The debate over the removal of tactical weapons is not a simple one; linked with
it are the debates over the utility of NATO and how to reach a global consensus
on nuclear disarmament. Advocates of withdrawal view inaction regarding tactical
nuclear weapons as just one example of general inertia within the alliance; the
lack of a serious political discussion inside NATO, they argue, is a cause of
concern for the true value of NATO. Belgian author Tom Sauer writes that such a
debate has only stalled action, resulting in missed opportunities to remove the
weapons from Europe. Looking at the arguments for and against the removal of
tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, the author writes that the answers to this
debate are to be found in the capitals of NATO member states. The time is ripe
to withdraw all U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe; the arguments of the few
opponents do not outweigh the benefits of withdrawal. The political
climate—with a U.S. president who is personally committed to the
nuclear weapons threat—is also ideal. The question is not if but
rather how NATO will change its policy.
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