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Germany to end 'nuclear sharing' with US

The Local · 6 Oct 2010, 08:25

Published: 06 Oct 2010 08:25 GMT+02:00

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The federal government plans to end the deal by 2013 and perhaps earlier, when it decommissions its ageing Tornado fighter jets, which are equipped to drop the nuclear bombs, the Rheinische Post reported.

At present, the Tornado fighters, stationed at the Bundeswehr base at Büchel in the Mosel region, are ready to drop the estimated 22 American-owned nuclear bombs stored on German soil. Those bombs are housed at the the Büchel base, guarded by US soldiers.

But the Tornado jets are due to be decommissioned and the Rheinische Post reported that Germany would not continue the so-called NATO “nuclear sharing” agreement.

While the change is being driven primarily by budget cuts, it also takes Germany a step closer to getting rid of the remaining nuclear weapons on its soil – a fervent goal of Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle’s.

But Germany's move is likely to spark a row within NATO, which wants to continue with the policy of nuclear deterrence, the paper reported.

The bombs in Büchel are the last nuclear weapons on German soil, according to the report. While authorities will not confirm their number, it is believed to be 22.

Story continues below…

The Tornado squadron was supposed to be replaced by the new Eurofighter. But the new jet would have needed to be redesigned to be capable of carrying the nuclear weapons. Because of the recent tough budget cuts in defence and other areas of government spending, it was decided that the “nuclear sharing” squadron be abandoned altogether.

The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:17 October 6, 2010 by hOU
One tiny step closer to a A-bomb free Europe.

Pipe dream to imagine the UK and France w/out them though :(
09:34 October 6, 2010 by Celeon
Someone is trying to use the Tornado retirement as supporting point for removing the nukes.

Suggesting it would be logical to do so as the only plane that is supposed to carry them, enters retirement.

Only thing is that the Eurofighter which replaces the Tornado could carry the B-61 bomb aswell.

As it is an unguided free fall bomb, the EF would not need not a single technical alterration for that.

All that matters is that the plane is capable to carry the weight and deliver it to its target. And the B61's weight is within the capabilities of the EF.
12:03 October 6, 2010 by Frenemy
The Cold War concept of "nuclear sharing" is just as antiquated as the Tornado. Good riddance.
12:22 October 6, 2010 by delvek
@ zemonkey, pretty funny posted, took me a minute to stop chuckling.

@ hOU, The thought of an atomic free Europe, hah, guess we would have to rescue them from defeat again, stay tuned ...
12:38 October 6, 2010 by peter douglas
we live in a dangerous world which un fortunately Europe can,t protect itself unless with the help of big brother.what happened in pakistan blowing up Germay terrorists would not not have happened if not the USA hadn,t taken the initiative.keep dreaming Germay for you need America more than it needs you, and you can continue with your check book diplomacy.
12:54 October 6, 2010 by delvek
your very right peter, sometimes I wish America would go back to isolationism and let the world fend for themselves. Lets see if Germany would be downsizing its military still!
20:47 October 6, 2010 by germantourist
delvek, as an American I would love it if all the American military could come back. Let everyone fend for themselves & screw them. Personally I am tired of our tax dollars going to support everyone else. What would happen if America used her troops to really close our borders, not send a penny in aid anywhere & if anyone messes with us, just bomb the crap out of them.
21:20 October 6, 2010 by Frenemy
I'll tell you what would happen: the US would economically implode.
22:30 October 6, 2010 by chicagolive
Actually after the first year we would be just fine. We are one of the very few countries that can actually be totally self-sufficient if we really wanted to without the need to import anything. No country in Europe could do that.
22:43 October 6, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I suggest you take a very careful look at US imports & exports, because the US absolutely can not be self-sufficient. No post-industrial nation can.
01:25 October 7, 2010 by janreg58
Germany doesn't need America, America just likes to keep dumping crappy comments like that on Germany. They didn't have to send their army to fight our war! It wasn't their idea to go there, but because they didn't want any "name calling" they volumteered. If Israel goes to war with Iran, and America gets involved, like we usually do. always putting our nose where it doesn't belong, where do you think the nuclear strike will come from? The US? No, they will be launched from Germany, it 's closest. I know, I know who gives a care, let the Germans take the fall! they deserve it right?!! No! it's time to let go of the freakin' hate for Germans, and start letting them be proud again...Leben und leben lassen!!
02:05 October 7, 2010 by Prufrock2010
There seems to be quite a few American high school students here tonight. Nothing else could explain the fatuousness of some of these comments.
03:54 October 7, 2010 by JohnPaul44
America was not EVER economically independent! We now import far more than we export. The US industrial giant of World War II is gone forever. We are now very literally a paper tiger. Steel, electronics, even food. The list is endless.

Probably more important to the average Joe Sixpack, no TV has been manufactured in America for many years. Even the flag you are waving was probably made in China!
05:28 October 7, 2010 by germantourist
@JohnPaul44, I agree with your comments regarding all America imports. That's part of the reason we have so many looking for jobs & not finding them! Imports are cheaper but they are killing our country. No longer can you find someone to repair a tv, it's become cheaper to replace them. We need to get manufacturing back in America & stop all the importing. I visit Germany often & I love it. I love the people, have never been treated badly, always made to feel very welcome. I make it a habit to shop local. I have taken the time to read label in the markets & what you don't see are imports on the food, or at least I never have. The food is not only grown in Germany, it's packaged in Germany. I would bet they have very few imports from China. Can it be frustrating to not be able to find what you want, blue gloves instead of grey? Yes, but you know what, those grey gloves were made right there in Germany, keeping the money in that country & jobs created.

As much as I don't like the current stance on what I view as a lax attitude toward recent terror threats on American in Germany, I have to also say, we American can learn a lot from the way they do things. I come away every visit with a new appreciation for the country & the people.

I really never knew how much Americans were disliked & unwanted in the country until I started reading here. That makes me sad.
08:36 October 7, 2010 by delvek
and the story goes on, America has dormant potential that only its citizenry can awaken.

@ Germantourist, Americans are not disliked around the world, I travel the world constantly, I live in Germany for years and own property here, I have very good friends here and in all my travels always meet people who love the idea of America and welcome me very warmly. You must learn to seperate media and fact but more importantly, get out and experience the world for yourself!

Dont be sad ... Be happy man!
17:28 October 7, 2010 by Beachrider

@johnpaul44 I agree that the USA of 1955 is gone, but that is a good thing. The major fact challenge is on food. Although the USA surely imports items not grown in the USA, it is the same for food exports. Net-net the USA exports food products.

Clearly, some facets of the electronics industry are localized outside the USA. Other parts ARE strongly identified with America (Intel & IBM CPUs, etc.), it all is contingent on requiring the more-expensive labor of America versus other areas.

There is more country-by-country responsibility for world stability than at any time in recent history. Ronald Regan was the last US president that clearly identified himself with an economically silo'ed American Economy. Some people still love him for that. I don't. It certainly makes the USA seem less powerful, but all you have to do is spend a few months away from the USA to see that the American concept of cooperation is much stronger within the USA than in other places. The USA is the clear brain-drawing immigration country in the world. It won't be easy to escalate American progress vis-a-vis other countries, but that is our challenge. I should probably launch into some JFK speech at this point...
17:58 October 7, 2010 by Major B
Fatuous comments here indeed Prufrock2010. How did U.S. imports and exports get into the mix of this subject? And true, the U.S. does need imports as it does export and champions FAIR and free international trade without the reactionary protectionism that was a prelude to the 2nd World War.

@ Delvek _ I totally agree that the U.S. should not be involved in another European War but we are contractually bound by our NATO alliance. Am still personally seething over the U.S. involvement in the Yugoslavia shame and break-up.

Isolationism was ALWAYS a constant in the young America's history. Isolationism cost the U.S. dearly in the past.
07:48 October 8, 2010 by JohnPaul44
"contractually bound"? It was the network of alliances in Europe that caused the disaster of World War I. Without those interlocking treaties, the asassination of an Austrian Archduke would have been no more than a minor isolated squabble.

Yugoslavia was a hopelessly artificial country from its beginning after World War I, when it was toggled together by foreign diplomats with no comprehension of what they were doing. The Balkan countries had been killing each other for centuries over hatreds caused by the earlier attempt by Muslims to take over Europe. The Muslims got as far as Vienna then, and were driven back. Now they have managed to slowly infiltrate most of Europe. At best, this will result in a "Balkanization" of all of Europe. Muslims do not integrate. Their religion does not permit them to live in a mixed society. Their religion gives them only two options: rule their neighbors, or kill them!
08:16 October 8, 2010 by delvek
@ JP,

Their is a 3rd option for them, be killed.

Fact is, when push comes to shove, Islamic countries are in the dark ages compared to Western. There is very little they can do to "enforce". Also, the United States military is so advanced that really outside the use of nuclear weapons which we know is not a factor due to mutual obliteration, there is only so far the radical islamics can push this "take over" until the West feels threatened. That time obviously for some has come and they feel threatened but the majority still do not, slightly obviously or self involved maybe, but they do not.
09:33 October 8, 2010 by JohnPaul44
It is just the fact that the US military is so advanced, that makes it very poorly equipped to fight a guerrilla-type war. Like it or not, America was very badly beaten in the Vietnam war. Ho Chi Minh wrote a little book on guerrilla tactics which is even now studied in America's military war colleges, but our generals have not fully absorbed it yet. He advocated letting the enemy invade, pull your troops back and merge with the civilian population, then wear the enemy out with hit-and-run strikes. Sound familiar? Tanks, planes, and missles are almost useless in such a war.

I don't have a solution.
09:53 October 8, 2010 by tallady
@janreg58..could you rewrite your comment in literate English please.I am at a loss to the meaning//
10:12 October 8, 2010 by raandy
The Euro fighter is a diaster,last i knew they were all grounded for a problem with the ejection seats..

I think removing the 22 nukes from german soil is a good move,. No country should allow another to use WMD on its soil for military purposes.

As far as deterrents go Nuclear Subs ICBMs are enough for that.

JohnPaul,America realizes that heavy armies on the field are not the way of today ,they have many special opp units now that operate covertly around the world for good or bad. High tech surveillance is state of the art. The US military is not transparent.
16:11 October 8, 2010 by SockRayBlue
As an American I am glad that Germany has decided to get off the "American tit" and go it alone. Taxes, in my country, seem to go toward some of the most outlandish and ill conceived machinations of our government. Hopefully our next election will start a change toward another period of isolationism and the rest of the world can breath a sigh of relief along with us taxpayers.
16:43 October 8, 2010 by Prufrock2010
How does this topic even remotely relate to American taxes? This is about ridding Germany of nuclear weapons. I'm in total agreement with Frenemy on this one: good riddance.
20:07 October 8, 2010 by veritas_69
I believe the American taxes comments are related to the costs to base the American military and military support in Germany, England, Spain and Italy.

There has been a call to bring the troops back to the USA and use the money generated from housing, food, entertainment, etc., to benefit the economies at home.

Whether some like it or not, the US Military generates millions of Euros into the local economies...and yes, Germany feels its loss when they leave a community.

I think the biggest benefit of having military in Germany is that the people based here get a chance to see what working to live instead of living to work is all about. Hopefully they will take back the cultural experiences and make the USA and even better place to live.
20:20 October 8, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen

You argument doesn't entirely hold up. The only two reasons the nuclear sharing agreement exists in the first place are that a) it was political unpalatable for Germany to develop it's own nuclear weapons after WW2, and b) the US desperately wanted Germany to have nuclear arms ready for deployment, despite the NPT.

Hence, it was an idea implemented entirely at America's request. If it hadn't been suggested, Germany would have probably signed a similar agreement with France or Britain, or perhaps just blatantly and secretly violated the NPT and developed it's own atomic bombs.

The latter idea being one I still support in lieu of an expedient formation of a joint European military, wherein other member nations could marshal the nuclear arsenal. I feel it is fool-hardy to give away our nuclear capability right now, considering world events. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate "fail-safe" for national identity. Nobody wants to be at the receiving end of 22 B-61s dialed up to maximum yield, so they are unlikely to provoke to a level where their use becomes the only option. It is a relatively cheap way to guarantee the continued right-of-life of your respective civilization.
17:07 October 11, 2010 by AirForceGuy
All this will change when Al Kaida explodes a dirty bomb (or worse) in Germany....
09:46 October 12, 2010 by tallady
@ airforceguy

Al WHO???
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