Evidence, Commentary, and Judgment

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4.6.2 Loss of Sovereignty of Members of Alliances

It was accepted that to join in any alliance, one necessarily loses some of one's sovereignty. In joining an alliance, one is bound by rules and regulations which govern the treaty. The only way to regain control over sovereign power is to break the treaty.

Luciana Castellina was at pains to show that the NATO alliance has undermined the sovereign rights and constitutional norms, the democratic order of European Member States as well as the NATO Treaty itself.

The NATO Treaty is based upon an alliance of equal rights and the constitutions of European countries. The Italian and German constitutions do allow giving away some sovereign rights, but only to get into an alliance which recognizes completely the equality of all members.

The existence of both nuclear and non-nuclear members in NATO makes equal rights impossible. It has also been stated that the U.S. can, if there is no time to consult with allies, take the decision to launch nuclear weapons. General Pasti confirmed this and added that the use of nuclear weapons by NATO would be an exclusive American decision when European governments would have no possibility of intervention. The NATO official policy is that consultation will take place among NATO allies only when time and circumstances permit.

The rules of the Italian Constitution require that, before war can be declared, a measure be approved by the two Chambers and ratified by the President of the Republic.

It is also stated that the final decision on use is the preserve of those countries which possess nuclear weapons; This is a violation of both the NATO Treaty and the Constitutions mentioned.

NATO can in theory only implement measures which have been approved by national institutions according to constitutional procedures. These measures are now in fact introduced through "simplified agreements", which do not need approval of the national institutions. Examples of such violations were given, such as in 1959 in Italy, nuclear weapons were deployed in the country without any discussion at all. In 1972, an American base in Sardinia took possession of nuclear missiles. No discussion took place in the Italian Parliament. It came to light that as it was a US base, not a NATO base, the Americans could do as they pleased. It was also recently discovered that Cruise missiles had been sited on the base without informing the Italian Parliament.

In Germany, chemical weapons were introduced in the 1950s without asking the German Government. It is the belief of Mr. Akamatsu that such weapons are already deployed in Japan.

In times of international crisis, American forces based in Europe will be warned of a state of alert known as Defence Condition III several hours before any other forces. Thus war could have been declared without the European forces being informed.

In Canada, an umbrella agreement was signed with the US in 1983. It was never formally approved by the Canadian Parliament and was in fact only a cabinet decision - an action contrary to the Canadian Constitution.

It was also considered most likely that there has been a similar serious loss of sovereignty and democratic processes in member states of the Warsaw Pact, due in part to the possession of nuclear weapons.

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© 1985-2005 Geoffrey Darnton. All rights reserved.