Theater Nuclear Weapons

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.

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.)

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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