Belgians say away with NATO nuclear weapons

This video from Belgium says about itself:

Bombspotters entering the military base of Kleine Brogel in 2001 for a war crimes inspection. Bombspotting campaigns against nuclear weapons, which are as illegal for NATO as for ‘rogue states’ like Saddam’s Iraq.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Top Belgian politicians call on Nato to get rid of nuclear weapons

Friday 19 February 2010

Four senior Belgian politicians have called on their government to press Nato to get rid of its nuclear arsenal.

“We appeal to our government to take active steps in Nato to secure the quick removal of these nuclear arms,” said ex-foreign minister Willy Claes, who served as Nato secretary-general in the 1990s, ex-premiers Jean-Luc Dehaene and Guy Verhofstadt and former foreign minister Louis Michel.

Nato’s nuclear arms no longer serve a military purpose and encourage other nations to acquire atomic weapons, the four insisted.

Getting rid of nuclear arms would send “an extremely positive signal” to non-nuclear nations prior to a scheduled May review conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, they said.

The four said the time seemed right, pointing to positive signals from the Obama administration.

Washington maintains nuclear bombs at air bases in several European nations including Belgium.

Willy Claes belongs to the right wing of the Belgian social democrats (NATO would not have accepted him as its secretary-general if he would have belonged to the party’s left wing).

Guy Verhofstadt and Louis Michel are members of the pro-capitalist “Liberal” parties in Belgium (“Liberal” not in the United States sense, but in the West European sense of pro-capitalist. Verhofstadt even used to admire Margaret Thatcher).

Jean-Luc Dehaene is a member of the rather conservative Christian Democrats.

So, neither of these four politicians is a far Leftist (or any sort of Leftist).

Unfortunately, it would have been better if these four politicians would have pushed these anti nuclear weapons policies while they were still in office. It reminds me of other politicians who start showing sanity after leaving office (Colin Powell, Jimmy Carter, Dutch ex-Prime Minister Dries van Agt, etc.)

Nevertheless, it is to be hoped that politicians, presently in office, will listen to the words of these four (ex-)colleagues; and will put them into practice.

Top Bush adviser [John Yoo] defends allowing president to massacre, nuke civilians: here.

The US army has said that it was missing a deadline to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile and proposed to blow some of them up to save time: here.

U.S. Navy Conceals Nuclear Weapons Production in California: here.

US President Barack Obama has renounced the development of any new nuclear weapons tearing up former president George W Bush’s threat to launch a nuclear attack against countries that used chemical or biological weapons against the US.

21 thoughts on “Belgians say away with NATO nuclear weapons

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  2. NATO Burden Sharing: U.S. Nuclear Bombs To Stay In Germany

    September 7, 2012

    US nukes to stay in Germany – media

    Berlin has decided to drop plans to remove remaining American nuclear weapons from German soil, local media say. The bombs and the German aircraft that can deploy them will be instead upgraded.

    The plans would go against the promises Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle made in 2009, when the coalition government was being formed, the report in the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper says. At the time he pledged to seek the removal of the nuclear stockpile from Germany.

    Germany is one of the European NATO members hosting US nuclear weapons as part of the nuclear sharing agreement. It is thought to have between 10 and 20 B61 nuclear bombs stored at the Büchel Air Base. They are a fraction of some 200 American nuclear weapons that were deployed in the country in the Cold War era.

    The bombs are meant to be dropped by German Panavia Tornado IDS fighter-bomber jets in case of war. The Bundeswehr is expected to spend around 250 million euro to keep the fleet in service until 2024, the report says.

    The bombs themselves are currently undergoing a multibillion refurbishment program. Initially priced at $2 billion, the upgrade is expected to be closer to $6 billion, Spiegel reported online in May. The Pentagon wants to replace the four existing modifications of B61 with a single new one.

    One of the key features of the new version is a new tail kit with controllable flaps, which would dramatically increase the bomb’s precision and options for use. Currently the bombs are meant to be parachuted from a speeding aircraft. The change would make the bomb a strategic weapon instead of a tactical one, some military experts say.

    The German government gave up plans to get rid of the stockpile at the NATO summit in Chicago in May, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel and Westerwelle both assented to a joint declaration, which among other things stated that tactical nuclear weapons were a crucial component of the alliance’s capabilities and that the current deployment of the arsenal corresponds to NATO’s deterrence goals.

    The move reportedly was taken under pressure from other NATO members concerned with Russia’s stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons and unwilling to give up their arsenals unilaterally.

    Russian generals see the nuclear tactical weapons as part of deterrence against possible conventional attack. NATO currently has overwhelming conventional capabilities, while Russia has downsized its non-nuclear armed forces and sees them as a tool to address possible regional conflict rather than a defense against a full-scale war.


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