NATO and Low-Yield Battlefield Nuclear Weapons
[Technical Report, Monograph]
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
Pagination or Media Count:
The resurgence of Russia as a threat and their rhetorical willingness to use nuclear weapons below the threshold of Massive Retaliation has challenged the North Atlantic Treaty Organizations NATO nuclear policy and the alliances assumptions concerning future conflict. Accordingly, this monograph aims to answer the question of how well prepared NATO ground force are to fight an adversary employing low-yield battlefield nuclear weapons LYBNW. Historical analysis shows that NATO has always been a nuclear alliance and maintained a robust LYBNW capability throughout the Cold War. However, since then, the alliance has drastically reduced their nuclear arsenal and removed nuclear weapons from their warfighting lexicon. Today, NATO ground forces are not prepared to fight an adversary employing LYBNW. The alliance views nuclear weapons as a tool for deterrence, not warfighting. NATO has no policy or doctrine for the use of LYBNW. Furthermore, the alliance does not train to operate on a nuclear battlefield and does not integrate nuclear weapons into exercises with ground forces. To make matters worse, the alliance is twice the size it was during the Cold War and views on nuclear weapons have changed which will make a shift in policy difficult. The remedy to NATO ground force preparedness is for the US Army to reevaluate the role of LYBNW on the battlefield and assume its historic leadership role in the alliance.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Weapons