During the Cold War, fears of a Soviet invasion prompted the United States to deploy thousands of tactical nuclear weapons throughout Western Europe. On paper, low-yield battlefield nukes appeared to be the perfect solution to the threat posed by a numerically superior Soviet force. As time went on however, the ethical and practical limitations of these weapons became clear. The United States tactical nuclear stockpile is now at an all time low, but approximately 180 of these terrifying weapons remain on European combat bases, standing guard against an enemy that never came.
This project explores the military and political context surrounding tactical nukes in Europe. It applies a cost/benefit analysis to contemporary policies, and argues for prioritizing the removal of tactical nukes from European combat bases.
Elliot Carter, ’14
Sponsor: Robert Givens