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21 May, 2010 21:16

US and Europe face off over nuclear weapons

A draft version of NATO’s new mission statement released May 17 recommends keeping an estimated 200 US air-dropped gravity nuclear bombs on military bases throughout Europe.

The American warheads are remnants of the Cold War, and many European states, including Germany and Belgium, want them removed.

The nuclear weapons, which are stationed in non-nuclear NATO member states, have remained in the region because they are in line with NATO’s mission to preempt any potential nuclear war.

“They are now re-classified by the US Senate and they can be used against rogue states. Iran and Syria explicitly are targeted with these mini-nukes,” said Michel Chossudovsky, the Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

The maintenance of the nuclear weapons in Europe comes at a high cost. Although the political climate in the United States is focused on the reduction of spending and cutting the deficit, this is not a program the US seems poised to cut back.

The expense is a non-issue according to Chossudovsky, who says the weapons are there for security reasons to intimidate the nations in the Middle East.

“It’s not by accident that these weapons are there. They are remnants of the Cold War, but they are deployed in relations with the war on Iran,” he said.

US President Barack Obama has been campaigning heavily for a nuclear free world and the general reduction of nuclear arms globally. Chossudovsky said there is another agenda.

“Obama doesn’t was a nuclear free world. Obama wants to control and have a monopoly over nuclear weapons,” Chossudovsky said.