LONDON NUCLEAR WARFARE TRIBUNAL
Evidence, Commentary, and Judgment


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4.6 Sovereignty

A number of witnesses expressed concern over the loss of sovereign power, which has been yielded by parliaments to the military; in the case of the NATO alliance, this includes loss of constitutional power and loss of sovereignty of neutrals.

Dealing with the sovereignty of neutrals, as defined previously, neutral states are concerned with (i) violation of neutrality by flying objects; (ii) the stationing of nuclear arms close to their borders; (iii) the direct threat of nuclear attack. All of these have been considered by the nuclear powers and the first two are a reality, it being unlikely that the missiles will be directed to fly around neutral territory and since bases are already stationed very close to neutral borders.

The direct threat of a nuclear attack is less probable but if one side believes that neutral territory is being used to shield offensive weapons, this becomes more of a possibility.

There has been considerable publicity and concern among neutral powers since the alleged infringement of Scandinavian national waters by a Soviet submarine. The response of their Governments was to depth charge the submarine but to no avail. The submarine was grounded on the rocks and exposed, and a great many diplomatic moves were made behind the scenes.

This sort of infringement could destroy neutral territorial rights as they came to be seen as a mere haven for such weapons and therefore become priority targets.


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© 1985-2005 Geoffrey Darnton. All rights reserved. gdarnton@nuclearwarfaretribunal.org