June 11, 2020

NATO: a nuclear alliance as long as there are nuclear weapons

Prof. Dr. Alexander Mattelaer, Egmont Institute, Belgium

Belgium contributes personnel and means to NATO’s nuclear deterrence and subscribes to the notion that NATO will remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist. Despite the controversy this policy occasionally generates, Belgium has supported NATO’s nuclear deterrence because of three reasons.

  1. Foremost, the NATO’s deterrence posture has made unrestrained conflict with Russia nearly unthinkable. The enduring success thereof has provided the foundation of European security.
  2. By making the security of all allies indivisible, it has obviated the need of more allies to acquire nuclear arsenals of their own – thus countering proliferation pressures.
  3. NATO’s nuclear-sharing arrangements have provided participating allies with a meaningful voice on deterrence matters they would not have had otherwise. This aligns with Belgium’s longstanding preference for multilateral solutions and dialogue. 
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Fighter jet on the deck of an aircraft carrier
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Prof. Dr. Alexander Mattelaer, Senior Research Fellow, Egmont Institute

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