Europe Mulls Acquiring Its Own Nuclear Deterrent

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Andrei Akulov via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

With Donald Trump leading the United States, Europe seems to be losing trust in the American nuclear umbrella. As the EU focuses on the need to have its own military, the issue of European nuclear deterrent comes to the fore. The debate has been triggered. This issue is intensively discussed in Germany.

The nuclear deterrence plan is eyeing France, proposing to turn the French nuclear potential into a European nuclear deterrent. It is believed that Germany could play a decisive role in convincing France, and may be the UK, to provide security guarantees for all of Europe. Under such a plan, Europe would become independent from the US.

The French nuclear forces would move under a common European command. Or France could move its aircraft with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles to other European countries, like Germany, leaving the sea-based arsenal under the national control. From France’s perspective, this may be a good way to get the rest of the alliance to pay for the costly arsenal’s upkeep. Both Charles de Gaulle and Francois Mitterrand floated the idea of France extending nuclear deterrence to West Germany during the Cold War.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union could preclude its participation, though it may join the project even outside the EU under certain conditions. It’s not in the headlines, but the possibility of including the UK into a European nuclear shield is under consideration.

Just three days before the US elections, an op-ed in Germany’s largest left-leaning news outlet, Spiegel Online, mused about the possibility of Germany pursuing its own nuclear weapons. In late 2016, Roderich Kiesewetter, a lawmaker and foreign policy spokesman with Germany’s ruling party, raised the issue after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. According to him, a Franco-British nuclear umbrella could be financed through a joint European military budget that is due to begin in 2019, along with joint European medical, transportation and reconnaissance commands. This would require a doctrine, he said, allowing Europe to introduce nuclear weapons to a non-nuclear conflict.

It is important to emphasize that Kiesewetter is well-versed in foreign and security policy matters as a former Bundeswehr general staff officer; former chairman of the Subcommittee for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation of the Bundestag; and current spokesperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. He certainly had a good reason to bring this issue into focus.

Berthold Kohler, a publisher of the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, followed with the suggestion that Germany might need to augment the small British and French arsenals with a nuclear force of its own to successfully confront Russia and maybe China. The Carnegie Endowment’s Ulrich Kuehn called such musings «an important early warning sign».

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland’s former prime minister and now the head of its ruling party provided the highest-level call for a European Union nuclear program in the February interview with a German newspaper. Kaczynski has broached a taboo subject.

Maximilian Terhalle, a German professor currently teaching in Britain, says Germany, Poland or the Baltic countries could never fully rely on France or Britain retaliating against Russia for a strike against them. He concludes that Germany must think about getting its own nukes, perhaps in collaboration with neighbors.

Douglas «Doug» Bandow, an American political writer, currently working as a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, believes that «Rather than expect the United States to burnish NATO’s nuclear deterrent, European nations should consider expanding their nuclear arsenals and creating a continent-wide nuclear force, perhaps as part of the long-derided Common Security and Defense Policy».

There are actors who watch attentively the ongoing debates about the European deterrent. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said during his visit to the United States on March 7 that his country wanted revision of nuclear weapons status. If the EU decides to go nuclear, Kiev may become a part of the plan.

Definitely, the proposal is not so popular at present. It will take a lot of time and effort to convince people it should be done. Nobody of those who have advocated the idea remembered that a deterrent under a European command would mean collapse of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The chain reaction would lead to the emergence of 55 to 60 nuclear countries.

For Germany, going nuclear means facing enormous financial and political costs. Among other things, it would have to pull out from the the 1990 Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (Two Plus Four Treaty), where it renounced «the manufacture and possession of and control over nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons». Berlin would also have to tear up the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the European Atomic Energy Community. Actually, the entire system of arms control would collapse.

There is another aspect of the problem that needs to be addressed here. The B61-12, the new US nuclear bomb intended to replace the B-61 deployed in Italy, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Turkey, was officially authorized last August by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Around 200 B-61 bombs are currently deployed in underground vaults at six bases in Italy, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey. About half of the munitions are earmarked for delivery by the national aircraft of these countries – the parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968 that forbids non-nuclear states from receiving nuclear weapons.

Article I of the NPT prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons from NWS (nuclear weapons states) to other states: «Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices». Article II requires NNWS (non-nuclear weapons states) not to receive nuclear weapons: «Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transfer or whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices».

Thus, the process of dismantling the existing arms control system has already started, with Europeans, including German pilots, trained to navigate the delivery means of nuclear weapons.

The recently emerged or revived concepts of two-speed, multi-speed Europe, the European Federal Union and the European Defense Force prove the EU is blowing hot and cold seeking other forms of European integration to preserve the United Europe one way or another. The problems multiply and the future is uncertain in the rapidly changing world.

This is the time when making the arms control system unravel is like shooting itself in the foot. Europe does not have the acreage to survive a retaliatory strike. With the NPT not in force anymore, Europe is toast. Its interest lies in strengthening, not weakening, the security mechanism in place.

A lot has been said about the danger of an arms race in Europe. The very fact that the very idea of creating an «independent» European nuclear deterrent has triggered debates and is considered seriously by European savvies and politicians is a matter of grave concern. Europe has suffered so much from wars. It is the only continent to create a complex system of security to prevent the horrors from repetition. It’s important to preserve the existing security tools at the times of uncertainty. It’s easier to destroy that to create. Round tables strengthen security much better than unleashing arms races and violating the existing treaties.

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SoDamnMad's picture

AIP-Stirling engine powered subs made in Sweden with nuc weapons.  Hide them in the fiords and inlets with movement only when detection is suspected. Use th ehigh speed patrol boats to chase the foreign subs away.  Damn hard to find, harder to kill and so many places to look.

quax's picture

Great minds think alike.

Belrev's picture

CEO of a US company creates a 'Snowflake Test' to weed out anti-American job applicants.

quax's picture

Of course the EU needs its own nuclear deterrent. Much cheaper than massive standing conventioanl forces. Germany produces near undetectable subs. Perfectly suited to carry some nukes, and have at least two hiding in the oceans at all times. 

JohninMK's picture

And the UK has an 'independant' deterrent?

There is too much US technology for that to be true. Even the missiles are only on lease from the US.

BobEore's picture

This is an unusually solid piece for a 'strategic-culture' post; well written and full of well reasoned insight. Perhaps the author is new to that fold - I can only warn him that the odds are much greater that his work will be soon enough brought down to the level of his surroundings, than that those surroundings will rise to his.

Tis a fact that Germany produces top quality subs... along with many other military weapons & systems. Another fact - that many of them have gone to Israel - not so much 'sold' as strong-armed away from the feckless Germans, may be a clue to what is coming next. As has been rightly pointed out here - it would be economically and politically difficult for Germany to make a program of it's own. And due to purely political considerations, let alone logistical, one can be sure that the idea of having either Britain or France provide a 'nuclear umbrella' for Europe is a non-starter.

That's where the next phase of a covertly developing project comes into play. Srael traditionally plays both sides of every opposition - that's why it will have no difficulty making the following pitch to Brussels{NATO & EU}, even though it is in a de facto alliance with Moscow to degrade and then eliminate Europes defense capacity altogether...

Once fully accepted into the NATO community(Srael is already a functional, if not yet formal member - thanks to the Turks dropping their veto last year!)Srael will offer to employ some of it's +200 nukes as a deterrent shield against foreign aggressors of whatever stripe. There will be a 'catch' to that proposal of course; but the brain-dead Yurps will be unlikely to puzzle out just what it is. That's when the real fun will begin. Those who believed that sionist ambitions ended with control of the middle east will be disabused of their antiquated notions - and those who thought that the sionist threat to global peaace and security could be 'managed' through negotiation and/or political strength will likewise suffer a rude awakening.

gouyou's picture

France has the whole program, undetectable subs (they just sold 12 of them to Australia), planes able to make a delivery, a few ICBMs and of course the nukes themselves. Staging these forces in Germany or in other places in Europe wouldn't break any existing treaty, increasing the number might run against some of them, but they already seem to be a thing of the past with recent announcements from the US and Russia. Having a tighter military alliance, and a joint command structure wouldn't make a huge difference either.

Tthe real question is who is going to pay for it. Defense spending in France is at 1.6% of GDP, and while they could increase it, current fiscal responsibility clauses in the different EU treaties make that hard. Most other european country are at a much lower level and could not really increase spending without a change to treaties. Germany is the only country having the headroom to do it, but I do not see them doing it: they send troops as part of NATO's rapid reaction force to train with brooms instead of guns.

Europe might well end up in the same situation as France at the beginning of WW2: good troops, OK technology, but no political support to actually spend the money where it should be and prepare for what is coming.

MagicalUnicornFarts's picture

Before the Muslim invasion, this was a good idea. Now that Europe will be the new center of Islam in about 20 years, not sure we want them to have nukes. Pakistan is bad enough


The sin of Abraham 

Troy Ounce's picture



O/T but with endorsing PM Rutte, the Dutch voter pissed blood on MH17 corpses still laying in the Ukraine fields. They also sold their culture to the globalists. 

They will get what they asked for.

philipat's picture

+! more. My thoughts exactly. It's difficult to comprehend the degree of Libtardism in Europe which has reached the point whereby in the name of Poltical Correctness they are prepared to sacrifice their own societies and cultures and be overrun by Islam, which WILL NOT INTEGRATE within a few generations. The French and Germans will probably do the same as they are all Libtards as well.

Re MH017, it is absolutely tragic isn't it that the Dutch would be such Vassals to Washington that the lives of their own people mean little or nothing. We can only hope that one day the truth about this "accident" will come out.

Teja's picture

Please start claiming 2+2=5, that is more credible.

JTimchenko's picture

Europeans, who can't agree on anything, are suddenly going to have a joint command over nuclear weapons? Will they debate the issue of a nuclear strike against Moscow in the Euro Parliament as the Russian tanks take Berlin and Paris? Ridiculous!

Nexus789's picture

The Russians have zero interest in Europe. The only invaders of Europe are 7th Century cultists and the US military.

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

The Russians have zero interest in Europe. The only invaders of Europe are 7th Century cultists and the US military.

and Kalergi and his tribesmen...

man of Wool's picture

Good point.

How would a nuclear deterrant be controlled and by who? Where would they be placed? Nuke subs?

Europe is not a country no matter what the EU bureaucrats might think.

ipso_facto's picture

Europe should pay for its own defense.

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

Europe should pay for its own defense.

and Israel should not, because they have been chosen by god.

Olympus Mons is not a Volcano's picture

We've already got one to protect us from the greatest threat to Humanity = Those who control USA!

Russia's ABM system is capable of protecting most of Europe and could be extended out to Spain/Portugal.

danepol's picture

Good idea Europe. Pay your own way. The US taxpayer's got other priorities.

It's not only about money, though. First you've got to grow a backbone. A much bigger challenge for Brussels.

gouyou's picture

One aspect to consider is what is the real military budget: I'm curious how much is real military spending and how much is just subsidizing Boeing, Lockheed and Co. to build new toys that do not work in the real world (e.g. F-35, Zumwalt and friends).

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

yeah right, Germany is occupied and is forced to give nuclear subs to Israel as a gift

yet somehow they now will be allowed to have NUCLEAR WEAPONS?

Among other things, it would have to pull out from the the 1990 Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (Two Plus Four Treaty), where it renounced «the manufacture and possession of and control over nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons».

let's start with a fücking peace treaty for Germany?

East Indian's picture

Germany withdrawing from 1990 Treaty is a declaration of war against Russia. 

Aussiekiwi's picture

I can think of no scenario where this will end well.

espirit's picture

I can.

Forcibly remove the psychopathic children from positions of power worldwide.

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

when you read the details it looks more like FRANCE wants GERMANY to subsidize their nuclear weapons maintenance COSTS

"This would require, he said, four ingredients: a French pledge to commit its weapons to a common European defense, German financing to demonstrate the program’s collective nature, a joint command and a plan to place French warheads in other European countries."

from here:

logicalman's picture

More nukes.

Good idea?



espirit's picture

This Earth will be a better place in a million years or two.

Perhaps intelligent life will thrive then.

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

Jana Puglierin - German Council on Foreign Relations

Ulrich Kuehn - Carnegie Endowment

the same usual tribesmen hu?

BritBob's picture

First of all EU nations need to spend more on defense - Spending on NATO – Percentage of GDP 2016 - United States, 3.61%. Greece, 2.38%. Britain, 2.21%. Estonia, 2.16%. Poland, 2%. France, 1.78%. Turkey, 1.56%. Norway, 1.54%. Lithuania, 1.49%. Romania, 1.48%. Latvia, 1.45%. Portugal, 1.38%. Bulgaria, 1.35%. Croatia, 1.23%. Albania, 1.21%. Germany, 1.19%. Denmark, 1.17%. Netherlands, 1.17%. (NATO Stats published by CNN 18 July 2016)


Secondly, some countries need to stop obstructing nuclear submarines - Spanish Guardia Civil vessel Rio Cedena twice tried to disrupt the visit by ballistic missile sub USS Florida as it was approaching the British Overseas Territory on the southern tip of Spain.

According to the 
Sun, the incident has caused outrage among senior officials in Gibraltar with one 'top source' saying: 'This is not only a very dangerous game for the Spanish to play but it is unbecoming of a NATO ally to treat the US Navy with such contempt.'

(Daily Mail 6 May 2016)


Looks like Spain will try and play the Gibraltar card  (A worthless sovereignty claim): Gibraltar - Some Relevant International Law:

Gibraltar is an important NATO base.

Teja's picture

Well, as soon as there are enough small green Spanish soldiers "on the ground" in Gibraltar, the poor suppressed Gibraltese will vote for Independence and then join Spain in no time. As I understand, such is completely legal these days.

Umh's picture

They would not even consider joining Spain. Spain may want the rock, but it is not mutual.

Last of the Middle Class's picture

Give each one of those little EU fuckers in Brussels a gun and send their dumb asses to the front line. Nuke the cancer in your own backyard first, then worry about Putin.

espirit's picture

Hi Tech Suicide Vests.

Next Gen Backpack Nooks are sooo... passé.


JoeTurner's picture

why not just give the nukes to the local muslim population in Europe....get the genocide over sooner rather than later...

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

could they do the MNOOKLEOR programm directly at the basements of the EU HQs in both Strasbourg AND Brussels...

and let's not forget to employ at least 50% of rapefugees there!

Lanka's picture

Just in time for the European Caliphate.

michigan independant's picture

The trip wire to armed invasions should have been enough, and has since they buried Stalin. Problem is europe will be a caliphate in 25 years or less. The invasion is basically complete since the endangered gene pool has been basically elminated. No they will not assimilate your values, and will destroy you. They even told how and your replete with rhetoric on how you do not care. The enemy is not at the gate since it is between the liberals ears to your demise.    

tbone10's picture

Yes as foretold in the book of Revelation,  and the destruction of this shithole kuntry and what it has become

quasi_verbatim's picture

And the US, of course, does have 'the acreage to survive a nuclear strike'.

espirit's picture

Please clarify with a /s/ or /no sarc/ tag.

ronaldwilsonreagan's picture

Donald Trump is going to get us all killed.

Umh's picture

People like you said and believed that about Goldwater and then President Johnson damn near did it.

Doppelganger71's picture

Glory be to the bomb....................

adonisdemilo's picture

Damn fool idea.

What going to happen to the nuclear hardwear when the Muzzies finally outnumber the indigenous Europeans.

Don't think for one minute that you're smart enough to keep them at bay, because you're not.

OCnStiggs's picture

Set them all to detonate in 25 years. That may solve the problem.

espirit's picture

How do you say "Hi" in cockroach?

JailBanksters's picture

If they could, they would a create a singularity generator.

One step closer, and I'll press it, I mean it.

Because the world is driven by Psychopaths and Maniacs



Arrest Hillary's picture

Nothing undermines confidence in NATO .... like "selling" 20% of our Uranium to Russia .... Jimmy Carter (bastard son of Joe Kennedy and father of BCCI scandal) and Madeleine Albright are off the hook ?

HenryHall's picture

USA received far more Plutonium (measured in mass of fissile material) from Russia than the Uranium exported to Russia under the swap.

And then the USA reneged on promise to convert the weapons-grade Plutonium into reactor fuel. The plant to make MOX fuel was mostly built but never commissioned.

When it comes to nuclear weapons treaties the USA is basically dishonest and never to be trusted. Simply dishonest to the core. Only mutually assured destruction works which is why the USA has set us inescapably on the path to world war. Once ABMs are effective war becomes inevitable.