Declaration: NATO strategy and missile defence

PARIS COUNCIL: global economy - climate change - resolution of conflicts, 15-16 November 2010


NATO’s new Strategic Concept

  • November promises to be a watershed month for US-NATO-Russia issues. The US Senate may vote on the New START treaty after it returns on 15 November and the NATO Lisbon Summit on 19-20 November will address both nuclear weapons and regional missile defence. After that, President Obama has declared that he is aiming for an agreement with Russia covering strategic and tactical weapons, and NATO may launch a year-long review of its nuclear and missile defence policies.
  • The SI Council calls for both the US Senate and the Russian Duma to ratify the New Start Treaty as soon as possible to fulfill this important step in the disarmament process between the United States and Russia.
  • The SI Council asks NATO to use the development of a new Strategic Concept to support President Obama’s drive for multilateral nuclear disarmament. NATO needs to respond to the new nuclear arms control agenda as outlined by US President Barack Obama. The new Strategic Concept includes for the first time, at the insistence of Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Norway and Germany, calls for a nuclear disarmament.
  • The SI Council calls for urgent changes to NATO nuclear policy in the run up to the Lisbon Summit, and for serious attempts to engage Russia on a range of security issues from non-strategic nuclear weapons to ballistic missile defence. The alliance must decide if NATO is going to retain the status-quo by keeping its weapons for deterrence, or if NATO is finally going to give priority to arms control and disarmament.


For a new arms control agreement on missile defence

  • The SI Council hopes that the Russia-NATO Council summit due to be held in November in Lisbon will make clear the situation regarding the European missile defence plan. The SI Council urges NATO to take the Russian concerns into account, and reiterates that Russia should be allowed an active involvement in the shaping of missile defence.
  • NATO and Russia should work together to develop models for a combined NATO-Russia missile defence architecture. A new arms race in this area, which is leading to new uncertainties, must be prevented.
  • We need a new arms control agreement to limit missile defence (ABM Treaty), which should cover as many regions of the world as possible.
  • It is also important for both sides to restore and eventually modernise the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, from which Russia has suspended its participation.


In particular, the SI Council calls for:

  • A further reduction and consolidation of the 200 US non-strategic nuclear weapons stationed in Europe;
  • A change to NATO’s declaratory policy to make clear that the fundamental purpose of NATO’s nuclear weapons is only to deter nuclear attacks and not to deter a wider range of non-nuclear threats;
  • NATO’s engagement with Russia for the verifiable reduction and consolidation of non-strategic nuclear weapons across the whole of Europe;
  • The retention and updating of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty and for NATO to work for Russia’s return to this treaty regime;
  • Use of the NATO-Russia Council to support the search for binding agreements on the future of ballistic missile defence.
  • Missile defence to not be seen as the only or most important means to contain and minimise Iran’s missile programme. Economic penalties, forward-thinking diplomacy, and cooperative international efforts to prevent the export of missile components are crucial elements of that effort.




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