May 13, 2012

In a new Atlantic Council issue brief, authors Lord Robertson, Franklin C. Miller, and Kori Schake urge NATO heads of states to put nuclear issues behind them when they gather in Chicago this week. They argue that it is time to halt the internecine warfare which distracts Western national security experts, and has no obvious result other than to create strains and rifts within NATO. 

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Published today in the framework of the Council’s Chicago summit coverage, the issue brief, “It’s Time to Put the Nuclear Issue Behind Us: The Chicago Summit Has More Urgent Priorities than Nuclear Theology” advocates that a new round of discussions of nuclear policy issues would distract attention from those issues which NATO really needs to address: the growing gap in capabilities between the United States and its NATO allies, managing defense budget cuts, and setting a post-2014 path for Afghanistan, among others. The authors urge NATO to remain open to arms reduction negotiations with Russia, but warn against undertaking new reductions as an incentive to bring Russia to the table. 

The issue brief is published just days before the NATO Chicago summit, where NATO heads of state are expected to approve the recommendations informed by NATO's Deterrence and Defense Posture Review, which were briefed to NATO's foreign and defense ministers at their "jumbo ministerial" in April 2012. 

Lord Robertson is former NATO secretary general, former defense secretary of the United Kingdom, and a member of the Atlantic Council’s International Advisory Board. Franklin C. Miller is a principal at The Scowcroft Group, a former senior director for defense policy and arms control at the National Security Council, and a board director of the Atlantic Council. Kori Schake is a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, a former deputy director for policy planning at the US Department of State, and a member of the Atlantic Council. 

The Atlantic Council’s International Security Program shapes and influences the debate on international security by facilitating dialogue through critical analysis and policy-relevant programming concerning the greatest security challenges facing the United States and the transatlantic community.

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