Reducing the Role of Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Perspectives and Proposals on the NATO Policy Debate

This BASIC/ACA/IFSH report is the fruit of a year’s informal discussions involving policy makers and diplomats from key NATO member states, at events across Europe before and after the NATO Lisbon summit last November.

BASIC Executive Director Paul Ingram writes in the concluding chapter that the seminars organized by BASIC and partners highlighted “a number of diverging perspectives on some of the inescapable contradictions in NATO’s current deterrent posture.” Regarding the future of the 180 or so tactical nuclear bombs in five European NATO states, he says it remains to be seen “how much and how quickly that posture and force structure can evolve in the context of significant calls to move completely away from nuclear weapons.”

Turkish expert Mustafa Kibaroglu of Bilkent University, in his contribution to the report, calls for “bold decisions” regarding the presence of the estimated 50-90 U.S. tactical weapons on Turkey’s soil. “A proactive decision by Turkey could prove beneficial by setting a very valuable and meaningful precedent for the countries in its neighbourhood,” he argues.

The NATO debate is being held in the context of the Alliance’s Defense and Deterrence Posture Review, which is expected to report to the next NATO summit in April 2012.  This review will determine the mix of conventional, nuclear, and missile defense forces NATO will need going forward.


1 Introduction

PAUL INGRAM, Executive Director, BASIC / DARYL G. KIMBALL, Executive Director, ACA (Washington, D.C.) / OLIVER MEIER, International Representative, ACA (Berlin)

Section 1: The Discussion on NATO’s Nuclear Policy Ahead of the Lisbon Summit

5 Current NATO Nuclear Policy   DES BROWNE, former Secretary of State for Defence, UK (2006-8)

9 Options for Arms Control to Reduce the Role of Nuclear Weapons in NATO   PETER GOTTWALD, Federal Commissioner for disarmament and arms control at the German Foreign Office

12 Polish and Central European Priorities for NATO’s Future Nuclear Policy  Łukasz Kulesa was deputy head of the research at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM)

19 NATO’s New Strategic Concept and the Future of Tactical Nuclear Weapons   Oliver Meier, International Representative of ACA (Berlin)

Section 2: The Future of NATO’s Nuclear Policy and Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe

25 The United States, NATO’s Strategic Concept, and Nuclear Issues.  STEVEN PIFER, senior fellow and director of the Brookings Arms Control Initiative

31 Turkey, NATO and Nuclear Sharing: Prospects After NATO’s Lisbon Summit.   Mustafa Kibaroglu, Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey

39 NATO’s Defense and Deterrence Posture Review: A French Perspective on Nuclear Issues.  Paul Zajac, first secretary at the French Embassy in Berlin.

42 The Opportunities for NATO in the Deterrence and Defense Posture Review.    PAUL INGRAM, Executive Director, BASIC

To read the full report Click Here


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