NTI Discussion Paper – Reducing Nuclear Risks in Europe: A Framework for Action

  • AUTHORNuclear Threat Initiative, Washington DC
  • May 29, 2013

The following is a summary. Click on the adjacent link to download the full report.

In January 2007, George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn wrote the first in a series of essays published in the Wall Street Journal calling for a global effort to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, prevent their spread into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately end them as a threat to the world.

One of the important steps they proposed to reduce nuclear dangers was to start a dialogue, including within NATO and with Russia, on consolidating the nuclear weapons designed for forward deployment to enhance their security, and as a first step toward careful accounting for them and their eventual elimination.

Accomplishing this task will require careful thought and coordinated action within both NATO and Russia, as well as a strategy for engagement between them – the subject of former Senator Sam Nunn's featured essay for this report.

To assist in developing such an approach and as a direct contribution to the ongoing NATO Deterrence and Defense Posture Review (DDPR), the Nuclear Threat Initiative commissioned a series of nine policy papers authored and reviewed by a distinguished group of international experts.

This collection of papers on NATO nuclear policy analyzes policy and force structure options open to NATO members and aims to promote dialogue and new thinking on several key issues and questions, including:

Ÿ Can/should NATO’s nuclear declaratory policy be modified to further reduce the role of nuclear weapons in NATO security policy consistent with the recent changes to U.S. and U.K. declaratory policy?

Ÿ What are the security concerns and related risks associated with NATO’s existing nuclear posture, and how can these concerns and risks be reduced?

Ÿ Are the current nuclear sharing arrangements sustainable in the long term for NATO members, and what are the alternatives that maintain wide participation in nuclear operations and planning?

Ÿ What reassurance measures are required for NATO members and partners consistent with the new NATO Strategic Concept, and what are the benefits and risks involved?

Ÿ What are the next steps in US/NATO-Russia discussions and cooperation on non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNW), missile defense, and nonthreatening conventional force deployments?

Ÿ How does the debate over NATO nuclear policy and NSNW – deployed by both NATO and Russia – relate to Asian security?