With all the talk lately of "despicable Iran" and its nuclear program in the press lately, it's worth pausing and taking stock of the little-known probable nuclear powers that we never hear about. First, let's begin with this article, and then note certain details it contains quite closely:
As the article notes, the recognized nations with nuclear weapons are the USA, Russia - these two powers having by far and away the most built-up nuclear and thermonuclear stockpiles - France, the United Kingdom, and China (these nations also having significant thermonuclear stockpiles, and Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. These last three nations are known to have nuclear weapons, that is, the atom bomb, but not thermonuclear weapons (the much larger and more destructive hydrogen bomb), though in India's case a thermonuclear weapon would be possible and attainable. Now, consider the position this puts Iran in: a thermonuclear power to the north (Russia), nuclear powers to the east (India, Pakistan, and China), and a nuclear power to the West (Israel).
Now, with that in mind, consider the heart of this article, with respect to the five undeclared nuclear 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 so-called "non-nuclear states", 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'."
Yes, you read that correctly, the USA has supplied thermonuclear bunker busting warheads - that's hydrogen bombs - to Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.
But there is one power in this mix that should raise one's attention. I have long argued in my books and on various interviews, that of all the suspected "nuclear" powers, Germany has been front and center. It has clearly developed, and sold, on the international market, uranium enrichment technologies, and was suspected of being the hidden partner behind South Africa's and Israel's development of nuclear weapons (see the 1980s New York Times book, The Nuclear Axis). Note carefully what this article states:
"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" (Ibid). 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. "(Emphasis added)
Yup, you read that right: Germany builds nuclear warheads for France, including its M51 missile. What's an M51 missile, you might ask? Well, it's a submarine-launched ICBM with a range of 9000 kilometers, according to this article:
A submarine-launched ICBM, and Germany is building it for France. How convenient for France and Germany. And the world is worried about whatever nuclear popgun Iran might produce? Each of the named European nations has the ability to deliver their stockpiles of American tactical nukes, but more importantly, Germany produces nuclear warheads, and an ICBM, for France. The handwriting is on the wall, folks: Germany is an implicit thermonuclear power, with an implicit ability to deliver strategic thermonuclear weapons via ICBMs. That puts those remarks by German Defense Minister Thomas de Maziere, and his warning to Israel that I spoke about in last week's News and Views from the Nefarium, into a very interesting light indeed. Don't get me wrong. I'm not worried about Germany raining down thermonuclear destruction on anyone, nor about the French, Dutch, Belgians, Italians, or even the Turks doing so. But by the same token, I'm not all that worried about Iran doing so either, for the lesson is clear: if it tried, any one of these European powers could retaliate, and do so in overwhelming fashion. So let's everyone take a deep breath, and take a step back from the Apocalypse Theater.