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Another New START?

Combining Deep Cuts in Strategic and Substrategic Nuclear Arsenals

SWP Comment 2011/C 24, 20.09.2011, 8 Pages Research Areas

After the 2009 elections, the German coalition government promised to work within NATO to ensure that US nuclear weapons in Germany are withdrawn. This position has broad public support and is backed by a joint Bundestag resolution from March 2010 urging the government »to work vigorously« toward the implementation of that goal. But the proposal to withdraw nuclear weapons came both too early and was too ambitious for a 28-nation NATO, which has not yet answered the questions of how to maintain 21st century deterrence with concepts and techniques from the Cold War and how to reconcile deterrence and disarmament. However, the proposal could be turned to advantage if there were to be new negotiations with Moscow that further reduced nuclear arsenals. Such an approach would also fulfill President Barack Obama's obligation to start talks about a reduction of substrategic nuclear weapons before February 2012 by combining deep cuts for all types of nuclear weapons.