A half century ago, Europe feared the possibility of a nuclear armed Soviet Union using those weapons to enforce their policies on western countries in the continent. Germany, like many other nations, welcomed the arrival of American nuclear weapons as a counter-balance to the Russians. A half century has gone by, the Soviet Union is no more, but there are still nuclear weapons in western Europe. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerweile has been vocal in his demands the US remove its nuclear weapons from German soil. Now, he is asking all NATO nations to discuss this issue and conclude it is time for the continent to be nuclear free. At present there are about 20 nuclear American weapons in Germany.
The issue of removing US nuclear weapons is popular among most Germans, and some accuse raising this issue to be political rather than military in nature. But, why is there need for nuclear weapons? Is the assumption Russia will employ such weapons of mass destruction? If so, for what end? It is similar to demands for the United States to cease even considering building anti-missile bases against Iran? Why would Iran send missiles towards western Europe? Doesn’t western Europe at present contain sufficient weapons to deal with any such threats?