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ACTION ALERT: Get US / NATO Nuclear Weapons Out of Europe


May 23, 2012
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & The Acronym Institute

After President Obama called for a nuclear-weapon-free world at the 2010 NATO summit -- and urged a reduction in reliance on nuclear weapons -- NATO members Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands called for US tactical nuclear weapons to be removed from Europe. The US refused. The Cold War ended over two decades ago, yet business as usual continues with more than 200 US nuclear bombs deployed in five European countries under a NATO nuclear sharing agreement.

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6357/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=10765

Take Action:
Get US / NATO Nuclear Weapons Out of Europe

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation



(May 22, 2012) -- The NATO Summit ends today in Chicago, and world leaders will go back to their countries and return to business as usual.

The Cold War ended over two decades ago, yet business as usual continues with over 200 US nuclear bombs in five European countries under a NATO nuclear sharing agreement. These B61 gravity bombs have no conceivable use, their deployment originally justified decades ago by Western concerns about Soviet conventional military superiority in Europe.

Please take a moment to send a message to President Obama, your Senators and Representative, letting them know that you oppose the continued deployment of US nuclear weapons, particularly in other countries.

The United States is planning to spend at least $6 billion on a Life Extension Program for the B61 bombs. It is the only country with nuclear weapons deployed on another country’s territory; all of Russia’s “tactical” nuclear weapons are within its own borders.

The B61 bombs would, under certain circumstances, be turned over to the host countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Turkey) and would be flown by the host country’s pilots to their targets. This clearly violates the spirit of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which prohibits nuclear weapon sharing between countries.

NATO nuclear sharing is a Cold War relic that has no place in the 21st century. Continued deployment of the B61 in NATO countries is provocative and unnecessary. Let President Obama and your Congressional representatives know that this practice must come to an end immediately.

THE LETTER
The Cold War ended over two decades ago, yet business as usual continues with over 200 US nuclear bombs in five European countries under a NATO nuclear sharing agreement. These B61 gravity bombs have no conceivable use; they are provocative and unnecessary.

The United States is planning to spend at least $6 billion on a Life Extension Program for the B61 bombs. It is the only country with nuclear weapons deployed on another country’s territory; all of Russia’s “tactical” nuclear weapons are within its own borders.

The B61 bombs would, under certain circumstances, be turned over to the host countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Turkey) and would be flown by the host country’s pilots to their targets. This clearly violates the spirit of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which prohibits nuclear weapon sharing between countries.

NATO nuclear sharing is a Cold War relic that has no place in the 21st century. I call on you to act now to end NATO nuclear sharing, repatriate the US nuclear weapons in Europe for dismantlement and negotiate with the Russians to eliminate all tactical nuclear weapons.



NATO and Nuclear Weapons
The Acronym Institute

In November 2010, at their Summit meeting in Lisbon, NATO members agreed a new Strategic Concept which will serve as the Alliance's 'roadmap' for the next 10 years. After President Obama made explicit his vision for a nuclear-weapon-free world and the need to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, NATO members Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands called for US tactical nuclear weapons to be removed from Europe.

However, despite much discussion on the subject in the run-up to the release of the Strategic Concept, the new document failed to move with the times saying instead that 'It commits NATO to the goal of creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons - -- but reconfirms that, as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance'.

Nevertheless, there has been growing pressure from European civil society and some NATO governments for discussions on the future of US nuclear weapons in Europe to be undertaken as part of NATO's Defence and Deterrence Posture Review (DDPR). The DDPR was mandated following last year's debates over revising the Strategic Concept, and is scheduled to be completed by May 2012.

NATO States Call for Removal of
US Nuclear Weapons from Europe

In late February 2010, several newspapers reported that five NATO states -- Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway -- plan to call for the removal of all the remaining US nuclear weapons on European soil.

This follows the earlier call by a Belgian 'Gang of Four' in an op-ed piece in the country's national newspaper 'De Standaard', and the adoption last year by the German coalition government of a policy pressing for the removal of US nuclear weapons from Europe.

Here are a selection of articles relating to calls for the removal of US nuclear weapons from Europe:

• NATO, U.S. Said Discussing Removal of Tactical Nukes From Europe, Global Security Newswire, 15 July 2011

• NATO needs to modernize rusty nuclear policy, Paul Meyer, Toronto Star, 18 November 2010

• Germany demands Nato show greater commitment to nuclear disarmament, The Guardian, Ian Traynor, 14 October 2010

• NATO Ponders What to Do with Its Nuclear Weapons, Time magazine, 7 October 2010

• Get rid of tactical nuclear weapons, Nato leaders told, www.guardian.co.uk, 29 September 2010

• In praise of … a nuclear-free Europe, Editorial, The Guardian, 24 February 2010

• EU NATO allies to call for removal of US nuclear weapons, Michael Sorense, Global Crisis News, 24 February 2010

• Burying nuclear relics of the cold war, Anne Penketh, Comment is free, The Guardian, 24 February 2010

• Five NATO states to urge removal of US nuclear arms in Europe, Julian Borger, The Guardian, 22 February 2010

• Five NATO States Want U.S. Nukes Out of Europe, Report Says, Global Security Newswire, 19 February 2010

• Top politicians promote a nuclear-free Europe, Flandersnews.be, 19 February 2010

• Ex ministers urge NATO to scrap nuclear arms, Jakarta Post/Associated Press, 19 February 2010

• Germans press for removal of US nuclear weapons in Europe, Julian Borger, The Guardian, 6 November 2009

Acronym analysis and coverage NATO meetings
• NATO: fiddling with nuclear bombs while the planet burns, by Rebecca Johnson, 6 October 2010

• German Coalition Policy on withdrawal of US nuclear weapons, Martin Butcher, 6 November 2009

• NATO Foreign Ministers Discuss Nuclear Withdrawal, Martin Butcher, December 2009

• NATO Launches Strategic Concept Review, Disarmament News Review, Disarmament Diplomacy, No.91, Summer 2009

• NATO-Russia Relations and Missile Defence, Proliferation in Parliament, Summer 2009

• NATO Nuclear Policy and the Strategic Concept, Proliferation in Parliament, Summer 2009

• Missile Defence on the defensive, Nuclear Non-Proliferation News, Summer 2009

• NATO nuclear policy under pressure, Nuclear Non-Proliferation News, Summer 2009

• NATO-Russia Council meeting, 27 June 2009

• NATO Prepares to Review the Strategic Concept, by Martin Butcher, April 2009

• At the starting blocks: NATO Ministers prepare for Strasbourg-Kehl, by Martin Butcher, March 2009

• The Future of NATO: Discussions at the Munich Security Conference 2009, Martin Butcher, February 2009

• NATO nuclear policy: Opportunities to Strengthen the NPT, January 2009

• The Future of NATO and the 2009 Summit, by Martin Butcher, December 2008

• Nuclear withdrawals from Lakenheath, Nuclear Non-Proliferation News, December 2008

• NATO and Nuclear Weapons, Proliferation in Parliament, March -- July 2008

Background Documents
• Remarks by NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, 7 July 2009

• Remarks by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, 7 July 2009

• Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Grushko interview on NATO, 2 July 2009

• 'Shared Responsibilities: A National Security Strategy for the United Kingdom, IPPR, 30 June 2009

• Letter to the Times by Field Marshal Lord Bramall, General Lord Ramsbotham and General Sir Hugh Beach, 16 January 2009

• NATO at 60: Towards a New Strategic Concept, UK Secretary of State for Defence John Hutton speech, 15 January 2009

• Shared Destinies, IPPR Commission on National Security Interim Report, 27 November 2008

• Strategic Security Blog entries on NATO, including latest figures on US nuclear deployments in Europe

• The Alliance's Strategic Concept Approved by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. on 23rd and 24th April 1999

Articles from Disarmament Diplomacy
• What Price Nuclear Blackmail? General Sir Hugh Beach, Issue No. 88, Summer 2008

• Bucharest Summit: US Missile Defence Bases Continue to Divide NATO, by Nicola Butler and Martin Butcher, Issue No.87, Spring 2008

• NATO, Riga and Beyond, by Martin Butcher, Issue No. 82, Spring 2007

• NPT à la Carte? NATO and Nuclear Non-Proliferation, by Nicola Butler, April 2005

• Deep Divisions over Iraq at NATO's Istanbul Summit, by Nicola Butler, Issue No. 78, July/August 2004

• Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Europe's Redundant WMD by Hugh Beach, Issue No. 77, May/June 2004

• NATO's Istanbul Challenge: Transformation or Irrelevance? by Nicola Butler, Issue No. 77, May/June 2004

• NATO'S Future: To the Greater Middle East and Beyond? by Nicola Butler, Issue No.75, January / February 2004

Related Documents
• President Obama speech on nuclear disarmament, Prague, 5 April 2009
• Joint Statement by Presidents Medvedev and Obama on strategic reductions, 1 April 2009
• See also: Acronym's NATO archive.

(c) 2009 The Acronym Institute.

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