Nuclear disarmament is the key to global security as well as for a sustainable future and the prevention of the climate collapse. For decades, not only the peace movement has therefore been calling for nuclear weapons to be removed from the world.
After the end of the Cold War between East and West around 1990, effective disarmament treaties were indeed concluded between the U.S. and Russia, the two most powerful nuclear powers. But this hopeful process came to an abrupt end many years ago. Nuclear armament not only in Russia and the US, but also in other countries, such as France, Great Britain, China, India and many others has increased massively again. By the way, this is the key driving force of many governments to build new nuclear power plants, because they are the source of nuclear weapons material.
However, now there emerged a remarkable proposal for nuclear disarmament in the context of the Ukraine war, which deserves more attention. Oscar Arias, Ex-President of Costa Rica Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute, have suggested that the U.S. should withdraw all U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe and Turkey as a unilateral sign. This could get Putin’s attention to move him to the negotiating table and possibly agree to an end to the war in Ukraine.
This proposal would be a sign of de-escalation on the part of the U.S. in the increasingly hardening Ukraine war. This could effectively move Putin and deprive him of one of his most important propaganda arguments for his merciless aggression. Europe’s conventional defense capability against the aggressor Russia in the Ukraine war would remain fully intact. In this respect, there would be no security risks for Europe.
Unfortunately, this important proposal has not found its way into the international media and is obviously not being discussed in the German government.
The withdrawal of all U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe, and thus also from Germany, is a long-standing demand of the the German Green Party. For that reason the Green Party’s candidate for chancellor and current foreign minister Annalena Baerbock , amongst others, had called for the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Germany during the last federal election campaign.
Oscar Arias is a remarkable politician who has made a significant difference in Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, the military budget was largely abolished and invested primarily in education. Ultimately, this also had an impact on Costa Rica’s relatively rapid achievement of its goal of converting its own power supply to 100% renewable energies. Oscar Arias knows how to create peace and climate protection with innovative political ideas. We should learn from him and Foreign Minister Baerbock would do well to adopt this proposal and initiate corresponding talks with the USA, as she already had proposed during her own election campaign. We should seize every opportunity to end the horrific war in Ukraine and implement it politically. The proposal of Oscar Arias has the potential to make a relevant contribution to the de-escalation of this conflict and needs to receive more attention from the international community.