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Double Standards? Europe’s Five “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”. Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey

Amply documented, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey are in possession of nuclear weapons which are deployed under national command against Russia, Iran and the Middle East.

Following the failed July 2016 military coup in Turkey, the media reported on Turkey’s nuclear weapons stored and deployed at the Incirlik airbase. 

The US National Resources Defense Council in a February 2005 report confirmed Turkey’s deployment of 90 so-called tactical B61 nuclear weapons, some of which were subsequently decommissioned    

The stockpiling and deployment of tactical B61 in these five “non-nuclear states” are intended for targets in the Middle East. Moreover, in accordance with  “NATO strike plans”, these thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs (stockpiled by the “non-nuclear States”) could be launched  “against targets in Russia or countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iran” ( quoted in National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005, emphasis added) 

In 2016, press reports including Deutsche Welle confirmed the deployment of Turkey’s 50 B61 nuclear weapons out it Incirlik air force base.  But this has been known for years. It took the media ten years to acknowledge that Turkey (a non-nuclear State) possesses a sizeable nuclear arsenal. 

There was however some confusion in the media reports as to the nature of the nuclear bombs stored and deployed at Incirlik. They are B61 gravity bombs [of the bunker buster type] with nuclear warheads,  with an explosive capacity of up to 170 kilotons (up to 12 times a Hiroshima bomb).

The accuracy of the numbers of bombs quoted in the media reports remains to be acertained. Some of the bombs were decommissioned. Some of them may have been replaced with a more recent version  including the B61-11. 

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