The European sites where America’s nuclear weapons are stored was accidentally revealed in a document published by a NATO-linked body.
A draft report for the NATO parliamentary assembly’s defense and security committee seen by AFP gave details of six air bases in Europe and Turkey where it said the US military stores 150 nuclear weapons, specifically B-61 gravity bombs.
The nuclear weapons are reportedly stored in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Turkey.
Opposition politicians in Belgium are demanding answers from the government after a document published online drew attention to US nuclear weapons deployed in the EU.
Green MP Samuel Cogolati said that the accidental revelations only confirmed the “open secret” that the EU’s ally from across the Atlantic ocean stations its weapons of mass destruction in Belgium and insisted on meaningful debates.
The news comes amid fears of a new nuclear arms race in Europe, as a landmark Cold War treaty between Moscow and Washington is on the brink of collapse.
Green lawmaker Samuel Cogolati said the report confirmed the “open secret” that US nuclear weapons were stationed at the Kleine-Brogel air base in northern Belgium.
A section of the draft report by Canadian senator Joseph Day, refers to a total of “approximately 150 nuclear weapons” stored at Kleine-Brogel, Buechel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in the Netherlands and Incirlik in Turkey.
The information appears to come from an annual paper on US nuclear forces in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which gives details of the reported locations of all American nuclear warheads.
The USA is one of three atomic powers in NATO, along with Britain and France, and although the nuclear threat is a key part of its deterrence strategy, the alliance routinely refuses to discuss it in detail.
The military alliance distanced itself from the report, with an official stressing that it was “not an official NATO document”. An official said the alliance would not comment on nuclear matters.
In the late 1980’s, a Belgian minister acknowledged the presence of US nuclear weapons at Kleine-Brogel, which lies some 90 km (55 miles) northwest of Brussels, near the Dutch border.
But no details have been given before of the number of deadly offensive warheads or how they could be used.
The report says the B-61 bombs can be carried by “both US and Allied dual-capable aircraft”, though they can only be used with the authority of the US president.
News Punch / AB Canada Flash Point News 2019.