As the leaders of NATO’s 28 countries gather this week for their annual summit, they will intone, as usual, their catechism of alliance solidarity. As at previous meetings, they will commit to policy initiatives aimed at better coordinating their collective defense. They may even condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
But none of this is likely to make much of an impression on those who most need to be convinced of the importance of the NATO alliance: the young people in NATO’s member countries.
On average, between a quarter and a third of the populations of NATO member countries is under 25 years of age (in Turkey, the figure is an astounding 42%.) This means that a sizable portion of those whom NATO protects have little or no actual memory of the Berlin Wall coming down, or the end of the Soviet Union or the Balkans coming apart.… Seguir leyendo »
When NATO’s leaders gather in Wales in early September, they will address several issues critical to the alliance, including Russian adventurism in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, members’ contribution to collective defense, the adequacy of individual national defense budgets and plans for supporting the people of Afghanistan. In the course of their deliberations on these issues, however, they also should reaffirm the value to the alliance of the continued presence of the modest number of U.S. nuclear bombs in Europe. We believe this is necessary because we are again hearing calls for the United States to unilaterally withdraw its small arsenal of forward- deployed nuclear bombs.… Seguir leyendo »
In September 1991, President George H.W. Bush announced a series of sweeping measures fundamentally reshaping the American nuclear arsenal. One of them called for all U.S. ground-force tactical nuclear weaponsto be returned from overseas bases and dismantled. Similarly, all tactical nuclear weapons on surface ships and attack submarines, as well as those associated with land-based naval aircraft, were to be withdrawn.
Eight days later, President Mikhail Gorbachev reciprocated, declaring that similar steps would be taken for Soviet nuclear forces.
As a result of these so-called Presidential Nuclear Initiatives, or P.N.I.’s, thousands of nuclear weapons on both sides were ultimately taken out of service and in some cases eliminated altogether — all based on unilateral, parallel actions, and all without an arms control treaty.… Seguir leyendo »
With the new START treaty and the Nuclear Posture Review accomplished, the Obama administration has an enormous opportunity to capitalize on its momentum. It should propose that NATO negotiate with Moscow to reduce the number of short-range nuclear weapons in Europe. Under NATO, there are only about 200 air-delivered short-range nuclear weapons. Russia has more than 5,000 short-range nuclear weapons, which pose a serious proliferation risk even inside Russia, being smaller, more easily portable and with fewer security protections than strategic nuclear forces.
NATO maintains its significantly smaller arsenal in five European countries. However, since the end of the Cold War, the NATO alliance has reduced its nuclear arsenal by around 90 percent.… Seguir leyendo »