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Retired Diplomats, Top Military Officers Call for Euro-Atlantic Dialogue To Prevent Nuclear War

June 7, 2021 (EIRNS)—The European Leadership Network published a new statement by the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group, entitled “Advancing Strategic Stability in the Euro-Atlantic Region, 2021 and Beyond.” The statement warns at the outset that “Today, there is a growing risk of—and a potentially catastrophic inattention to—a security crisis involving an escalation or miscalculation leading to nuclear use.” However, with the upcoming series of summit meetings, beginning with the G7 this weekend, and then proceeding to the NATO, U.S.-EU and the Russia-U.S. summits, “leaders will have a rare opportunity to advance multilateral dialogue, principles and practical steps to improve mutual security at a precarious moment.”

The conveners of the document include: former U.K. Defense Secretary Des Browne; Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Foundation, Germany; President of the Russian International Affairs Council, and former Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov; former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz; and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. Notable individuals among the remaining 39 signers include: former NATO commander Gen. Philip Breedlove (ret.); former Ambassador to Germany Richard Burt, chairman of Global Zero U.S.A.; Andrey Kortunov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council; Adm. Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff; Sir John Scarlett, Vice Chairman of the Royal United Services Institute, former chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6); and U.S. Adm. James Stavridis, former commander of NATO.

According to the ELN introduction, the statement shows how security would be strengthened through restored dialogue, a set of principles to advance strategic stability and reduce the risk of miscalculation, and steps for managing instability and building mutual security. The first principle, which runs as a theme through the rest of the document, is dialogue, for “We cannot have strategic stability without dialogue,” the lack of which erodes stability. “Dialogue and diplomacy have become a reward, not a tool,” it says. “This lack of dialogue hinders our ability to understand the perspective of others, sharpens mistrust, and increases risks.”

As for the eight steps, the first one is a reaffirmation “that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” as Reagan and Gorbachev said in the late 1980s. “Today, it would clearly communicate that despite current tensions, leaders recognize their responsibility to work together to prevent nuclear catastrophe.” The new dialogue called for in step five “must be mandated by political leaders to address core security issues and divides within the region. It should identify risks and challenges associated with strategic stability today, including those arising from new types of nuclear and non-nuclear strategic weapons, emerging technologies, missile defense, cyber, and space.”

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