Europe’s Five “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”

Are Turkey, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy Nuclear Powers?

According to a recent report, former NATO Secretary-General George Robertson confirmed that Turkey possesses 40-90 “Made in America” nuclear weapons at the Incirlik military base. ((See Trend.))

Does this mean that Turkey is a nuclear power?

Far from making Europe safer, and far from producing a less nuclear dependent Europe, [the policy] may well end up bringing more nuclear weapons into the European continent, and frustrating some of the attempts that are being made to get multilateral nuclear disarmament.

— former NATO Secretary-General George Robertson quoted in Global Security, February 10, 2010)

Is Italy capable of delivering a thermonuclear strike?…

Could the Belgians and the Dutch drop hydrogen bombs on enemy targets?…

Germany’s air force couldn’t possibly be training to deliver bombs 13 times more powerful than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, could it?… 

Nuclear bombs are stored on air-force bases in Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands — and planes from each of those countries are capable of delivering them.” (( “What to Do About Europe’s Secret Nukes.” Time magazine, December 2, 2009.))

The “Official” Nuclear Weapons States

Five countries, the US, UK, France, China and Russia are considered to be “nuclear weapons states” (NWS), “an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).”  Three other “Non NPT countries” (i.e., non-signatory states of the NPT), including India, Pakistan and North Korea, have recognized possessing nuclear weapons. 

Israel: “Undeclared Nuclear State”

Israel is identified as an “undeclared nuclear state”. It produces and deploys nuclear warheads directed against military and civilian targets in the Middle East including Tehran. 


There has been much hype, supported by scanty evidence, that Iran might at some future date become a nuclear weapons state. And, therefore, a pre-emptive defensive nuclear attack on Iran to annihilate its non-existent nuclear weapons program should be seriously contemplated “to make the World a safer place.” The mainstream media abounds with makeshift opinion on the Iran nuclear threat.

But what about the five European “undeclared nuclear states” including Belgium, Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands and Italy. Do they constitute a threat?

Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, and Turkey: “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”

While Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities are unconfirmed, the nuclear weapons capabilities of these five countries including delivery procedures are formally acknowledged.

The US has supplied some 480 B61 thermonuclear bombs to five non-nuclear NATO countries including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey. Casually disregarded by the Vienna based UN Nuclear Watchdog (IAEA), the US has actively contributed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Western Europe.

As part of this European stockpiling, Turkey, which is a partner of the US-led coalition against Iran along with Israel, possesses some 90 thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs at the Incirlik nuclear air base. ((National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe, February 2005.))

By the recognised definition, these five countries are “undeclared nuclear weapons states.”

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.))

Does this mean that Iran or Russia, which are potential targets of a nuclear attack originating from one or other of these five so-called non-nuclear states should contemplate defensive preemptive nuclear attacks against Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey? The answer is no, by any stretch  of the imagination.

While these “undeclared nuclear states” casually accuse Tehran of developing nuclear weapons, without documentary evidence, they themselves have capabilities of delivering nuclear warheads, which are targeted at Iran.  To say that this is a clear case of “double standards” by the IAEA and the “international community” is an understatement. 

Click to See Details and Map of Nuclear Facilities located in 5 European Non-Nuclear States

The stockpiled weapons are B61 thermonuclear bombs.  All the weapons are gravity bombs of the B61-3, -4, and -10 types.

Those estimates were based on private and public statements by a number of government sources and assumptions about the weapon storage capacity at each base. ((National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe, February 2005.))

Germany: Nuclear Weapons Producer

Among the five “undeclared nuclear states,” “Germany remains the most heavily nuclearized country with three nuclear bases (two of which are fully operational) and may store as many as 150 [B61 bunker buster ] bombs.” ((National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe, February 2005.))  In accordance with “NATO strike plans” (mentioned above) these tactical nuclear weapons are also targeted at the Middle East.

While Germany is not categorized officially as a nuclear power, it produces nuclear warheads for the French Navy. It stockpiles nuclear warheads (made in America) and it has the capabilities of delivering nuclear weapons. Moreover,  The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), a Franco-German-Spanish  joint venture, controlled by Deutsche Aerospace and the powerful Daimler Group is Europe’s second largest military producer, supplying France’s M51 nuclear missile.

  • This article first appeared at Global See related article by Rick Rozoff, “NATO’s Secret Transatlantic Bond: Nuclear Weapons In Europe,” Global Research, December 4, 2009.
  • Prof. Michel Chossudovsky is the Director, Editor of Read other articles by Michel Chossudovsky.

    8 comments on this article so far ...

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    1. bozh said on February 15th, 2010 at 10:17am #

      That’s ok! Worms, bacteria wld survive! And that’s all gods care about. And i think even the devil wld go for that. tnx

    2. Charlie said on February 15th, 2010 at 11:14am #

      The B61 is the type of weapon I have always feared the Americans, NATO, Israel, or some other nuke power would use–because, by nuke weapons standards, it is a cap gun, little more than a suitcase weapon. Again by nuclear standards, it would be a “surgical strike” weapon, as opposed to the indiscriminate, earth-splitting power of the 50 to 100-MT thermonuclear bombs at the disposal of several nations.

      A single bombing run by one plane delivering a B61 or two could take out an alleged nuke weapons development site or “terrorist hideout” and simultaneously send a message of impending total destruction to the bombed nation. Diplomacy by mushroom cloud.

      One of the greatest fears of sane people everywhere for the past 65 years has been global thermonuclear war. In my mind, a small H-bomb could bring about WWIII as easily as a big one. When one flies, what’s to stop them all from flying in a last, desperate show of rage and hatred among adversarial governments?

      And in my more cynical moments, I fear that some nations would be willing to use nukes just to see how well they perform. The ban on nuke testing has left many nations with the frustration of not having the “bang” they’ve worked so hard (and so foolishly) to develop. Is any government insane enough to test its nukes by war? Or perhaps I should ask, how many nations are sane enough not to?

    3. Danny Ray said on February 15th, 2010 at 12:25pm #

      I don’t know why I do this but here goes.
      The five so-called undeclared nuclear states do not actually have any nuclear weapons nor do they have access to them. All nukes in those countries secured in bunkers on American Air Force bases. The codes are in the pentagon and in the briefcase located just behind P.B.O. ( President Barack Obama)
      Yes, they have the ability to deliver these weapons, any one with a modern aircraft can use them. Hell you can deliver them in a VW if you want to bad enough.

    4. MichaelKenny said on February 15th, 2010 at 1:02pm #

      I can confirm that nuclear bombs are kept at Belgian airbases at least. I knew a USAF NCO who was part of a detachment stationed at a Belgian airbase and his job was to sign out American nuclear bombs to Belgian air force pilots, who took them on training flights and then signed them back in to the USAF detachment.

    5. kalidas said on February 15th, 2010 at 4:38pm #

      Oh well, nobody’s perfect…

      “In 2004 it was estimated that we had lost at least 11 nuclear weapons of the bomb type. This is not counting other types of nuclear weapons. It was also estimated that 92 nuclear bombs were lost at sea from all nuclear capable countries.

      A B-36 was traveling from Alaska to Texas. It developed mechanical problems. The problems got so bad that the crew had to bail out. Unfortunately the plane was carrying a test nuke. The explosive material detonated, not the nuke, over the coast of British Columbia. This is listed as the world’s first nuclear accident. This accident was said to have taken place in January, 1950.

      Also in 1950 it is said that a B-36 was forced to jettison it’s nuclear bomb into the Pacific Ocean where it still remains today.

      Forty five years ago a B-47 was flying with a nuclear weapon off the coast of South Carolina, USA. The location is disputed, some say it was off the coast of Georgia and others say North Carolina. The copilot went back to the weapon to install a pin. The pin was necessary for the release mechanism to work. It wouldn’t go in. He radioed back to the base and he was advised to jiggle the release mechanism to align the parts so the pin would fit in. When the copilot did this, the weapon dropped out of the plane into the ocean and was lost.

      In 1956 a B-47 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. The plane was carrying to canisters of nuclear material.

      In 1957 a C-124 was forced to jettison two nuclear weapons into the Atlantic Ocean. These weapons remain lost.

      In 1961 a very scary thing happened. A B-52 was carrying two 20 megaton nuclear bombs. The plane crashed and five of the six safeties on the bomb failed. The crash occurred near Goldsboro, North Carolina. One bomb was lost. The government states that it never had a bomb larger than 15 megatons.”

    6. Rehmat said on February 16th, 2010 at 4:47am #

      The Israel-led coalition against Iran’s non-existent nukes (the US, France, Britain and Israel) has over 14000 nuclear bombs among them. But the suvival of the Islamic-regime for the last 31 years and Hizb’allah’s 2006 military humiliation of Israel supported by the US and EU – has made the ZOGs shiver at the mention of word “Iran”.

      Ahmadinejad: ‘Iran doesnt need nukes to defend itself’

    7. kalidas said on February 16th, 2010 at 10:14am #

      Soviet Union/Russia once had approx. 30,000 nukes.
      Now they have approx. 10,000 nukes.
      That one has to say ‘approx.’ about nukes is in itself a bit insane, is it not?
      I’m 100% sure Russia both efficiently and effectively destroyed or rendered harmless some 20,000 nukes. Remember, this has to be 100%, not 99%, not 98%, not 95%
      20,000 nukes is a lot of nukes..
      None, not a one, not one single bomb, shell, cruise missile, etc., could possibly, by the wildest stretch of the imagination, made it into the hands of ‘someone’ wanting to buy one or a dozen for millions and even billions of dollars.
      We all know how honest and law abiding the Russians are. The poorly paid army, Generals and all, so very precise and honest as the day is long.
      The famed Russian effieciency. All the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed. Right. Sure. Uh-huh.

      Remember the KH-55 (X-55) long range cruise missiles (6-12 ?) purchased by Iran from ‘unauthorized’ people in Ukraine? Nuclear capable missiles.
      This back in 1999-2000.

      I believe Iran has several nukes.
      Saudi Arabia too.
      How could they not?

    8. Rehmat said on February 16th, 2010 at 6:04pm #

      Israeli daily Yedihot Ahronot recently asked the opinion of three former Israel Occupation Force (IOF) officials; professor Alexander Bligh (University of Notre Dam, USA), professor Moshe Maoz (Hebrew University, Israel) and Oren Shahor (Rabin’s chief negotiator with PLO) – How much damage Syrian army can inflict on Israel if Damascus decides to join Islamic Iran against a US-Israel attack? Alexander and Moshe admitted that “despite Syria’s relatively inferior military capabilities, we should not test its strength – because though Syria has more to loose Israel would sustain a significant damage as Israel’s anti-missile system cannot stop Syrian missile attack which can reach any city in Israel. Therefore, it’s necessary to take diplomatic steps to prevent such testing”. Oren, on the other hand, stressed that both side would not rush into a military conflict – adding that “Syrians will not dare clash with Israel – they’re not Hizb’Allah”.