UPDATES

TacNukes News No. 5

1.  TNW and Confidence and Security Building Measures
2.  The Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative at the NPT PrepCom
3.  NATO Parliamentarians letter to Obama
4. The Netherlands debate on TNW
5.  Rethinking the "NATO" argument in the NPT forum
6.  View on TNW from Turkey
7.  Voices from Russia and the U.W. on B61 LEP, TNW, and future arms control
8. Nuclear Extended Deterrence
9. New Joint Project Publication: NATO's Nuclear Guardians
 __________________________________ 
  
1. TNW and Confidence and Security Building Measures 
A group of diplomats and analysts from NATO states met in Brussels on April 15th to discuss how best to engage Russia in discussions on transparency and confidence-building measures regarding theatre nuclear weapons. The roundtable was jointly organized by the Arms Control Association (ACA), the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) with support by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This paper draws out some of the themes arising from that meeting, but does not reflect the views of any one individual attending the meeting.

This paper provides a cursory overview of existing proposals to build confidence and increase transparency on tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. It focuses on recent proposals, tabled since the end of the East-West conflict. After a short review of definitional problems and a brief description of the context of current discussions on TNW, the paper describes some cross-cutting issues identified in studies on confidence-building measures. Existing proposals are then categorized with a view to identifying possible ways forward on confidence building between NATO and Russia. The goal is to highlight some relevant issues and problems discussed in the current literature on CBMs in the context of nuclear arms control.

Remarks by Ambassador Rolf Nikel, German Commissioner for Arms Control and Disarmament at the NATO WMD Conference. Ambassador Nikel links NATO’s contribution to security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

Non-strategic nuclear weapons based in Europe are not presently covered by existing arms control regimes or confidence building measures. The report, which summarises the proceedings of a February 2013 workshop organized  in Warsaw by PISM, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, supported by the Norwegian and Polish Foreign Ministries, includes a set of practical options that can become a basis for future work on such measures in a variety of bilateral and multilateral forums, including the NATO–Russia Council.

The report Building Mutual Security in the Euro-Atlantic Region published by the European Leadership Network, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Russian International Affairs Council and the Munich Security Conference warns that the Euro-Atlantic Region’s security policies are dangerously out-of-date, potentially destabilizing and costly. It contains recommendations from more than 30 top military, political and security experts from across Europe, Russia and the United States. The report discusses reciprocal transparency, security, and confidence building on tactical nuclear weapons, reciprocal cuts in tactical nuclear weapons and recommends a five-year target for consolidation of tactical nuclear weapons with mutual reductions.

In a recently-released National Resources Defense Council report, From Mutual Assured Destruction to Mutual Assured Stability: Exploring a New Comprehensive Framework for U.S. and Russian Nuclear Arms Reductions, Senior Fellow Steven Pifer contributed a chapter on dealing with nonstrategic nuclear weapons. The chapter describes U.S., NATO and Russian policies regarding such weapons, discusses the issues they raise for arms control, outlines various arms control approaches, and concludes with recommendations for U.S. and Russian action.

A PISM briefing by Lukasz Kulesa from Warsaw explores US nuclear weapons policy in Europe. As part of plans to reduce U.S. nuclear forces during the second term of President Barack Obama, his administration will attempt to engage Russia. It is unlikely that a new arms control treaty will be signed. Washington will be interested in reaching a series of primarily political understandings involving missile defence, strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons. Regarding the last topic, Poland can assume a leading role in preparing the NATO position on confidence-building and transparency measures that may be proposed to Russia in parallel with the bilateral U.S.–Russian track.

2. The Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative at the NPT PrepCom 
"The Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative grouping of states is of the opinion that a the further reduction in the numbers and types of non-strategic nuclear weapons should be placed higher up the international agenda the momentum is to be maintained towards the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons."

  • Working paper submitted by the members of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates) (March 2013) Non-strategic nuclear weapons (NPT/CONF.2015/PC.II/WP.3)

"Members of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative want to draw attention to the importance of further reducing the role and significance of nuclear weapons in declaratory policies.

  • Working paper submitted by the members of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates) (March 2013)  Reduced role of nuclear weapons (NPT/CONF.2015/PC.II/WP.4)

Ten countries met on April 10, 2013 in The Hague to discuss nuclear disarmament and practical steps to tackle the further spread of nuclear weapons. ‘We are working towards a nuclear-weapons-free world,’ said foreign minister Frans Timmermans, the host of the conference.

3. NATO Parliamentarians letter to Obama
A group of parliamentarians from NATO countries have addressed the US President Barack Obama with a letter supporting his efforts for global nuclear disarmament. The letter was co-signed by 39 parliamentarians from 11 NATO countries – Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Slovakia and United Kingdom.

4. The Netherlands debate on TNW
This policy brief provides concrete recommendations to Foreign Minister Timmermans on the B61 withdrawal from the territory of the Netherlands.

This IKV Pax Christi handbook for Dutch Parliamentarians provides practical proposals for Members of Parliament to make the Netherlands a nuclear weapon free country. On December 20th 2012 the Dutch parliament adopted a motion by Omtzigt (No 33400-V, No 100), in which the government is asked to make the elimination of tactical nuclear weapons from Europe a hard policy target. The booklet offers some suggestions for concrete steps on nuclear disarmament.

A desire to be consistent in nuclear policy is the justification the Dutch have given for not joining along with more than 70 other states in a joint statement on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. At the same time a 87% majority in the Netherlands support getting rid of the B61.

5. Rethinking the "NATO" argument in the NPT forum
Wilbert van der Zeijden’s IKV Pax Christi comment to the NPT PrepCom: “Yes, but we need to take into consideration the complex and diverse views in NATO. If I got a penny any time a diplomat said this to me at the NPT, I would have earned roughly a pound, this morning alone. More than twenty years after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, it is time that the NATO alliance members too, become individually fully accountable."

6. View on TNW from Turkey
Turkey once sought a nuclear-free region but now covets the protection from its neighbors that is afforded by US nuclear bombs, writes Kadri Gursel.  

7. Voices from Russia and the U.S. on B61 LEP, TNW, and future arms control
It seems that disarmament talks and treaties, one of the most promising areas of U.S.-Russian cooperation, might be removed from the bilateral agenda soon. The media reports that the U.S. has initiated a program to modernize the B61 tactical nuclear bomb with advanced guidance mechanisms and to mount it on F-16 and stealthy F-35 jet fighters. But at stake here is not simply the modernization of the United States' estimated 200 tactical bombs located in Europe. After all, Russia has five times more tactical nuclear weapons.

Americans are terrified by the idea that Iran could develop nuclear weapons, or that North Korea could use its nuclear weapons. Yet the Obama Administration wants to spend less money on efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation. At the same time, it wants to spend billions on maintaining and even upgrading the oldest nukes in the United States’ arsenal: the tactical B61 thermonuclear bomb. It’s time for Americans to contact their members of Congress and urge them to “just say no” to the B61 Life Extension Program.

On Thursday May 16th, BASIC, ACA, IFSH, and the Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS) co-sponsored a roundtable in Moscow on new prospects for Russian-US Arms Control. Experts examined options and prospects for a follow-on to New START; developments and opportunities for cooperation on missile defense; and possibilities for new steps on non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNW) and strategic nuclear weapons.

8. Nuclear Extended Deterrence
Balancing the U.S.' commitments to reduce the number and role of nuclear weapons while strengthening extended deterrence and assuring allies has emerged as a significant challenge in the new security environment. This challenge is all the greater because what may deter Russia and China may not deter North Korea or a nuclear-armed Iran and may not be well suited to reassuring America’s allies in Europe, Northeast Asia and the Middle East. What kind of measures or policies can satisfy these criteria? What potential steps might exacerbate the challenge? Brad Roberts, Łukasz Kulesa, Jiří Šedivý, and Koji Tomita take a look at what kind of measures or policies can satisfy these criteria and what potential steps might exacerbate the challenge. Share your comments and questions below.

9. New joint project publication: NATO's Nuclear Guardians
Edmond (Ted) E. Seay III explores the institutional history of NATO’s theatre nuclear weapons and explains why in recent years the Alliance has been slow to move forward with changes that could further reduce this arsenal.

This paper is based upon a number of interviews with recently serving officials at NATO, and reviews the history of NATO’s structural, internal responses to nuclear weapons policy and posture. It then examines whether that structure, developed during the height of the Cold War, is still fit for purpose. The paper concludes with suggestions on how NATO can make real changes to current nuclear policy, and explains why these changes should happen in the near future.

This is the 13th publication in the series of ACA/BASIC/IFSH joint publications for the project on "Reducing the role of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe." To view previous publications, click here.


Editor
Katarzyna Kubiak, Researcher IFSH
If you have information you would suggest be included in the next newsletter, contact rstaley@basicint.org

Free terms: 

Newsletter: 

Region: 

Pages