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Nuclear threats

Threatening to make attacks with nuclear weapons is known as ‘deterrence’ when the United States does it, but it’s called madness, blackmail, or ‘terrorism’if Russia, China, or North Korea does.

US Air Force thermonuclear weapons, about 100-to-150 of them known as B61s, are stationed at two Nato bases in Italy, and at one Nato base each in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and Turkey. These 170-kiloton H-bombs – 11 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb – are always described euphemistically as ‘theater’ nuclear weapons, defensive ones that are a ‘deterrent’ to aggression.

Of course, Russian aggression in Ukraine has shown nuclear ‘deterrence’ to be an expensive, destabilizing, terroristic fraud. That our high, holy, sacrosanct, and unquestionable arsenal of ‘deterrence’ did not deter Russia on February 24, 2022 is dreadfully, painfully, catastrophically obvious. Yet the nakedness of the deterrent-less Emperor has hardly been acknowledged.

In the ghastly maw of ongoing war in Ukraine, the needless provocation of stationing U.S. thermonuclear B61 H-bombs at six Nato base’s facing Russia could hardly be more frightening. Then, as if to scream ‘fire’ in the auditorium, Nato’s ministers on June 30 issued their latest ‘Strategic Concept’, a public relations version of the alliance’s ongoing threat to wage indiscriminate, uncontrollable, and poisonous mass destruction using US, French and British nuclear warheads.

The Strategic Concept’s soothing, cotton candy version of Nato’s open embrace of nuclear terrorism is this: “Nato will take all necessary steps to ensure the credibility, effectiveness, safety and security of the nuclear deterrent mission.” At the moment however, the B61 hydrogen bombs stationed at Germany’s Buchel air base cannot credibly be a part of the ‘mission’ since they can’t be attached to Germany’s Tornado fighter jets. This is because the base’s runway is being rebuilt. Until 2026, Buchel’s 33rd Fighter-Bomber Wing of Tornado jets are based at the nearby Norvenich air base.

For Kathrin Vogler, a Left Party member of the German Parliament in 2021, this is a chance to denuclearize Germany. The politician told the daily paper Rhein-Zeitung last year that “From June 2022 to February 2026, flight operations at Buchel Air Base will be largely discontinued and transferred to the Norvenich military airfield…. This was confirmed to us by the German government in our minor inquiry. As far as we know, the 20 or so nuclear bombs stored at Buchel will remain there.” “This means that German nuclear sharing will effectively not take place for four years from 2022,” Volger told the paper.

“This exposes the argumentation of the German government, which repeatedly claims that nuclear sharing is an important part of Nato’s deterrence strategy. In fact, maintaining it and thus also the Buchel nuclear weapons site is pure symbolic politics, albeit with high risks for the population. Therefore: The suspension of nuclear sharing must become a phase-out, [and] now would be a good opportunity to do so,” Volger said last year.

Proven useless, nuclear weapons can now be discarded. The June 30 Nato ‘concept’ says, “The fundamental purpose of Nato’s nuclear capability is to preserve peace, prevent coercion and deter aggression.”

Excerpted: ‘Deterrencelessness: Nuclear Threats Neither Credible Nor Viable’.

John LaForge, "Nuclear threats," The News. 2022-07-27.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , Nuclear weapons , Nuclear deterrent , Politicians , Germany , Russia