NATO’s Nuclear Posture

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

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.)

NATO’s future nuclear posture

This roundtable event held on July 25th, 2013 in Washington, D.C., included a small group of experts and representatives from a number of NATO member states. They discussed the future of NATO’s nuclear posture and engagement with Russia on arms control and nuclear weapons – building upon workshops previously held in Moscow and Brussels in 2012 and 2013.

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'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.