Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons


Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons

U.S. Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons

on the nuclear mission that other NATO countries do not have. This controversial arrangement

– of preparing non-nuclear weapons states party to the nuclear Non-

Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to deliver U.S. nuclear weapons – dates back to the Cold War

before the NPT entered into effect, but today it seems inappropriate.

Some have argued that for these countries to renounce nuclear weapons and advocating

their withdrawal is incompatible with the principle of nuclear burden sharing: “The

problem with Germany piously stepping first in line to renounce nuclear weapons on its

territory is that the country has not concurrently renounced nuclear deterrence. It wants

to continue to enjoy the protection of America’s nuclear umbrella, without sharing the

burden of risk associated with stationing weapons in Germany. In other words, the country

wants others to risk nuclear retaliation on its behalf, but it would rather not be a target

itself.” 65

Figure 10: German Nuclear Strike Planning

U.S. supervisors observe German personnel load a B61 nuclear bomb trainer onto a German Tornado fighter-bomber

that would be used by a German pilot to deliver U.S. nuclear weapons in war. This nuclear sharing arrangement was

accepted during the Cold War but is incompatible with non-proliferation standards in the 21st century."

Image credit: German Air Force

65 Franklin Miller, et al., Germany Opens Pandora’s Box, Briefing Form, Centre for European Reform, February 2010, p. 2,

Federation of American Scientists 32

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