|Updated: 23-Oct-2000||Ministerial Communiqus|
Chairman: Mr. M. Brosio.
Possible use of atomic demolition munitions - Possible tactical use of nuclear weapons in the Central and Southern regions of ACE - Anti-ballistic missile defence - National participation in military nuclear planning.
The NATO Nuclear Planning Group, composed of the Ministers of
Defence of seven NATO countries, adjourned today after a two-day
conference in Ankara. Attending the meeting were Leo Cadieux,
Canada; State Secretary Karl Carstens representing Gerhard
Schroeder of Germany; Roberto Tremelloni, Italy; Willem den Toom,
Netherlands; Ahmet Topaloglu, Turkey; Denis Healey, United
Kingdom; and Robert S. McNamara, United States, NATO Secretary
General Manlio Brosio was Chairman.
The Ministers continued the discussion which they had started at their meeting in Washington in April of this year on the possible use of atomic demolition munitions in the defence of the treaty area. While agreeing that conditions may vary in different areas, they recognized that in certain circumstances the use of atomic demolition munitions might have significant military advantages by creating obstacles as part of a comprehensive defence system. The Ministers reviewed various technical and military studies conducted since their previous meeting and gave directions for their continuance and further development for consideration at the next meeting of the Nuclear Planning Group.
The Ministers discussed the possible tactical use of nuclear weapons in the central and southern regions of Allied Command Europe. They reviewed interim reports under studies and gave new guidance for their continuation. Following up his discussion of strategic forces at the April 1967 meeting of the Nuclear Planning Group, Mr. Robert McNamara gave a detailed briefing concerning the recent U.S. decision to deploy an anti-ballistic missile defence against a potential Chinese missile threat. Mr. McNamara said that the United States continued to believe, as he had stated in April, that no anti-ballistic missile deployment could defend the United States population against a heavy and sophisticated force of offensive missiles such as that possessed by the Soviet Union or the United States. Mr. McNamara also gave a status report on the efforts the United States were making toward discussions with the U.S.S.R. on possible limitations on offensive and defensive strategic nuclear weapons. The Ministers reaffirmed the hope that progress could be made in discussion with the Soviet Union towards a limitation of the nuclear arms race and welcomed the intention of the United States Government to consult fully with its allies on new developments in these fields.
Mr. Denis Healey led a discussion on anti-ballistic missile defence with particular reference to the issues involved in a possible deployment of an anti-ballistic missile system in NATO Europe. The Ministers reviewed the progress of a current study on this subject and will continue their discussion at a later meeting. They recognized the inter-relationships between these problems and the questions of disarmament, including non-proliferation, which are under constant review by the North Atlantic Council.
Mr. Roberto Tremelloni led a discussion on national participation in military nuclear planning. The Ministers noted a report on suggested improvements, in particular with regard to the role of the NATO Military Committee; they decided that a more comprehensive study should be prepared for discussion at their next meeting.
The Ministers set a work program for the future and agreed to meet again in the Spring of 1968 at The Hague.