"Most European military sites equipped with US nuclear weapons fail to meet Pentagon security requirements, according to a US Air Force study." reports Reuters:
Hans Kristensen, director of the [Federation of American Scientists'] Nuclear Information Project, said the security problems occurred at installations operated by the national militaries of Germany, Belgium, Holland and Italy, all NATO members. About 200 to 350 nuclear weapons are believed to be stored at the sites.
"What's really going on here is that the United States has changed its standards (since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States), but NATO has not followed and it's at the national bases we're seeing this problem," Kristensen said on Monday.
"In a way, it's the United States knocking on NATO's door and saying: 'C'mon, guys, you need to upgrade, too.'"
Though, rather than calling for such security upgrades of military sites, many German politicians call for the removal of US nuclear weapons from German soil. Our reader Zyme writes this guest post:
While arguable many of the transatlantic remains of the Cold War have vanished over the course of the last decade, one has remained: American Nuclear Weapons in Germany. Now this one has come under fire, too. German opposition parties demand the removal of nuclear weapons from German soil. [...] There is not just discomfort among the parties traditionally critical towards American influence, like the Green and the Left Party. Also among the supporters of a removal of such weaponry is the progressive and libertarian FDP. Its endorsement is a surprise, as the FDP is a traditionally pro-American and pro-NATO party. FDP-Boss Westerwelle is quoted "This nuclear weaponry in Germany is a holdover of the Cold War and needs to go". According to him, security issues are just another reason to remove these weapons, writes Der Spiegel (in German).
Furthermore the initiative seems to be gaining "sympathizers" among the moderately left-wing SPD, which is part of the governing 'Grand Coalition' in Berlin. This party has been trapped by a struggle for interior leadership now for months and its stance has become rather unpredictable lately.
Strongly against this proposal as the only established political power argues the other part of the 'Grand Coalition', the conservatives from CDU and CSU. In their point of view, withdrawing Germany from the so-called "nuclear participation" would enable future nuclear powers to take Germany hostage.
Oh yeah, I forgot. NATO's purpose is to become something more like Rotary International than a mutual defense pact.
After all, we can't have enough people doing exactly the same things the Red Cross, UNICEF, and Oxfam do!
Look if you want to disarm a defense organization, what you're looking for is the dissolution of all the militaries in the western alliance. If you really want something like that, say it. Advocate to your own government their withdrawal from NATO, and the liquidation of your contries Armed Forces.
NATO is a defense organization for the stabilization of security, and it requires troops, equipment, including nukes for detereence to do that. It isn't a chess club.
Being unable to defend yourself doesn't "create peace".
It invites opportunistic hostility in the same way that throwing a steak at a lion will not turn the lion into a vegetarian.
I think this is a good thing, Joe. One doesn't dismantle a brick wall all at onces, but one brick at a time. I wish to dismantle NATO (or at least the non-contributory part of NATO) but that can't be done all at once either. One nuke at a time....
[i]The U.S. Air Force Blue Ribbon Review of Nuclear Weapons Policies and Procedures found fencing, security systems, lighting and support buildings in need of repair at several sites inspected by panel members, the February 8, 2008, report said.
The document was obtained by the Federation of American Scientists and posted on the group's Web site at www.fas.org.[/i]
Your post fails to note that we don't know this because of the Federation of American Scientists, but because the US Air Force released their report on the subject. Obviously those nasty Americans are hiding something, just like they did at abu Greib!
I wonder if Dick Cheney and his cabal of "New York money types" is responsible for this one too?
At least you can see the logic.
NATO is what it is - not much of anything. It now has an almost complete EU character to it. That character is to talk a lot, sign lots of papers, the ignore the talks and papers and do little else in the way of heavy lifting.
Do you really think I would ask my sons to go off to war for Europe. If you do, then you and David must be drinking from the same bottle.
Well, to begin with, it wouldn't be you asking your sons to go to war, and I doubt that if there was a larger strategic risk, that we wouldn't actually turn our backs on the Europeans. But that's for other reasons altogether and has nothing to do with your sons.
The cold war was war, and we did do an awful damn lot to secure their space and keep it bloodless in Europe (but not in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, etal). I concider that from a historical perspective, that it could be isolated and minimized over such a long period of time in a dynamic space was a monumental achievement.
In fact keeping the jihad busy elsewehere and not on their patch is fighting for their security and interests.
But if you want NATO to be dissolved, it should be dissolved, not turned into another OECD or Sportverein.
"Do you really think I would ask my sons to go off to war for Europe. If you do, then you and David must be drinking from the same bottle."
Joe, my sons think for themselves. What makes me angry is that their sons and daughters will be paying for an immoral and unnecessary debacle long after you and I are gone.
BTW, congratulations to Germany for the huge win this evening. Congrats to Turkey as a well for a very exciting match.