Deterrence and Nuclear Policy Conference
On 28-30 November 2017 the Research Division of the NATO Defense College hosted the 3rd annual Deterrence and Nuclear Policy Conference in Rome, this year focusing on "NATO Nuclear Deterrence in an Era of Growing Challenges". The event was co-sponsored by IRSEM, the Institute for Strategic Research (French Ministry of Defence), and the agenda was drawn up in collaboration with the NATO Nuclear Policy Directorate (NPD). This Conference supported the NPD as part of their ongoing work to assess the Alliance’s efforts to deal with the new security environment, help educate the current Alliance leadership on the importance of this mission, and identify changes in strategy, planning or force structure that may be required to ensure the continued viability of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty and the deterrence mission. For the second year, the NDC welcomed the financial and intellectual contributions of IRSEM to this important annual event.
This year’s Conference, organized by the NDC Research Division, was composed of 45 participants from different countries, including representatives of NATO Headquarters, NATO School Oberammergau, NATO Allied Command Transformation, the UK, US and French Ministries of Defence, research centres and other defence institutes and universities. Several NDC faculty members also joined the event.
The two-day Conference was introduced by the NDC Dean, BrigGen (ret.) František Mičánek, who delivered a welcome address to the attendees.
Some of the issues discussed had already been on the agenda for the 2016 Conference: ISIL and other sources of instability in the South, Russia as a global competitor, and the growing nuclear missile threat posed by North Korea. The Conference dedicated a great deal of attention to the nuclear implications of the deterrence mission and forecast the likely outcomes of the US Nuclear Posture Review and Missile Defence Review, which are both currently under way.
The programme included panels on “NATO Deterrence, Adaptability and Coherence”, “The Role of Nuclear Weapons in Russian Foreign and Defence Policy”, “US Strategic Policy and NATO Deterrence”, “The UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty and Implications for NATO” as well as, on the following day, “The North Korean Crisis and Implications for NATO” and “NATO Deterrence Strategy and the 2018 Summit in a Dynamic World”.
Participants and NDC staff now look forward to the fourth edition of the Conference, scheduled for next year. Once again, the relationship between the NDC Research Division and ISREM was strengthened by collaborating to ensure the success of the event.