NATO and the Nuclear Umbrella – A View
“One of the ironies in the whole debate about nuclear weapons in the UK is that Scotland, who have them, don’t want them, and England who don’t have them, want Scotland, who don’t want them, to keep them”
George Robertson, other Unionist politicians and the, “Blether Together” campaign have been, spreading their usual gloom and doom lies making great play on the stated intention that an independent Scotland would require an early removal of Trident from the Clyde. Their, “cry’s of foul play” have added threats that Scotland is applying double standards, removing Trident then asking that membership of NATO and it’s “nuclear umbrella” be extended to Scotland. George Robertson and a few right-wing US politicians have issued grave warnings that Scotland would be denied NATO membership, if they followed through and forced removal of Trident. Dismantling the foregoing piffle is not difficult, since George and his pals have been at it before;
George Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO, (in 2010) criticized a German government proposal to withdraw all remaining American, (tactical) nuclear weapons from German territory as damaging not only to Germany, but to the NATO alliance as a whole. He said that the proposal was driven more by populist sentiment than any long-term strategic goal. In response critics of Mr Robertson stated that Robertson’s opinions were based on outdated perceptions.
Recent U.S. – Russia bilateral negotiations to reduce long-range weapons did not cover B-61s in Europe. There are an estimated 200 B-61 thermonuclear-gravity bombs, (tactical weapons) scattered across, Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Under a NATO agreement struck during the Cold War, the bombs, which are owned by the U.S., can be transferred to the control of a host nation’s air force in time of conflict. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dutch, Belgian, Italian and German pilots remain ready to engage in nuclear war.
In 2001, when the Greek air force ordered a new fighter jet, it chose a model that could not carry the B-61, forcing the U.S. to withdraw its weapons there. The U.S. still stores weapons in Turkey, but some experts say the Turkish air force is no longer involved. Canada gave up it’s support of nuclear weapons many year’s ago. All three countries remain to be full members of NATO. Up your’s George !!!
Another spoiler. Forming part of a rolling replacement programme, to be completed before 2020 all Tornado jet fighters that are equipped to carry tactical nuclear weapons will be scrapped. The successor aircraft, The Eurofighter,(Typhoon) a joint European development, now in service in, The UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, throughout europe and sold worldwide in ever increasing volumes, is not capable of carrying nuclear bombs. Howszat George!! Not one of the countries concerned is threatened with expulsion from NATO.
Heather Conley of the Center for Strategic and International Studies stated, “we are allowing aircraft selection to determine our posture,”. “Given that Europe’s hidden nuclear arsenal is unpopular, potentially unsafe and a hindrance to global nonproliferation efforts, it’s time for it to go.