The United States has warned its NATO allies that it plans to review its nuclear arsenal.

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source: www.defense.gov

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin "informed" and "consulted" the rest of the defense ministers in the Atlantic Alliance, and the announcement was "celebrated," according to the organization's secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin informed his allies at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Friday about reviewing the US nuclear arsenal.

Austin "informed" and "consulted" the allies about this review during a meeting of NATO defense ministers, something that the partners "celebrated," as the organization's secretary-general explained in a press conference at the end of the meeting. Jens Stoltenberg.

"In the nuclear planning group, we dealt with many issues. This format is important; it shows that NATO is the platform on which allies can consult these matters," said Stoltenberg.

This group, which includes all the allies except France, which preferred not to be part of it, held a meeting today on the occasion of the ministerial meeting.

"The revision of US nuclear policy matters to the United States, but it also matters to all the allies, to the entire Alliance," said Stoltenberg, who assured that "that is precisely why we need to carry out consultations, develop common positions and speak with a single voice." And he added: "Because what matters is that we continue together and united in all matters, but especially in nuclear matters."

Last April, the administration of US President Joe Biden expressed its intention to modernize the country's nuclear arsenal to ensure that it is safe and effective.

During former President Donald Trump (2017-2021), the Pentagon recommended spending more than 6% of its budget on the so-called Nuclear Triad, made up of strategic bombers, submarines, and ICBMs, many of which were already decades old. Of antiquity.

And he proposed to strengthen and renew the current arsenal without having to resort to expanding it.

The Biden Administration is expected to carry out a comprehensive review of the country's nuclear posture and examine plans to modernize the arsenal, which is estimated to cost $ 1.7 trillion over 30 years.

"Our security environment continues to deteriorate. Therefore, our consultations are essential to ensure that NATO remains a credible nuclear Alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist, to preserve the peace, prevent coercion and deter aggression," said Stoltenberg.

The Norwegian politician declared that "the nuclear component is important for all allies, especially for Europeans," and that although NATO's goal is "a world without nuclear weapons" as long as there are other countries in possession of them, such as Russia, China or North Korea, "we will continue to be a nuclear alliance" to make the world "safer."

On the other hand, Austin declared this Friday that his country hopes that the defense initiatives being promoted by the European Union (EU) will be "complementary" to those of NATO and also "compatible" with the Alliance.

"We would like to see initiatives that are complementary to the kinds of things that NATO is doing," Austin warned during a press conference after the defense ministers meeting in Brussels. He stressed that Washington "supports a stronger and more capable European defense, which contributes positively to transatlantic and global security, and which is compatible with NATO."

"We hopefully see these two organizations working together to improve security in the region and ensure that this transatlantic link remains strong," he said.

In particular, in the wake of the Trump presidency, characterized by unilateralism and protectionism, the European Union is developing initiatives and strategies to be less dependent on the United States for defense.

Along the same lines as Austin, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg insisted that the EU's efforts "must not duplicate NATO." "What is needed is more capabilities, not new structures. Our transatlantic Alliance continues to be the cornerstone of our security," he concluded.

Today, the Alliance ministers met with their partners from Sweden and Finland, and the European Union. They are preparing a new declaration of cooperation that they hope to adopt in December. It is the third document between the two organizations, after those they approved in 2016 and 2018.

The US Secretary of Defense stressed that NATO "continues to be the central forum for consultation, decision-making, and action on transatlantic defense and security issues." He added that the "strength of NATO" does not come "only from its military might" but emanates "from its unity and sense of common purpose."

He noted that the United States' commitment to the principle of collective defense, according to which an attack against one of the allies is equivalent to an attack against all of them, is "irrefutable." Likewise, he assured that "credible" deterrence and defense are the main work of the Alliance. "It requires all our fellow allies to share that responsibility and acquire, prepare and provide capabilities and forces that are ready and have the resources they need," he said.