Why Does Europe Need American Nuclear Weapons? Polish Position on NATO Nuclear Deterrence from the Perspective of Selected Theories of International Relations
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Uniwersytet w Hamburgu
Publication date: 2015-09-30
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2015;51(3):181-202
The NATO internal debate on its New Strategic Concept initiated a discussion on the role, necessity of deployment and possibilities to withdraw American nuclear weapons from Europe (B61). This widely perceived remnant of the Cold-War arms race is still stationed in five NATO states and in Russia. The Polish position on the B61 developed from a cautious status-quo defender, through a defender of a bilateral arms control regime between Russia and the United States, to a promoter of a multilateral step-by-step solution based upon the requirement of Russian reciprocity. However, as the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski found the B61 to be a ‘dangerous remnant of a dangerous past’, why was there no will to unilaterally withdraw the B61 from Europe? The article outlines the motivations behind the Polish preferences regarding the B61 in the years 2008– 2013. The author applies a positivist analysis based upon three main paradigms of international relations – neorealism, utilitarian liberalism and constructivism and verifies official documents, expert literature and 21 semi-structured expert interviews with representatives of the Polish government, academia and experts as well as employees of NATO International Staff.
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