Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists writes: “NATO’s nuclear posture is scheduled to undergo a significant modernization over the next decade that involves upgrading both the nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles. The modernization will significantly increase the military capabilities of NATO’s nuclear posture in Europe. The modernization plan contradicts key elements of the Deterrence and Defense Posture Review (DDPR).
“First, the plan to increase the nuclear capabilities contradicts the main conclusion of the DDPR, that ‘the Alliance’s nuclear force posture currently meets the criteria for an effective deterrence and defense posture’ (emphasis added). If the current posture meets the requirements of NATO, why then is it necessary to improve the capabilities? A modernized posture with increased capabilities would appear to exceed the deterrence and defense criteria determined by the DDPR.
“Second, increasing the capabilities of NATO’s nuclear posture in Europe is unlikely to help persuade Russia reduce its non-strategic nuclear forces or ‘create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons,’ two of the main arms control goals in the DDPR. Instead, since NATO’s strategy is to seek “reciprocal steps” from Russia, modernizing NATO’s nuclear posture would seem to endorse reciprocal Russian modernization of its non-strategic nuclear forces. It is hard to see why that would be in NATO’s interest.”