Project on European
Nuclear Non-Proliferation (PENN)
c/o BITS· Rykestr. 13 · D-10405 Berlin · Germany · Phone: +49-30-446858-0 · Fax: +49-30-4410221
the new edition of the PENN-Newsletter arrives with you at a moment when much is in flux. The newly appointed Bush-Administration in the United States is shaping its initial policies. It is far from clear whether the decisions to be taken in Washington over the next months will complicate or ease dealings with the Clinton-Administrations political leftovers in arms-control, transatlantic relations and NATO-Russia relations. The European Union is busily dealing with healing the internal wounds resulting from negotiating the Nice-Treaty and hopes it can maintain the operational tempo for both deepening and widening the Union. As predicted, NATO and the EU did not succeed in shaping their formal relationship prior to the Clinton-Administration leaving office and will now have to deal with these complicated issues in a quickly developing new environment. In Russia, President Putin continues to pursue an active diplomacy and is challenging the EU over deeper cooperation. Finally, the incoming US Administration conducts in-depth reviews of the US defense policy, nuclear policy and relations with Russia as well as China. They will possibly result in major strategic changes such as a different role for nuclear weapons and traditional arms control. The concept of deterrence itself is likely to undergo substantial change. However, NATO did not take the opportunity to prepare its own input.
Nuclear Policy Under a Bush Administration
As President of the United States, George W. Bush has a choice between two radically different paths. Unfortunately, for the United States and the globe, he seems likely to try to take both, resulting in international confusion and decreased U.S. security.
In one path, the Bush Administration has the opportunity to create a world where nuclear weapons play a much smaller role in U.S. and international security, with greatly reduced arsenals, on lower levels of alert, and enhanced cooperation with Russia and other former adversaries. Given its own internal problems, severe opposition from Congress, and other complications, such a path was practically unavailable to the Clinton Administration, but it is an option for Bush.
On the other path, the United States could pursue a dramatic, unilateralist policy that seeks U.S. freedom of action around the world. Such a Bush Administration could trash the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, attempt to deploy a multi-layer national missile defense, and pursue new, more 'usable' nuclear weapons. Many in Congress would welcome such an approach; whether the Pentagon would back it is less clear.
Yet Bush's major security policy proposal to date endorses both paths: the possibility of reductions and de-alerting for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and a massive missile defense program in an attempt to protect the United States and its allies from attack. The Bush argument is that we need a new kind of deterrence, one that endorses offenses and defenses, at lower levels.
Unfortunately, this ignores the inherent contradiction between the two ideas: Russia will be unwilling to cut its own nuclear arsenal - surely the primary goal of U.S. reductions - if Washington pursues missile defenses.
Resolving this contradiction may be the key foreign policy challenge for the Bush Administration. With almost no personal foreign policy experience, Bush is surrounding himself with officials from earlier administrations, split between Reagan-era hard-liners and moderate proponents of nuclear risk reduction.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld strongly supports missile defenses and calls the ABM Treaty "ancient history." He has also not been a friend of arms control. He also is likely to push for "space dominance," U.S. control over the skies. On the other hand, he has not called for withdrawal from the ABM Treaty. Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell is unlikely to endorse a radical, unilateralist foreign policy approach. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, a Russia expert, is also not perceived as one to support going it alone. Finally, Vice President Dick Cheney, widely perceived as likely to run the Bush Administration foreign policy, was Secretary of Defense for Bush the elder's 1991 nuclear cuts. This team certainly has the experience and gravitas to pursue any course it chooses.
As a whole, much of the Republican party has lost enthusiasm for traditional arms control, despite resounding Reagan-Bush era successes such as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and START I. While the hard-right constituency that opposes all arms control has grown in recent years, a majority appears to favor unilateral steps like those taken by President Bush in 1991.
It seems unlikely that the new Bush Administration will take ANY dramatic steps on nuclear-related issues early in its Administration. In part, this is normal, as new appointees find their feet. More significantly, Congress has mandated a Nuclear Posture Review that is to be completed by December 2001. This review could, if properly directed, take a fundamental look at the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. security, the size and posture of U.S. nuclear forces, and an examination of deterrence itself.
In 1994, the Clinton Administration undertook a similar review but, lacking any real goal or direction, it was stifled by mid-level staff. Given Clinton's debacle over gays in the military and perceived weakness in security issues in general, such an outcome was perhaps inevitable.
George Bush will be under no such constraints. Traditionally, Republican administrations have been far more effective at arms control and nuclear reductions than Democratic ones. It is possible that the Bush Administration will take some fairly long-period of time to consider its options, and decide to pursue nuclear reductions while continuing to develop but not yet deploy missile defenses.
The Nuclear Posture Review will consider the role of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. If countries like Germany and Greece de-emphasize the nuclear weapons in their defense training, it is possible that the United States would reconsider its 150-180 nuclear weapons in Europe. This could be linked to the recent reports of Russia moving tactical nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad.
At the same time, the Bush Administration could pursue dangerous ideas as well, including proposals from some in Congress and the national research laboratories for "mini-nukes," smaller weapons designed to attack buried targets with "minimal" collateral damage.
Fortunately, strong international opposition to U.S. missile defense plans and to proposals for new kinds of nuclear weapons, combined with continuing technical difficulties with the former, may make it difficult for the Bush Administration to develop either idea. At the same time, international support for further nuclear reductions may increase the likelihood of that outcome.
Allied reaction will play a critical role. The Bush Administration is attempting to create a sense of inevitability about missile defenses. However, a combination of no simple answers for the many technical problems faced by NMD and continued resistance from Europe and Russia can make the seemingly inevitable sensibly avoidable. A call from Europe for exploration of cooperative defenses could go far in slowing the missile defense juggernaut.
In sum, President Bush has opportunities. If he seizes the correct ones, he could lead the world to a saner, more cooperative security regime. If not, he could force an international crisis in the non-proliferation regime. SY
EU-NATO Controversy Over EU Autonomy and Access to Capabilities
NATOs Defense Ministers were to the point when they met in early December in Brussels to review the progress of consultations between NATO and the EU on the developing EU crisis management capability. Before the Nice Summit they had stated that consultations were being held on the principle that "nothing was agreed until everything is agreed". Two weeks later, during a meeting of the Alliances North Atlantic Council, Turkey made every effort to block automatic EU access to NATOs military planning capabilities.
When discussing an autonomous European military crisis management capability, NATO and the EU do indeed have different ideas of what autonomy is. While in NATO language this means independence in decision making, but not in implementation, for the EU there is no real autonomy in decision making unless the capabilities to implement decisions including military planning capabilities are unconditionally accessible.
The core dispute is whether NATO should agree to the demands of the EU, who wishes to have guaranteed permanent access to the Alliances planning capabilities when conducting operations. Some non-EU NATO members such as Turkey, and for different reasons the US, would prefer that this access is agreed on a case-by-case basis. At the North Atlantic Council meeting in December, no agreement was reached even though a working group specifically set up to conduct consultations on the modalities for EU access to NATO assets had been meeting for months. The only assets at stake at the moment are NATOs planning capabilities at its military Headquarters (SHAPE). However, these arrangements matter because they can set a precedent for similar arrangements with respect to other military assets such as command, control, communications and intelligence. Regarding the remaining collective assets which still have to be identified, the EU already speaks of a presumption of availability.
Turkey, resentful of the modalities of participation in EU-led missions which do not allow third countries to have a share in the decision to launch an operation, and fearful that the EU might act against its interest, is hoping to build a common front with the new US administration. However, in the midst of a change of administration, it looks as if the US prefers that public attention focuses on Turkey.
However, there is a shortcoming in this strategy. Making access to NATOs planning capabilities dependent on case-by-case approval gives a strong incentive to the EU to build these capabilities by itself and to place them under its own control. This was Frances original intention. It was due to the opposition from other NATO members, notably Britain and Germany, that the EU has decided first to seek guaranteed access to NATOs capabilities. In view of these difficulties, positions might shift. Germanys Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has warned that while it would be preferable to avoid duplication of NATO structures, Turkeys position might force the EU to build a military planning capability of its own. Moreover, EU countries might feel compelled to procure additional military capabilities under its own control instead of within the Alliance as pledged within the Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI). If this happens, Ankaras (and Washingtons) opportunities to influence EU military actions will shrink drastically.
Much will depend on the position taken by the new US administration. A Bush administration reluctant to engage in European crisis-management might be less critical of a truly independent European capability than its predecessor, which was more intent on setting limits for EU action outside NATO.
Ironically, the task of continuing EU-NATO discussions on these contentious arrangements has fallen to the post-neutral Swedish presidency. Swedens approach to security places far more importance on the non-military aspects of EU crisis-management and on collective security organizations than on agreements with an Alliance it does not wish to join.. ON/CP
CEPSD: An Interim Assessment: Lending Substance to the Military Headline Goal
In the last months, the discussions on the institutional reform of the European Union have overshadowed a number of crucial decisions taken in the field of CEPSD.
At the Capabilities Commitment Conference in late November, Member states designated national capabilities to be made available to the EU´s Rapid Reaction Force, substantiating largely the military Headline Goal announced at Helsinki one year ago. The EU had set itself the objective of being able to deploy a force of up to 60,000 troops within 60 days for operations across the full range of Petersberg missions. Member states also committed themselves to upgrade their military capabilities as required for peace operations in accordance with the WEU Audit of Assets released last year. Aimed at identifying shortcomings in European military capabilities for peace operations, this document presents remarkable similarities to its NATO equivalent, the Defence Capabilities Initiative adopted at the Washington Summit in April 1999. According to the Capabilities Commitment Declaration, Member states will improve their capabilities mainly in the areas of command and control, intelligence and strategic air and naval transport capabilities, as well as in the availability, deployability, sustainability and interoperability of troops and assets.
The establishment of the Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) has proved to be controversial. In Britain, it gave rise to harsh criticism from the conservative side. The attention this move has attracted is surprising since there is actually very little new about assigning forces to a European-only structure outside NATO. The same thing existed already under WEU with the name of Forces Answerable to WEU. The only differences are that the RRF should be available at short notice and, most importantly, that this time all post-neutrals are on board. Nothing like a standing European Army has been created. States have merely designated national forces that they would, in principle, agree to make available for a EU-led operation. The set up of the RRF does not imply abandoning any national sovereignty rights. It remains each countrys decision whether to participate in a EU-led mission and what capabilities to assign. Ultimately, member states remain in control of the forces committed.
Initial commitment of forces to the RRF have exceeded the levels indicated in the Headline Goal: while it called for 50,000-60,000 troops, more than 100,000 have been offered, and this without including forces made available by non-EU states. With regard to the remaining capabilities, it is difficult to assess whether they will suffice for the whole range of Petersberg missions because these are not clearly defined. They comprise "humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks [and] tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking". While the notion of humanitarian and rescue tasks is relatively unproblematic, there is no official UN definition of what tasks crisis management consist of. Furthermore, the specification including peacemaking is confusing rather than clarifying, since, according to the Agenda for Peace, peacemaking defines action to bring parties to agreement through peaceful means. UN Under-Secretary General Prendergast has explicitly made it clear that peacemaking excludes the use of force to end hostilities. Peacekeeping cannot be meant because it is defined separately. So what are the tasks of combat forces in peacemaking?
EU-internal institutional arrangements have also been met in accordance with the original time setting calling for the EU to be operational by May 2001. The interim military structures have become permanent, and after the hand over to the EU of the Satellite Centre and the Institute for Security Studies, the transfer of functions from WEU is now completed. However, it is difficult to follow the logic underlying the solution chosen for WEU: It will be entrusted with safeguarding Art. 5 of the Brussels Treaty, maintaining relations with the Parliamentary Assembly, and supporting the activities of the WEU Armaments Group, a separate agency. It remains unclear how an organization deprived of operational capability is supposed to safeguard a mutual defense commitment. CP
Specifying Tasks for Civilian Crisis Management and Conflict Prevention
At the Nice Summit, the EU defined guiding principles and capability requirements for most priority areas in civilian crisis management set out at Feira: strengthening of the rule of law and civilian administration, and police tasks in transition periods.
In the decisions on the CEPSD, a strict priority order is being followed: military capabilities for crisis management come first, civilian capabilities come second. Within civilian capabilities, a police force is the most urgently required element - as Kouchner has repeatedly emphasized and experts teams to help re-establishing penal and civilian administrative system in post-conflict situations follow suit. These capacities will facilitate post-conflict transitions to normality that have much too often taken years, and at the same time will decrease the chances of recurrence to violence.
But the EU should not loose sight of the fact that functioning state institutions are not enough to ensure stability. The next step is to include in its strategy initiatives which directly engage civil society and which facilitate a well-functioning democracy. These measures could be directed at ensuring the existence of independent media, and providing support for NGOs active in peace-building and human rights monitoring. The guidelines submitted by the Secretary General/High Representative (SG/HR) Solana and Commissioner for External Relations Patten already have identified cooperation with other agencies ranging from the UN to the NGOs as an opportunity for accessing valuable expertise and information. The problem with the priority order followed by the EU is that when the elements at the bottom of the list are defined, the funding might already be gone. The EU should not neglect its strength, civilian crisis management, in favor of the military one.
The EU has clearly adopted a conflict preventive approach when designing its capacities for civilian crisis management. The focus in post-conflict reconstruction is not surprising: those who drafted the paper probably had the Balkans in mind. Another reason accounting for the concentration on post-conflict reconstruction is that, in legal terms, it will be much easier for the EU to have access to situations where the conflict has ended than to conflict zones. However, preventive action is also to be taken where crises have not yet erupted or escalated into violent conflict. In view of the wide range and heterogeneity of measures that have been labelled as conflict prevention, in the interest of clarity it would be helpful if the EU would come up with a reference paper defining its particular approach.
Fortunately, the EU has identified where its main difficulty lies, namely in ensuring coherence and effectiveness of policies between organs with different legal personalities - Council and Commission - in the midst of a bureaucratic labyrinth. This problem is addressed both with regard to military crisis management in the framework document presented by the SG/HR and concerning conflict prevention in the joint submission of Patten and Solana mentioned above. However, the EU should consider streamlining existing structures rather than creating more bodies aimed at ensuring co-ordination between them. Merging the positions of SG/HR and Commissioner for External Relations, as the European Parliament proposed recently, would be a feasible way to guarantee co-ordination between military and civilian conflict management, even at the price of sacrificing the purity of the division between pillars. CP
The Swedish Presidency and Crisis Management: Will the Trend Turn Non-Military?
Sweden has long been a leader in promoting conflict prevention and diplomatic resolution to international and intranational conflicts. Following a Swedish-Finnish initiative, crisis management became an EU task with the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997. It was decided that the humanitarian, peacekeeping and peacemaking tasks outlined in the 1992 WEU Petersberg Declaration would be an essential part of EUs developing Common Foreign and Security Policy. Sweden and Finland wanted to emphasize the peacekeeping aspects of EU security cooperation to ward off tendencies towards developing a military alliance based on mutual defense guarantees.
The plan was that an EU crisis management capability would make use of the range of primarily non-military means in seeking to preserve peace and strengthen international security in accordance with the fundamental principles of organizations such as the UN and the OSCE. While emphasising civilian crisis management, it was agreed that a military dimension would also be developed and employed when all other political and diplomatic means to prevent or resolve potential conflicts were exhausted.
The wars in the Balkans provided political impetus for forces within the EU wanting heavier focus on the military dimension of EUs crisis management capability. The development of the civilian and prevention aspects has since then lagged further and further behind. The focus has heavily shifted to develop a military capability to conduct upper end peacekeeping missions such as separation of forces. Progress on putting in place a Euro-force of 60.000 ground troops with the necessary military equipment has proceeded very quickly. The main item on the agenda for the French EU presidency was to get EU states to commit military capabilities and to establish a close relationship with NATO and access to its strategic assets. To French disappointment, NATO member Turkey prevented an agreement on assured access on the grounds that it would not have enough decision-making power in future EU-led operations using NATO equipment.
The Swedish presidency has inherited the task of hammering out a deal with NATO as part of the mandate from the Nice European Council to make the EU operational. Specifically, Sweden has been tasked with:
Will Sweden refocus on civil crisis management and prevention?
Looking at official statements made by the government during 2000 and the work program of the Swedish presidency, it is possible to expect a redoubling of efforts during Spring 2001 to strengthen the non-military dimension of EU crisis management. During a meeting in March 2000, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh and her Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja stressed their common goal of raising the profile of civil aspects of crisis management to that of military measures. They expressed specifically the need for the EU to allocate more resources to the non-military aspects.
When outlining its priorities for its turn into Presidency, Sweden says it will push, among other things, for the following:
The official work program of the Swedish Presidency says very little about the priorities in the crisis management field. However, it stresses that Sweden will prioritize conflict prevention and cooperation with the UN and OSCE, both organizations known for focusing on peacekeeping and conflict prevention rather than military intervention. Interestingly, the program does not mention NATO at all. Apart from holding one military and one non-military seminar during its presidency, Sweden hopes to present a conflict prevention program at the Gothenborg European Council in June.
When Swedish politicians talk about crisis management, they consider conflict prevention and civilian aspects as main components. These components have not been the focus of the development of an EU capability to more actively participate in international relations. Crisis management has more often been interpreted as military crisis management and the components that Sweden sees as important has increasingly ended up on the back burner.
Sweden has stated that a closely integrated civil and military collaboration within the EU Council working groups is especially important for a credible and effective EU crisis management capability. If the Swedish government is to deliver on its rhetoric in the media and official documentation, the development of the EUs crisis management capability will shift focus during 2001. The hope among many EU security observers is that the EU will finally concentrate more on raising its potential to cover lower end peacekeeping tasks, such as observation and verification missions, humanitarian operations, civil-military cooperation and post-conflict missions such as reconciliation and rebuilding of civil society. This new focus would help the EU get back on track developing a balanced approach to crisis management that will make use of a wide spectrum of instruments to prevent and manage conflicts within and outside of Europe. TS
NATO's Paragraph 32 Review: A Missed Opportunity
On 14 December 2000, NATO released its report on options for confidence and security building measures, verification, non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament. Far from signalling any substantial change in underlying nuclear policy, NATO has not taken advantage of this opportunity to facilitate progress on a basic and important political issue. Even the resonance among the allies was rather modest with only a few countries mentioning the report in their ministerial interventions and national press conferences. Contrary to the original intentions of the new report, what has been achieved so far will not bring about any substantial changes in NATO's nuclear policy.
Proposals by Canada and Germany to review NATO's nuclear doctrine were essential for launching what has become known as the Paragraph 32 Review Process. As the most recent NATO concept on arms control dates back to 1989, it seemed likely that the report would discuss nuclear policy options within the broader context of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. However, too many allies do not want a formal review of NATO's nuclear posture and strategy, in particular Great Britain and the United States, whose undersecretary of defence, Walter Slocombe, declared last June: "There is no plan for a comprehensive review of NATO nuclear policy."
Instead of coming to terms with nuclear policy, the report's focus is largely elsewhere. The bulk of the 35-page document deals with past arms control achievements since the Cold War, while the core section on future measures takes up only one third of the document. In this section, NATO proposes to implement "a broader, more comprehensive and more verifiable arms control and disarmament process", thus covering a wide range of topics related to conventional, biological, chemical and nuclear arms control. As for the section on nuclear options, confidence and security building vice versa Russia are the key-issue. The report recommends measures to strengthen the consultation mechanisms established within the framework of the NATO-Russia Founding Act and subsequently the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC). These proposals include a more in-depth dialogue on nuclear forces issues, mutual exchange of information about the state of nuclear readiness, safety provisions and nuclear weapons features and a reciprocal exchange of data on Russian and U.S. sub-strategic forces.
Sources at NATO indicate that there is a classified version of the report that features up to ten pages more than the public version. There are three hints on what might be the differences between these two versions:
The first hint of NATO's hidden arms control agenda is given in the communiqué of the NAC ministerial meeting. It reads: "Given the need to reduce the uncertainties surrounding sub-strategic nuclear weapons in Russia, we believe that a reaffirmation and perhaps codification of the 1991/92 Presidential Initiatives might be a first, but not exhaustive, step in this direction." Unlike the communiqué, the report's public version does not indicate that the 1991/92 informal regime might be strengthened, widened or even codified, suggesting that the report's classified version might carry more details on this.
Secondly, the report concludes that Nuclear Weapons Free Zones "increased the number of Non-Nuclear Weapon States eligible for legally binding negative security assurances from all five nuclear weapon states to almost 100". This is significant, since the NWS have argued that negative security assurances are politically, but not legally binding. This raises the question, whether the new language went into the report by error or whether it indicates a policy change on which the classified version contains additional information.
Finally, the focus on confidence and security building measures shows that the number, location, safety and security of Russian sub-strategic weapons continue to be of major concern for NATO. As there is some dissent among the Allies about the issues of nuclear transparency and sub-strategic forces in Europe, the classified version of the report might contain a description of conflicting allied views. Some NATO members may have argued that the Alliance is doing too little to allow for real progress on mutual nuclear transparency and nuclear disarmament.
As for nuclear non-proliferation, the report argues that "no evidence was found that proliferant nations acquire nuclear capabilities based on the fact that NATO maintains nuclear weapons in Europe [ ]. NATO's residual sub-strategic nuclear arsenal [ ] is not responsible for nuclear proliferation". This argument is a weak attempt by NATO to defend itself against criticism that its nuclear sharing violates the NPT. At the same time it is hypocritical since NATO insists that its European nuclear deterrent is indispensable, while telling non-member states not to acquire such weapons. It demonstrates the traditional dichotomy within NATO's understanding of nuclear non-proliferation. On one hand, NATO makes an effort committing itself to non-proliferation agreements such as the results of the 2000 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, including the practical measures for strengthening the implementation of article VI of the treaty. On the other hand, the Alliances report is remarkably silent about how to turn them into concrete plans and measures. It does not even address the contradictions between the NPT Review results and current NATO practice. Thus a new justification of the future relevance of nuclear forces is placed side by side with NATO's support for the "unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals" agreed in the final document of the NPT Review Conference.
Obviously, the options discussed in NATOs public review will prove insufficient to meet the challenges the alliance will face in the not too distant future. A resolution adopted by the NATO-Parliamentary Assembly suggests that many NATO members are prepared to take additional steps. During their Berlin meeting, the Parliamentarians asked NATO and the national governments to "work toward elimination of tactical nuclear weapons" and to "work actively and with urgency on implementing the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the decisions taken during the Non-Proliferation Treaty review in May 2000 and to ensure that these commitments form part of the Alliances work after the conclusion of the study on options for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation; and that the results of this review shall be published."
NATOs Art. 32 review process thus misses a major opportunity. Instead of providing the incoming new US-administration with constructive input and new ideas for strengthening the non-proliferation regime and nuclear arms-control, NATO decided to wait for the results of the Nuclear Posture Review to be conducted by the new U.S. administration. Thus, NATOs European members might soon face another surprise similar to the initiative for mutual unilateral nuclear reductions launched by George Bush in 1991. MN
Bundeswehr Plans to End Nuclear Sharing
As part of its ongoing reform process, the German Bundeswehr obvioulsy plans to give up the capability to employ US nuclear weapons stored in Germany. This step will increase the likelihood that these weapons will be finally withdrawn.
As of today, the German Air Force has three nuclear capable wings, based at Memmingen, Noervenich and Buechel airbases. However, only the Buechel base is currently actively involved in NATO nuclear capabilities. Like Buechel, Noervenich and Memmingen technically can host US nuclear weapons, however they have care-taker status meaning that weapons are no longer deployed and crews fo not undergo nuclear training.
While announcing its most recent round of base-closure plans, the Bundeswehr has revealed that it will close the Memmingen airbase. Buechel and Noervenich are both scheduled to receive the fighter-bomber version of the Eurofighter beginning in 2007. Now, it is not planned that the Eurofighter will be a dual-capable aircraft. Britain was the only partner in the Eurofighter project which was interested in making the plane capable of delivering nuclear weapons. However, it was finally decided to retire all air-launched nuclear systems and so dual capable aircraft are no longer needed.
This decision allows both the German and the US Air Force to reduce a significant number of staff. The US Munition Special Support Squadron (MUNSS), taking care of the weapons at Buechel airbase, employs more than 100 specialists. The German Air Force will save money from eliminating outside perimeter security personnel.
In an article published in the October 2000 PENN-Newsletter and in a December 2000 Policy Note BITS suggested that NATO's non-nuclear countries should deliberately decide to give up the capability to use US nuclear weapons in times of war. ON
Nuclear Weapons removed from Araxos?
On 18 Januar 2001, Athens News featured a surprise story. The paper reported that the last eleven nuclear warheads stored at Araxos air base in Greece had been removed and transported to Naples in Italy. Since the 1960ies, U.S. nuclear weapons have been deployed on Greek soil, but Greece never officially admitted to these deployments. NATO representatives and Greek government officials refused to comment on the report, which is illustrated by a photo of a U.S. military truck-trailer-transporter carrying a vehicle but hardly identifiable nuclear weapons containers.
The weapons that were possibly withdrawn from Araxos were B-61 bombs, the only type of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons currently deployed in Europe. They were kept under custody of the 731th Munitions Support Squadron (MUNSS) and were to be delivered by Greek operated A-7E nuclear aircraft based in Araxos.
If the weapons were removed, it could have been for either technical or political reasons. On the technical side, it might have been necessary to begin replacing the bombs and/or the aircraft at Araxos. On the political side, a further restructuring and reduction of NATOs nuclear posture might be underway. Historically, NATO has announced such steps only after completion. ON/MN
A French Christmas Present
Just two days before the years end, the French government demonstrated its long-term commitment to nuclear deterrence. On December 28 a contract worth DM 7.3 billion contract was concluded with EADS to develop and produce the new generation M51 Sea Launched Ballistic Missile for Frances primary deterrent, the countrys submarines. Only one day later, the same company was awarded a contract to develop the ASMP-A medium range air-launched missile. This contract is worth EUR 228.67 million. Both contracts will be worked on by Aerospatiale Matra Missiles, which forms part of EADS, Europes new aerospace giant.
Within two days, France gave the go-ahead to build an all new generation of nuclear delivery vehicles systems for all remaining components of its nuclear forces, ensuring that France has a modern nuclear capability for the next forty to fifty years to come.
The ASMP-A missile will enter trials in 2007 or 2008. Fielding is planned for 2011 aboard both the Navy and Air Force versions the Rafale aircraft which are scheduled to replace both the Air Forces Mirage 2000N and the Navys Super Etendard aircraft. Contrary to the in-service sub-sonic ASMP, ASMP-A will be a supersonic missile cruising at Mach 3+ at high altitudes and at Mach 2+ at low altitudes. The range of the new missile is said to be some 100 - 500 kilometers, depending on launch altitude, but no reliable official figures have yet been published. It is planned to equip the missile with an all new nuclear warhead. Flight demonstrations of the ASMP-A airframe will begin in 2002. The ramjet engine (VESTA) is in development under a separate contract since 1996 for use with both the ASMP-A and the anti-ship-missile ANF.
The M51 SLBM will have a range of 6.000 km (current M45 missiles have a range of 4.000 km) and will be armed with a new updated nuclear warheads (TNN, Tête Nucleaire Nouvelle or TNO, Tête Nucleaire Oceanique). This warhead will be the first to be developed without live testing. The M51 missile will be first deployed on the fourth and final Le Triumphant class ballistic missile submarine, to enter service in 2007 or later.
Recently, France proved reluctant to join NATOs other nuclear powers in their support for a compromise with the New Agenda Coalition during the 2000 NPT Review Conference and for the New Agenda Coalition resolution, presented at the UN General Assembly. ON
U.K. Nukes Overseas
Great Britain deployed tactical nuclear weapons in Southern Europe during the Cold War, as Richard Moore reports in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Similar plans were made also for South East Asia. In 1960, V-bombers and Canberra aircraft were based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus including a permanent storage facility for 32 Red Beard tactical fission bombs at nearby Cape Gate. As these weapons were replaced with new WE-177 bombs in the late 1960's, transit handling facilities for nuclear weapons were created at airfields in Oman and Bahrain. Britain maintained its nuclear presence in Cyprus until 1975, when all nuclear weapons were withdrawn after the Greek-Turkish war.
The Macmillan administration also made plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons at RAF Tengah in Singapore in the early 1960's. While the RAF squadrons in Cyprus were to be used in case of global war between Warsaw Pact countries and NATO members, one reason for nuclear deployment in South East Asia was to strengthen regional defense in the event of a limited war between SEATO countries and China. However, it is doubtful whether live nuclear weapons were actually stored in Tengah, although nuclear-capable bombers were sent there temporarily between 1963 and 1966.
Another motivation for Britain's nuclear presence in South East Asia was probably competition with U.S. nuclear activities in that region, although traditionally Britain and the U.S. enjoyed close nuclear cooperation during the Cold War. All British nuclear weapons tests after 1962, for example, were conducted at the Nevada test range. The RAF also had a number of cooperation arrangements for wartime access to U.S. tactical nuclear weapons that were deployed in Europe. Starting in the late 1950's, British Canberras based in West Germany were capable of delivering U.S. nuclear weapons Mk-7 and later Mk-43 bombs.
In spite of its reluctance to supply information about nuclear weapons during the Cold War, the British government has been conscious of the risks and political sensitivities that result from nuclear deployments outside the U.K. According to Moore, only a relatively limited number of nuclear weapons were stored overseas, that is a total of 75 weapons. MN
Fact or Fiction:? Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Kaliningrad
On 3 January 2001, the Washington Times reported that Russia had moved an unknown number of tactical nuclear weapons to a military base in Kaliningrad. The report said that U.S. military intelligence detected the alleged transfer in June 2000, but did not report the information to government officials until December. The missiles involved were supposed to be Tochkas, better known as SS-21 Scarab, a single-stage, tactical-ballistic missile with a maximum range of 120 km. U.S. defense and foreign ministry spokesmen refused to confirm or deny the deployment.
President Putin described the American intelligence reports as "rubbish", while the commander of the Russian Baltic Sea fleet, Admiral Yegorov, called them "a New Year's joke". As for the Baltic republics, representatives of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia reacted carefully to the Washington Times' report, urging for an independent investigation into the claim. Lithuanian Defense Minister Linkevicius told AP that he can not "see any reason for Russia's trying to aggravate the situation in the Baltic region".
In a non-binding set of arrangements with the Bush administration in 1991, Russia has agreed to withdraw land-based and naval tactical nuclear weapons from active service. Equipping the Russian armed forces in Kaliningrad with tactical weapons would be a violation of this regime. There is no military reason either for re-nuclearizing a single Russian Army unit or for deploying battlefield nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad which could do nothing than nuke the Polish countryside.
However, whether or not any nuclear weapons have been actually transferred to Kaliningrad may not be the most important aspect of the story: Why did the military intelligence community leak this information just before George Bush's presidential inauguration? Why was there a mysterious delay of months before the Clinton administration was informed? It was again the Washington Times that revealed the possible intentions in an editorial a few days later: "The aloofness with which the White House is treating the Kaliningrad scare is symptomatic of the administration's historic permissiveness with the Kremlin. The Clinton administration officials have tried to downplay its significance." This foreshadows what line the U.S. conservatives expect the new Republican administration to take on Russia. MN
WEU-Assembly Report Suggests Discussions on European Deterrent
"The issue of a European deterrent is one that must be raised in the context of European cooperation over nuclear non-proliferation", concludes Dieter Schloten, the Rapporteur of the Defense Committee of the WEU-Assembly. Schloten, a German Social Democrat, suggests that London and Paris open their bilateral dialogue on nuclear issues "to non-nuclear countries, primarily Germany, which could thus take part in discussions without calling into question the sovereignty of the two nuclear weapon-states over their respective deterrents. This wider forum would thus help to develop a common view of nuclear issues and enable a consensus to form on the role of nuclear weapons in reorganizing European Security". These remarks are part of Schlotens report on "Nuclear Armaments Control The Issues Involved and Prospects for the Common European Security and Defense Policy", approved during the autumn session of the WEU-Assembly which might be renamed the "European Security and Defense Assembly". ON
As has been pointed out before one of the defining moments for our activities were the NATO ministerials which took place in December 2000. Since the Netherlands is a nuclear co-user state, meaning that it takes an active part in the nuclear policies of NATO, the so-called 'paragraph 32 report' presented to the NATO foreign ministers meeting in mid-December was of some interest to us. The Netherlands government has claimed that it played an active role in persuading the Nuclear Weapons States to support the final document of the NPT RevCon in May 2000, along with the other states described as the 'NATO five' (Germany, Norway, Italy and Belgium). In November all the NATO member states (except France, which abstained) voted for the New Agenda Group resolution at the United Nations General Assembly, albeit in weakened form.
Hence the precise nature of the final product of the 'paragraph 32 process' and the position taken by the Netherlands in this attracted our interest and activities. In a number of briefings to parliament, articles in various papers and magazines we pointed out the basic contradiction between the continued adherence to NATO nuclear policy and the promises made in the document and resolution referred to above. In fact, it was the core part of a conference we organized in the Dutch parliament on 3 November, together with the Parliamentarians for Global Action (New York) and the IPPNW-Netherlands. The meeting was attended by parliamentarians from six countries, diplomats from eighteen embassies including those of the USA, the Russian Federation, Germany, Canada, Belgium and others, and the NGO community in the Netherlands. (The report can still be ordered from our office - firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The most interesting part of this conference was the presentation made by NATO officials Mr. Krueger, head of the Nuclear Policy Section at NATO and Mr. Whitehouse, head of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Centre, who informed the participants about NATO policy. Interestingly, Mr. Krueger stated that "when we talk about a revision of NATO nuclear policy that (again) would be a long-term prospect". We circulated the report of this conference to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which met in Berlin two weeks later, as well as to the missions to the Geneva Conference on Disarmament and numerous other diplomats, officials, parliamentarians and NGO's in a number of NATO countries.
Mr. Kruegers words were confirmed in December, when partial publication of the para 32 report concentrated especially on transparency and confidence and security building measures. This had indeed already been announced by Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, van Aartsen, before parliament last september. Interestingly, an entire section of the report (para 103-106) describes the support of the Alliance for the Non-Proliferation Treaty. At the same time paragraph 72 quoted the 1999 Strategic Concept, which states that the Alliance would maintain nuclear forces in Europe. That is, the old contradiction in NATO policy remained. The report was presented to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in December. The question is whether the ministers actually put it on the agenda of the meeting or at least drew attention to it. Canada and Norway appear to have done so, the Dutch minister had been briefed to do so: whether he did so remains a question of conjuncture. In any case it is unclear whether there will be any practical consequences in the policies of the NATO member states as a result of the report.
Hence it is of considerable importance that the activities of the international anti-nuclear weapons movement be continued. Over the last few months Volkel nuclear base in Holland has been the target of numerous visits by 'inspection teams' of activists who continue to gain press attention for this. In October three members of parliament (Hoekema, Harrewijn and van Bommel) attended a public rally outside the entrance to the base. Other organizations continued their long road through the Dutch courts to call on the government to account for what they consider an illegal act: allowing Dutch nuclear weapons on Dutch soil. Yet others have continued vigils outside parliament and written numerous letters to the responsible ministers, the Prime Minister and Members of Parliament. Some have also approached parliamentarians and governmental officials directly.
For some time it has also been clear that there is a lot of potential interest in Holland for the various Star Wars programs. There is scepticism about these programs amongst most political parties and unease in government. The US National Missile Defense program and the related Theater Missile Defense programs, in which Holland and other NATO member states are already involved, will certainly be gaining our attention for the coming months. Finally, we are now in the preparatory stages of the Dutch elections next year. Our aim is to make nuclear weapons and related issues key points in the party programs. A number of activities to achieve this will be taking place this year. KK
Helping NATO Harmonize its Nuclear Policy With the 2000 NPT Review Final Document Without Appeasing It
In the first article entitled NATOs Arms Control Review - Options for Change in issue No. 12/October 2000 of the PENN Newsletter, Otfried Nassauer made the following proposal: "NATO should consider to introduce the Alliances 1990 London language perceiving nuclear weapons as weapons of last resort. To make the meaning of this term perfectly clear, it should be defined as an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a (member) State would be at stake. This language is modeled after the single case of nuclear use or threat, which was not declared illegal by the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice in 1996."
As Chair of World Court Project UK (WCPUK), I have strong concerns about this, which I belatedly expressed to Otfried after seeing that he had repeated it at the seminar in The Hague on 3 November 2000 on Non-Proliferation Treaty and NATO Nuclear Policy organised by IPPNW-Netherlands and PENN (see its report page 30). There he amplified his thinking as follows: "NATO could make a substantial contribution to further reduce the role of nuclear weapons by describing it in a different way. In 1990 the Alliance described nuclear weapons as weapons of last resort. This language was helpful. It made it clear that nuclear weapons had a role in deterrence but no longer in nuclear warfighting. Today the Alliance should re-adopt the London language. In addition it should describe what last resort means. The Alliance could combine the last resort language with the results of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. If NATO would describe nuclear weapons as weapons of last resort the use of which would only be considered if the very existence of an Alliance member was at stake, this would represent clear language and a change for the better. It would clearly state that the Alliance would consider using nuclear weapons only under the specific circumstances which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) did not agree to be clearly illegal." Following a spirited email debate, Otfried gallantly invited me to summarise my objections in this article, for which I thank him.
My basic concern is that, apart from failing to harmonise NATO nuclear policy with the 2000 NPT Review final document and condoning nuclear deterrence, this would seriously misrepresent and undermine the ICJ Opinion. Otfrieds presentation of the Opinion is dangerously incomplete and misleading, because it implies that NATO could assume that such use is therefore legal. Otfrieds response to me was that he was unconcerned because he had assumed that no-one would try to argue that what is not declared illegal is automatically legal. However, the NATO nuclear weapon states (NWS) argued precisely this way at the ICJ Oral proceedings in 1995!
Offering such an interim step for NATO would play into its hands, and dissipate the political will needed for any serious shift to a non-nuclear security policy. By allowing NATO "last resort", Otfried is not only conceding acceptance of nuclear deterrence (which the New Agenda group of states does not), but also letting NATO off the hook that there is a fundamental contradiction between their nuclear policy and the NPT Review document. What I wanted to see in NATOs December 2000 report on the paragraph 32 process was an acknowledgement that the NPT Review final document had presented NATO with a new situation, and that therefore NATO would be considering how to respond before the 2005 Review Conference. However, I was not surprised that there was no such acknowledgement.
Otfrieds proposal is also dangerous because again, it plays into NATO's hands by giving it a way to argue that it is complying with the ICJ Opinion (hitherto NATO has simply ignored it). If NATO is allowed "last resort", this effectively concedes that the ICJ Opinion can be interpreted in a way which allows NATO to continue its nuclear policy unchanged. Instead, NATO should be challenged to test its current nuclear policy against the Opinion as a whole: there is no doubt that it fails.
Of course it will be difficult to shake NATO out of its state of denial over the contradiction, because of the likelihood of a "dialogue of the deaf" about interpretation of the NPT Review final document. However, I believe the moment has arrived when we should keep our demands simple and not try to appease NATO any more. After all, NATO includes the three so-called democracies among the NWS, and its military advantage and lack of immediate threat offer the greatest potential for movement.
Rather than trying to offer NATO interim steps which do not fundamentally disturb its nuclear policy, WCPUK wants to focus on (for example) de-alerting all nuclear forces, and generating enough political will to get Blair - assuming he wins this year's election to announce before the 2005 NPT Review Conference that the UK will not replace Trident. That would sensationally change the nuclear debate overnight, as the first of the recognised NWS would have signalled that nuclear weapons had become a liability in terms of security, the law and public opinion. RG
Some Clarifications on PENN-Newsletter No12 :NATOs Arms Control Review - Options for Change:
In PENN-Newsletter No. 12 I discussed NATOs Options for Change during the Alliances Arms Control Review. The article outlined a number of possible changes having the potential to be realized in short-term and short of a full revision of NATOs nuclear strategy. It was not and was not intended to be a fully fledged criticism of the Alliances nuclear strategy and posture.
One suggestion made, reads: NATO should consider to reintroduce the Alliances 1990 London language describing nuclear weapons as "weapons of last resort". To make the meaning of this term perfectly clear, it should be defined as "an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a (member) State would be at stake". This language is modeled after the single case of nuclear use or threat which was not declared illegal by the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice in 1996.
Rob Green pointed out to me to a possible misinterpretation, for which I am grateful. The suggestion does not imply that either the ICJ declared or I would be of the opinion that the threat of use or the use of nuclear weapons in such extreme circumstances would be legal. Nor would it be legal in every case of self-defense. The fact that the ICJ could not unanimously agree that such a threat would be always and outrightly illegal does not allow for the reverse conclusion that it is legal. This argument does not meet the most basic principles of logic. However, I accept that I overlooked the fact that some countries base their international behaviour and even their legal system on the idea that "everything is allowed, unless it is outright forbidden."
The purpose of my proposal is twofold. Firstly, given that NATO will not give up nuclear deterrence in the near future, the Alliance should cease to ignore the ICJ Advisory Opinion and publicly accept that NATOs nuclear policy should be modified accordingly. Secondly, NATO should further reduce the role of nuclear weapons.
Indeed, no short-term step will bring NATO-policy into full compliance with either the results of the 2000 NPT-Review Conference or the IJC Advisory Opinion. However, it would create an important hurdle against the most dangerous current development in the Alliances nuclear strategy. The Alliance keeps the option to widen the role of nuclear weapons and to use them (or threaten to use them) as a means of fighting the owners of all weapons of mass destruction. Many European NATO members are concerned about this development which re-opens the option of assigning a warfighting role to NATO nuclear weapons. Rob Greens critique does not offer any alternative obstacle against such a development. Unless he wins his argument over declaring deterrence illegal per se and unless the nuclear weapon states fully agree with him, his line of argument offers no means to prohibit the reintroduction of a warfighting role for nuclear weapons in NATOs nuclear doctrine.
I agree that there is a fundamental contradiction between NATOs nuclear policy and the NPT Review document. However, I disagree with Rob about the likely short and medium-term future developments and thus the character of the policy proposals to be made. My suggestions were based on the assumption that NATO will not dismiss deterrence and thus constructive ideas are needed for the period of time, while NATO and the NWS still stick to deterrence. Such ideas can only be realistic if they assume that deterrence will continue to exist for a while. Indeed, one can conclude from Robs argument that nothing should be proposed that in a worst case could be interpreted as "conceding acceptance of nuclear deterrence". However, one should be clear about the logical consequence: that no concrete step of nuclear disarmament short of the elimination of nuclear weapons can be proposed. Anything short of abolition can be interpreted as "conceding acceptance of nuclear deterrence". If Rob wants to focus, for example, on de-alerting all nuclear forces, this suggestion must be subject to the same critique. De-alerting does not "fundamentally disturb (NATOs) nuclear policy". According to Robs argument, this is also "dangerous" because "it plays into NATOs hands".
The Nuclear Weapon States will neither eliminate their nuclear weapons nor nuclear deterrence in the near future. Thus for quite a while there is still a need for constructive steps that help to reduce the role and numbers of nuclear weapons. ON
A BITS-policy note written by Otfried Nassauer and Markus Nitschke argues that non-nuclear NATO members should declare the wartime option obsolete to use U.S. nuclear weapons under nuclear sharing arrangements. It argues that the political and military reasoning, which led to equipping non-nuclear Allies with a capability to use nuclear weapons 30-40 years ago, is no longer valid. In parts it even puts the credibility of NATOs declared policies under risk. The German language paper was prepared in December 2000 in occasion of the North Atlantic Council meeting and is available in print as well as from the BITS homepage: BITS Policy Note 00.7
Theresa Hitchens, Research Director of BASIC, has written both an assessment of and suggestions for the incoming Bush-administration giving new emphasis to nuclear arms control. Entitled "The U.S. Nuclear Debate: Issues of Concern. Mini-nukes, Testing, and National Missile Defense", it has been published as BASIC Paper No. 35 and will be soon available on www.basicint.org. Theresas paper is an excellent supplementary reading to Stephen Youngs article in this PENN-Newsletter.
"Humanitarian Intervention, NATO and International Law", BITS Research Report 00.4 prepared by Clara Portela, discusses the question whether a right of Humanitarian Intervention can and should win legitimacy in view of recent developments, including NATOs unauthorized action in Kosovo. The findings of this report are of special importance for future discussions about strengthening NATO-Russia relations.
"The European Unions Common Foreign, Security and Defence Policy", BITS Research Report 00.3 written by Denise Groves, takes stock of the latest developments in building a Common European Security and Defense Policy. It outlines a series of important policy alternatives, the EU will have to cope with while trying to create an autonomous crisis-management capability.
Jürgen Wagner has prepared a German language paper on the consequences of the Kosovo intervention for NATO-Russia relations entitled "Die Auswirkungen des NATO-Krieges gegen Jugoslawien auf die Beziehungen zwischen der NATO und Rußland", BITS Research Note 00.8.
Finally, wed like to direct your attention to three documents, which will probably have a strong influence on the Bush-administrations nuclear policy: First, a prominent study group convened by Keith B. Paynes National Institute for Public Policy in January 2001 has published a two-volume report entitled "Rationale and Requirements for U.S. Nuclear Forces and Arms Control".. In our judgement it is a must read and available on www.nipp.org. Two elder reports provide additional background: Keith B. Paynes book on "Deterrence in the Second Nuclear Age" (1996, University Press of Kentucky) and a 1998 Joint Report by researchers from the National Defense University and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory entitled "U.S. Nuclear Policy in the 21st Century."
www.bits.de The BITS-Homepage is Online
To us it is somewhat like a small miracle. Our providers have finally worked out all their problems. The German internet bureaucracy has finally done its job. And thus, the BITS homepage can now be found under the right address: www.bits.de. Our interim page, hosted under www.bitsberlin.de, will still be maintained for some time. However, once the main page has proven as reliable, we will shut the interim page down.
Within a few weeks BITS will put another database online the CESD-Policy Archive. The new archive will initially provide readers with most available primary sources on the Common European Security and Defense Policy. In a second step links to dozens of parliamentary reports, studies, research reports and other sources of information will be made available. For those interested in EU Security and Defense policy it will be a great, if not unique source of information.
BITS would like to thank the W. Alton Jones Foundation for its generous support for the PENN program for the fifth year.
ViSdP / Responsibility at BITS: Otfried Nassauer (ON), Roman Michaels and authors indicated: Rob Green (RG) - World Court Project UK, Karel Koster (KK) - Working Group Eurobomb/PENN Netherlands, Markus Nitschke (MN) - BITS, Clara Portela (CP) - BITS, Thomas Sköld (TS) - Center for European Security and Disarmament (CESD), Stephen Young (SY) - Union of Concerned Scientists.