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The same old concept from NATO?

September 21, 2010

by Bjorn Hilt

The tremendous efforts from IPPNW Germany and many others against the so-called nuclear sharing in Europe must be highly appreciated from all of us.

Personally I am very disappointed and frustrated about what we have seen so far in regard to nuclear issues in the drafts of the so called NATO new strategic concept and I have no illusions of the final one apart from perhaps some cosmetic changes in wording. With a few exceptions, the most important being indications of willingness to commit to a negative security assurance, the language remains that of the cold war with deterrence and all of that rubbish. It is unbelievable that the NATO states intend to have that as their nuclear strategic concept for the next ten years or so (the last one was from 1990).

I have also been disappointed and frustrated with the so called broad engagement of civil society in the process to develop the new strategic concept. They might have asked some of their toadies, but as we from IPPNW and many others tried repeatedly to participate on different occasions we were either turned down or silenced completely. So that was barely a play to the gallery from Madam Albright and her company.

Having said that, I am not that displeased with my own Norwegian MFA that I believe play a serious and honest part trying to move nuclear questions in the right direction both within and without NATO. But, we should not expect too much from old NATO. As we don’t ask the smokers if they want bans on smoking, we don’t ask the NWS whether they find it right or wrong to keep nuclear weapons around. Along with our intermediate work to free Europe from all nuclear weapons, we must therefore also work independently to build a broad public front for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, which will eventually outlaw all nuclear weapons and states that still believe in the necessity to cling to their own or shared nuclear weapons.

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