LooseWords,NotNukes:TheImpactofU.S.NuclearForceStructureDebateonNATOPerceptionsofExtendedDeterrence-FutureofNon-StrategicNuclearWeapons(NSNW)Stockpile,DefenseCommitments
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Loose Words, Not Nukes: The Impact of U.S. Nuclear Force Structure Debate on NATO Perceptions of Extended Deterrence - Future of Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons (NSNW) Stockpile, Defense Commitments (Smashwords Edition) [電子書籍版]
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Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this unique study examines American and NATO dual-capable delivery systems and the Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons (NSNW) stockpile as a case study in surveying intended and unintended signals conveyed by U.S. policy rhetoric and force posture.

America appears poised to redefine its extended deterrent commitment to NATO. President Obama committed the United States to actively pursuing the goal of a world without nuclear weapons in his lauded April 2009 Prague address. NATO allies and U.S. defense planners alike have doubtless been reexamining their security relationships as actions supporting an accelerated American policy goal of nuclear weapons reductions are contemplated, yet both U.S. and NATO declaratory nuclear strategy remains steadfastly grounded in cold war expressions of extended deterrence commitments. European elites and alliance think tanks have been cranking out a growing stream of contemplative studies grappling with the near-term implications of a denuclearized force structure, in stark contrast to a conspicuous silence in American intellectual and foreign policy circles where "there is a general tendency in official statements to push the potential role of nuclear weapons as instruments of security policy further into the background."

This paper evaluates a selection of U.S. signals surrounding the slow-burning debate on the future of NSNW in Europe to determine a prevailing European understanding of the American NSNW policy preference. I begin with a review of the contemporary European conception of extended deterrence, then survey six recent American NSNW-related signals to determine the spectrum of likely meanings the U.S. is conveying to European NATO allies. The third section assesses the aggregate impact of these disparate signals is an emerging European belief in the shifting American interpretation of extended deterrence that relies solely on strategic capabilities; this adversely impacts European commitment perceptions. I consider in the fourth section the underlying motivations of this perceived change in U.S. nuclear deterrence strategy and find the most consistent thread among U.S. actions and rhetoric is an American perception of a changed threat environment. The result is a deliberate policy vector that reinterprets deterrence and intellectually relegates NSNW to the dustbin of history as a dangerous Cold War relic. The U.S. has had difficulty communicating and convincing our NATO allies to accept and adopt this strategic recasting because American policy elites have thus far failed to offer a compelling theoretical construct that continues to extend historically understood security assurances. I conclude by recommending a focused American nuclear posture dialog with NATO to arrive at a shared new strategic narrative necessary to maintain alliance vitality.

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