"We emphatically support President Obama’s proposals for new far-reaching disarmament initiatives – including the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world.
We observe with concern the erosion of the international disarmament and arms control architecture. We are convinced that follow-agreements to those treaties that expire have to be negotiated and that the missing ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty or the adapted CFE-Treaty have to be completed.
We will support the conclusion of new disarmament and arms control agreements. We want to use the 2010 NPT review conference to initiate a new dynamic for treaty-based accords.
Against this background, and in the context of the talks on a new Strategic Concept for NATO we will advocate within NATO and towards our
(You can read the german version at the Der Spiegel website.)
This represents a major development in Christian Democrat policy – as Chancellor Merkel’s party has steadfastly defended the small remaining deployment of US nuclear weapons in
The question of these deployments will now have to be raised in the context of the NATO Strategic Concept Review – currently in a research phase as a series of seminars are held exploring the issues that the review must address. Germany is likely to seek withdrawal in the context of an Allied policy, rather than as a unilateral action.
A series of questions are also raised by this new policy. If US nuclear weapons are withdrawn from
It is clear that many NATO states still have security concerns that lead them to continue to rely on a
While the small number of residual free-fall bombs are in no way sufficient to be part of a negotiation with Russia over tactical nuclear weapons, their withdrawal would help open the way for the inclusion of those weapons in future US-Russia arms control talks to which those parties are committed, and which the US wishes to use to involve other nuclear weapons states.
To NATO’s south, there is no nuclear threat. The countries of
NATO nations, as many others, have concerns about
There is still a long way to go. Until recently, the nuclear planning staff at NATO were advocating a widening of the role for nuclear weapons in NATO strategy, mirroring the policies of the Bush administration. That gained no traction with European allies. The German coalitions new policy document is an excellent contribution to the Strategic Concept debate on deterrence and the future of US nuclear weapons in