US stations new nuclear weapons in Germany

The US is stationing up to 20 of a new type of B 61-12 nuclear bombs at the Büchel air base in the Eifel region. Altogether they have 80 times the explosive power of the nuclear bomb exploded in Hiroshima. This was revealed in the German television program “Frontal 21” on Tuesday.

The stationing of these bombs is part of the renewal of the American nuclear arsenal. “Frontal 21” referred to the current US budget plan, which indirectly refers to these plans, saying that the weapons will be integrated into German fighter-bombers starting in the third quarter of 2015.

At the same time, additional nuclear weapons locations in Europe are being upgraded with new B 61-12 nuclear bombs. These include the airbases in Incirlik, Turkey and Aviano, Italy.

Der Spiegel already reported last year that the first bombs costing about $10 billion should be available in Europe in 2020. It said that the expansion of the air base in Büchel will cost an estimated $154 million and that Germany will cover one-fifth of this.

According to “Frontal 21”, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) defence policymaker Thomas Hitschler confirmed that the German government is going to invest €112 million in Büchel over the next few years. Among other things, the runway of the airfield will be fitted with a modern instrument landing system. In plain language, that would mean, “new, even more dangerous American nuclear bombs are due to come to Büchel and, in the case of war, would be directed to their targets by German Tornados.”

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The director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, Hans M. Kristensen, described a possible horrific scenario to “Frontal 21”: “In case of war, the nuclear weapons stationed in Germany would be used at the orders of the US president. The US forces would then hand over the nuclear weapons to the German pilots and these German pilots would then attack the target with nuclear weapons.”

The stationing is “a hidden American weapons build-up,” he said. The new bombs allow “themselves to be steered to the target” and are “much more precise than the nuclear weapons that have been stationed in Germany so far.” This is “a new weapon” because the US previously had “no steerable nuclear bombs.”

Kristensen called this “a very unusual scenario for a country that had pledged never to use nuclear weapons—either directly or indirectly.”


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