With the new START treaty and the Nuclear Posture Review accomplished, the Obama administration has an enormous opportunity to capitalize on its momentum. It should propose that NATO negotiate with Moscow to reduce the number of short-range nuclear weapons in Europe. Under NATO, there are only about 200 air-delivered short-range nuclear weapons. Russia has more than 5,000 short-range nuclear weapons, which pose a serious proliferation risk even inside Russia, being smaller, more easily portable and with fewer security protections than strategic nuclear forces.
NATO maintains its significantly smaller arsenal in five European countries. However, since the end of the Cold War, the NATO alliance has reduced its nuclear arsenal by around 90 percent. NATO's unilateral reductions are a good-news story that NATO countries have done too little to publicize. Russia, on the other hand, has failed to make reductions. It's time to do something about this. NATO should propose an arms-reduction negotiation with Russia on these tactical nukes in the ideally suited NATO-Russia Council.