US tactical nuclear weapons: a European perspectiveUS tactical nuclear weapons: a European perspective
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Bulletin of the atomic scientists
66(2010):5, p. 65-75
University of Antwerp
The debate over the removal of tacticalweapons is not a simple one; linked with it are the debates over the utility ofNATO and how to reach a global consensus on nuclear disarmament. Advocates of withdrawal view inaction regarding tactical nuclear weapons as just one example of general inertiawithin the alliance; the lack of a serious political discussion inside NATO, they argue, is a cause of concern for the true value of NATO. Belgian author Tom Sauer writes that such a debate has only stalled action, resulting in missed opportunities to remove the weapons from Europe. Looking at the arguments for and against the removal of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, the author writes that the answers to this debate are to be found in the capitals ofNATOmember states. The time is ripe to withdraw all U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe; the arguments of the few opponents do not outweigh the benefits of withdrawal. The political climateÑwith a U.S. president who is personally committed to the nuclear weapons threatÑis also ideal. The question is not if but rather how NATO will change its policy.