Going Nuclear

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					                                                                 THEWORLDTODAY.ORG DECEMBER 2009
                                                                                                                                                PAGE 23
NATO’S NEW STRATEGIC CONCEPT
Paul Cornish, HEAD, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE




      GoingNuclear
                                                       a                  T NATO’S SUMMIT MEETING IN APRIL, LEADERS
                                                                           of the alliance’s 28 member countries
                                                                           agreed that a new strategic concept should
                                                                           be developed in time for their next summit
                                                                           in Lisbon late next year. The strategic
                                                                           concept has become the public declaration
                                                       of the alliance’s mission and values and in diplomatic terms is
                                                       considered second in importance only to the 1949
                                                       Washington Treaty which established NATO, now the longest
                                                       running politico-military alliance of modern times. The 2010
                                                       concept will be the third to appear since the end of the Cold
                                                       War.
                                                          With the growing debate on nuclear nonproliferation, the
                                                       new strategic concept will have to address an increasingly
                                                       awkward reminder of an increasingly distant past. During the
                                                       Cold War, the basing of United States’ nuclear weapons in
                                                       Europe – known as ‘nuclear sharing’ – symbolised the US
                                                       strategic commitment to Europe and was considered essential
                                                       to the west’s deterrent posture.
                                                          Now reduced to a rump – two hundred or so ‘dumb’ US
                                                       nuclear bombs stored in around ninety weapon vaults in
                                                       Belgium, Germany, Holland, Italy and Turkey – the continued
                                                       presence of US nuclear weapons in Europe must be symbolic
                                                       of something. But what exactly, if no longer the indivisibility
                                                       of US and West European deterrence of Soviet aggression?


                                                       E F F ECT I V E U M B R E L L A?
                                                           NATO has not yet broken with the intellectual and moral
                                                       tradition which says that nuclear bombs and missiles are not
The debate over nuclear issues has                     weapons in the usual sense: their value lies in preventing their
found fresh intensity. Russia and the                  use through a posture of mutual deterrence and through the
                                                       extension of the deterrent effect – not least through basing
United States are talking about                        agreements – to protect non-nuclear allies. In that case, where
                                                       is the mutual deterrent relationship which provides the non-
strategic weapons; Iran and North                      use rationale for the presence of American nuclear weapons in
Korea continue to preoccupy; and                       Europe?
                                                           And is NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangement really credible
there is next year’s nonproliferation                  an
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: With the growing debate on nuclear nonproliferation, the new strategic concept will have to address an increasingly awkward reminder of an increasingly distant past.During the Cold War, the basing of United States' nuclear weapons in Europe - known as 'nuclear sharing' - symbolised the US strategic commitment to Europe andwas considered essential to the west's deterrent posture. With growing pressure to salvage the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at its review conference in May; to agree a Fissile Missile Cut-off Treaty; to see the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty finally enter into force, following US ratification; and to make progress towards the so-called Global Zero, does NATO's nuclear sharing arrangement strike a discordant note?
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