|Updated: 6 July 2000||NATO Basic Texts|
Brussels Declaration on Conventional Arms Control issued by the North Atlantic Council
Brussels, 11 December 1986
NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL
1. At Halifax we agreed on the objective of strengthening stability and security in the whole of Europe, through increased openness and the establishment of a verifiable, comprehensive and stable balance of conventional forces at lower levels. In pursuit of this objective we set up a High Level Task Force; we have today reviewed its first report. We have instructed it to continue in being and to provide further regular reports to the Council.
2. Arms control should enhance, and not diminish, security in Europe. We reiterate our commitment to the maintenance of an effective and credible deterrent posture. Therefore our approach to arms control will remain consistent with the need, at each step of the negotiating process, to retain the means to implement Alliance and national strategies.
3. While maintaining effective deterrence involving both nuclear and conventional forces, we seek to establish a stable relationship of conventional forces in Europe. Reductions in nuclear weapons which are the subject of discussions between the US and the USSR in Geneva would increase the importance of eliminating conventional disparities.
4. We are therefore ready to open East-West discussions with a view to the establishment of a new mandate for negotiating on conventional arms control covering the whole of Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals.
5. For such negotiations to succeed, there must be recognition of the facts about the current situation, and a common understanding on philosophy, objectives and methods.
6. Statements by Eastern spokesmen sometimes imply that the present
military situation in Europe is stable and balanced. It is not. On the
contrary, it is marked by asymmetries and disparities which vary from
region to region but which are detrimental to Western security and which
are a source of potential instability.
7. Military forces should exist to prevent war and to ensure self-defence, not for the purpose of initiating aggression and not for purposes of political or military intimidation.
8. These should be:
9. We propose that distinct negotiations take place:
10. In the light of the foregoing therefore, we are ready to