Policy Memos

Nuclear Weapon Disagreements within NATO: Sources and Implications

Policy Memo:


Publication Date:




In the last few years, debates within NATO on the future of the Alliance’s nuclear policy have gone through a number of twists and turns. The adoption of the new Strategic Concept in 2010 was not the end of that process: the NATO Defense and Deterrence Posture Review (DDPR) expected in the spring/summer of 2012 might reveal new surprises—and perhaps new fault lines—within the Alliance. Events started to unfold in 2008 when new German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle rather unexpectedly called for a complete withdrawal of American nuclear weapons from Europe; his proposal was quickly supported by some other European states. Meanwhile, many observers in the United States expected that the Obama administration would initiate a withdrawal as well, although the possible timing and conditions remained unclear. Shortly thereafter, the tide began to turn. [...]

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About the author

Senior Fellow
Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non‑Proliferation