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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 11, December 1996

Editor's Introduction

December's Opinion Piece is provided by former chief US arms control negotiator Paul C. Warnke, who considers the question 'NATO expansion and nuclear disarmament: are they compatible?' His answer is a resounding 'yes,' though only provided NATO undertakes an urgent and radical review of its nuclear doctrine, resulting in nothing less than the "total denuclearization" of the Alliance. Specifically, Warnke advocates that "all the remaining nuclear forces deployed for NATO support should be eliminated"; that the US, UK and France should agree with Russia and China "that there will be no deployment of nuclear weapons outside of national borders"; and that all five nuclear-weapon States conclude a Treaty guaranteeing the no-first-use of nuclear weapons. "The overall impact of such a course of action," he concludes, "would be to dissipate the disruptive potential of NATO expansion and further the adoption and fulfillment of a rich agenda at the Conference on Disarmament."

The issue's Guest Analysis, on the theme of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards, is by Suzanna van Moyland of the Verification Technology Information Centre (VERTIC). Van Moyland provides a detailed consideration of the potential merits and flaws of the IAEA's programme, known as '93+2', to strengthen safeguards, due to be reviewed by the Agency's Safeguards Committee in January. Though appreciating that major progress is needed, she concludes by cautioning that "more important than time-frames is substance. Programme '93+2' presents an opportunity to strengthen safeguards and it may be difficult to revisit these issues in the near future."

Documents and Sources includes coverage of the General Assembly's adoption of resolutions and decisions recommended to it by the First Committee on Disarmamnet and International Security; meetings of NATO Foreign and Defence Ministers; major announcements on the future of the US nuclear weapons complex; the Fourth Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference in Geneva; and a Plenary Meeting of the Wassenaar Arrangement on arms transfers.

News Review includes coverage of NATO's attempt to decisively reassure Russia that it has no plans to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new Member States; more gloomy pronouncements on the safety and security of Russia's nuclear weapons and materials; agreement on an emergency sale of Iraqi oil for humanitarian supplies; and an acrimonious exchange between Israel and Syria on each other's weapons of mass destruction programmes and intentions.

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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