This newsletter is published by BASIC.

TacNukes News No. 6 and earlier editions were jointly published in cooperation with the Arms Control Association and the Institute for Peace Research and Security at the University of Hamburg. BASIC currently works with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) under a joint project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Click the link below to see the TacNukes News updates:


TacNukes News No. 10, July 2014

  • NATO Deputy Secretary General affirms hope for arms control; prospects under additional strain with INF dispute
  • Ukraine crisis, military exercises bring more attention to nuclear postures
  • U.S. Congressional committee worried about B61 bomb costs but recommends full financial support
  • Coming up: Release of UK Defence Committee report on NATO at end of July, NATO Summit in early September


TacNukes News No. 9, May 2014

  • Impact of Ukraine crisis further diminishes arms control prospects
  • High-level transatlantic commission releases recommendations for progress on nuclear arms control
  • Reinvigorated role for tactical nuclear weapons in allied security considered by some in light of Ukraine crisis
  • Activists break into Volkel Air Base
  • Group of parliamentarians send letter to U.S. Congress expressing opposition to B61s in Europe
  • U.S. Administration increases budget requests for programs related to tactical nuclear weapons in Europe
  • United States ramps up testing of B61-12
  • U.S. Air Force head says NATO could compensate if some European allies decide to forego B61 nuclear mission
  • Chicago Council launches task force to address tactical nuclear weapons


TacNukes News No. 8, February 2014

  • New German Coalition revises government position on TNW
  • Dutch ministers say they need to defer to NATO on nuclear question
  • B61-12 Life Extension Program fully funded for FY 2014
  • Former U.S. officials critique status quo on B-61/TNW
  • Senators comment on financial challenge to transatlantic mission
  • Iskander controversy heats up, then dies down again
  • NATO mulls approach to Russia


TacNukes News No. 7, November 2013

  • Congressional focus on the B61 Life Extension Program
  • NNSA performs radar drop test for the B61
  • U.S. NGO obtains JASONS scientists’ review of B61 option
  • Russian Deputy defense minister questions legality of U.S. TNW based in Non-Nuclear Weapons States
  • Dutch Parliament approves motion against nuclear-capable version of the Joint Strike Fighter
  • Dutch government releases policy paper on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament
  • B61 bomb upgrade spurs controversy in The Netherlands


TacNukes News No. 6, August 2013

1. Prospects for Russian-U.S. Arms Control
2. NATO’s future nuclear posture
3. Project Publications
4. The German debate on TNW during election campaign
5. President Obama wants to cut TNW
6. NATO and UN common issues on nuclear weapons
7. A new European-Russian Leadership Task Force
8. U.S. House and Senate curb B61 spending
9. The Netherlands ends ambiguity around TNW


TacNukes News No. 5, May 2013

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


TacNukes News No. 4, March 2013

1. NATO Agrees to New Arms Control Body
2. European Perspectives on Nuclear Deterrence
3. Turkey and TNW
4. The Netherlands and TNW
5. Conventional Imbalance and TNW
6. B61 LEP news
7. MPI Framework Forum Roundtable news
8. TNW and Confidence and Security Building Measures
9. Updated CRS Report


TacNukes News No. 3, January 2013

1. New Publication
2. Russian TNW stockpiles – new numbers
3. Central European views on TNW
4. US boots on the ground in Poland
5. Debate on Nuclear Weapons Modernization in Germany intensifies
6. Last minute news from NATO



TacNukes News No. 2, November 2012

1. New Publications
2. B 61 Life Extension Program
3. B 61 safety problems reported
4. Nuclear Sharing Exercise “Steadfast Noon”
5. Debate on Nuclear Weapons Modernization in
Germany intensifies
6. TNW after US elections


TacNukes News No. 1, September 2012
(read below)

1.  Is there a life after the DDPR? Statement from European Leaders.
2.  Future arms control options evaluated in policy brief.
3.  Debate on the B61 Life Extension Program picks up speed. Different contributions.
4.  Foreign Ministers call to move forward with the “Action Plan” in ministerial statement.
5.  UN Secretary General calls for withdrawal of nuclear weapons to possessor states. 
6.  New study on tactical nuclear weapons published by the Federation of American Scientists.

1.  Is there a life after the DDPR? Statement from European Leaders. 

The DDPR has done little to help create the conditions necessary for a world without nuclear weapons despite NATO committing itself to pursuit of this goal at the 2010 Summit in Lisbon.

We agree that there is an urgent need for increased transparency on Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons and for reciprocal Russian action in response to any moves made by NATO. But we also think that by limiting mainstream political interest largely to this Russian dimension of the nuclear problem, the states of central and Eastern Europe are making themselves vulnerable where it really matters, namely in their relationship with the United States.

2.  Future arms control options in policy brief. “Since neither side wants to reduce its nonstrategic forces because of disparity or to compensate for conventional inferiority, NATO is now limiting itself to pursuing softer issues such as transparency and confidence-building measures,” Hans Kristensen said at a recent conference in Switzerland. “These are important and worthwhile steps but they will not in and of themselves result in reductions of nonstrategic nuclear weapons.”

3.  Debate on the B61 Life Extension Program picks up speed.While the German government in Chicago has agreed to “ensure that all components of NATO’s nuclear deterrent remain safe, secure, and effective for as long as NATO remains a nuclear alliance,” it thus has yet to take hard decisions to keep Germany in the nuclear business and will have to explain this policy to a German public that is largely anti-nuclear.

After having spent hundreds of millions of dollars between 2006 and 2010 on extending the service life of the secondary of the B61-7 (and adding new spin-rocket motors to improve performance), NNSA and DOD are now planning to scrap the weapon and replace it with the $6 billion B61-12. Although the cost estimate of the B61 life extension program has increased by 50 percent over the past year, the $6 billion price tag is only part of the cost. The current B61-12 program should be stopped and reassessed to reduce cost and scope.
If America really wants to show its commitment to its Europeans allies, let’s replace the B61s with solid-gold replicas, forward-deployed at the NATO air base of your choice.
News from Albuquerque on the the B61 case study in the expense and innovations driving the ambitious effort to maintain US nuclear defenses at a time of fiscal constraints and a shift away from reliance on nuclear deterrence.

4. Foreign Ministers call to move forward with the “Action Plan” in ministerial statement.Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, resolve to move forward with practical steps that will advance the implementation of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference Action Plan (“Action Plan”) and to pursue the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

5. UN Secretary General calls for withdrawal of nuclear weapons to possessor states.Ban Ki-moon urges nuclear weapon states to “stop deploying nuclear weapons on foreign soil, and retire such weapons.”

6.  New study on tactical nuclear weapons published by the Federation of America Scientists.

Mr. Kristensen argues that the time is ripe for new leadership in both the United States and Russia to take the next steps in phasing out U.S. non-strategic weapons deployed in Europe and in having Russia complete its commitments under the 1991-1992 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives, especially the requirement to eliminate its groundlaunched nuclear weapons.

This report also wisely points out that “non-strategic nuclear weapons are neither the problem nor the solution” to NATO European countries’ security concerns. These weapons are anachronistic vestiges of Cold War thinking.




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