alliances

U.S. diplomatic cables reveal nuclear proliferation fears

The WikiLeaks cables have revealed that the United States has consistently rebuffed private appeals from the leaders of Arab states and Israel on the need for military action against Iran over its nuclear program, as successive administrations worked on a package of global economic sanctions.

The initial leak of 240 U.S. diplomatic cables from a total 251,000 provided to five newspapers in the UK, US, Germany, France and Spain contained the following information related to nuclear non-proliferation issues:

Iran

Experts Call NATO Strategic Concept 'Missed Opportunity to Reduce Role of Obsolete Tactical Nukes from Europe'

U.S. and European nuclear arms control and security experts criticized NATO's new “Strategic Concept” as a conservative, backward-looking policy, a missed opportunity to reduce the number and role of the 200 forward-deployed U.S. tactical nuclear bombs and engage Russia in a dialogue on removing all tactical nuclear weapons from Europe.

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Getting to Zero Update

The Obama Administration was hoping for the U.S. Senate to ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) now that the U.S. mid-term elections are over. If the treaty is not brought to the floor before the end of the year, then prospects for the treaty dim in a Senate where more members will be reluctant to hand the President a foreign policy achievement, and votes in favor of the treaty will be more difficult to muster.

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The Shadow NATO Summit II: Civil Society Perspectives on the Lisbon Summit and NATO’s New Strategic Concept

In this second Shadow Summit, NATO officials, civil society and policy experts again gathered to examine the organization’s future and explore how civil society groups and parliamentarians could advance NATO-related policies and actions.

Click on the hyperlinks below to view the agenda and presentation documents from this event that was organized by NATO Watch, BASIC, Bertelsmann Stiftung, and ISIS-Europe, with support from the Marmot Charitable Trust.

 

Polish and Central European Priorities on NATO's Future Nuclear Policy

In the present debate over the future of NATO’s nuclear policy, and especially the stationing of the U.S. sub-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe, the countries of Central Europe (understood here as the Baltic Three – Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia – plus Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia) are usually presented as the staunch supporters of the nuclear status quo, in favour of the permanent deployment of the U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe out of the fear of Russia.

Options for arms control to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in NATO

Ever since the Harmel report, NATO has been committed to a broad approach to security, including arms control, disarmament and other co-operative security tools as necessary complement to military capabilities. The declaration on Alliance security adopted by the 2009 Strasbourg summit reflects this twofold approach by restating that deterrence, including through nuclear capabilities, will remain a core element of NATO strategy, while at the same time NATO will continue to play its part in reinforcing arms control and promoting nuclear and conventional disarmament and non-proliferation.

UK and France sign landmark defence agreements

At the UK-France summit in London earlier today, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy issued a declaration and signed a formal Defence Treaty that signalled a new era of defence cooperation. Letters of intent were exchanged and a Road Map agreed for deeper cooperation in the future. Three years in the making, the arrangement focuses on joint capabilities and procurement, but also to a limited extent, operations. There are two areas of specific note in the nuclear field:

Getting to Zero Update

The debate over Trident was heating up with questions about how the United Kingdom will cover costs during a time of tightening defense budgets. In the United States, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to the full Senate, but doubts remained as to whether the Senate would approve the treaty before the end of the year. Thirty-six members of the European Leaders Network called on NATO to increase its role in nuclear arms control just as the Alliance was circulating a draft of its new Strategic Concept, which was last revised in 1999.

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