Danmarks Sociale Forum, 19.00-21.00 lørdag 4 februar

Frederiksberg Gymnasium, Falkoner Plads 2, 2000 Frb


Indledere: Gunnar Westberg, IPPNW; Armin Tenner, INES; André Mechelynk, Belgian Pugwash Group

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is in danger of disintegration unless the nuclear weapon states take steps towards nuclear disarmament. We will discuss one such step that may have a chance of success – removal of US nuclear weapons from European territory. The following appeal will be discussed and refined:




The threat of nuclear annihilation, by accident or design, remains the gravest threat to civilization confronting Europe and the World. The 480 US nuclear weapons based in Europe contribute to this threat.


For the safety and security of the peoples of Europe and the World, we appeal:

To the leaders of the non-nuclear European governments, to move towards the elimination of the threat of nuclear weapons in Europe and the World by calling upon the United States to remove all its nuclear weapons from European soil and from the adjoining waters and to have these weapons returned to the US for dismantlement;


To the leaders of NATO countries, including the three NATO nuclear weapons states – the US, UK and France – to abandon the NATO policy of first use of nuclear weapons and replace it with a clear and legally binding “No First Use” policy;

To the leaders of all nuclear weapons states, declared and de facto, to initiate negotiations on the universal elimination of all nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

To support the appeal, as an individual or organization, send an e-mail to ( .



Removal of nuclear weapons from Europe –  background document.           

The United States deploys tactical nuclear weapons in six NATO countries, in Britain (Lakenheath) and in five non-nuclear states: Belgium (Kleine Brogel), Germany (Büchel and Ramstein), Italy (Aviano), Netherlands (Volkel) and Turkey (Incirlik). In total, 480 gravity bombs of the B61 family are deployed, each with a power between 0.3 and 170 kilotons TNT, the higher limit corresponding to eight times the Hiroshima bomb. The weapons are stored at US airbases under US control or are kept under US custody at national airbases. In time of war the latter will be handed over to the NATO countries involved and be delivered by their national air forces.  The pilots and the airbase staff assigned to such missions are continuously trained and the military authorities of the countries take part in the NATO Nuclear Planning Group, where decisions are made about strike missions and targeting.

After the end of the Cold War, these weapons have lost their military function. NATO officials admit that the arguments for their present deployment shifted from military to political: they are kept to support the NATO policy of shared risks, the US nuclear presence in Europe and the transatlantic bond. On the other hand, the bombs have been modernized and upgraded in the last seven years and the potential targeting is extended from the area of the European Command (EUCOM) to the Central Command (CENTCOM) which would allow strike missions to Middle Eastern countries, specifically Iran and Syria. The last fact and the “first-strike principle,” according to which NATO may use nuclear weapons without being attacked by them, destroy the illusion that nuclear bombs serve our defense and guarantee our security. If  NATO gets involved in a war and NATO countries use their atomic weapons, they are open for retaliation.

In addition to land-based nuclear weapons in Europe, the United States maintains an arsenal of weapons to be launched from ships in the Mediterranian and in the territorial waters of the European countries. 

The presence of nuclear weapons in the European countries violates the statutes of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which has been signed by all concerned countries. The NPT forbids the United States to transfer nuclear weapons to non-nuclear states and the non-nuclear states to receive them. However, the US argues that in time of war the NPT will be put out of order, so that the shift of control of the weapons to non-US authorities will be allowed.

The presence of nuclear weapons is a permanent source of uncertainty and a threat to the continental and global security. It is a stimulus for other nations to acquire similar weaponry. In addition, the acceptation of new NATO member states in Eastern Europe and their participation in the NATO Nuclear Planning Group leads to new proliferation, especially if also in these countries nuclear weapons would be deployed. This situation is not hypothetical in view of the Eastern-European eagerness to be sterling NATO members.  On the other hand, removal of the presently deployed nuclear weapons would improve the relations with Russia and take away the obstacle that impedes an agreement about reduction or elimination of the extensive Russian arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons. It would open the possibility for the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in Central and Eastern Europe and be a first step to full compliance of the nuclear powers with the rules of the NPT.