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Roundtable on NATO's Nuclear Posture and Burden Sharing Arrangements: an Italian Perspective

BASIC held a roundtable in Rome on June 15, 2011 in cooperation with the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI). The roundtable explored Italian perspectives on the future of NATO's nuclear posture and burden sharing. It also looked at Italy's position on the current debate about tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) in Europe.

The main points raised at the roundtable were as follows:

Getting to Zero Update

NATO proceeded quietly with its Strategic Deterrence and Defense Posture Review, while U.S. and Russian disagreements over missile defense continued. The United States was also conducting a review of nuclear targeting. In the United Kingdom, the “successor” to the Vanguard-class submarine that carries Trident missiles officially entered “Initial Gate,” or the initial design phase.

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NATO’s Defense and Deterrence Posture Review: A French Perspective on Nuclear Issues

Paul Zajac reviews the assumptions about the apparent rift between France and Germany over nuclear weapons and NATO, and the extent to which the alliance should play a role in nuclear disarmament. He argues that allies must be careful not to let other initiatives, such as projects on missile defense or aspirations for a world without nuclear weapons, harm alliance unity around nuclear deterrence.

The United States, NATO’s Strategic Concept, and Nuclear Issues

Washington appeared satisfied with the November 2010 Lisbon Summit outcome and new Strategic Concept regarding nuclear weapons and arms control. In this article, Amb. Steven Pifer analyzes the dual tracks of the Deterrence and Defense Posture Review process and development of a U.S. approach to nonstrategic nuclear weapons for possible future negotiations with Russia.

Turkey, NATO & and Nuclear Sharing: Prospects after NATO's Lisbon Summit

Mustafa Kibaroglu presents Turkey's political, military and diplomatic views to the prolonged deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons on their soil. Turkey's policy of non-proliferation contrasts with their hosting - albeit burden sharing - of NATO tactical nuclear weapons. He concludes that Turkey, preferably together with other NATO members, should take the initiative in asking the United States to draw them down and remove them entirely, in the interests of Turkish security and alliance cohesion.

Getting to Zero Update

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

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