Nuclear Security in Europe after the collapse of the INF Treaty
Tensions grow among states possessing nuclear weapons while the collapse of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty brings Europe closer to another dangerous Cold War. In these alarming circumstances, arguments for a nuclear-weaponsfree zone become more pressing. Meanwhile, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) gains traction and opens new avenues for urgently needed common campaigns and actions.
To date, the Treaty has 70 signatories and 25 ratifications by state parties. Once it has reached 50 ratifications the Treaty will enter into force. At that point, the nuclear weapon states will have to compromise in one way or the other with people’s claim for a world free of nuclear weapons. Therefore, we suggest brainstorming and discussion about Europe after the collapse of the INF in the framework of promoting the nuclear ban treaty and the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Europe. So far our arguments to ban nuclear weapons focused on their catastrophic humanitarian effects. Thus, we partly succeeded in delegitimising the nuclear deterrence arguments of the nuclear weapons states.
Signed in 1987 by the United States and the Soviet Union, the INF Treaty bans a complete class of nuclear weapons -- land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500km. The Treaty signalled a victory on the part of millions of Europeans who, during the 1980s, demonstrated against the “Euromissiles”. As the United States and Russia again spend enormous sums on modernizing their nuclear arsenals, tensions between both countries are widely recognized as being at their worst since the end of the Cold War.
How do we now stop this nuclear arms race? How best to promote and implement the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons? What alternatives are there for peace and common/human security in Europe? How can we achieve European Nuclear Disarmament?