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Recent and upcoming nonproliferation activities, events, and announcements involving the CNS center, staff, and programs.
Updated: Jun 23, 2010
Reducing and Regulating Tactical (Nonstrategic) Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Moving Forward?
A panel discussion held between sessions of the RevCon on May 10, 2010.
The Permanent Mission of Finland to the United States and the Monterey Institute's James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) sponsored an event ""U.S. and Russian Non-Strategic (Tactical) Nuclear Weapons and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty." At the event, held in the lunchtime break between sessions of the 2010 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Conference, CNS experts briefed NPT diplomats, governmental officials, and nongovernmental organizations on its new report "Reducing and Regulating Tactical (Nonstrategic) Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Moving Forward."
The report, part of a series of CNS studies that the Unit for Policy Planning and Research of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has sponsored for several years, examined the recent discussion in the United States, Europe, and Russia over ways to relocate, reduce, and ultimately eliminate nonstrategic nuclear weapons including those that are estimated to still remain in Europe 20 years after the Cold War. In particular, it updated a CNS report released in December "Reducing and Regulating Tactical (Nonstrategic) Nuclear Weapons in Europe," to account for the recently signed New START treaty between the United States and Russia, Russia's new military doctrine, the Obama administration's Nuclear Posture Review, and the results of an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Tallinn, Estonia in late April 2010.
The event panelists.
At the event, chaired by CNS Director William Potter, Dr. Potter placed the current debate in historical context and emphasized the leadership role previously played by Scandinavian states and Germany. He expressed regret that the New Agenda Coalition (NAC) no longer appeared to devote as much priority to the issue and urged NAC members to put forward new proposals. He also suggested that the Review Conference adopt language in its forward-looking component that encourages the nuclear-weapon states to undertake further reductions in non-strategic nuclear weapons on the basis of legally-binding and verifiable agreements" CNS Senior Research Associate Miles Pomper discussed how domestic U.S political pressures and a desire to maintain NATO cohesion amid differences between Western and Eastern Europe seemed to be converging on a NATO policy that would try to shift the onus for progress to Russia by demanding that Russia carry out reciprocal steps for any NATO actions, such as withdrawing nonstrategic weapons from Europe. CNS Senior Research Associate Nikolai Sokov argued that, contrary to common perception, short-range nuclear weapons do not play a significant role in Russian nuclear strategy, but given the domestic political lineup in Russia with regard to these weapons, the NATO lowest common denominator policy would likely lead to a stalemate on the issue, at least in the short to medium term.
A question to the panelists.
CNS experts noted that one possible solution put forward by U.S. officials—a trade of cuts in U.S nondeployed warheads for Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons—might be feasible but would require extensive and groundbreaking negotiations and transparency. A senior Finnish foreign ministry official, Jaakko Laajava, Finland's undersecretary of State, concluded the meeting with an emphasis on the importance of issue to Finland and Scandinavian countries.
Read the Paper
CNS prepared this report with the support of the Unit for Policy Planning and Research of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
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