Posts from June, 2006

NATO Nuclear Policy at Odds with Public Opinion

Almost 70 percent of people in European countries that currently store U.S. nuclear weapons want a Europe free of nuclear weapons, according to an opinion poll published by Greenpeace International. In contrast, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested in an interview with Der Spiegel last November that the Europeans want to keep U.S. nuclear weapons.

Question: “Do You Want Europe to be Free of Nuclear Weapons or Not?”

Background: U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe

Turkish Parliament Debates US Nuclear Weapons At Incirlik Air Base

Deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Turkey was brought up in a debate in the Turkish Parliament today by Turkey’s former Ambassador to the United States, Sukru Elekdag. According to an article in the Turkish paper Hürriyet, Elekdag called attention to a report, US Nuclear Weapons In Europe, which asserts that the U.S. Air Force stores 90 nuclear bombs at the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.

The report was published one year ago, but the initiative by Elekdag, who represents the Republican People’s Party (CHP), is the first time the findings have been brought before the Tuskish Parliament. The Tuskish debate follows calls last year in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands for a withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe, something NATO and the Pentagon have rejected. Elekdag pointed out that nuclear weapons were removed from Greece only a few years ago and that Turkey’s continued allowance of U.S. nuclear bombs at Incirlik is hard to explain to Muslim and Arab neighbors.

WMD Commission Seeks to Revive Disarmament

In a whopper 231-page report published today, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission presented 60 specific recommendations for how to move the nonproliferation and disarmament agenda forward.

The recommendations are familiar to anyone involved in these matters over the past 50 years: reduce the danger of nuclear arsenals; prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; outlaw weapons of mass destruction; etc.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC) was established in 2003 by the Swedish Government acting on a proposal by then United Nations Under-Secretary-General Jayantha Dhanapala to present realistic proposals aimed at the greatest possible reduction of the dangers of weapons of mass destruction. The Commission is chaired by Hans Blix, the former Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), and includes among others William J. Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Jayantha Dhanapala, the former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, and Alexei G. Arbatov of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
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