NATO Assembly Document Confirms US Nuclear Bombs are in NL
(Source: Dutch News.nl; issued July 16, 2019)
One of the worst-kept Dutch military secrets, that US nuclear weapons are being stored at the Dutch airbase in Volkel, has been been confirmed in a draft report to the Nato parliament.
The information is contained in a document drawn up for discussion in the Nato parliamentary assembly on June 1, entitled ‘A new era for nuclear deterrence? Modernisation, arms control and allied nuclear forces.’
The report was written by a member of the Nato parliamentary assembly’s defence committee and is not an official Nato document, the organisation told DutchNews.nl. ‘Nato PA reports are public documents based solely on open source information,’ the Nato PA press service said.
The report’s compiler discovered the slip and has removed the sentence in a new version of the report which was published on July 11. The original document states that the US forward deploys 150 nuclear weapons for use by US and allied aircraft. These, it says, are stored at six US and European bases, including Volkel in the Netherlands and Kleine Brogel in Belgium as well as bases in Germany, Italy and Turkey.
The decision to maintain the non-strategic gravity bombs in Europe is due primarily to Russia’s maintenance of a large number of tactical nuclear weapons in its arsenal. The bombs are under US control and can only be released by the US president, the document states. Confirmation The Telegraaf said in 2013 that 22 US nuclear bombs are being stored in underground strong-rooms at the Volkel air base in Brabant and that former prime minister Ruud Lubbers confirmed the bombs are being kept at the base in a National Geographic documentary.
Papers leaked by Wikileaks in 2010 also seemed to suggest that US nuclear bombs were still kept in the Netherlands. The Nato parliamentary assembly acts as a link between Nato and its member parliaments and has five committees, including defence & security, which are charged with following major events in their fields and compiling reports for discussion.
Secret Locations of U.S. Nuclear Weapons In Europe Accidentally Included In Report from NATO Parliament (excerpt)
(Source: Washington Post; published July 16, 2019)
By Adam Taylor
A recently released — and subsequently deleted — document published by a NATO-affiliated body has sparked headlines in Europe with an apparent confirmation of a long-held open secret: U.S. nuclear weapons are being stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.
A version of the document, titled “A new era for nuclear deterrence? Modernisation, arms control and allied nuclear forces,” was published in April. Written by a Canadian senator for the Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the report assessed the future of the organization’s nuclear deterrence policy.
But what would make news months later is a passing reference that appeared to reveal the location of roughly 150 U.S. nuclear weapons being stored in Europe.
According to a copy of the document published Tuesday by Belgian newspaper De Morgen, a section on the nuclear arsenal read: “These bombs are stored at six US and European bases — Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in The Netherlands, and Incirlik in Turkey.”
The document does not attribute this information to any source. Last week, a final version of the report was published online, and it omits the specific reference to where bombs are stored. Instead, the report refers vaguely to aircraft that could carry nuclear weapons. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full report, on the Washington Post website.
A New Era for Nuclear Deterrence? Modernisation, Arms Control and Allied Nuclear Forces
(Source: NATO Parliamentary Assembly; issued July 11, 2019)
The Alliance’s nuclear posture, which relies heavily on the strategic forces of the United States and, to a lesser extent, of France and the United Kingdom, is responding to a changing international environment and will likely change more in the not too distant future. Recent Russian aggression has prompted NATO to reaffirm the role of its strategic forces as the ultimate guarantee of Allied security.
The question of nuclear weapons posture and management, however, has been a relatively peripheral issue in recent debates about NATO’s new defence and deterrence policy.
Yet major international developments are renewing debate about the Alliance’s nuclear posture; particularly due to recent efforts by all nuclear states to modernise their forces, as well as the impending demise of the INF Treaty.
Taken together, these factors pave the way for a potential new era of rearmament and a de-stabilising arms race.
Additional challenges to Allied nuclear deterrence are to come. The increasing reliance of nuclear weapons on cyber systems, in conjunction with technological developments such as hypersonic weapons, render the defence of strategic forces more difficult and significantly compresses the available response time.
Likewise, the continued proliferation of nuclear weapons raises the potential for accidents and thefts. NATO’s nuclear posture will be increasingly at the centre of Allied government and civilian debate in the coming months and years. As such, it is vital for NATO parliamentarians to be informed about the challenges of this complex issue.
The sufficiency of NATO’s nuclear posture today will be questioned if and when the INF Treaty falls into desuetude. As such, there will be a renewed debate about the correct mix of forces and negotiated arms control.
The link below is to the corrected version of the original report, which omits the European air bases at which US nuclear bombs are stored—Ed.)
Click here for the full report (13 PDF pages) on the NATO-PA website.