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?
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
Pages to are hidden for
"Going Nuclear"Please download to view full document