"NATO Reassurance and Nuclear Reductions: Creating the Conditions" by Hans Binnendijk and Catherine Kelleher
Transatlantic Current, January 2012
"NATO Reassurance and Nuclear Reductions:
Creating the Conditions"
By Hans Binnendijk and Catherine McArdle Kelleher
The NATO Strategic Concept reconfirms the commitment that Article 5 remains fully operative. It also commits the Alliance to the goal of creating conditions for further reductions in nonstrategic nuclear weapons (NSNW). A key issue in making further reductions will be reassuring Allies that doing so can enhance the security of member states, including Central and Eastern European (CEE) Allies.
Future NATO NSNW reductions and reassurance can be undertaken if they are carefully orchestrated, which would involve undertaking a set of balanced steps designed to reassure CEE states; continuing to promote opportunities to reset relations with Russia; and making those systems safe, secure, and sustainable.
In this paper, we undertake an ambitious research effort to examine Article 5 reassurance in creating conditions for further NSNW reductions. This research effort includes a series of interviews with critical leaders in Washington, DC, NATO capitals, and Moscow. The task for NATO, we argue, will be to find the right mix of reassurance for the Allies and reset with Russia to create the conditions for additional NSNW reductions on the part of both NATO and Russia. Measures to reassure NATO Allies might be seen by Russia as assertive and requiring Russian military preparation, including maintenance of their NSNW systems. Measures to build confidence with Russia and mutually reduce NSNW systems might be seen by some Allies as weakening Alliance capabilities or resolve and hence undermining Article 5 reassurance.
Hans Binnendijk is the Director of INSS and the Vice President of Reseach and Applied Learning at National Defense University.
Catherine McArdle Kelleher is Professor Emeritus of Strategic Research at the Naval War College and Senior Fellow in the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.
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