theatre 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.

Theater Nuclear Weapons - A Direct Threat to European Security

BASIC has had a lot to say over the years about U.S. theater nuclear weapons (TNW) in Europe. (I will repeat here, ad nauseam for some, that it is a grave mistake to call such weapons ‘tactical’; any deliberate nuclear explosion must have strategic consequences. ‘Theater’, meanwhile, simply denotes their basing posture and connotes their intended use, from within a military theater of operations.)

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.

Theatre Nuclear Weapons and the next round of bilateral New START Treaty follow-on talks

BASIC Senior Consultant Ted Seay briefly reviews the military and arms control history of TNWs and highlights Russian concerns around forging a new agreement on remaining U.S. and Russian warheads. He concludes the paper by assessing several options for the United States and NATO.

Subscribe to RSS - theatre nuclear weapons