US Atomic Weapons in Germany Secure, CDU Says | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 25.06.2008
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


US Atomic Weapons in Germany Secure, CDU Says

Germany's Defense Ministry has defended the storage of American atomic weapons on German ground in the face of sharp criticism from the Social Democrats and opposition parties.

A Tornado fighter jet in Afghanistan

The weapons in question could be deployed by German Tornado jets

State Secretary Thomas Kossendey (CDU) told parliament on Wednesday, June 25 that the storage facilities in Germany were secure and well-guarded by both the German armed forces and United States experts, news agency DPA reported.

He said that those demanding the weapons' removal were questioning a core component of Germany's relationship with the US, adding that Germany would no longer have a say in the deployment of the weapons were they no longer kept here.

German politicians began calling for the removal of American nuclear weapons following the release of a US Air Force report which concluded that many European sites for the deployment of atomic weapons did not meet minimum security requirements.

SPD: No strategic value

Opponents of atomic weapons estimate that the US has stored up to 20 atomic bombs at an air base in Buechel, western Germany. The Social Democrats' disarmament expert, Rolf Mützenich, said he wanted to see all warheads removed from the base, as they had no "strategic value" and were simply "relics" of the past.

Mützenich also argued that Germany should not just concern itself with security defects at the base in Buechel, but rather take seriously the defects noted in the report at all stations in Europe where atomic weapons are housed. The US report noted problems with security systems, fences, lighting and the stability of buildings at sites where it stores its weapons.

According to unofficial estimates, the US currently has some 200 to 350 nuclear weapons at sites in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey.

DW recommends

WWW links