The Bush Administration is hellbent on keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran and North Korea. Now that’s not a bad idea, to be sure; no one should have nukes. However, doesn’t it strike you as a bit, well, weird, to have the US government, the world leader in nuclear proliferation, telling another country that it can’t follow in its murderous footsteps?
“US Nuclear Weapons in Europe,” a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council details the government’s hypocrisy. It’s quite an eyeopener: Did you know that the United States still deploys about 480 nuclear weapons at its European air force bases? According to the report, that is nearly twice as many as was believed previously.
Until now, most observers believed there were no more than half that many still left on the continent. The continuing presence of these weapons irritates relations with Russia, undermines global efforts to dissuade other nations from developing nuclear weapons, and impedes NATO’s post-Cold War evolution. The Bush administration and the NATO alliance should address this issue as a matter of global nuclear security and remove all US nuclear weapons from Europe.
There is more. If you are interested in finding out just how many nukes the US would give non-nuclear NATO allies in the event of war, the NRDC document has that information as well, along with information showing that the government is in violation of international law.
“It’s counter-productive and undercuts non-proliferation efforts to maintain a nuclear arsenal overseas, especially against countries that themselves are proliferating weapons of mass destruction, i.e., Iran and Syria,” said Hans Kristensen, who wrote the report. “There’s something very contradictory about going to these countries and saying ‘you can’t have nuclear weapons, but we need ours to use against you.'”