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Tactical Nuclear Weapons, NATO and Deterrence

Nuclear sharing arrangements and the active deployment of US theatre nuclear weapons (TNW) in Europe under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are viewed as critical components of its deterrence posture. Previously, this nuclear posture was aimed at the former Soviet Union (USSR) and Warsaw Pact alliance during the Cold War. Since the end of the Cold War and the absorption of former Warsaw Pact states into NATOthe official justification for those systems remaining is not connected to any specified enemy.

NATO ministers meeting should consider security costs of a nuclear defence

Foreign ministers of the North Atlantic Council will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday in Brussels this week. Chaired by NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, this meeting will likely begin preparations for the 2014 NATO Summit to be held 4-5 September in Newport, South Wales. It is also likely that this week’s meeting will continue the discussions on “Defence Matters”,

TNW, The Quiet Menace: How the Threats to Europe, the Middle East and South Asia are Linked

London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS; what – you haven’t applied for membership yet?) recently published their annual review of world affairs, Strategic Survey 2013. In its chapter on strategic policy issues, the Survey covers an important topic, the complex nuclear arms race underway in South Asia among India, Pakistan and China.

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.

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.)

NATO’s Nuclear Guardians: Why NATO’s bureaucracy is unable to initiate change to, or support reform of, Alliance nuclear policy

BASIC senior consultant Ted Seay explores the institutional history of NATO’s theater nuclear weapons (TNW) and explains why in recent years the Alliance has been slow to move forward with changes that could further reduce this arsenal.

NATO’s Nuclear Guardians: Why NATO’s bureaucracy is unable to initiate change to, or support reform of, Alliance nuclear policy

NATO Flags

BASIC senior consultant Ted Seay explores the institutional history of NATO's theater nuclear weapons (TNW) and explains why in recent years the Alliance has been slow to move forward with changes that could further reduce this arsenal.

Engaging Russia on Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Next steps on confidence building

BASIC, in cooperation with the Arms Control Association (ACA), the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH), and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), hosted in Brussels on April 15, 2013 a private roundtable on engaging Russia on tactical nuclear weapons. Discussions focused on potential ways forward for improving confidence between Russia and NATO.

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