NATO’s Chicago Summit in May provided the Alliance with its second opportunity in two years to re-think the presence of U.S. theatre nuclear weapons in Europe, but for the second consecutive time, NATO failed. In this report, BASIC policy consultant, Ted Seay, examines key decisions made (and not made) in Chicago, in relation to the future of NATO's nuclear sharing arrangements and the Alliance as a whole.
Americans celebrate their Independence Day on Wednesday. It has been 236 years since they broke away from Great Britain, but the pair remain two of the closest allies in the world. But just how special is the so-called ‘special relationship’, and how much does this depend upon the cooperation between their nuclear weapons communities?
NATO completed its Deterrence and Defense Posture Review with mixed results. Diplomacy over Iran’s nuclear program picked up pace. A National Academies panel released its updated assessment on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty’s implications for U.S. security, with apparent positive conclusions for supporters.
NATO leaders met at their summit in Chicago on May 20-21 to agree on, amongst other things, the text arising from the Deterrence and Defence Posture Review that had been 18 months in process. BASIC has been organizing roundtables around Europe, Moscow and Washington alongside the Arms Control Association, IFSH (Hamburg), and local partners to discuss nuclear-related issues with officials and others to influence the discussion. The DDPR does not close this debate, but rather opens it up over the next few years.
A few weeks after the NATO Summit in Chicago, NATO member states meet again in Budapest at a Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction, Arms Control, Disarmament, and Non-proliferation on Thursday and Friday of this week.
BASIC, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Elliott School of International Affairs, NATO Watch, and Strategy International held a conference in Washington, DC on May 14 and 15, 2012, one week before the NATO Summit in Chicago.
Please contact BASIC for permission to use any of these photographs.
Paul Ingram's piece on NATO's contradictions on nuclear deployments and delayed decisions on nuclear weapons was featured on the website of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Ingram highlights that NATO members are divided on how they view relations with Russia and "the Alliance is failing to recognize that the Cold War is over, and so it lives with a cancerous contradiction".
NATO has missed an opportunity to clear up the divisive issue of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe at its Chicago summit, BASIC Executive Director Paul Ingram said today.
“If the U.S. and its allies aren’t careful, they will find themselves scrambling to control disarmament by default , as the Germans and others take decisions about the future delivery systems of these Cold War relics which they all know serve no military purpose,” said Ingram.
John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote an op-ed for the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung on NATO's defense 'obesity problem'. This was based on his presentation to the Shadow NATO Summit III in Washington D.C. earlier in May.