, NATO Defense College, Research Paper, no. 61, p. 10.
49   Lech Kulesa, “Reduce US Nukes in Europe to Zero, and Keep NATO Strong (and Nuclear): A View from Poland”, PISM Strategic Files, no. 7 (2009).
50   Sergey Lavrov, “New START Treaty in the Global Security Matrix: The Political Dimension”, Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn, no. 7, July 2010.
51   Nicholas Kralev, “Battlefield Nukes Not in Play; U.S.: Not Enough Time for Consideration Before New Pact”, The Washington Times, 16 April 2009.
52   Mark Landler, “U.S. Resists Push by Allies for Tactical Nuclear Cuts”, The New York Times, 22 April 2010.
53   Group of Experts, “NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement”, 17 May 2010, p. 43.

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