Angela Merkel will soon be gone. The next German coalition already shares new ideas in many areas including NATO.
- Germany will cease its nuclear sharing agreement with the US.
- It will ask the US to remove its nuclear weapons from German soil.
- Germany will abandon plans to purchase US military equipment such as the F/A-18 Hornet.
Justyna Gotkowska from the OSW think tank in Warsaw, laments in a Twitter Thread that Germany may soon abandon a key pillar of its NATO defence policy.
Eurointelligence picked up on the thread in its report Will Germany cease to host US nuclear weapons on its soil?
Gotkowska argues that it is highly probable that Germany will end its participation in the nuclear sharing programme within ten years. While the government itself, including the SPD leadership, is committed to it, the programme is not supported by the rank-and-file of the SPD. We would add that it is not supported by the Greens either.
Rolf Mützenich, the SPD leader in the Bundestag, has now formally come out supporting withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany, and quitting nuclear sharing. The SPD has also nominated an anti-nuclear MEP for the job of Bundeswehr ombudsman.
Gotkowska concludes that there is no longer a majority in the Bundestag for the procurement of the F/A-18 Hornet tactical aircraft, which forms a key component for the nuclear sharing strategy. The government has now pushed a decision on the F/A-18 into the next parliament, which is even less likely than the current one to support it. Germany's exit from the programme poses important questions for Nato: whether Germany can still be useful in other ways, and whether others member will, or should, pick up the slack.
Fake News Headline
Defense News reports NATO chief backs Germany’s vow to keep war-ready US nukes
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has waded into Germany’s fiery debate about the decades-old pledge to retain American atomic bombs in the European nation as a way of deterring Russia.
Stoltenberg argued that only sticking to the doctrine of “nuclear sharing” would ensure Berlin's continued seat at the table of strategic decision-making within the alliance.
Led by Rolf Mützenich, the chairman of the Social Democrats in parliament, a group within the governing coalition’s junior party want to exit the NATO atomic arrangement, arguing that deal, too, has outlived its usefulness.
Vow? What Vow?
Both Eurointelligence and Gotkowska lament this result. I view this as a good thing.
I suggest we remove the nukes and the troops, not just from Germany, but everywhere.
If Germany or Japan or any other country wants US weapons or troops, they should pay for them, not US taxpayers.