The Alliance's comprehensive concept of arms control and disarmament

adopted by the Heads of State and Government at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council

  • 29 May. 1989
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  • Last updated: 26 Aug. 2010 11:37

At Reykjavik in June 1987, Ministers stated that the arms control problems facing the Alliance raised complex and interrelated issues that needed to be evaluated together, bearing in mind overall progress in arms control negotiations as well as the requirements of Alliance security and of its strategy of deterrence. They therefore directed the Council in Permanent Session, working in conjunction with the appropriate military authorities, to "consider the further development of a compre- hensive concept of arms control and disarmament". The attached report, prepared by the Council in response to that mandate, was adopted by Heads of State and Government at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels on 29 and 30 May 1989.

I. Introduction

  1. The overriding objective of the Alliance is to preserve peace in freedom, to prevent war, and to establish a just and lasting peaceful order in Europe. The Allies' policy to this end was set forth in in the Harmel Report of 1967. It remains valid. According to the Report, the North Atlantic Alliance's ``first function is to maintain adequate military strength and political solidarity to deter aggression and other forms of pressure and to defend the territory of member countries if aggression should occur''. On that basis, the Alliance can carry out ``its second function, to pursue the search for progress towards a more stable relationship in which the underlying political issues can be solved''. As the Report observed, military security and a policy aimed at reducing tensions are ``not contradictory, but complementary''. Consistent with these principles, Allied Heads of State and Government have agreed that arms control is an integral part of the Alliance's security policy.
  2. The possibilities for fruitful East-West dialogue have sig- nificantly improved in recent years. More favourable conditions now exist for progress towards the achievement of the Alliance's objectives. The Allies are resolved to grasp this opportunity. They will continue to address both the symptoms and the causes of political tension in a manner that respects the legitimate security interests of all states concerned.
  3. The achievement of the lasting peaceful order which the Allies seek will require that the unnatural division of Europe, and particularly of Germany, be overcome, and that, as stated in the Helsinki Final Act, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states and the right of peoples to self-determination be respected, and that the rights of all individuals, including their right of political choice, be protected. The members of the Alliance accordingly attach central importance to further progress in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) process, which serves as a framework for the promotion of peaceful evolution in Europe.
  4. The CSCE process provides a means to encourage stable and constructive East-West relations by increasing contacts between people, by seeking to ensure that basic rights and freedoms are respected in law and practice, by furthering political exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation across a broad range of endeavours, and by enhancing security and openness in the military sphere. The Allies will continue to demand full implementation of all the principles and provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, the Madrid Concluding Document, the Stockholm Document, and the Concluding Document of the Vienna Meeting. The last document marks a major advance in the CSCE process and should stimulate further beneficial changes in Europe.
  5. The basic goal of the Alliance's arms control policy is to enhance security and stability at the lowest balanced level of forces and armaments consistent with the requirements of the strategy of deterrence. The Allies are committed to achieving continuing progress towards all their arms control objectives. The further development of the Comprehensive Concept is designed to assist this by ensuring an integrated approach covering both defence policy and arms control policy: these are complementary and interactive. This work also requires full consideration of the interrelationship between arms control objectives and defence requirements and how various arms control measures, separately and in conjunction with each other, can strengthen Alliance security. The guiding principles and basic objectives which have so far governed the arms control policy of the Alliance remain valid. Progress in achieving these objectives is, of course, affected by a number of factors: these include the overall status of East-West relations, the military requirements of the Allies, the progress of existing and future arms control negotiations, and developments in the CSCE process. The further development and implementation of a comprehensive concept of arms control and disarmament will take place against this background.

II. East-West relations and arms control

  1. The Alliance continues to seek a just and stable peace in Europe in which all states can enjoy undiminished security at the minimum necessary levels of forces and armaments and all individuals can exercise their basic rights and freedoms. Arms control alone cannot resolve longstanding political differences between East and West nor guarantee a stable peace. Nonetheless, achievement of the Alliance's goal will require substantial advances in arms control, as well as more fundamental changes in political relations. Success in arms control, in addition to enhancing military security, can encourage improvements in the East-West political dialogue and thereby contribute to the achievement of broader Alliance objectives.
  2. To increase security and stability in Europe, the Alliance has consistently pursued every opportunity for effective arms control. The Allies are committed to this policy, independent of any changes that may occur in the climate of East-West relations. Success in arms control, however, continues to depend not on our own efforts alone, but also on Eastern and particularly Soviet readiness to work constructively towards mutually beneficial results.
  3. The immediate past has witnessed unprecedented progress in the field of arms control. In 1986 the Stockholm Conference on Disarmament in Europe (CDE) agreement created an innovative system of confidence and security-building measures, designed to promote military transparency and predictability. To date, these have been satisfactorily implemented. The 1987 INF Treaty marked another major step forward because it eliminated a whole class of weapons, it established the principle of asymmetrical reductions, and provided for a stringent verifica- tion regime. Other achievements include the establishment in the United States and the Soviet Union of nuclear risk reduction centres, the US/Soviet agreement on prior notification of ballistic missile launches, and the conduct of the Joint Verification Experiment in connection with continued US/Soviet negotiations on nuclear testing.
  4. In addition to agreements already reached, there has been substantial progress in the START negotiations which are intended to reduce radically strategic nuclear arsenals and eliminate destabilising offensive capabilities. The Paris Con- ference on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has reaffirmed the authority of the 1925 Geneva Protocol and given powerful political impetus to the negotiations in Geneva for a global, comprehensive and effectively verifiable ban on chemical weapons. New distinct negotiations within the framework of the CSCE process have now begun in Vienna: one on conventional armed forces in Europe between the 23 members of NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organisation (WTO) and one on confidence and security-building measures (CSBMs) among all 35 signatories of the Helsinki Final Act.
  5. There has also been substantial progress on other masters important to the West. Soviet troops have left Afghanistan. There has been movement toward the resolution of some, although not all, of the remaining regional conflicts in which the Soviet Union is involved. The observance of human rights in the Soviet Union and in some of the other WTO countries has significantly improved, even if serious deficiencies remain. The recent Vienna CSCE Follow-up Meeting succeeded in setting new, higher standards of conduct for participating states and should stimulate further progress in the CSCE process. A new intensity of dialogue, particularly at high level, between East and West opens new opportunities and testifies to the Allies' commitment to resolve the fundamental problems that remain.
  6. The Alliance does not claim exclusive responsibility for this favourable evolution in East-West relations. In recent years, the East has become more responsive and flexible. Nonetheless, the Alliance's contribution has clearly been fundamental. Most of the achievements to date, which have been described above, were inspired by initiatives by the Alliance or its members. The Allies' political solidarity, commitment to defence, patience and creativity in negotiations overcame initial obstacles and brought its efforts to fruition. It was the Alliance that drew up the basic blueprints for East-West progress and has since pushed them forward towards realisation. In particular, the concepts of stability, reasonable sufficiency, asymmetrical reductions, con- centration on the most offensive equipment, rigorous verifica- tion, transparency, a single zone from the Atlantic to the Urals, and the balanced and comprehensive nature of the CSCE process, are Western-inspired.
  7. Prospects are now brighter than ever before for lasting, qualitative improvements in the East-West relationship. There continue to be clear signs of change in the internal and external policies of the Soviet Union and of some of its Allies. The Soviet leadership has stated that ideological competition should play no part in inter-state relations. Soviet acknowledgement of serious shortcomings in its past approaches to international as well as domestic issues creates opportunities for progress on funda- mental political problems.
  8. At the same time, serious concerns remain. The ambitious Soviet reform programme, which the Allies welcome, will take many years to complete. Its success cannot be taken for granted given the magnitude of the problems it faces and the resistance generated. In Eastern Europe, progress in constructive reform is still uneven and the extent of these reforms remains to be determined. Basic human rights still need to be firmly anchored in law and practice, though in some Warsaw Pact countries improvements are underway. Although the WTO has recently announced and begun unilateral reductions in some of its forces, the Soviet Union continues to deploy military forces and to maintain a pace of military production in excess of legitimate defensive requirements. Moreover, the geostrategic realities favour the geographically contiguous Soviet-dominated WTO as against the geographically separated democracies of the North Atlantic Alliance. It has long been an objective of the Soviet Union to weaken the links between the European and North American members of the Alliance.
  9. We face an immediate future that is promising but still uncertain. The Allies and the East face both a challenge and an opportunity to capitalise on present conditions in order to increase mutual security. The progress recently made in East-West relations has given new impetus to the arms control process and has enhanced the possibilities of achieving the Alliance's arms control objectives, which complement the other elements of the Alliance's security policy.

III. Principles of Alliance security

  1. Alliance security policy aims to preserve peace in freedom by both political means and the maintenance of a military capability sufficient to prevent war and to provide for effective defence. The fact that the Alliance has for forty years safeguarded peace in Europe bears witness to the success of this policy.
  2. Improved political relations and the progressive develop- ment of cooperative structures between Eastern and Western countries are important components of Alliance policy. They can enhance mutual confidence, reduce the risk of misunderstanding, ensure that there are in place reliable arrangements for crisis management so that tensions can be defused, render the situation in Europe more open and predictable, and encourage the development of wider cooperation in all fields.
  3. In underlining the importance of these facts for the formulation of Alliance policy, the Allies reaffirm that, as stated in the Harmel Report, the search for constructive dialogue and cooperation with the countries of the East, including arms control and disarmament, is based on political solidarity and adequate military strength.
  4. Solidarity among the Alliance countries is a fundamental principle of their security policy. It reflects the indivisible nature of their security. It is expressed by the willingness of each country to share fairly the risks, burdens and responsibilities of the common effort as well as its benefits. In particular, the presence in Europe of the United States' conventional and nuclear forces and of Canadian forces demonstrates that North American and European security interests are inseparably bound together.
  5. From its inception the Alliance of Western democracies has been defensive in purpose. This will remain so. None of our weapons will ever be used except in self-defence. The Alliance does not seek military superiority nor will it ever do so. Its aim has always been to prevent war and any form of coercion and intimidation.
  6. Consistent with the Alliance's defensive character, its strategy is one of deterrence. Its objective is to convince a potential aggressor before he acts that he is confronted with a risk that outweighs any gain - however great - he might hope to secure from his aggression. The purpose of this strategy defines the means needed for its implementation.
  7. In order to fulfil its strategy, the Alliance must be capable of responding appropriately to any aggression and of meeting its commitment to the defence of the frontiers of its members' territory. For the foreseeable future, deterrence requires an appropriate mix of adequate and effective nuclear and conventional forces which will continue to be kept up to date where necessary; for it is only by their evident and perceived capability for effective use that such forces and weapons deter.
  8. Conventional forces make an essential contribution to deterrence. The elimination of asymmetries between the conventional forces of East and West in Europe would be a major breakthrough, bringing significant benefits for stability and security. Conventional defence alone cannot, however, ensure deterrence. Only the nuclear element can confront an aggressor with an unacceptable risk and thus plays an indispensable role in our current strategy of war prevention.
  9. The fundamental purpose of nuclear forces - both strategic and sub-strategic - is political: to preserve the peace and to prevent any kind of war. Such forces contribute to deterrence by demonstrating that the Allies have the military capability and the political will to use them, if necessary, in response to aggression. Should aggression occur, the aim would be to restore deterrence by inducing the aggressor to reconsider his decision, to terminate his attack and to withdraw and thereby to restore the territorial integrity of the Alliance.
  10. Conventional and nuclear forces, therefore, perform different but complementary and mutually reinforcing roles. Any perceived inadequacy in either of these two elements, or the impression that conventional forces could be separated from nuclear, or sub-strategic from strategic nuclear forces, might lead a potential adversary to conclude that the risks of launching aggression might be calculable and acceptable. No single element can, therefore, be regarded as a substitute compensating for deficiencies in any other.
  11. For the foreseeable future, there is no alternative strategy for the prevention of war. The implementation of this strategy will continue to ensure that the security interests of all Alliance members are fully safeguarded. The principles underlying the strategy of deterrence are of enduring validity. Their practical expression in terms of the size, structure and deployment of forces is bound to change. As in the past, these elements will continue to evolve in response to changing international circumstances, technological progress and developments in the scale of the threat in particular, in the posture and capabilities of the forces of the Warsaw Treaty Organisation.
  12. Within this overall framework strategic nuclear forces provide the ultimate guarantee of deterrence for the Allies. They must be capable of inflicting unacceptable damage on an aggressor state even after it has carried out a first strike. Their number, range, survivability and penetration capability need to ensure that a potential aggressor cannot count on limiting the conflict or regarding his own territory as a sanctuary. The strategic nuclear forces of the United States provide the cornerstone of deterrence for the Alliance as a whole. The independent nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France fulfil a deterrent role of their own and contribute to the overall deterrence strategy of the Alliance by complicating the planning and risk assessment of a potential aggressor.
  13. Nuclear forces below the strategic level provide an essential political and military linkage between conventional and strategic forces and, together with the presence of Canadian and United States forces in Europe, between the European and North American members of the Alliance. The Allies' sub-strategic nuclear forces are not designed to compensate for conventional imbalances. The levels of such forces in the integrated military structure nevertheless must take into account the threat - both conventional and nuclear - with which the Alliance is faced. Their role is to ensure that there are no circumstances in which a potential aggressor might discount the prospect of nuclear retaliation in response to military action. Nuclear forces below the strategic level thus make an essential contribution to deterrence.
  14. The wide deployment of such forces among countries participating in the integrated military structure of the Alliance, as well as the arrangements for consulting in the nuclear area among the Allies concerned, demonstrates solidarity and willingness to share nuclear roles and responsibilities. It thereby helps to reinforce deterrence.
  15. Conventional forces contribute to deterrence by demonstrat- ing the Allies' will to defend themselves and by minimising the risk that a potential aggressor could anticipate a quick and easy victory or limited territorial gain achieved solely by conventional means.
  16. They must thus be able to respond appropriately and to confront the aggressor immediately and as far forward as possible with the necessary resistance to compel him to end the conflict and to withdraw or face possible recourse to the use of nuclear weapons by the Allies. The forces of the Allies must be deployed and equipped so as to enable them to fulfil this role at all times. Moreover, since the Alliance depends on reinforce- ments from the North American continent, it must be able to keep open sea and air lines of communication between North America and Europe.
  17. All member countries of the Alliance strongly favour a comprehensive, effectively verifiable, global ban on the devel- opment, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Chemical weapons represent a particular case, since the Alliance's overall strategy of war prevention, as noted earlier, depends on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional weapons. Pending the achievement of a global ban on chemical weapons, the Alliance recognises the need to implement passive defence measures. A retaliatory capability on a limited scale is retained in view of the Soviet Union's overwhelming chemical weapons capability.
  18. The Allies are committed to maintaining only the minimum level of forces necessary for their strategy of deterrence, taking into account the threat. There is, however, a level of forces, both nuclear and conventional, below which the credibility of deterrence cannot be maintained. In particular, the Allies have always recognised that the removal of all nuclear weapons from Europe would critically undermine deterrence strategy and impair the security of the Alliance.
  19. The Alliance's defence policy and its policy of arms control and disarmament are complementary and have the same goal: to maintain security at the lowest possible level of forces. There is no contradiction between defence policy and arms control policy. It is on the basis of this fundamental consistency of principles and objectives that the comprehensive concept of arms control and disarmament should be further developed and the appropriate conclusions drawn in each of the areas of arms control.

IV. Arms control and disagreement: principles and objectives

  1. Our vision for Europe is that of an undivided continent where military forces only exist to prevent war and to ensure self- defence, as has always been the case for the Allies, not for the purpose of initiating aggression or for political or military intimidation. Arms control can contribute to the realisation of that vision as an integral part of the Alliance's security policy and of our overall approach to East-West relations.
  2. The goal of Alliance arms control policy is to enhance security and stability. To this end, the Allies' arms control initiatives seek a balance at a lower level of forces and armaments through negotiated agreements and, as appropriate, unilateral actions, recognising that arms control agreements are only possible where the negotiating partners share an interest in achieving a mutually satisfactory result. The Allies' arms control policy seeks to remove destabilising asymmetries in forces or equipment. It also pursues measures designed to build mutual confidence and to reduce the risk of conflict by promoting greater transparency and predictability in military masters.
  3. In enhancing security and stability, arms control can also bring important additional benefits for the Alliance. Given the dynamic aspects of the arms control process, the principles and results embodied in one agreement may facilitate other arms control steps. In this way arms control can also make possible further reductions in the level of Alliance forces and armaments, consistent with the Alliance's strategy of war prevention. Furthermore, as noted in Chapter II, arms control can make a significant contribution to the development of more constructive East-West relations and of a framework for further cooperation within a more stable and predictable international environment. Progress in arms control can also enhance public confidence in and promote support for our overall security policy.
Guiding principles for arms control
  1. The members of the Alliance will be guided by the following principles:
    • Security: Arms control should enhance the security of all Allies. Both during the implementation period and following implementation, the Allies' strategy of deter- rence and their ability to defend themselves, must remain credible and effective. Arms control measures should maintain the strategic unity and political cohesion of the Alliance, and should safeguard the principle of the indivisibility of Alliance security by avoiding the creation of areas of unequal security. Arms control measures should respect the legitimate security interests of all states and should not facilitate the transfer or intensification of threats to third party states or regions.
    • Stability: Arms control measures should yield militarily significant results that enhance stability. To promote stability, arms control measures should reduce or eliminate those capabilities which are most threatening to the Alliance. Stability can also be enhanced by steps that promote greater transparency and predictability in military masters. Military stability requires the elimina- tion of options for surprise attack and for large-scale offensive action. Crisis stability requires that no state has forces of a size and configuration which, when compared with those of others, could enable it to calculate that it might gain a decisive advantage by being the first to resort to arms. Stability also requires measures which discourage destabilising attempts to re-establish military advantage through the transfer of resources to other types of armament. Agreements must lead to final results that are both balanced and ensure equality of rights with respect to security.
    • Verifiability: Effective and reliable verification is a fundamental requirement for arms control agreements. If arms control is to be effective and to build confidence, the verifiability of proposed arms control measures must, therefore, be of central concern for the Alliance. Progress in arms control should be measured against the record of compliance with existing agreements. Agreed arms control measures should exclude opportunities for circumvention.
Alliance arms control objectives
  1. In accordance with the above principles, the Allies are pursuing an ambitious arms control agenda for the coming years in the nuclear, conventional and chemical fields.
Nuclear forces
  1. The INF Agreement represents a milestone in the Allies' efforts to achieve a more secure peace at lower levels of arms. By 1991, it will lead to the total elimination of all United States and Soviet intermediate range land-based missiles, thereby removing the threat which such Soviet systems presented to the Alliance. Implementation of the agreement, however, will affect only a small proportion of the Soviet nuclear armoury, and the Alliance continues to face a substantial array of modern and effective Soviet systems of all ranges. The full realisation of the Alliance agenda thus requires that further steps be taken.
Strategic nuclear forces
  1. Soviet strategic systems continue to pose a major threat to the whole of the Alliance. Deep cuts in such systems are in the direct interests of the entire Western Alliance, and therefore their achievement constitutes a priority for the Alliance in the nuclear field.
  2. The Allies thus fully support the United States objectives of achieving, within the context of the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks, fifty percent reductions in United States and Soviet strategic nuclear arms. United States proposals seek to enhance stability by placing specific restrictions on the most destabilising elements of the threat - fast flying ballistic missiles, throw-weight and, in particular, Soviet heavy ICBMs. The proposals are based on the need to maintain the deterrent credibility of the remaining United States strategic forces which would continue to provide the ultimate guarantee of security for the Alliance as a whole; and therefore on the necessity to keep such forces effective. Furthermore, the United States is holding talks with the Soviet Union on defence and space masters in order to ensure that strategic stability is enhanced.
Sub-strategic nuclear forces
  1. The Allies are committed to maintaining only the minimum number of nuclear weapons necessary to support their strategy of deterrence. In line with this commitment, the members of the integrated military structure have already made major unilateral cuts in their sub-strategic nuclear armoury. The number of land- based warheads in Western Europe has been reduced by over one-third since 1979 to its lowest level in over 20 years. Updating where necessary of their sub-strategic systems would result in further reductions.
  2. The Allies continue to face the direct threat posed to Europe by the large numbers of shorter-range nuclear missiles deployed on Warsaw Pact territory and which have been substantially upgraded in recent years. Major reductions in Warsaw Pact systems would be of overall value to Alliance security. One of the ways to achieve this aim would be by tangible and verifiable reductions of American and Soviet land-based nuclear missile systems of shorter range leading to equal ceilings at lower levels.
  3. But the sub-strategic nuclear forces deployed by member countries of the Alliance are not principally a counter to similar systems operated by members of the WTO. As is explained in Chapter III, sub-strategic nuclear forces fulfil an essential role in overall Alliance deterrence strategy by ensuring that there are no circumstances in which a potential aggressor might discount nuclear retaliation in response to his military action.
  4. The Alliance reaffirms its position that for the foreseeable future there is no alternative to the Alliance's strategy for the prevention of war, which is a strategy of deterrence based upon an appropriate mix of adequate and effective nuclear and conventional forces which will continue to be kept up to date where necessary. Where nuclear forces are concerned, land-, sea-, and air-based systems, including ground-based missiles, in the present circumstances and as far as can be foreseen will be needed in Europe.
  5. In view of the huge superiority of the Warsaw Pact in terms of short-range nuclear missiles, the Alliance calls upon the Soviet Union to reduce unilaterally its short-range missile systems to the current levels within the integrated military structure.
  6. The Alliance reaffirms that at the negotiations on conventional stability it pursues the objectives of:
    • the establishment of a secure and stable balance of conventional forces at lower levels;
    • the elimination of disparities prejudicial to stability and security; and
    • the elimination as a matter of high priority of the capability for launching surprise attack and for initiating large-scale offensive action.
  7. In keeping with its arms control objectives formulated in Reykjavik in 1987 and reaffirmed in Brussels in 1988, the Alliance states that one of its highest priorities in negotiations with the East is reaching an agreement on conventional force reductions which would achieve the objectives above. In this spirit, the Allies will make every effort, as evidenced by the outcome of the May 1989 Summit, to bring these conventional negotiations to an early and satisfactory conclusion. The United States has expressed the hope that this could be achieved within six to twelve months. Once implementation of such an agreement is underway, the United States, in consultation with the Allies concerned, is prepared to enter into negotiations to achieve a partial reduction of American and Soviet land-based nuclear missile forces of shorter range to equal and verifiable levels. With special reference to the Western proposals on CFE tabled in Vienna, enhanced by the proposals by the United States at the May 1989 Summit, the Allies concerned proceed on the understanding that negotiated reductions leading to a level below the existing level of their SNF missiles will not be carried out until the results of these negotiations have been implemen- ted. Reductions of Warsaw Pact SNF systems should be carried out before that date.
  8. As regards the sub-strategic nuclear forces of the members of the integrated military structure, their level and characteristics must be such that they can perform their deterrent role in a credible way across the required spectrum of ranges, taking into account the threat - both conventional and nuclear - with which the Alliance is faced. The question concerning the introduction and deployment of a follow-on system for the Lance will be dealt with in 1992 in the light of overall security developments. While a decision for national authorities, the Allies concerned recognise the value of the continued funding by the United States of research and development of a follow-on for the existing Lance short-range missile, in order to preserve their options in this respect.
Conventional Forces
  1. As set out in the March 1988 Summit statement and in the Alliance's November 1988 data initiative, the Soviet Union's military presence in Europe, at a level far in excess of its needs for self-defence, directly challenges our security as well as our aspirations for a peaceful order in Europe. Such excessive force levels create the risk of political intimidation or threatened aggression. As long as they exist, they present an obstacle to better political relations between all states of Europe. The challenge to security is, moreover, not only a matter of the numerical superiority of WTO forces. WTO tanks, artillery and armoured troop carriers are concentrated in large formations and deployed in such a way as to give the WTO a capability for surprise attack and large-scale offensive action. Despite the recent welcome publication by the WTO of its assessment of the military balance in Europe, there is still considerable secrecy and uncertainty about its actual capabilities and intentions.
  2. In addressing these concerns, the Allies' primary objectives are to establish a secure and stable balance of conventional forces in Europe at lower levels, while at the same time creating greater openness about military organisation and activities in Europe.
  3. In the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) talks between the 23 members of the two alliances, the Western Allies are proposing:
    • reductions to an overall limit on the total holdings of armaments in Europe, concentrating on the most threatening systems, i.e. those capable of seizing and holding territory;
    • a limit on the proportion of these total holdings belonging to any one country in Europe (since the security and stability of Europe require that no state exceed its legitimate needs for self-defence);
    • a limit on stationed forces (thus restricting the forward deployment and concentration of Soviet forces in Eastern Europe); and,
    • appropriate numerical sub-limits on forces which will apply simultaneously throughout the Atlantic to the Urals area.

These measures, taken together, will necessitate deep cuts in the WTO conventional forces which most threaten the Alliance. The resulting reductions will have to take place in such a way as to prevent circumvention, e.g. by ensuring that the armaments reduced are destroyed or otherwise disposed. Verification measures will be required to ensure that all states have confidence that entitlements are not exceeded.

  1. These measures alone, however, will not guarantee stability. The regime of reductions will have to be backed up by additional measures which should include measures of transparency, notification and constraint applied to the deployment, storage, movement and levels of readiness and availability of conven- tional forces.
  2. In the CSBM negotiations, the Allies aim to maintain the momentum created by the successful implementation of the Stockholm Document by proposing a comprehensive package of measures to improve:
    • transparency about military organisation,
    • transparency and predictability of military activities,
    • contacts and communication, and have also proposed an exchange of views on military doctrine in a seminar setting.
  3. The implementation of the Allies' proposals in the CFE negotiations and of their proposals for further confidence and security-building measures would achieve a quantum improvement in European security. This would have important and positive consequences for Alliance policy both in the field of defence and arms control. The outcome of the CFE negotiations would provide a framework for determining the future Alliance force structure required to perform its fundamental task of preserving peace in freedom. In addition, the Allies would be willing to contemplate further steps to enhance stability and security if the immediate CFE objectives are achieved - for example, further reductions or limitations of conventional armaments and equipment, or the restructuring of armed forces to enhance defensive capabilities and further reduce offensive capabilities.
  4. The Allies welcome the declared readiness of the Soviet Union and other WTO members to reduce their forces and adjust them towards a defensive posture and await implementation of these measures. This would be a step in the direction of redressing the imbalance in force levels existing in Europe and towards reducing the WTO capability for surprise attack. The announced reductions demonstrate the recognition by the Soviet Union and other WTO members of the conventional imbalance, long highlighted by the Allies as a key problem of European security.
Chemical weapons
  1. The Soviet Union's chemical weapons stockpile poses a massive threat. The Allies are committed to conclude, at the earliest date, a worldwide, comprehensive and effectively verifiable ban on all chemical weapons.
  2. All Alliance states subscribe to the prohibitions contained in the Geneva Protocol for the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. The Paris Conference on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons reaffirmed the importance of the commitments made under the Geneva Protocol and expressed the unanimous will of the international community to eliminate chemical weapons completely at an early date and thereby to prevent any recourse to their use.
  3. The Allies wish to prohibit not only the use of these abhorrent weapons, but also their development, production, stockpiling and transfer, and to achieve the destruction of existing chemical weapons and production facilities in such a way as to ensure the undiminished security of all participants at each stage in the process. Those objectives are being pursued in the Geneva Conference on Disarmament. Pending agreement on a global ban, the Allies will enforce stringent controls on the export of commodities related to chemical weapons production. They will also attempt to stimulate more openness among states about chemical weapons capabilities in order to promote greater confidence in the effectiveness of a global ban.

V. Conclusions

Arms control and defence interrelationships
  1. The Alliance is committed to pursuing a comprehensive approach to security, embracing both arms control and disarmament, and defence. It is important, therefore, to ensure that interrelationships between arms control issues and defence requirements and amongst the various arms control areas are fully considered. Proposals in any one area of arms control must take account of the implications for Alliance interests in general and for other negotiations. This is a continuing process.
  2. It is essential that defence and arms control objectives remain in harmony in order to ensure their complementary contribution to the goal of maintaining security at the lowest balanced level of forces consistent with the requirements of the Alliance strategy of war prevention, acknowledging that changes in the threat, new technologies, and new political opportunities affect options in both fields. Decisions on arms control masters must fully reflect the requirements of the Allies' strategy of deterrence. Equally, progress in arms control is relevant to military plans, which will have to be developed in the full knowledge of the objectives pursued in arms control negotiations and to reflect, as necessary, the results achieved therein.
  3. In each area of arms control, the Alliance seeks to enhance stability and security. The current negotiations concerning strategic nuclear systems, conventional forces and chemical weapons are, however, independent of one another: the outcome of any one of these negotiations is not contingent on progress in others. However, they can influence one another: criteria established and agreements achieved in one area of arms control may be relevant in other areas and hence facilitate overall progress. These could affect both arms control possibilities and the forces needed to fulfil Alliance strategy, as well as help to contribute generally to a more predictable military environment.
  4. The Allies seek to manage the interaction among different arms control elements by ensuring that the development, pursuit and realisation of their arms control objectives in individual areas are fully consistent both with each other and with the Alliance's guiding principles for effective arms control. For example, the way in which START limits and sublimits are applied in detail could affect the future flexibility of the sub- strategic nuclear forces of members of the integrated military structure. A CFE agreement would by itself make a major contribution to stability. This would be significantly further enhanced by the achievement of a global chemical weapons ban. The development of confidence and security-building measures could influence the stabilising measures being considered in connection with the Conventional Forces in Europe negotiations and vice versa. The removal of the imbalance in conventional forces would provide scope for further reductions in the sub- strategic nuclear forces of members of the integrated military structure, though it would not obviate the need for such forces. Similarly, this might make possible further arms control steps in the conventional field.
  5. This report establishes the overall conceptual framework within which the Allies will be seeking progress in each area of arms control. In so doing, their fundamental aim will be enhanced security at lower levels of forces and armaments. Taken as a whole, the Allies' arms control agenda constitutes a coherent and comprehensive approach to the enhancement of security and stability. It is ambitious, but we are confident that - with a constructive response from the WTO states - it can be fully achieved in the coming years. In pursuing this goal, the Alliance recognises that it cannot afford to build its security upon arms control results expected in the future. The Allies will be prepared, however, to draw appropriate consequences for their own military posture as they make concrete progress through arms control towards a significant reduction in the scale and quality of the military threat they face. Accomplishment of the Allies' arms control agenda would not only bring great benefits in itself, but could also lead to the expansion of cooperation with the East in other areas. The arms control process itself is, moreover, dynamic; as and when the Alliance reaches agreement in each of the areas set out above, so further prospects for arms control may be opened up and further progress made possible.
  6. As noted earlier, the Allies' vision for Europe is that of an undivided continent where military forces only exist to prevent war and to ensure self-defence; a continent which no longer lives in the shadow of overwhelming military forces and from which the threat of war has been removed; a continent where the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states are respected and the rights of all individuals, including their right of political choice, are protected. This goal can only be reached by stages: it will require patient and creative endeavour. The Allies are resolved to continue working towards its attainment. The achievement of the Alliance's arms control objectives would be a major contribution towards the realisation of its vision.