Only a few days after the U.S. presidential election in November 2016, a small group of pundits, scholars, journalists, as well as a senior Member of the German Bundestag began to individually debate whether Germany should, perhaps, pursue one of three nuclear options: (1) fielding an indigenous nuclear force; (2) preserving a latent nuclear hedge capacity; or (3) cooperating with the French to open an extended nuclear deterrent umbrella over Europe. In this article for The Washington Quarterly, Ulrich Kühn and Tristan Volpe explain why this short-lived debate happened and what it could mean for Euro-Atlantic security. Click here... 

The article comes with an addendum, listing all original sources linked to the German nuclear debate, click here...

Perhaps like no other exercise since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia’s recently concluded Zapad (West) exercise was of serious concern to NATO’s easternmost members. It provided ample opportunity for pundits to engage in hysteria about Russian intentions. No seasoned NATO official expected the exercise to be the not-so-secret cover for a Russian invasion of the Baltic States. Rather, the real problem with Zapad is that it underscored once more the precarious state of security in Europe. Because NATO also decided at its 2016 Warsaw Summit to remain open to dialogue with Russia, and since Germany, in particular, has only recently made a renewed push for conventional arms control in Europe, it makes sense to ask whether a novel conventional arms control arrangement could provide for more security. Ulrich Kühn discusses these questions in his latest article, click here...

 

Deep Cuts Working Paper #11 on European security cooperation by Wolfgang Richter is out now!

 

The European security order as agreed upon in the 1990s has eroded dramatically. The objective of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to create a common European space of cooperative security without dividing lines has been replaced by new geopolitical zero-sum games, deep rifts, military interventions and protracted conflicts. Conventional arms control lies in ruins and the OSCE Confidence and Security-Building Measures (CSBM) are insufficient to stabilize the situation and dispel new threat perceptions. These developments started long before the Ukraine conflict triggered the second nadir in NATO-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War. In his latest Deep Cuts Working Paper, Wolfgang Richter elaborates the stabilizing role of conventional arms control regarding the return to security cooperation in Europe. Click here...

In his latest article, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn argues that to prepare for future nuclear crises that will affect Europe, the next German government must double down on its role of building bridges in the nuclear realm. And thus posing the general question whether Germany can be Europe's nuclear bridge builder. Click here...

At the invitation of the German Federal Foreign Office, members of the Deep Cuts Commission came together to a fruitful discussion with German Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Patricia Flor, the Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control, on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 in Berlin. The discussion focused on the current state of arms control regimes such as the INF Treaty, the New START Treaty or the JCPOA as well as conventional arms control, the role of the European Union and interlinked security policy implications. In the light of newer political developments, the Commission stressed the urgency of these issues and proposed concrete steps for risk reduction measurements and the strengthening of arms control. An article by the German Federal Foreign Office can be found here (in German) or an article by the German Missions in the United States here (in English). Also various press agencies wrote about the meeting, inter alia Reuters, The Japan News or TASS. A part of the press conference which Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel gave after the meeting can be found here.

 

  

Deep Cuts Working Paper #10 on Revitalizing U.S.-Russia arms control by Kingston Reif and Victor Mizin is out now!

 

This jointly elaborated Working Paper, written by Kingston Reif and Victor Mizin (with assistance of Maggie Tennis), assesses the state of the current NATO-Russia relationship, examines the bilateral arms control relationship and prospects for future progress, proposes options to reduce the risks of conflict between NATO and Russia, and strengthen strategic stability, and lastly makes the case for unilaterally adjusting the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and responds to arguments against such an adjustment. See "Publications" on the top menu bar or click here...

As long as the relationship between Russia and "the West" continues to be confrontational, the urgent task will be to stabilize and manage the confrontation. Over the mid- to long-term, NATO and Russia must initiate a serious and open dialogue about the two core issues at stake – the freedom and sovereignty of states to seek alliance membership and the Russian interest of maintaining a sphere of influence over its “near abroad.” A well-prepared conference – akin to the 1975 Helsinki Summit, with various preceding rounds of consultations at ambassadorial level, and including the nonaligned states in Europe – might be a way to kick-start the discussion. In their latest article, Ulrich Kühn, Shatabhisha Shetty and Polina Sinovets are addressing various steps for mitigating the challenges between Russia and "the West". Click here...

The election of U.S. President Donald Trump last November confounded Berlin. What, German politicians, policymakers, and journalists wondered, should they make of Trump’s vague or even hostile stances toward the EU and NATO or his apparent embrace of Russia? Some hoped that Trump meant to push NATO members to spend more on defense but would, in the end, leave the long-standing U.S. guarantee of European security intact. Others, less optimistic, argued that the days when Germany could rely on the United States for its defense were over - and that the country must start looking out for itself. In their latest article for Foreign Affairs, Deep Cuts Commissioner Ulrich Kühn, together with Tristan Volpe, argues why Germany should not go nuclear. Click here...