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Commentary | 21 March 2012

Giorgio La Malfa and Francesco Calogero Publish Article in the BAS on NATO’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons

ELN Executive Board member, Giorgio La Malfa, and Francesco Calogero published a piece on NATO’s tactical nuclear weapons on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists website on 19 March 2012.

Please click here to go to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists website and read the full article.

Article Highlights

  • With the end of the Cold War, the military justification for tactical weapons in Europe has disappeared — as has the need for a neither-confirm-nor-deny secrecy policy on the details of these weapons.
  • Presumably, if the United States were to remove its tactical weapons from Europe, Russia would move in the same direction. But, today, some NATO host countries of US tactical nuclear weapons are eager to see their withdrawal, while others are emphatic that they stay both for security and symbolic purposes.
  • If NATO were to state in the upcoming Defense and Deterrence Posture Review the exact numbers and locations of its tactical nuclear weapons, a more open, frank, and democratic discussion would unfold on the relevance of these deployments. It would also be a gesture of sincerity toward NATO’s nonproliferation goals.

The opinions articulated above represent the views of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Leadership Network or any of its members. The ELN’s aim is to encourage debates that will help develop Europe’s capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence, and security challenges of our time.