REGISTER NOW: Briefing on how to save the Open Skies Treaty on JUNE 12

After the Trump Administration's declared exit:
How to fix, preserve and strengthen the Open Skies Treaty


June 12, 2020


10:00 - 11:00 AM Washington, D.C.
4:00 - 5:00 PM Berlin, Vienna
5:00 - 6:00 PM Moscow

Please register with and you will receive the Zoom ID and password.

In a world of growing mistrust and uncertainty over military intentions, the Open Skies Treaty provides transparency across the Euro-Atlantic between Vancouver and Vladivostok.And yet, on May 21, 2020 President Trump declared that the U.S. would withdraw from this treaty. Which consequences would a possible U.S. withdrawal have? How can remaining parties act now? And what are options to ensure continued treaty implementation - especially with regard to the official conference of the States Parties?

The authors of the latest trilateral U.S.-Russian-German Issue Brief by the Deep Cuts Project will address these and further questions in this Zoom briefing and Q&A.

Discussants are Alexandra Bell, Colonel (ret) Wolfgang Richter and Andrei Zagorski. Moderated by Oliver Meier.

German Politicians Renew Nuclear Basing Debate

A senior member of the German Parliament has revitalized the debate over whether the nation should host U.S. nuclear weapons on German soil. “It is about time that Germany in the future excludes the deployment” of nuclear weapons on its territory, said Rolf Mützenich, the leader of the Social Democrat group in the Bundestag. The discussion followed a mid-April decision by the Defense Ministry to replace Germany’s current fleet of Tornado aircraft, some of which are dual-capable with 90 Eurofighter Typhoon and 45 U.S. F-18 fighter aircraft. Thirty of the F-18s would be certified to carry U.S. nuclear weapons.The Tornado replacement has been controversial for years. Read the latest publication by Deep Cuts Commissioner Oliver Meier on these issues here

Playing Warsaw against Berlin on Nuclear Weapons

The German domestic dispute about its future role in NATO nuclear sharing is heating up again. But the discussion took a new turn when in May 2020 U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher tweeted “If Germany wants to diminish nuclear capability and weaken NATO, perhaps Poland – which pays its fair share, understands the risks, and is on NATO’s eastern flank – could house the capabilities”. How much merit does this “perhaps” have? Read Deep Cuts Commissioner's Katarzyna Kubiak latest take on this question here

Appeal to take action for the U.S. Government to remain in the Treaty on Open Skies by German Parliamentarians

The Treaty on Open Skies is and was the basis for 34 states in Europe and North America to carry out joint, unarmed observation flights across the entire territory of all member states. Despite occasional but limited implementation problems, it serves as a valuable tool for additional verification of arms control agreements, military transparency and the improvement of direct military contacts. It is one of the few remaining instruments of cooperative security in a time of eroding nuclear and conventional arms control agreements. With the decision of the President of the United States to unilaterally terminate the participation of the United States in the Treatyon Open Skies, the future of the Treaty is uncertain. In two letters, Members of the German Bundestag appeal to their respective colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to work together towards cooperative solutions in order to maintain and strengthen the Treaty as one of the last remaining instruments of a multilateral security architecture. Read more here  (German only).

Don’t Resume Nuclear Testing

Senior U.S. officials reportedly have discussed conducting a nuclear weapons test for the first time in 28 years. Some apparently believe that doing so would provide leverage to persuade Russia and China to agree to Washington’s proposal for a trilateral nuclear arms negotiation. In fact, a U.S. nuclear test would most likely have a very different effect: opening the door for tests by other countries to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons. A smarter policy would maintain the current moratorium on nuclear testing, and ratify and seek to bring into force the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), argues Deep Cuts Commissioner Steve Pifer in his latest commentary here

Mapping Out an Agenda for U.S.-Russian Arms Control

It does not take an expert to notice that U.S.-Russian relations in the strategic sphere are in a freefall. Some treaties have been dismantled; others are on life support. At the same time, new challenges are emerging, raising some new questions about what arms control might contribute to risk reduction. Given Washington’s focus on China, the U.S. political calendar, and the impending expiration of U.S.-Russian treaties, what is the future for arms control between these two nations? Moreover, what should it be? Read the answers to all these questions in Deep Cuts Commissioner Andrey Baklitskiy's latest essay in the paper "Major Power Rivalry and Nuclear Risk Reduction" by the Center for Global Security Research here

Impending U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty

Deep Cuts Commissioner Alexandra Bell together with Anthony Wier on the announced U.S. withdrawal in their latest article: The Open Skies Treaty has served America’s interests by helping stave off a return to Cold War levels of fear-driven militarization and the risk of accident-sparked war. But it also showed that the United States was a fully-engaged transatlantic partner willing to listen and back its allies and their concerns and priorities. Unless President Trump reverses his decision before November 22, the United States will lose security for itself, but also credibility with its friends. Read the full article here

Interview on announced U.S. withdrawal of the Open Skies Treaty and possible nuclear testing

The Trump administration continues to undermine global arms control and increase the threat of a nuclear weapons race with Russia and China. The U.S. has announced plans to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows participants to launch joint surveillance flights in a bid to avert military conflict. Trump officials have also rejected talks on renewing New START and reportedly discussed conducting the first U.S. nuclear test since 1992. All this comes as Trump's arms control envoy said that Trump can outspend Russia and China on nuclear weapons "into oblivion". See the full interview with Daryl Kimball here