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Published on April 10th, 2012 | by Wilbert van der Zeijden

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Exit Strategies; The case for redefining NATO consensus on U.S. TNW

A majority of NATO countries do not explicitly want to keep U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe, Exit Strategies; The case for redefining NATO consensus on U.S. TNW.  looks at ways for the Alliance to achieve consensus on removing the last U.S. weapons from Europe.

As NATO is currently undergoing the Defence and Deterrence Posture Review, IKV Pax Christi would like to contribute to the discussion on the future of U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. The attached report, Exit Strategies; The case for redefining NATO consensus on U.S. TNW, elaborates on the reality that a large proportion of the Alliance does not explicitly favour the continued deployment of U.S. nuclear bombs in Europe.

As illustrated in the Withdrawal Issues report of last year, IKV Pax Christi has found that a majority of NATO alliance members would prefer to see the weapons removed from Europe, albeit under varying conditions. This new report reflects the fact that there is no consensus on keeping the weapons in Europe and reframes the debate with that in mind. Instead of defaulting to something that does not have agreement, the report suggests the Alliance and the national democratic institutions that comprise it, ensure that the Chicago Summit recognizes that a new consensus is emerging, one that requires a change in current nuclear deployments.

In 2010, the last time consensus was tested on NATO nuclear policy, it was agreed that the “supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance”. There was no agreement on the divisive issue of forward deployment, although there was agreement to “ensure the broadest possible participation of Allies in collective defence planning on nuclear roles, in peacetime basing of nuclear forces, and in command, control and consultation arrangements”.

With the forthcoming DDPR, now is the time to ensure that the voices of allies who want a change in current peacetime basing practices are heard. The report “Exit strategies” lays out a strategy that will ensure Alliance stability and at the same time allow for the early end of forward deployment of the U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe.

Download the report: Exit Strategies

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About the Author

Wilbert van der Zeijden is the senior researcher of the Security and DIsarmament team of PAX. Wilbert currently focusses on getting US nuclear weapons out of Europe; WMD out of the Middle East and your savings out of nuclear weapons producing companies. He graduated at the Vrije University in Amsterdam and previously worked for about nine years for the think-tank Transnational Institute, as their Peace and Security Programme coordinator. Wilbert’s research interests include humanitarian disarmament, NATO and European security, toxic legacies of war and developments in international military infrastructure.



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