Germany fact of the day

Germany owns no nuclear weapons. It renounced the very idea when it reunified in 1990. But if war were to break out in Europe today, German pilots could clamber into German planes, take off from Büchel Air Base in Rhineland-Palatinate and drop nuclear bombs on Russian troops.

The Luftwaffe can do that thanks to Nato’s nuclear-sharing scheme, under which America quietly stations nuclear bombs across five countries in Europe.

Here is more from The Economist, mostly covering Turkey and the tactical nuclear weapons stored there.

Comments

Two keys?

Speak softly and carry a big stick.

Nuclear bombs as a service. Ownership is highly overrated, the sharing economy at work, folks.

Gig economy. Hire bicycle delivery boys to drop the bombs near the doorstep of your target.

Well, as the article notes, the bombs are American property.

'They remain in American custody in peacetime and could be released only by a presidential order.'

The only way that 'German pilots could clamber into German planes, take off from Büchel Air Base in Rhineland-Palatinate and drop nuclear bombs on Russian troops' currently is if Trump agrees. Probably after he asks Guilani to talk to his various friends first.

Presumably the German troops on base could overpower those few American guards (they probably won't obey such an order though). Anyway the discussion in Germany seems to be inching back towards calling into question the US nuclear umbrella in those times of America first, and calling for own nukes.

So that is it. Munich again!!

'Presumably the German troops on base could overpower those few American guards' and ' calling for own nukes' just makes the case (again) that no one really reads the link -

'The warheads can be armed only by a code, and the vaults are automatically sealed if power is cut off, giving American forces time to fight their way onto the base if required. ' deals with point one, and 'Although Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, has defended the practice, her coalition partners over the past decade have repeatedly asked for the bombs to be withdrawn. ' provides a certain perspective on point two. Germans are not fans of anything nuclear, though assumes that no one is really a rational fan of nuclear weapons.

Tylers point is that the Germans could still drop nuclear bombs on Russian troops. Obviously they wouldn't go off, but they could still do it.

I grant you this is not a great point by Tyler.

Would Trump consent to bombing Russians and his buddy Putin? Would Trump consent to bombing the North Koreans and his buddy Kim? The concern with Trump is that he might consent to bombing the French and his new nemesis Macron for ridiculing Trump. Of course, what Tariff Man is doing is dividing and destroying the NATO alliance, putting America at odds with Germans (tariffs on German cars), the French (tariffs on French wine!), and every other member of the NATO alliance. Cowen, being a fan of disruption, may see a silver lining to our new alliance with our former enemies, the Russians, and the end of our old alliance with our former friends, the Germans, the French, the British, etc. Maybe it's time to wipe the slate clean and start over. Or not. Of course, America's contemporary domestic politics have been dominated by aligning the right friends and the right enemies, accusations of treason if one chooses the wrong friends or the wrong enemies. How does one even know friend from foe? Are the Russians America's friends? Are the Ukrainians America's enemies? With the unknown, shouldn't we bring our nuclear weapons home along with American troops? Or does the absence of a bright line reduce the risk of conflict, in particular nuclear conflict?

'I'm so old I remember when Barack Hussein Obama was the first Nobel Peace Prize Winner to bomb seven countries. '

So, Kissinger does not count? He was actively engaged in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia (the Asian trifecta) when awarded his shared Peace Prize. A few years late, considering that secret 1968 plan which helped Nixon become president.

You're marginally more intelligent than a plate of beans.

I was trying to be charitable.

The issue I raised is whether the chaos that surrounds Trump has strategic advantages. I'm a conservative, which means I place a high value on order and stability, so Trump's chaos does not appeal to me. What some of us learned from Iraq is that chaos can have horrible, long-term consequences Indeed, I suspect Trump's chaos has nothing to do with strategic advantage for America but his own self-esteem and his domestic political advantage. Trolls like the Butcher have nothing of substance to offer, their sole interest being Trump's political survival.

LOL. Trump is your last and best hope of any political and cultural space for your effete conservatism (which, of course, conserved exactly nothing).

For all his multiple flaws, Trump has actually been the most peaceful president since Carter. Every one of his five predecessors has carried out military interventions with significant bombing of cities, redrawing of borders or regime change.

The bright side of declaring Putin victor across Eurasia is that you can hand over US bases to Russian troops without firing a shot. That's true.

And you can withhold lethal aid from Ukraine, and tell them to cut a deal with the same guy. At no immediate cost to us.

Maybe cancel some maneuvers in South Korea? Sure. The new Trump Doctrine that personal flattery is more important than long term strategic positioning for the United States.

(Some of you might be wondering about the Kurds, but come on, do they even want a Trump Tower?)

If we nuke Brazil and seed the land with soybean the next day, Brazil's GDP will double.

Germans aren't allowed to buy Auschwitz mousepads but they can nuke Russia. How does this make any sense?

+1000 for the name - well played

Perhaps the lead could have also been Turkey fact of the day.

Of course for those surprised by this NATO agreement, perhaps reminding them that Russia has a nuclear armed base within the EU might suggest NATO, and the USA's nuclear sharing, perhaps not so surprising.

From the article:
"(In 2010) peace activists entered a base in Belgium and roamed near its b61 vaults for an hour."

As US infantryman in (then West Germany) in '88, my company was tasked with guarding a large ammo depot for a couple weeks. It was one of the few times we were issued live ammo. There were certain ammo bunkers where the rules of engagement were essentially "shoot dead anyone unauthorized who gets close to those."

There may have been nukes inside, but most likely chemical weapons. But it's sad to see how far we've fallen down the SJW rabbit hole to accommodate peace lunatics.

Why the eff do we even have bases in Belgium?

Well obviously to protect the Belgiums from the Kaiser's baby-bayoneting Hun hordes.

Only then, really? Back when I was on base guard duty we had live ammo all the time. It wasn't even an important base with any weapons to speak of, just hospital equipment.

For most guard duty, the NCO in charge had ammo locked in a can. I don't remember exactly, but I think we had empty mags inserted when we guarded the gate at Ayers Kasern (our large base with 2 armored and 2 mechanized battalions).

I was on duty when the US Navy accidentally shot down that Iranian airliner in the Gulf - we got a loaded magazine for that day.

Down the road in Butzbach, a small support base, they used contract German guards. They had loaded weapons all the time.

Even the army under Reagan didn't really trust (or train) the troops to have live ammo all the time.

Do the commanders of each base have authorization to implement their own policies regarding live ammo? Maybe that would explain the difference, with some base commanders more willing to issue live ammo.

This is going back to '88-89, so the details are vague. And, quite frankly, my thoughts below are based on anecdotal evidence (short conversations with a German contract guard or 2).

The German contract guard rules were partially governed by their unions. Having seen German unions stop trains stop trains carrying M1s and Bradley's to the range, I wouldn't doubt they required armed (with live ammo) guards.

I'm pretty sure the bombing of the Marines in Beruit in the 80's was done by passing Marine guards without live ammo.

Nuclear weapons are stored in places in Europe that are well-known to everyone. If international tensions reach a certain point it's imperative that these weapons, which include nuclear bombs, artillery shells and even nuclear land mines be distributed to NATO members so that they are not destroyed in place. Should the confrontation be resolved without violence, the question becomes how are these weapons to be retrieved? What mechanism exists to convince a Turkish general to return his allotment of nuclear land mines or artillery shells? That question has never been answered.

The nukes should be dismantled like the South African goverment did in 1991 in one of the most forward-thinking acts of policy of the 20th century. And for the same reasons.

Ukraine too I believe.

I’m more worried about the ones in Pakistan than Turkey. But what do I know?

Global possession of atomic and nuclear weapons does suggest the severe limits political theorists might want to ascribe otherwise to egalitarianism and democratization: nuclear arsenals are not for all, and notice how the technologies are not freely shared among all the competing interested parties.

The advent of atomic and nuclear weaponry by itself has limited the appeals of egalitarian democracy on a global basis.

Nobody really worries that the Brits, French, or Israelis have nuclear weapons.

Difficult to say, though, that possession of atomic or nuclear arsenals has enhanced the domestic democratic qualities of the respective British, French, or Israeli polities (ditto for American, Russian, Chinese, North Korean, Indian, or Pakistani polities, for that matter).

If war were to break out in Europe today, it’s not obvious Russia would be the target. Could be Turkey vs, Greece (occupied Cypress, sea control disputes, historic animosity).

It’s also not obvious that the Germans would actually have any operational aircraft by the time it came to that. They don’t have many on a good peacetime day these days.

If war were to break out in Europe it would be the US or its proxies against whoever the US wants to invade.

This is why Russians laugh when you talk to them about NATO "alliance." To them, NATO is not an alliance it's American military and its auxilia

Suggest you read "The American Century and Beyond" by George Herring. Who knew? Academics are so far behind they think they are in 1st place.

It's curious that this time the bombs will be targeted troops and not civilians. Really?

Civilians were always a secondary target. Or just collateral damage. The major targets were always enemy military facilities, most especially enemy nukes.

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