The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has unveiled its policy documents charting the way ahead for the Alliance over the next 10 years. The Strategic Concept, covering NATO doctrine on nuclear and conventional defence and security strategy, was released on November 19th. The Lisbon summit Declaration, on how the Alliance will implement the principles laid down in the Strategic Concept, came out the following day.
BASIC saw the Concept as a missed opportunity to reduce the number and role of the estimated 200 tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, whose presence has been the focus of considerable debate over the past year but which continues to divide the Alliance.
The Concept could be described as “status quo lite” as it does provide for “creating the conditions” for further reductions in the future and drops language enshrining the transatlantic relationship which was in the previous Strategic Concept of 1999. But it notably links “any future reductions” to negotiations with Russia which insists on the removal of all U.S. B61 gravity bombs from five European countries as a precondition.
The declaration provides for a deterrence review covering nuclear and conventional weapons, but no deadline was set for its completion.
Read the Strategic Concept www.nato.int/lisbon2010/strategic-concept-2010-eng.pdf
and the Lisbon summit Declaration www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_68828.htm
Joint BASIC/Arms Control Association media advisory www.basicint.org/press/releases/2010/nato-strategic-concept
Hans Kristensen blog at Federation of American Scientists www.fas.org/blog/ssp/category/hans_kristensen
Martin Butcher blog on the NATO Monitor