Global Zero Commission Calls for U.S., Russia to Remove All Tactical Nuclear Weapons from European Combat Bases
Co-Chairs Amb. Richard Burt, Col. Gen. (Ret.) Victor Esin, Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger and SirMalcolm Rifkind Issue Groundbreaking Report at Munich Security Conference
Briefing Included Images Released by Global Zero of U.S. and Russian European CombatBases Where Tactical Nuclear Weapons May be Deployed
The Global Zero NATO-Russia Commission comprised of 15 eminent American, European and Russian security leaders and experts – and co-chaired by Amb. Richard Burt, Col. Gen. (Ret.) Victor Esin, Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger and Sir Malcolm Rifkind – issued a groundbreaking report at the Munich Security Conference today, calling for the United States and Russia to remove all of their tactical nuclear weapons from combat bases on the European continent.
The briefing included images released by Global Zero of U.S. and Russian combat bases in Europe where tactical nuclear weapons may be deployed and of national storage facilities.
The group noted that, after significant steps in 2009-2010 capped by the ratification of the New START Treaty, progress on nuclear arms reductions has stalled.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind said, “It is the prospect of the momentum towards further major reductions in nuclear weapons grinding to a halt that is the key concern.”
Amb. Richard Burt said, “Removing tactical nuclear weapons from European combat bases is something that the United States and Russia could start working on right away. It would get arms negotiations back on track and open the door to a next round of U.S.-Russian reductions, including both strategic and tactical nuclear weapons.”
The Commission contends that, two decades after the end of the Cold War, U.S. and Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Europe have virtually no military utility, incur significant financial costs and security risks, including terrorist capture, and create political friction between NATO and Russia.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind noted that, as Defense Minister and then Foreign Minister, he approved the elimination of the U.K.’s tactical arsenal in the 1990s at no cost to the nation’s security, saying, “Most Europeans recognize that tactical nuclear weapons were designed for a different age – our challenge is to help persuade the United States and Russia to take a step down the same path.”
The group called on the United States and Russia to begin preparatory discussions immediately on removing tactical nuclear weapons from European combat bases, and to then fold those talks into broader negotiations aimed at reducing their nuclear arsenals to 1,000 total weapons each (including both strategic and tactical weapons).
The Commission believes that U.S. and Russian reductions to such levels would create the conditions for taking the next critical step toward the elimination of all nuclear weaponsworldwide: bringing China and other nuclear weapons countries into the first multilateral nuclear arms negotiations in history.
Col. Gen. (Ret.) Victor Esin said, “This report is aimed at helping policymakers move from rhetoric to practical steps in seeking nuclear elimination. That is why I strongly support its recommendation that the United States and Russia agree to remove all U.S. and Russian tactical nuclear weapons from operational combat bases in Europe.”
The Commission noted that during the ratification debate on the New START Treaty in 2010, Senate Republicans pressed the Obama administration for a commitment to pursue a follow-on negotiation with Russia covering tactical nuclear weapons. In response, President Obama committed to seek such negotiations within one year of the entry into force of the New START Treaty, which will be on February 5th, 2012.
Global Zero will aim to garner support for its proposal from NATO member countries and Russia. NATO is currently undergoing an official review – the Deterrence and Defense Posture Review – which will be unveiled at a NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012.
The Commission’s proposal has already been endorsed by more than 40 political and military leaders from Europe, Russia and the United States, including former prime ministers, foreign ministers, defense ministers, national security advisers and military commanders, and the group is growing quickly.
The press briefing will take place at 4:00 p.m. CET on Friday, February 3rd at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in the Königssaal Room. The Commissioners at the press briefing will include co-chairs Amb. Richard Burt, Col. Gen. (Ret.) Victor Esin, Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger and Sir Malcolm Rifkind, MP, as well as Min. Hikmet Çetin and Col. Gen. (Ret.) Evgeny Maslin.
The Commission co-chairs will brief senior government officials from around the world at the Munich Security Conference at 2:45 p.m. CET on Saturday, February 4th.
The report and images are available at www.globalzero.org/en/nato-russia-commission-report.
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Notes to Editors:
Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons, has grown to 300 leaders, 450,000 citizens and 100 university campus chapters. It has been endorsed by political leaders around the world, with President Obama declaring, “Global Zero will always have a partner in me and my administration.” Its step-by-step plan to eliminate nuclear weapons has been endorsed by leading newspapers, the Financial Times concluding that, “Global Zero’s plan has shown the direction to be travelled; the world’s leaders must now start moving.”
Endorsers of the Global Zero NATO-Russia Commission Report
*As of 9:00PM CET February 2, 2012
Rt. Hon. Margaret Beckett, Member of Parliament, Fmr. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom
Amb. Alexander Bessmertnykh, President, Foreign Policy Association and Fmr. Foreign Minister, The Soviet Union
Rt. Hon. Valdis Birkas, Fmr. Prime Minister, Latvia
Dr. Hans Blix, Fmr. Head, United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission, and Fmr. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Sweden
Prime Min. Gro Brundtland, Fmr. Prime Minister, Norway
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) William F. Burns, Fellow, Army War College, Fmr. Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and Fmr. Special Envoy to Russia for Nuclear Weapons Dismantlement, United States
Amb. Richard Burt, Fmr. United States Chief Negotiator, Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START)
Min. Hikmet Çetin, Fmr. Foreign Minister, Republic of Turkey
Prime Min. Lamberto Dini, Member of the Senate, Fmr. Prime Minister, Fmr. Minister of Justice and Fmr. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Italian Republic
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Vladimir Zinovievich Dvorkin, Main Researcher, Center of International Security, The Institute for World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences
Col. Gen. (Ret.) Victor Esin, Fmr. Chief of Staff of the Strategic Rocket Forces, Russian Federation
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Jean-Paul Huet, Fmr. Commander, L’Unité Française de Vérification, French Republic
Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference and Fmr.
Ambassador of Germany to the United Kingdom and the United States
Amb. Peter Jankowitsch, Fmr. Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Austria
Gen. (Ret.) Anatoly Kulikov, Fmr. Minister of Interior Affairs, Russian Federation
Prime Min. Ruud Lubbers, Fmr. Prime Minister, Minister of State, and Fmr. Minister of Economic Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands
Sen. Mikhail Margelov, Senator and Chairman, Committee for Foreign Affairs, Council of Federation, Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation
Col. Gen. (Ret.) Evgeny Maslin, Fmr. Chief of the Main Directorate, Ministry of Defense, Russian Federation
Gen. (Ret.) Merrill McPeak, Fmr. Chief of Staff, United States Air Force
Rt. Hon. David Miliband, Member of Parliament, Fmr. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom
Gen. (Ret.) Klaus Naumann, Fmr. Chairman, NATO Military Committee
Gen. (Ret.) Bernard Norlain, President, Conseil d’Administration, Committee for the Study of National Defense
Lord David Owen, Member of Parliament, Fmr. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom
Ms. Ana Palacio, Fmr. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Spain
Amb. Thomas Pickering, Fmr. Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations,
Russia and India
Amb. Steven Pifer, Director, Brookings Arms Control Initiative, Fmr. Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine
Min. Paul Quilès, Fmr. Minister of Defense, Transport, Interior and Public Security, Republic of France
Gen. (Ret.) Lord David Ramsbotham, Fmr. Commander Field Army and Inspector General of the Territorial Army, United Kingdom
M. Alain Richard, Fmr. Minister of Defense, French Republic
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, MP, Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee, United Kingdom, Fmr. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Secretary of State for Defence
Prime Min. Michel Rocard, Fmr. Prime Minister, French Republic
Foreign Min. Adam Rotfeld, Fmr. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland
Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, Fmr. Chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany
Gen. (Ret.) John Sheehan, Fmr. Commander-in-Chief, United States Atlantic Command
Dr. Javier Solana, Fmr. Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Fmr. High Representative for the CommonForeign and Security Policy, Fmr. Secretary General of the Council of the European Union and Fmr. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain
Dr. Horst Teltschik, Member of the International Advisory Board, Council on Foreign Relations, Fmr. National Security Advisor, Federal Republic of Germany
Amb. Roland Timberbaev, Fmr. Ambassador of the Soviet Union, Head of the Advisory Board PIR-Center for Policy Studies
Foreign Min. Hans van den Broek, Fmr. European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, and Fmr. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands
Prime Min. Guy Verhofstadt, Member of Parliament, European Union and Fmr. Prime Minister, Kingdom of Belgium
Col. (Ret.) Valery Yarynich, Senior Researcher, Institute for the U.S. and Canada Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Ms. Uta Zapf, Chairperson, Subcommittee for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non Proliferation of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Bundestag, Federal Republic of Germany
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Pavel Zolotarev, Deputy Director, Institute for the U.S. and Canada Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences