Earlier this month, the influential head of the Social Democratic Party’s (SPD) parliamentary group, Rolf Mützenich, called for the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany and an end to Germany’s participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) nuclear sharing arrangements, triggering a contentious debate within the SPD.
But as Mützenich’s party colleague, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, noted, such consequential steps, if they were ever decided, should not be taken unilaterally. Instead, they
demand the input of allies.
As American analysts of national security affairs, we agree. And as veterans of the last Republican and Democratic presidential administrations, respectively, we can say with certainty: Germany’s participation in nuclear sharing is a bipartisan American objective of the highest order. We also believe it is in Germany’s national interest, because without German participation in NATO’s nuclear mission, the European continent will grow more dangerous and less stable.
To see why, let us examine Mützenich’s proposal, which he anchors in two arguments. First, he states that the American decision to modernize its nuclear arsenal is accelerating an arms race, thereby endangering European security. Instead of buying expensive American fighter jets to deliver nuclear weapons, he says, Germany should be an advocate for arms control and disarmament. (end of excerpt)
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