Yesterday at Ramstein Air Base here in Germany, hundreds marched in protest of America’s drone killing and warlike posture. Carrying signs demanding the U.S. military “to go home” and “to stop war,” a crowd of Germans peacefully protested the military activities carried out from this key base. Growing anti-US sentiment in Germany is only an undercurrent now, but what about when Moscow targets American nukes the Pentagon is sending? What if Germans discovered the new nukes are first strike weapons?
Ironically, only Stars and Stripes carried the story of the anti-drone protests on Saturday, but stories of growing anti-American sentiment are purposefully underplayed in the western press. Take the news Bundeswehr air base in Buchel in western Germany has begun preparations for receiving 20 new B61-12 nuclear bombs, if Russia had not complained, then you’d have never heard tell of the move. You haven’t hear, have you?
Against the will of the German people, against the German parliament’s 2010 call to remove all such weapons from German soil, and even the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), NATO still insists. What’s more frightening still, is the fact German nor European media has seen fit to report.
At Global Research we found a statement by the former Parliamentary State Secretary in Germany’s Defense Ministry, Willy Wimmer, of the CDU, warning that these “new attack options against Russia” constitute “a conscious provocation of our Russian neighbors.” For a scary revelation now, type into Google Germany Nukes + BBC, or any other western media outlet. There’s no story. How can this be?
If not for a singular story at German public TV station ZDF (in German), the US’s retrofitting advanced thermonuclear capability inside Germany would be invisible. In English, were it not for Global Research, Sputnik, RT, and a few other reports of Russia’s response, the Obama administration could as easily have bombed Berlin.
Let’s forget for a moment what the spokesperson of the Russian foreign Ministry, Maria Sacharowa told reporters, that “This is a violation of articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.” Strategic considerations aside, the vast majority of Germans do not want ANY nuclear weaponry on their country’s soil. The fact German and United States sources have obscured tactical nukes from the German people is not arguable. This article from 2006 frames the fact, most Germans had no idea these weapons were deployed in their country even a few years ago. As for the “legality” of these new nukes, it seems evident the Russians have a valid contention.
A NATO concept of so-called “nuclear sharing” was instituted back in the 1950s. It is a concept that NATO nations could use “allied” nations’ atomic weapons technologies. The move in the 50s was to attempt to prevent Germany and other nations from developing their own nuke capabilities. Clearly, NATO and the imminent Soviet foe negated the need to build Italian, German, or even Greek nukes. Today, nuclear sharing is highly controversial, and opponents have questioned its legality under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Articles I and II. These articles specifically outlaw nuclear weapon states “transfering to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly.” What this means is, if these nukes are transferred, then Russia is no longer bound by this treaty. The implications are staggering, especially for central Europeans.
The fact of America’s atomic weapons insanity was revealed for Germans when their diplomat Michael Steiner revealed Washington’s willingness to use nuclear weapons in Afghanistan. This Spiegel interview from August of this year is a terrifying reminder of how perilous our world is, and has been. It’s not so necessary to frame any sort of timeline here, what’s crucial is the implication of Germany allowing more advanced nuclear weaponry on her soil at this moment of political upheaval. Also it seems appropriate here to note the United States is the only nuclear weapon state that deploys tactical nuclear weapons in other nations. Russia and China, the big-bad-wolves in today’s western dogma, possess nukes only on their native soil. From a European perspective, advanced nuclear capability only represents the surety of an utterly blistered Europe landscape in the event of war. In effect, the Europeans are held defenseless with nukes, rather than the opposite. Russia has thousands of tacrtical weapons within range, Europe represents a smaller target, with only very limited strike capabilities. This bulletin from atomic scientist in 2010 argues this and more.
The transference of these new weapons represents a turning point in West-East policy most do not understand. Back in 2010, when Barack Obama’s Secretary of State was Hillary Clinton, the latter addressed (PDF) the “Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” with this statement on adherence to treaties:
“Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something. And the world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now, at this conference, it is time for a strong international response.”
The nuclear matter new Germany nukes is one of utter simplicity really. First of all, are the German people informed? Secondly, if aware of these nukes, do the majority of Germans want them deployed on native soil now? And finally, what are America’s and NATO’s goals in further escalation at this point? What purpose is being served? This is the central question we must all consider. What if these upgraded B61 weapons for Germany are first strike weapons? What if the new nukes are the “bunker busters” intended to knock out Russia’s so-called Continuity of Operations facility at Kosvinsky Kamen? There reader is probably not aware of Russia’s variant of Cheyenne Mountain, where a nuke proof command post is only vulnerable to weapons like the modified B61? Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama are aware however, and the message is fairly clear there. This is a provocation of the highest order, this highest form of sword rattling. I’ve no space here for deep strategic analysis, but we should all be aware of what is at stake.
“Words must mean something,” let’s remember. As we listen, read and watch news on Germany-US relations today a clear division seems apparent for me, and for other experts. Just what is going on in between the outgoing Obama administration, and a steadfast Merkel government? The refugee crisis, Ukraine divisiveness, and now this nuclear issue arises as a possible splinter in between NATO alliance countries. It’s almost as if Washington is trying to alienate (or punish) Mrs. Merkel. Whatever the underlying reasons for America’s seemingly insane hegemony, Russia’s stance is the counterbalance. At best we are on the threshold of an unaffordable arms race again, and at worst we’re seeing a total disintegration of constructive detente in between key nations. In 2010 the headline in Deutsche Welle read “Germany welcomes new landmark treaty to cut nuclear weapons.” This was supposed to be Barack Obama’s peaceful initiative to eliminate nuclear weapons. His spokesperson, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton championed the initiative. Something went terribly wrong clearly. “Words must mean something,” no longer means anything? Now Germany has a gigantic bullseye painted on it again, some say only to legitimize NATO.
Let us hear your thoughts on the matter.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.