NATO Nuclear Policy in a Post-INF World

Speech by NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller at the University of Oslo

  • 09 Sep. 2019 -
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  • Last updated: 10 Sep. 2019 17:19

Rose Gottemoeller [NATO Deputy Secretary General]: This is a beautiful room, I was just told the Ph.D candidates have to defend in this room, and it would be a bit . . . a bit overwhelming, I think, and it’s certainly a beautiful space, and it’s an honour and pleasure to be here this afternoon to speak to the Oslo Nuclear Forum, and in fact be the inaugural speaker. It’s an enormous pleasure and honour, so thank you very much for the invitation, and look forward to our conversation today. I will follow, if you’ve had a chance to glance at this, I’ll follow the list of questions that were laid out there, but I’ll repeat them, so in case you don’t have them in front of you, you will remember.

The first question I’m going to start on is: what role do you nuclear weapons play in NATO policy? And right off the bat I will say that I am indebted to my colleague, Jessica Cox, who’s the Director of NATO’s Nuclear Policy Directorate and these comments are drawn from the comments she made; but any errors of fact or judgment are strictly my own.

The very first NATO Strategic Concept in 1949 stated the requirement to ensure the ability to carry out strategic bombing promptly, by all means possible, with all types of weapons, without exception. I think this is an excellent early expression of where nuclear weapons fit into NATO policy. They are part of the spectrum of deterrence, including conventional weapons, to defend in three domains: air, sea, land. And in modern times we’ve added cyber and hybrid responses as well.

But they would never be reached for in a routine manner. Nuclear weapons would never be reached for in a routine manner. NATO allies have also been clear that nuclear weapons are unique. They are unique. And the circumstances in which NATO might contemplate the use of nuclear weapons are extremely remote. That is why NATO maintains full political control over nuclear decision-making and the United States maintains full custody of its nuclear weapons forward deployed in Europe.

The fundamental purpose of NATO’s nuclear capability is to preserve peace, prevent coercion and deter aggression. If the fundamental security of any of NATO’s members were to be threatened, NATO has the capabilities and resolve to impose costs on an adversary that would be unacceptable and far outweigh the benefits that that adversary would hope to achieve.

At the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels, Heads of State and Government once again affirmed NATO’s long standing commitment to nuclear deterrence, stating that as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance. None of this will change in a post-INF world, so the title of this talk may be a bit misleading. But other factors may affect, which I’ll go into in a moment…..

On arrangements for the US weapons stored on the territory of certain Allies in Europe. I will stress once again that the US maintains full custody, and the arrangements were codified by the United States and the Soviet Union prior to the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968.  It is for that reason that nowadays I am impatient about the complaints we hear from Russia about nuclear sharing arrangements violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty. They were agreed and agreed in writing in 1968 with the Soviet government, so there is no cause for complaint.

To support the US nuclear weapons forward deployed in Europe, the Allies provide capabilities and infrastructure; dual-capable aircraft are central to this effort, but supporting contributions are also important and allow a larger number of Allies to participate in the nuclear burden-sharing arrangements. An excellent example of this are the so-called SNOWCAT Missions, in which allied fighters escort dual-capable aircraft if called on for a nuclear mission. NATO is seeking, always, the broadest possible cooperation and participation in the agreed nuclear burden-sharing arrangements.

In addition to the theatre weapons in Europe, which are small in number, the strategic forces of the United States also play a role. They are the supreme guarantee of the security of the Alliance. The independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France have a deterrent role of their own and contribute significantly to the overall security of the Alliance. These Allies’ separate centres of decision-making contribute to deterrence by complicating the potential adversaries’ calculations. Should an adversary decide to attack NATO, they must not only contend with NATO’s decision-making processes, but also the decision-making processes in Washington, London and Paris. So we do believe that this is an important contributor to any attempt to make a calculation regarding use of nuclear weapons.

How might emerging and future threats affect the role of nuclear weapons? This was the second question I was asked to take on. I would like to tackle this question by considering the impact that emerging technologies and their applications might have. I’m going to use the example of cyber technology. Clearly, cyber technology is not an emerging technology, it’s been with us for some time, but it is in a constant state of evolution and sometimes these evolutions are fast-moving and somewhat unpredictable. The advent of quantum computing is widely expected to disrupt how we sustain the security and secrecy of communications, among other impacts.

Indeed, already today we are faced with the possibility that nuclear command and control systems might come under cyber-attack, disrupting our nuclear decision-making in a crisis. Quantum computing, it is feared, will make it even harder to sustain reliable nuclear command and control. So what might the effect be on the NATO nuclear deterrent? I often hear it said that technological disruption of the kind that I’ve described will lead to early nuclear use, a kind of ‘use it or lose it’ scenario. I have even heard some thinking trending in the direction of a so-called ‘dead hand’, that if nuclear command and control connectivity fails, automatic systems should take over and ensure that a nuclear launch occurs.

The Soviets toyed with such a system during the Cold War, which has been well-documented by Bruce Blair and by others, including by Russian experts. For NATO, I simply do not see the possibility of this outcome for two reasons, and they were both referred to in my opening remarks. First, Allies have been clear, unequivocally clear, that nuclear weapons are unique and the circumstances under which NATO might contemplate the use of nuclear weapons are extremely remote. Second, on the spectrum of deterrence, NATO has numerous tools in its toolkit, any of which may be considered to respond to an advanced cyber-attack. If the fundamental security of any of NATO’s members were to be threatened, NATO has the capabilities and the resolve to impose costs on an adversary that would be unacceptable and far outweigh the benefit that any adversary could contemplate achieving.

I should also stress that all NATO nuclear decision-making is done at the political level, through the Nuclear Planning Group. NATO does not delegate any decision about the use or employment of nuclear capabilities to our military commanders. Absolutely no delegation to commanders in the field. But we will have to do everything we can to ensure that, should nuclear weapons be called upon in a conflict, they will be available, no matter how advanced and complex the technological threats become. Here, NATO will place the emphasis on ensuring the resilience of our nuclear forces, their ability to maintain readiness no matter what challenges occur. Some measures may be simple and well-honed by experience, such as dispersing aircraft during a crisis. Others may be more difficult and require NATO always to stay at the leading edge of technology development, such as ensuring that we have technology available to secure and defend the reliability of our communications networks. Another approach will be to provide for redundancy, for example in command and control systems.

NATO will do what it takes to ensure the availability of every tool in its deterrence toolkit and that goes for nuclear weapons as well as other types of weapons and response capabilities. And here I want to emphasise a simple, maybe obvious, point. At NATO we are always talking about response capabilities. That’s the emphasis: response capabilities, because we are a defensive Alliance. We insist on the reliability of all the weapons capabilities available to, us including nuclear weapons, because we want to deter and defend against attacks. Deterrence and defence is what NATO is all about.

Now, let me turn to the third topic which is arms control measures against emerging and future threats. It’s a good thing to remind ourselves that arms control is not a good, in and of itself, but because it contributes to our security, the security of NATO countries. Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation should complement security and defence. Indeed, it’s my firm view that arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation are part of the continuum of security and defence. With verifiable and reciprocal restraint measures, we can enhance mutual predictability, which is the goal overall of what we are trying to achieve: mutual predictability, so that we can strengthen confidence in our defence capabilities, avoid arms racing and maintain stability.

But the key to success is a firm and shared commitment to reciprocity and verifiability. The value of arms control measures dissipates if one party abandons that commitment. So with the demise of the INF, that is the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, on precisely that basis, the Russians abandoned their commitments to the treaty, where do we go from here? We all acknowledge that this moment is an extraordinarily difficult one for classic arms control, at least as we have known it from the early 1970s through the entry into force of the New START Treaty in February of 2011. But even as we entered into negotiation of New START in 2009, I thought that we were way too stuck in the past, not attempting to take into account the benefits accruing from the information revolution. Those who are engaged in non-military control procedures, such as preventing the smuggling of natural resources or endangered species, have already long been using digitised monitoring, control and record keeping. Why are arms control inspectors stuck with using rulers and pads of paper and, you know, yardsticks, measuring devices?

Why do they have to leave their laptops at home when they go on inspections? Partly, because that’s the way it has always been done. But also there are legitimate security concerns about digital recording that would have to, and will have to, be addressed in any arms control negotiation in the future. So that is part of the problem. But mostly I think it was because the difficulties of negotiating new verification measures seemed daunting and that’s certainly, I think, how it looked to us in 2009. And, to be fair, there are now well-established verification and inspection procedures developed since, really, the earliest strategic arms limitation treaties of the early 70s, but now extended into the onsite inspection regimes, beginning with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, but also the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, START 1. These were some very important procedures laid down early on. So I think about this moment, as difficult as it is, as a time to truly consider what we might be able to accomplish in future arms control agreements.

It’s a moment of historic transition and we should open our minds and take full advantage of it. I’m rather optimistic and I will tell you why. First, problems that we thought were insurmountable 30 years ago are now amenable to resolution. The prime example here is monitoring of warheads on delivery vehicles. When the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, INF, entered into force, it banned all . . . all ground launched intermediate range missiles, conventional and nuclear, because we could not distinguish nuclear from conventional warheads on the front end of missiles. Today, we are in a much better position, both technically and in policy terms, to do so, with the re-entry vehicle onsite inspection regime of the New START Treaty being an early foray into this type of inspection regime.

So already, for almost 10 years, we have been doing re-entry vehicle onsite inspection in the new START verification regime that helps us get at the question of: does the front end of this missile have any nuclear objects on it or not? I have no doubt if we undertook the effort to negotiate a new INF Treaty today, including China and maybe other countries, we could institute a ban on nuclear only ground-launched intermediate range missiles. That is what I call, ‘Putting the N back in INF’ – it’s a little bit ironic, but when INF entered into force in the late 80s it was called the INF Treaty but actually it banned all missiles, whether nuclear or conventional, of this ground-launched intermediate range. So now I talk about, ‘Putting the N back in INF’, thinking about banning only nuclear-armed missiles of a ground-launched sort, in the intermediate ranges.

Alternatively, we could even impose a limit, although that inspection regime would be more challenging than for a ban. It’s always more complicated to figure out how you verify a limit than a ban, where no such missiles are allowed. Concepts, second point. Concepts that have been tried and proven over 40-plus years of arms control regimes are still available to us and we should not think we have to throw everything out and reinvent the wheel at this moment. A fine example here is the concept of freedom to mix, wherein a party to an arms control treaty is given the opportunity to decide just how many weapons systems of a certain type he wants to deploy within a certain negotiated ceiling, choosing not to deploy other weapons.

Looking to the future, one might consider whether controls on hypersonic glide vehicles might be incorporated into a ‘freedom to mix’ approach. If the Russian launch vehicles are existing types of intercontinental ballistic missiles, for example, then Russia would have to decide what normal ICBMs it wanted to continue to deploy under a treaty like the New START Treaty and what number of hypersonic glide vehicles it would want to deploy.

So it would have freedom to mix within the overall limit, but it would have to decide and make some choices about traditional ICBMs arms versus HGVs or hypersonic glide vehicles. The same goes, by the way, for several of the new kinds of nuclear systems that President Putin advertised in March of 2018. If they would be brought into the constraints of New START through the new kind provision of the treaty and we thought ahead about how to bring new kinds into the treaty, then the Russians would have to decide what part of their established arsenal would be cut back to make room for these new, more exotic systems.

Third and final point. I would make the case that we need to take a good, hard look at the information revolution and what it has done for monitoring and sensing. Already, much is being done with commercial satellite imagery. And the good example of this is what has been done with commercial satellite imagery to keep track of the DPRK, the North Korean missile tests. We are all concerned today about ubiquitous sensing, what could be done to deprive us of our privacy, our free movement rights, free association and free expression.

At the same time, I’ve been arguing for a number of years now that ubiquitous sensing, properly regulated and designed into arms control treaties and agreements can improve our verification capabilities. The ideas are controversial, but some of them are already in play. For example, the notion of engaging citizen volunteers is widely used today in environmental monitoring; and Japanese citizen volunteers improve the radiation detection in range of the Fukushima power plant by making use of an app on their mobile phones. If we are all worried about strengthening the ban on chemical weapons use, should we not be empowering those who live with the threat of chlorine attacks to be able to report rapidly and accurately, and also confidentially, when they occur?

This might be done through dispersed sensing mechanisms. I think these kinds of ideas are worth debating. Not every measure or every treaty would it be appropriate to have citizen volunteers involved. But I think, nevertheless, that in certain settings it could be quite useful to draw them in. And, in certain settings, indeed, dispersed sensing mechanisms on a number of mobile platforms could make a difference to how we understand deployment patterns in the future.

Thus, I will end on a hopeful note. I grasp that we are in a difficult moment with arms control treaties and agreements, but I think we should regard the moment as one of opportunity, to look to the future and consider what we should be doing differently to improve the verifiability of future treaties. We’ve had enough problems with non-compliance that the Reaganesque adage of ‘trust but verify’ needs to be embraced anew, now as never before. And many of your countries have already been involved in important efforts.

I would say that Norway has been particularly active, from over a decade ago, in looking at new methods of nuclear warhead verification, the famous experiment that was run between Norway and the UK on looking at nuclear warhead verification. But there also have been important activities going on, such as the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification, the IPNDV, the Quadripartite exercise, that is expanding on the UK-Norway experiment. We have a lot of interesting work going on and, hopefully, in a way that also can engage and involve you, who are younger experts. We’ve got a running start now in tackling these problems, so I think we just need to get on with it and to prepare for the future.

So, thank you very much for your attention. I look forward to our question and answer period and having an opportunity for hearing from you as well and for some informal exchange. So, thank you very much indeed.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller, for a very interesting and intriguing talk.  Very useful comments for us holding our course here at the University of Oslo to our undergraduate students, where we have been discussing several of the issues that you touched on. So we are very grateful that you are here with us today.

I was going to use my prerogative as a moderator to start the discussion by asking a first question, and then I will open it up to our students and other attendants. I also have a list of questions that all our students have submitted in advance of the lecture. So in case we run dry of questions, I have several more lying here, so we will be sure to have a fruitful conversation.

Evidently, the title of your talk, your comments today, are inspired in part by the current pressing challenge that we are facing in Europe with regard to the INF Treaty. And I was wondering if you can say a little bit more about what the current thinking is with regard to how NATO’s current policy and potential responses to this violation of the INF Treaty; how NATO deliberates what to do and what the effect will be of what NATO will do with regard to Russia and Russian behaviour. You talked about the goals of NATO’s deterrence policy, which is to preserve peace to prevent coercion and to prevent aggression. Can you say a bit more about how NATO relates its current deliberations and potential policy steps to this goal of preserving peace. And then, secondly, and related to that, if you wanted to say a little bit about how you deliberate the link between the goal of deterring Russia and strengthening NATO’s defence policy and the goal of remaining committed to arms control and the goal of pursuing arms control goals also in the future.

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER [NATO Deputy Secretary General]: Okay, very good.

In fact, I welcome the chance . . . I’m just going to turn my chair around a little bit. There we go, that’s better. Now I can see more of you. The goal of responding to the INF Treaty, the violation of the INF Treaty by the Russians. I do take note in my remarks at the podium that we saw the Russians abandon their commitments, and to no-one is this a stronger conclusion than to me, because I was the US diplomat that began to try to engage the Russians back in 2013 on coming back into compliance with the INF Treaty. Their intermediate-range ground-launch cruise missile, the so-called 9M729, in NATO we call it the SSC-8, we already saw it emerging from a flight test programme at that point, and so we began raising our concerns a long time ago with regard to this missile and the Russians never have responded. At some point in the last couple of years they have said, ‘Well yes, the missile exists but it doesn’t fly to those intermediate ranges.’ Well, we know otherwise and, believe me again, I often hear the Russians say, ‘You’ve never provided us proper information on this,’ – I started providing proper information back in 2013 and we provided increasing amounts of information over the recent years. So, there’s no question in my mind that the Russians both know about this missile and know about what it can do.

But our responses, again, have been very, I would say, measured and do respond to our responsibility to sustain deterrence and defence for all of NATO’s Allies. At our meeting, last Defence Ministerial last summer, we looked at what the package of options would be for considering how to respond to this system and consider deterrence and defence, how to strengthen it.

Some of the measures are ones that I talked about already from the podium, such as increasing resilience. How do we increase our resilience against a number of systems we’re concerned about, but the 9M729 among them? How do we train better? How do we train and exercise better so that we are prepared to face up to this challenge? These are all standard ways of addressing concerns.

We also are looking at how to improve our integrated air and missile defence capabilities and, indeed, whether there are steps that we need to take with regard to how we manage our nuclear forces in Europe; again, related to resilience, related to their ability to respond, if needed, in a crisis. But one thing I do want to emphasise is that we are not talking about deployment of new intermediate-range ground-launched nuclear cruise missiles or ballistic missiles in Europe. This is very different from the famous Dual Track Decision back in the late 1980s, when we had to look at the possibility of deploying the Pershing 2 ballistic missile and the ground-launched cruise missiles in Europe, essentially at that time to get the Soviet Union to the negotiating table.

But that is not what we are considering today. So, as Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO likes to say, while we are seeing new Russian intermediate-range ground-launched cruise missiles in Europe today, there are no new NATO missiles in Europe today. And that’s an important point to bear in mind.

So I think I did take on in this answer how we try to develop the goal of deterrence and defence, but just let me also say, because for NATO Allies we are always focussed on the necessity of not only deterrence and defence, but also maintaining dialogue as well. And this case is no exception. So NATO Allies are also . . . and if you look at the statement that came out of the Defence Ministerial last July, we are also very, very focussed on how we look at arms control in the future; how we continue to build up our capabilities to provide for future arms control measures and helping to think through this, I think, among the Allies. Obviously, this would be a negotiation that the United States would lead from the Alliance side, as they did during the Cold War years. But for the Allies, deterrence and defence are an important track, but dialogue and looking to the future of the arms control measures that we would pursue are equally important.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I would like to open it up now to questions from the audience. We have our colleague with a microphone who will pass the microphone to whoever would like to ask the first question. From our students or others who are interested.  Please.

QUESTION: Hi, yes I’m Eric, I’m a student at University of Oslo.  You talked also about cyber.  And you mentioned the nuclear command controls and the possibility of them being hacked. And I just wonder what is the state of the nuclear command control today in NATO - is there an integrated or centralised system, or do the countries have all their own nuclear command controls? And what is your policy on this issue? Do you wish for a new centralised, integrated nuclear command control, or is that problematic for NATO?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Well, I think I mentioned that although the strategic nuclear forces of the United States, UK and France, they all contribute to nuclear deterrence for the Nuclear Alliance, they are individual centres of command and control decision-making, so they’re not all integrated together with NATO. But where it comes to the command and control of the dual-capable aircraft systems, that are how we express the nuclear mission in NATO, that is very much a NATO command and control system; it’s very much decision-making that goes forward inside NATO first, with the support and, frankly, the great technical understanding and knowledge of the Nuclear Planning Group.  But also then taken as a matter of decision around our North Atlantic Council table. So that is a matter for NATO decision-making.

But bear in mind that in any crisis we have to keep up very close communications between national capitals, for any number of reasons, not only for nuclear command and control decision-making, but for any number of reasons. So we, in that sense, we do see it as an overarching necessity to have good connectivity and to be able to really understand what each of the Allied capitals is doing. But the responsibility and the technical capability for nuclear command and control resides in those three capitals where independent nuclear capabilities are residing as well.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Certainly a number of questions from our students relating to the issue of cyber capabilities and cyber defence, very closely relating to your comments with regard to emerging technologies and the new challenges that we are facing. Do we have other questions?


MODERATOR: Yeah? Please.

QUESTION: Hi my name is Aneka and I’m also an undergrad student here at the University of Oslo. I have a question in terms of the NATO membership of Turkey and in regards to their purchasing of weapons from Russia. Just a little bit … understanding how this is not kind of like a conflict of interest in terms of their membership in NATO, and where NATO draws the line for Turkey? And if Turkey’s membership is endangered by this weapons purchase from Russia? And if they were to lose their membership, what would that do in terms of the balance of power?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Well, first of all, I will stress that we’ve been talking to Turkey about this for some time and the Secretary General, again, has been very clear that NATO members, of course, have the right to make decisions about acquiring weapons systems that suit their national interests, suit their national security interests. But, on the other hand, we at NATO always stress the importance of interoperability of systems, and the S-400 system is never going to be interoperable with air and missile defence in NATO. So for us that is something that we are constantly reminding our Turkish Allies.

But I do want to also underscore that Turkey is a highly-valued Ally and has been almost from the inception of the Alliance. They were in the second tranche of members who came into the Alliance in the early 1950s, and they have always been really solid contributors to NATO operations and missions. Today, they are right at the centre of our Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, our NATO Mission Iraq.  Also have long played a very important role in KFOR in Kosovo.

So we highly regard Turkey as a contributor to NATO operations and missions. They are a model Ally from that perspective. So, the part of your question referring to whether this is some kind of danger zone for Turkey, we really do intend to continue to work with them, see no danger to their membership in NATO.

But I also want to stress in this context the broader point which we have made and that is NATO has seen many ups and downs over the years, with different member states who are Allies. Some of you who are my age or even younger will remember when France kicked NATO out of Paris back in 1967, and that was a very difficult moment for the Alliance. I remember also the Gulf War years, when some NATO members simply could not come along with the United States and there were some apparently very loud and even . . . well I will say . . .  I’ll put it diplomatically, difficult debates around the North Atlantic Council table. So, it’s not like NATO members don’t disagree. We have disagreements, some of which have been extraordinarily serious in the history of the Alliance, but we’ve always been able to pull together and work our way through them and get to a solution. And I foresee the same in this case.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Other questions? Yes, please?

QUESTION: Hello, I’m Adrian, also from the University of Oslo and I was curious about what kind of threat non-state actors could pose in regards to nuclear security or the security of NATO in general? Thank you.

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Well, constantly we are concerned about what has become one of NATO’s main strands of work, and that is the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. So, yes, we are constantly concerned about non-state actors. We always call 2014 a watershed year for the Alliance, because not only was that the year that we saw the Russians return to old practices I will say, in terms of their seizure of Crimea, but also the destabilisation of the Donbass and this created, again, the necessity of NATO focussing intensively on collective defence.

But, in addition to which, we have been fighting terrorism since 9/11. We are seeing the anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow [sic], September 11th tomorrow, and from very early days NATO Allies joined the United States in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.

But 2014 saw the rise of Daesh and the creation of the so-called caliphate in Mosul, so it was kind of a watershed year in that it really delivered a two-part intensification to NATO’s efforts on defence and deterrence, collective defence, but also on the fight against terrorism. So, we pay a lot of attention to that. I would say there’s an equality of attention. We call it 360 degree basis. So, we have not only the necessity of paying attention to what goes on to our north and to our east, but also to our south. And in all directions. So we always say that that focus has to be in all areas.

The other point though is an interesting one, about nuclear security and safety. And here many of our governments have been focussed on this for a long time: concern about terrorists getting their hands on fissile material, getting their hands on radiological material, getting their hands, heaven forbid, on nuclear weapons. So there is also a significant array of attention on that matter in the work that NATO does for so-called CBRN security and safety – chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. So, yes, NATO has a range of projects that really look at that nitty-gritty matter of how best do we defend against the possibility of nuclear materials or radiological materials being stolen. So that’s a real focus as well. I did a lot of work on that in the 1990s working for President Clinton, and in more recent years.

This is another, I think, major area for international cooperation that has had less attention paid to it in recent years. But I think we all need to redouble our efforts to ensure not only nuclear safety, but also nuclear security and so that these kinds of materials cannot fall into the hands of non-state actors.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

QUESTION: Hi, I’m Tom, I’m a student from the UK, but I’m here. What do you think about the concept of a European army and, considering the majority of the countries in Europe don’t commit to their two percent spending, do you think it’s really a serious concept?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: You know, the way we look at it at NATO is anything that Europe does, the European Union, anything that Europe does to enhance defence spending can help with burden-sharing in NATO. But – and here’s the big ‘but’ – there are three caveats to that. One is that any force structure that is created should also be equally available for NATO operations and missions. So that’s the important point for us about any kind of European battalion or European, you know, all the way up to army, is that it should be equally available for NATO operations and missions.

The second point is that we don’t want to see – and this also is related to your question – we don’t want to see kind of competing capability demands from EU and NATO. We have a process called the NDPP process, which is to develop requirements for each NATO Ally and we ask, for example, a country to develop heavy infantry brigade with all of its supporting resources. And that, you know, is essentially a resource requirement we ask of them, a military requirement we ask of them. To have, then, another entity, the EU, asking for something completely different, when there are limited resources to go around. So that’s why we’ve been saying - and, actually, we’ve had excellent cooperation develop in recent years with the EU - that capability requirements in NATO and the EU, should be supportive of each other, complementary rather than in competition. So that’s the second point.

The third caveat we put down here is not so related to your question, but is related to the expenditure of resources in the EU, PESCO, the European Defence Fund. And here we have been emphasising – and these processes and procedures are still being discussed in Brussels – that third parties, non-EU NATO Allies, should also have the opportunity to participate in projects that are funded by EDF or PESCO. And this is relevant for Norway as a non-EU NATO Ally.  Of course it’s relevant for United States, for Canada. Soon it will be the UK as well, I suppose.  It looks that way anyway. So it’s very, very important from NATO’s perspective that our non-EU NATO Allies have access to those funds, with whatever conditions are laid on, or procedures and requirements.

But as far as, in general, the development of capabilities with a European stamp on them, we’re fine with it because we think it contributes to burden-sharing. But those three conditions are very, very important to bear in mind as well.

MODERATOR: If I may follow up a tad on that question, is there ever any deliberation then or delineation with regard to the topic of today, that is NATO’s nuclear mission? Is there deliberation or has there been?



ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Not really. I mean, honestly, as I noted in my remarks, we try to focus in NATO on ensuring that there are as many Allies as possible who are participating in the nuclear mission, not you know with the dual-capable aircraft, but also playing supportive roles.

I mentioned the SNOWCAT missions where fighter aircraft would be needed to accompany in, heaven forbid, the situation of a nuclear mission, that would be required to accompany the dual-capable aircraft.

But there are other more day-in, day-out ways that countries can participate, they can help to provide security at bases, for example, where nuclear capabilities are deployed.

So there are those, you know, ways we look for to have NATO Allies participating on a broad basis. But in terms of the EU per se, no.

MODERATOR: Thank you. I’m happy to open it up now to also non-student audience. Yeah, please?

QUESTION: I am also part of the Oslo Nuclear Project. I have a question for you: in this new security environment in the world and disarmament treaties as the INF gone, is there any space or any room to think about disarmament in this environment and for the next year, NPT Review Conference, what are your predictions for . . . is there any possibility to get any consensus or . . . for this meeting?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Well it’s been a, you know, obviously, a period of preparation now with the preparatory committee meetings that have been going on. I have understood we just had Rafael Grossi at NATO last week, who is the President of the Review Conference and he painted a picture of steady development of the agenda for the meeting. It seems to me like there is a very good procedure in place to move forward on, on a number of fronts that are important. And, particularly, he drew attention to the necessity, which I agree with, of working further on the so-called peaceful uses pillar as well and making it broadly clear to NPT member states that peaceful uses of nuclear energy, nuclear materials for other purposes such as industry or agriculture, the road to being able to participate in those kinds of projects and activities is, is really through the NPT. And I think that’s a very important point to emphasise.

As far as disarmament is concerned, I think we cannot turn our face away from that, we have to continue to emphasise the necessity of disarmament, the necessity of moving forward with the disarmament goals laid out in the NPT.

I do like to emphasise that there is already considerable progress that has been made over the past 50 years since the NPT entered into force. In the late 1960s, the United States had approximately 35,000 nuclear warheads and now the United States is down to approximately 4,000 warheads.  I don’t have the number in front of me.  That’s a similar thing on the Soviet Union, Russia side as well. So there has been enormous disarmament progress that has been made, but we can’t take our foot off the accelerator, we have to continue to press forward in that area.

I do want to say, once again, it’s a difficult moment for traditional arms control, no question about it. The questions about compliance and the willingness of - well, I’ll say it straight away - the Russian Federation to comply with arms control treaties and agreements has been really much up in the air, particularly with this situation with the INF Treaty. But when I look at the New START Treaty, for example, I see that it continues to be implemented, very straightforwardly, by both the United States and by Russia. And there I see a kind of model for how we need to proceed in the future. I think it’s fairly straightforward for the United States and Russia to agree on further reductions in operationally-deployed warheads. That could be done in a rather straightforward way, depending on the procedures laid out in the New START Treaty and the verification mechanisms laid out in the New START Treaty.  No kind of new negotiation is necessarily needed there, except to determine the new and lower number.

But the question is one always of political will and so we will see what Washington and Moscow decide in that regard. But I do want to emphasise that the history has been a positive one on the disarmament front. And we need to think about the ways to get into the more difficult territory, which is what I was trying to lay out in my remarks: how do we in future verify the absence or presence of nuclear warheads on any particular weapons delivery system. These are some of the questions that we have to get at if we want to, for example, control non-strategic nuclear warheads, so-called theatre nuclear warheads, where oftentimes the systems are dual capable.  For example, the Russian Iskander system can have either a nuclear or a conventional warhead. So how do you determine, if you try to get rid of non-strategic nuclear warheads, theatre nuclear warheads, how do you determine that you’ve actually accomplished that goal. So that’s why I was emphasising this.  We need to do some hard work in this area as well.

MODERATOR: Any other question, yeah, please? Behind you there and then I have you after.

QUESTION: Hello, my name is Bjorn, I’m an exchange student, originally from Germany. And building up on the discussion that we had about NATO partners honouring their commitments, for example, the 2 percent goal. Do you think there’s any possibility for NATO states, in this case Germany, to honour their 2 percent goal without branching out into more military development or a higher army expenditure per se? Because in Germany, the army or military in general does not have the best reputation. And do you think that there’s ways, for example, in providing infrastructure or research that would honour the 2 percent goal without actually committing to higher defence expenditure in particular?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: All right. Well, for those of you who may not be as familiar with this issue, all of the NATO Allies at the Wales Summit, again in that watershed year of 2014, signed up to the so-called Defence Investment Pledge, which is that 2 percent of GDP should be spent on defence by 2024. So that’s 10 years after 2014 – 2024. And of that amount 20 percent should be spent on acquiring new capabilities, on modernising the armed forces.

So all of the Allies are signed up to that pledge, including Germany has restated its commitment to the Wales Defence Investment Pledge. And for us, you know, that’s important. Now, we have been keeping a very strong . . . talking about feet on accelerators, we’ve been keeping a strong foot on this accelerator too, because it is very important that NATO Allies live up to this pledge, but not everybody is getting there.

Germany is a good example. Now, Germany has got a big GDP, that’s not a bad thing. It’s the same here in Norway. Norway has got a big and a growing GDP. These are not bad things, but it does mean that the governments have to think hard about what is possible and also what is needed in the armed forces.  A lot of work. And we are finding in NATO that a lot of work has to be done on readiness of armed forces, readiness of capabilities, this indeed has been a problem for the German armed forces.

So we will continue to emphasise the necessity of achieving 2 percent of GDP by 2024. We are hearing the right things from our NATO capitals. But clearly, you know, it is going to be difficult for some capitals such as Berlin.  There’s no question about it.

That said, and your other question, part of the question is a good one: what can be counted here? Does it include expenditure on military infrastructure? Does it include other kinds of expenditure? The answer is yes. When we talk to NATO Allies, we ask them to look very intently at what they are counting, when they send their figures into NATO about. ‘Alright this is . . . we’re getting toward 2 percent of GDP, this is what we’ve been able to accomplish.’ We say, ‘Look, you know, figure out what you have spent on certain types of military infrastructure.  You mentioned … [inaudible]. That’s not on the list, but other things like military pensions, yes, you know, add that all in.’ And so we have also been urging our NATO Allies to look carefully at how they calculate 2 percent and what is allowed, because we have a very well … at this point, well-developed list of criteria about what can be added in, what can be considered. So, that helps in some cases.

I will say in Germany’s case, you know, a lot of work can be done on replacing obsolescent equipment and these are all things you know very well, and I know the German government knows very well.  But, well, from a NATO perspective we’ll just keep pushing the 2 percent goal.

MODERATOR: I have one more question here.

QUESTION: Thank you so much. I’m from the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies. When you discussed arms control in your talk, you mentioned this reciprocity commitment or, no, reciprocity component that, that goes with it. And I was wondering if, when you’re sort of advising NATO, what does . . . what would you advise NATO to put in the trade, so to speak? Do we have anything that annoys Russia that much that we can make a good bargain, that we also would . . . would be happy to . . .  to join?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Well, as a long-time arms control negotiator, I would never publicly speculate about what we might or might not put on the table, but I will say that, clearly – and we saw this in many arms control treaties and agreements in the past – NATO would have to be involved in figuring out what would be on the table. I refer you to the INF negotiations back in the 1980s. NATO was very intensively involved in helping to staff those negotiations.  So all of the Allies could participate and contribute their ideas about how to scope the gives and takes and how to talk about the trade space. I think that’s very important. It was very present in the CFE negotiations and beginning with the Mutual Balanced Force Reduction negotiations in the 1970s, into the 1980s. Then all Allies were very much participating and really talking about what the trade space was and how to scope the agreement to ensure that we had not only reciprocity, but also the predictability and confidence-building that everybody needs.

So, I won’t speculate on what the trade space may be for a future negotiation. That would be bad negotiating practice. But I will say that the Allies will have to be involved in figuring it out.

MODERATOR: And if I may supplement with a comment in this context, I guess one of the issues that many people are deliberating these days with regard to further disarmament or future arms control negotiations between Russia and the United States, potentially also including other states, is sort of the asymmetry in . . . in capabilities and the different types of military systems that they attach value to, which raises questions of the potential for sort of asymmetric arms control negotiations, where one party gives up something in trade for the other party giving up something different and sort of it . . . that whole debate about whether coming to agreements like that would even be possible is . . . is sort of rejuvenated these days, I think, in light of some of the challenges that Russia, on its side, raises, versus the challenges that the United States and NATO sees and identifies.

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Right. Well, that to me is the beauty of concepts such as freedom to mix. It’s not up to the negotiators at the negotiating table to decide some kind of trade-off between and among asymmetric systems. We’ve faced this problem from the outset of strategic arms negotiations with the Soviet Union, because always, always they had a predominant ICBM force, much more capability in their ICBM force than the United States had, because we chose to focus more on our At Sea Deterrent and to put more warheads on our submarines. So there was always that issue of, you know, a lack of complete symmetry between the force structures of the two sides in the nuclear arena.

So that’s where the beauty of freedom to mix comes in. You decide that you are comfortable with your counterpart at the negotiating table making those choices about how many warheads to keep in each leg of the triad. The Soviets had to make the same decision that they could put up with more warheads on the submarine leg of the US triad. And that has, I think, worked out well, as long as there continues to be reciprocity. There continues to be very good mutual visibility and that requires, again, a very good and capable verification regime with on-site inspection being, in my mind, the great breakthrough that came out of the INF Treaty and has served us well and which now we can, I think, look to develop in some new and very productive ways.

MODERATOR: Yeah, and I think it’s critical that you highlight these existing . . .  well, past experiences, existing principles and concepts that have been applied in the past and that may also be very relevant in the future, in light of new technologies that many, sometimes at least, portray as sort of entirely new challenges that will upend the mechanisms that we have, that is not necessarily the case?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Correct. Well, as I said, where I see it, even some of the more high-tech systems that Putin advertised in March of 2018 can be fitted into the New STARTTreaty, through the New Kinds provision of new START. That’s fine.

Okay, what do we do with some of these new and more exotic systems? Well, I do think that there will be ways to think about controlling and constraining them.  But where we have the easier time is where we have objects, hardware to control and constrain. Where we have the more difficult time is when we are talking about software, where we are talking about computer systems, for example, information system technology, the development of cyber technology, artificial intelligence. How do we think about constraining and regulating in those areas? And there we have an enormous amount of work to do. And the answers are not always going to be in the world of traditional arms control.

I’ve always been impatient with the notion of cyber arms control, because I think it simply doesn’t make sense when you are talking about soft systems, software, to try to apply the measures that we’ve applied over the years to control hardware. We have to be thinking about it in different ways. I think we’ve made tremendous progress with the UN GGEs in the last decade. A lot of that is related to confidence-building and mutual transparency, reporting mechanisms, a lot of communication. And we do have to think about the enhancement of international law in this realm as well.  We haven’t even talked about that yet today, but what needs to be done to develop international legal regimes to take into account these sets of issues. So there’s a lot of work to be done.  You are not going to be bored in this programme at all, going forward.

MODERATOR: That sounds good. I think I had a question over here somewhere, some activity?

QUESTION: Thank you very much for an excellent lecture. My name is Henrik Hiim, I’m from the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. I had a further question about the INF Treaty. One of the few things that Russia and the US seems to agree on is that the fact that the INF didn’t find the Chinese, was a cause of, sort of, joint concern. So some people have raised the notion that, you know, you could have a formal or informal agreement where the Russians wouldn’t deploy west of the Urals and NATO wouldn’t deploy in Europe. Do you think that’s an absolute sort of no starter for the Russians, or do you think there’s any sort of prospect for such an agreement?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think it helps the Russians with the reason why they developed the 9M729 to begin with, and that is because they were concerned about the emergence of intermediate-range ground-launched systems across Eurasia from the DPRK, through China to South Asia, India and Pakistan, through to Iran. You know, they are concerned about that proliferation of missile systems. Putin himself has said it publicly. That, you know, they want a system that can perhaps address the deterrence problems they have in Asia, not the deterrence problems they have in Europe. And so, to my mind, it’d be a hard sell to the Russians.

Thinking about it in the context of the history of INF, I also have my doubts. The system is highly mobile. That’s why we decided we needed a total ban back in the 1980s.  Even then it was thought that if we got the Soviets to deploy only east of the Urals, that it would be too easy to move the systems, they’re too mobile, too easy to move the systems forward on a short time frame. It wouldn’t be, you know, overnight, but still, not enough strategic warning. And so, therefore, that idea was thought to be destabilising. But mostly I think it’d be difficult to sell to the Russians, because it’s not the reason they invented the 9M729 to begin with.


QUESTION: Hi, I’m Emma Belcher, from the MacArthur Foundation. I have a slightly different question that jumps off your comment about students not being bored in this programme. You’ve outlined a number of those challenges and topics that could be of particular interest to students here to pursue. One of my . . . my question is: what are the types of skills that are particularly useful and attractive for students to develop and what career advice might you have for people in this room wanting to pursue this field, particularly for younger women and other voices that typically haven’t been as associated with having a voice in this area?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Well, ladies, I say, ‘Just go for it.’ There’s no reason to hang back and all of you, I am quite sure, have absolutely the same wide-ranging skills and talents as your male colleagues. So I wouldn’t worry about that aspect of it myself. I mean, that’s just my comment. But I wanted to comment that you may think, in pursuing certain lines of study that you may be doing things that could get you a great job in an IT company, but may not help you if you want to pursue a position, a career, working on arms reduction, for example.

I just wanted to say . . . and part of my remarks were directed at the notion that, increasingly, I think we need to bring fields together and consider cross-pollination of different fields. I mentioned here that, for a long period of time already, some of the big natural resources treaties have been using a lot of different kinds of electronic tracking and then record keeping. The way we track fisheries resources, for example, is making use of a lot of highly-sophisticated means to track fisheries resources and then do the counting, do the accounting, and also keep watch on the international trade.

So there are a lot of ways that I think we should be looking at the examples of what was developed in the last years in the natural resources treaties and agreements and thinking about how they may apply – maybe not, maybe they’re not relevant – but how they may apply to some of our arms control problems. So I am just urging in general the notion that you may think, ‘Well, this IT study course is useful, I may go work for a software developer, but maybe I’m going to continue to have an interest in this area,’ in which case I would say, in my view, there are lots of directions of travel you might consider. One is improving our ability to monitor and verify. I mentioned the applications of ubiquitous sensing. What are the limits of that? What are the legal regimes that would have to go with it?

I also think that it could be quite possible to think about new ways to perhaps regulate and constrain certain aspects of the information revolution. And that’s both a set of legal questions, but also as a set of technology questions as well.

So I think there’s a lot that is exciting and interesting about this phase, but I would just urge a steady breakdown in the stovepipes between and among different fields and getting, especially you young people, who are a little more at home, I would say, in multiple studies spaces, in multiple technological spaces, to think about the ways that we might break down some of these stovepipes between different fields.

MODERATOR: And we had a number of questions from several of our students actually relating to . . . to your career, as rich and diverse as it has been and I wanted to . . . to mention some of . . . some of those questions, because I understood that there was significant interest in this. And in particular, there were several students who . . . who submitted questions that were about how your views on nuclear weapons may have changed or evolved in the course of that career, including one student who tells a story about how they visited the Peace Memorial Park and the museum in Hiroshima and that that changed their ideas about nuclear weapons. So would you want to say anything about how your views may have evolved, or changed, or remained the same?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Well, my views on nuclear weapons were very much formed – and I’ve referred to the Cuban Missile Crisis in my comments – but very much formed by the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was in fourth grade at that point. I was living with my parents and my siblings in Dearborn, Michigan, and I was going to a Catholic school. I knew there was some kind of crisis going on, but when the nuns said, ‘Children, go straight home, there could be a nuclear attack tonight.’ But this was also a period when, from my first elementary school years, we had to do nuclear attack drills; we had to dive under our desks, sometimes we had to go down the cellar in the school. We had to sometimes go out in the hall and put our heads down on our knees. As if any of that would have helped, you know, against a direct nuclear attack on Dearborn, Michigan. Nothing would have helped. But, it was very much in the consciousness, even of children, in those days. And the notion that we were in for, potentially, a very serious . . .  more than serious, an existential type of attack, that evening in Dearborn, Michigan, stuck with me from a very early age.

So I was interested in the issues around. nuclear weapons and nuclear control. I’ve been lucky in my life that I’ve had the opportunity to work on them first at RAND Corporation, where I had an excellent mentor at that time. His name was Thomas Wolfe.  He was the senior Soviet military expert at RAND in the 1970s and I worked under his mentorship for about 10 years which was a very valuable experience for me.

So, I wouldn’t say my views have changed very much over the years. I will say I was honoured to be the US official representative to the anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2015, along with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. And in a long career of working these issues, I must say that it gave me a jolt to visit those sites again, and to be able to . . . it wasn’t my first visit to Hiroshima, but it was my first visit to Nagasaki and to see, again, evidence of the destruction that had been wrought and to have a chance to speak to some of the survivors, who are few in number now. Obviously, they are older. And if you have an opportunity to speak with them about their stories and what they came through to survive, it will stay with you and really, I think, give you the clear vision of what nuclear weapons means in terms of being an existential threat to us all.

MODERATOR: Yeah, thank you very much for sharing that experience and I think that . . . that’s very different from sort of the . . . well, even our generation and the generation younger than . . . well, much younger than me, at least, who is sitting here as well who has very few experiences like that. I mean, we have not grown up with this sort of potent and existential threat surrounding us and, and . . . although this is . . . this now seems like a period in which these deliberations are changing, we are hoping that we will not come back to that period in which we all live . . . live in such sort of constant fear of existential danger and threat. But this is part of the reason we are engaging in these . . . so thank you for sharing that. Do we have other questions from the audience? Please.

QUESTION: My name is Sophia, and I’m a student at the University of Oslo. I was just wondering how NATO encourages their members to vote independently in organisations like the UN when it comes to different treaties, like the Nuclear Ban Treaty of 2017. I don’t know if any democratic institutions or countries who . . . where everyone agrees on something, but no NATO member country has sign— yet signed the treaty, so if . . . what the discussions are?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Very good. Actually, I did mention that, historically, there have been many differences among NATO members, many debates and discussions. But, honestly, NATO doesn’t have anything to say about a lot of national policies. Everything, you know, about economic policy, for example, this is all . . . well, except for the 2 percent pledge, that was . . . that’s an important point: that was agreed by all NATO members at Wales. Everything at NATO is decided by consensus.

So, also, the basis of our deterrence and nuclear policy is decided by consensus. So everybody has agreed to the points that I made in my remarks and the one important remark is that: for as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will be a Nuclear Alliance. So that is agreed by consensus among all NATO members. So that is the foundation stone upon which NATO members have built their concerns about the Ban Treaty and so our policy toward the Ban Treaty is consistent with our baseline decision that NATO, for as long as nuclear weapons exist, will remain a Nuclear Alliance.

So it’s not as if suddenly there’s new demands being placed on NATO members to agree or disagree or whatever. Everything that we do flows from already consensual decisions that have been made in advance.

So, in this case, we have had, I think, a good opportunity to debate and discuss this issue. When it comes to the NPT Review Conference, coming up in 2020, I think NATO’s position on the Ban Treaty is already well known. But I can see us trying to make an affirmative case in several areas, including the necessity of continuing to prepare the way for future nuclear arms reductions and controls. So those will be some areas, I think, where there will be a lot of attention from NATO countries.

MODERATOR: So, I’m tempted to . . . to inject one of the questions from the students here, that . . . that’s related to . . . to this previous question. Do you think that an international ban on nuclear weapons could ever be feasible for the states with nuclear capabilities?

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Well, frankly, you know, Article 6 of the NPT speaks to that. So yes, all nuclear weapons states under the NPT have agreed to nuclear disarmament. The issue that I have with the Ban Treaty – and this emanates from my work under the previous administration in Washington on this issue when the ban was being negotiated – it’s related to the way in which it specifically undermines the NPT. The NPT has a higher standard, for example, on nuclear safeguards, inherent or associated with it, than the Ban Treaty has. And, in other ways, the Ban Treaty specifically and explicitly states that it dominates related treaties, such as the NPT. I’ve never understood how the ban proponents argue that the two are complementary, because as I read the Ban Treaty, it actually undermines the NPT. So that’s what worries me about it.

MODERATOR: Do we have any final questions from the audience? One, two. Well, I think we will . . . we can collect a couple of questions, in a final round. Yeah, you can start over there and then move our way down.

QUESTION: Hello, I’m a student at the University of Oslo, and I know that NATO has always particularly relied on a strong American leadership, and I was wondering with President Trump’s scepticism around NATO, has it affected the Alliance in any way or weakened it since his election?

QUESTION: Thank you, my name is Anya, I work for ICAN Norway. I was just wondering if you could elaborate a little bit more about how specifically you think that the Ban Treaty is undermining the NPT and, more concretely, what you mean with the safeguards and how they are not living up to the standards? Thank you.

QUESTION: Hello, I’m Nicholas, Norwegian Nobel Institute. I wanted to ask, you mentioned while speaking about the demise of the INF Treaty the concerns that Russia has across Eurasia, would you mind commenting a bit about the United States motivations and its concerns in Pacific Asia, and how that influenced the demise of the INF Treaty?

MODERATOR: Any other final questions? I think we will just collect now and give the Deputy Secretary General the opportunity to come with her final thoughts in response to these questions and any other things she might want to comment on. Please.

QUESTION: Hi, my name is Clara and I have a general question. I was just wondering what you would say is the most challenging part of your position in NATO and perhaps the most rewarding thing.

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: It’s a good one on which to end. Okay. Thank you for these excellent questions.

You know, it’s interesting about President Trump’s influence on NATO. There’s no question that he has given a strong boost to the burden-sharing question, that is evident. You have only to tune in to the nightly news whenever we have a Leaders Meeting at NATO, we’ll have another Leaders Meeting in London in December. So there’s a strong emphasis there and we support it. The NATO leadership supports it, not only because I’m an American, but the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg supports it as well. But I always emphasise – and I didn’t bring the quote with me – but I can read you a quote from John F. Kennedy in 1962, talking about how, ‘It’s about time that these NATO Allies who are freeloading on the United States begun . . . have begun to put more of their own resources into defence, and it’s high time and we’ve got to tell them this.’

So, every American president since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s has worried about this issue of defence burden-sharing and some have been quite firm and clear. I know, in my experience, President Bush and President Obama were also quite firm and clear about the necessity of Allies picking up their fair share of the burden. Now, Trump has a particular style, there’s no question about it, and he has caught people’s attention. But as we view it from NATO Headquarters, it’s actually been beneficial, it’s gotten NATO capitals to sit up and take notice. And there has been, I think, a positive influence from the current administration in Washington. So we will see, we will see how things look at the next Leaders Meeting in December. But we see the continuity of a kind of beneficial influence on defence spending in the Alliance and so for us that is a good effect.

On the Ban Treaty undermining the NPT, there’s, again, I don’t have the language in front of me, but as I recollect, one of the articles of the Ban Treaty says specifically that it supersedes other international treaties and agreements in this area, that it has a dominant role in legal terms. And that has concerned me very much. The safeguards regime that is now associated with the NPT is the additional protocol. And as I’ve understood, the Ban Treaty takes us back to an earlier period, before the additional protocol was signed. So those are the two areas that I have a particular concern about the Ban Treaty.

My third concern is more general and that is related to my view that we also have a clear disarmament commitment in the NPT. It’s embodied there. I don’t see how the Ban Treaty helps, although I understand there are many arguments in that regard, many debates and discussions in that arena.

The US views on Eurasia and the INF Treaty - I want to underscore that it is Russian malfeasance in this regard that led to the demise of the INF Treaty. It had nothing to do whatsoever with particular US views of what is needed or is not needed in Eurasia. One can argue, in fact, that intermediate-range missiles that are ground-based don’t help the United States much in Eurasia, because of the necessity of finding a basing mode for them. Intermediate-range missiles are really too short-range for taking on targets that may be of concern to the United States in Eurasia. So the US already deploys very capable systems on its sea and air platform.  So we’ll see. But the effect there is not necessarily one I think that exists.

Now, the most challenging part of my job in NATO versus was it the most enjoyable part, or . . . ? Yes, the most enjoyable part. Okay. The most challenging part of anybody’s job at NATO is to forge consensus, I think, because we have 29 Allies, soon to be 30 Allies, with the Republic of North Macedonia, we hope, joining in 2020. So forging consensus is always very difficult. We don’t make any decisions on the basis of qualified majority voting or anything; it is on the basis of consensus that critical decisions are made. And forging that consensus, it takes a lot of work and sometimes a lot of time. So that is why we work hard at it. I feel like once the consensus is forged, then we have a solid foundation for our work going forward. As I mentioned when we were talking about NATO nuclear policy a moment ago, that that’s already a decision forged on the basis of consensus, and it gives us a solid foundation to move forward.

The most enjoyable part of my job in NATO for me, for me personally, has been getting to know all those 29 Allies with their diversity of views, their many opinions on different matters, their cultural and linguistic variety. For me, that’s been absolutely great, because my career has not been made in the world of multilateral diplomacy. I still consider myself a neophyte in this area, quite honestly. Forging consensus among 29 Allies is not my natural space in terms of my own experience. I’ve always worked bilaterally with the Soviets and Russians on various issues. So, it’s been the most enjoyable part of my job to get to know these 29 Allies and I hope to be able to work with them effectively at least some of the time. But I have to tell you, throughout it all, it’s been a rather steep learning curve for me. And at this point in my career, being on a steep learning curve I think is beneficial. It keeps me on my toes and keeps me from being complacent about my own ability to contribute in any particular arena. So, that’s how I’d answer that question. But I think it’s an excellent one, thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Rose Gottemoeller, for your willingness to come here and share of your insights and from your experiences, sharing with this audience and with the audience who’s watching, we are very, very grateful that you came here to initiate our Oslo Nuclear Forum. I talked about these questions that we had received from all our students. We have collected them here in this small folder for you to have and view when you have a spare moment and to reflect on some of the excellent questions that the new generation, interested in these issues, are thinking about and are concerned about. So we wanted you to have . . .


MODERATOR: All the questions that they had prepared for you in advance.

ROSE GOTTEMOELLER: Thank you. I guess I’ll have to come back and do another lecture at some point.  This is my homework!

MODERATOR: We would welcome that. Please join me, then, in thanking the Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller, for her willingness to engage with us here today and to start our series of the Oslo Nuclear Forum. Thank you very much.