Nukes out of NATO

Feature story - June 28, 2004
The NATO summit and its attendant world leaders rolled into Istanbul this week. While the rhetoric is of peace, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) version includes a constant nuclear threat. We are highlighting the military alliance's hypocrisy in trying to 'make peace' using the threat of nuclear weapons.

Despite unprecedented security measures, Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner off the Bosphorous Bridge to protest against NATO's irrational nuclear policy.

To send the message home Greenpeace Mediterranean activists hung a massive banner from the Bosphorous Bridge for all the delegates to see.

"NATO is the world's largest military nuclear alliance. It is about 'keeping the peace' through a threat - the threat of using nuclear weapons- and threats are the least likely way to achieve peace and stability in the world," said Nicky Davies from Greenpeace. The expansion of NATO to 26 member nations reaffirms the importance of NATO countries starting the process of nuclear disarmament.

We have consistently campaigned for a world free of nuclear weapons. The US, Britain and France possess over 10,000 nuclear weapons. There are also over 150 nuclear bombs placed in six NATO member states, including Turkey, provided by the US and assigned for use by NATO. Use our 'zoom on doom' map to discover which countries have nuclear weapons.

Yet, some countries have been able to say no to NATO coercion: Denmark, Norway and Spain have made a conscious decision to not allow the deployment of NATO nuclear weapons on their territories, and Greece has successfully requested the removal of the nuclear arms in its territory.

In 1971, 184 countries made a commitment to achieve complete nuclear disarmament under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. More than thirty years later, nuclear disarmament still has not been achieved. To the contrary, the US Administration now justifies the use of nuclear weapons first, even in conventional conflict, rather than only when threatened with a nuclear strike, the world is more at risk from nuclear conflict than at any time since the Cold War.

As NATO nuclear policy traditionally mirrors that of the US, leaders of NATO member countries, meeting for the first time this morning, must send a clear message to the US Administration that this time NATO will not follow in its footsteps.

"If the leaders of the world's most powerful nations feel they have come to Istanbul to promote peace here on the bridge between Europe and Asia in the way the vast majority of Europeans demand, they will do so by saying no to Bush's nuclear doctrine, no to NATO nuclear weapons altogether, and no to the concept that deadly nuclear arms can in any way promote peace," said Ozgur Gurbuz from Greenpeace Mediterranean.

Despite unprecedented security measures, Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner off the Bosphorous Bridge to protest against NATO's irrational nuclear policy.

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