tactical nuclear weapons

The Role of NATO in the French White Paper and implications for nuclear arms control

NATO Flags

This paper examines the relationship that  France has with NATO through  its policy of nuclear deterrence in a European context, with a focus on France's most recent "White Paper". France has historically placed a high priority on the role of nuclear weapons in security policy and maintains that its current nuclear posture meets only "strict sufficiency" requirements. The author argues, however, that during a time when tactical nuclear weapons are diminishing in acceptance by the international community, especially amidst a strained economic environment, change could be around the corner.

Why diversity matters to the nuclear debate

The public discourse around nuclear weapons policy can be deceptively binary: countries should retain nuclear capabilities or they shouldn’t; nuclear weapons provide security and strategic stability or they don’t. However, it is generally only the tip of the iceberg that makes its way into mainstream debate. In reality, a web of incredibly technical, expert discussion takes place below the surface which defines how substantive nuclear policy decisions are taken.

Summary of roundtable discussion on “NATO’s future nuclear posture”

This paper highlights the main themes arising from a roundtable discussion held on July 25th, 2013 in Washington, D.C., which brought a small group of experts together with representatives from a number of NATO member states to discuss the future of NATO’s nuclear posture and engagement with Russia on arms control and nuclear weapons. This discussion built on workshops previously held in Moscow and Brussels in 2012 and 2013.

New NATO Policy Publication: Countdown to Chaos?

NATO’s nuclear sharing program is in trouble. The United States has continuously maintained nuclear weapons in Europe since March 1954 (and NATO has agreed to this policy since December of that year). Since 1991, the only U.S. nuclear weapons in NATO’s arsenal have been B61 gravity bombs, designed for delivery to target by “dual-capable” fighter-bomber aircraft (DCA). These aircraft are rapidly reaching the end of their normal service lives, however, and are the only means by which NATO shares the threat of nuclear attack on potential opponents in times of crisis among several Allied nations.

Countdown to Chaos?: Timelines and Implications of Procurement Decisions for NATO's Dual-Capable Aircraft

NATO Flags

NATO's nuclear sharing program is in trouble. The United States has continuously maintained nuclear weapons in Europe since March 1954 (and NATO has agreed to this policy since December of that year). Since 1991, the only U.S. nuclear weapons in NATO’s arsenal have been B61 gravity bombs, designed for delivery to target by “dual-capable” fighter-bomber aircraft (DCA). These aircraft are rapidly reaching the end of their normal service lives, however, and are the only means by which NATO shares the threat of nuclear attack on potential opponents in times of crisis among several Allied nations.

Could the renewed focus on non-strategic nuclear weapons signal a new era in Euro-Atlantic security?

It is 22 years since the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives were announced soon after the fall of the Berlin wall. Presidents Bush and Gorbachev declared massive unilateral cuts to their holdings of short range tactical nuclear weapons, and their militaries set about the task of dismantling them.

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