14 March 2010

This video should make you nervous

Here's some commentary from nuclear weapons expert Jeffrey Lewis:
Holy crap.

If you watch this video on YouTube it is very clear that a group of Belgian peace activists not only got inside the wire at Kleine-Brogel Airbase — where some US nuclear weapons may be stored — but they also got into the area where the hardened shelters are located (within the shelters are aircraft and WS3 storage vaults with US B61 nuclear gravity bombs.)...

Apparently, they planned to go out on the runway and get arrested just like the previous group in November 2009. But, according to the group’s website “to their surprise, they were able to walk for over an hour on the runway.”...

They then walked the length of the plaza — having traversed both the width of the base, and now the width of the secure area for nuclear weapons — when security force finally showed up.

The “security force” appears to comprise one moderately annoyed-looking Belgian guy with a rifle. (Which RAJ47 observes is unloaded.) The effect would only be more comedic if he had some powdered sugar on his face and maybe a little bit of waffle stuck to his uniform.

How The [REDACTED] Did This Happen?

The reality is that significant shortcomings exists in the security of European airbases where US nuclear weapons are stored...
Much more at the link, and at Wonkroom and at Yglesias, where it is noted that our European allies want the U.S. to remove our tactical nuclear weapons from Europe:
This month five European foreign ministers from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, and Luxembourg called on NATO to take steps to remove US tactical nuclear weapons from European soil. The US has between 150 and 225 nuclear gravity bombs – which are essentially old-school dumb bombs – that are simply dropped on their targets. These nuclear weapons are relics from the Cold War when the NATO alliance feared they would need to use nuclear weapons to stop advancing Soviet forces on the battlefield.


  1. Apparently, "Homeland Security' doesn't count if it originates in another country.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. When I was in Germany, I went with some friends (four German Citizens and one dual-citizen) to Ramstein Airbase, which I had entered, and landed at, several times before. Even though I;m an American citizen and I have a military ID, it took me a good thirty minutes to gain access to the base, including photographing and thumb-printing both thumbs; we were only entering the base to go the new on-base shopping mall.
    To the best of my knowledge, Ramstein doesn't have any materiel of nuclear significance.
    The reason for the differences in security levels is, of course, that Ramstein is an American Base, and Kleine-Brogel is Belgian.


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