At the November 2010 summit in Lisbon, NATO leaders commissioned a deterrence and defense posture review which, among other things, examines the rationale and requirement for U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe. The review will be presented to NATO leaders at the upcoming summit in Chicago from May 20-21. What questions and perspectives shape NATO’s consideration of its nuclear posture? Given possible changes in NATO forces in the coming decade, are there other steps the alliance should take to maintain a deterrent that reassures its members that their security will be safeguarded?
On April 16, the Arms Control Initiative and Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted a discussion on these issues. The first panel examined European, Russian and American perspectives on the deterrence and defense posture review, as well as arms control options for tactical (non-strategic) nuclear weapons. The second panel looked beyond the Chicago summit, discussing how NATO should address deterrence and reassurance challenges over the coming decade. The event marked the release of the new U.S. Army War College book, completed in cooperation with Dickinson College, Tactical Nuclear Weapons and NATO, and a new Carnegie paper, produced in cooperation with Brookings and the Royal United Services Institute, titled “Looking Beyond the Chicago Summit: U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe and the Future of the Alliance.”
After each panel, participants took audience questions.