US puts NATO’s nukes on negotiation table

Russian Topol long-range missiles at Yushkovo, 50km from Moscow, March 18, 2008.

From Tom Donilon, the Financial Times:  We must address the issue of Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons, which have never been subject to numerical limits. To do this we seek to reduce the role and number of US tactical nuclear weapons, as Russia takes reciprocal measures to reduce its own tactical forces, and also to relocate these away from Nato’s borders. We would also like increased transparency concerning the numbers, locations and types of these tactical forces in Europe.

These new reductions will not be easy. While protecting national security information both sides will need to be able to monitor nuclear weapons in storage and weapons awaiting destruction. This means more demanding verification, to confirm that any future agreements will actually be implemented – and we plan to begin discussions on this with Russia in the near future.

Finally, the US remains committed to an effective missile defence system to defend against emerging missile threats, such as from Iran and North Korea. In Europe our approach was embraced by Nato at the Lisbon summit, and it paves the way for missile defence co-operation between Russia and the US, enhancing the security of both nations, and Europe.

The writer is national security adviser to President Barack Obama.   (photo: AFP)

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