3 December, 2009 — Stop NATO
“Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dutch, Belgian, Italian and German pilots remain ready to engage in nuclear war.
“Nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO provide an essential political and military link between the European and the North American members of the Alliance. The Alliance will therefore maintain adequate nuclear forces in Europe.
“Although technically owned by the U.S., nuclear bombs stored at NATO bases are designed to be delivered by planes from the host country.
“The Department of Defense, in coordination with the Department of State, should engage its appropriate counterparts among NATO Allies in reassessing and confirming the role of nuclear weapons in Alliance strategy and policy for the future.”
Is Italy capable of delivering a thermonuclear strike? Could the Belgians and the Dutch drop hydrogen bombs on enemy targets?…Germany’s air force couldn’t possibly be training to deliver bombs 13 times more powerful than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, could it?
The above is from the opening paragraph of a feature in Time magazine’s online edition of December 2, one entitled “What to Do About Europe’s Secret Nukes.”
In response to the rhetorical queries posed it adopts the deadly serious tone befitting the subject in stating, “It is Europe’s dirty secret that the list of nuclear-capable countries extends beyond those — Britain and France — who have built their own weapons. Nuclear bombs are stored on air-force bases in Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands — and planes from each of those countries are capable of delivering them.”