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Eine deutsche Atombombe

Germans are debating getting their own nuclear weapon

Donald Trump’s questioning of NATO’s credibility has Berlin thinking the unthinkable

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emma.finney in reply to manuevel

Stupidities of Trump?

Where did you get the bizarre idea that USA is responsible for Europe?

Here is a novel idea - Europeans are responsible for Europe. Not Americans, Trump is only pointing out the obvious.

Over 70 years of American protection has bred generations of spoiled Europeans who think America exists for the benefit of Europe and it is their birthright that the US taxpayer fund a free nuclear shield for Europe.

Now the Europeans are shocked shocked to discover that it is the European taxpayer that is responsible for funding Europe's defense bill.


This is a non-issue in Germany. No chance the people would agree to a nuclear deterrent.

Besides, nobody here considers the Russians a threat no matter what some of the media is trying to tell us, despite the Crimean adventure. Most consider a USA under Trump to be a far greater threat to world peace.

Best USA walks away and takes all the nukes with it and lets Russia and Europe work out a lasting peace treaty based on trade and cultural exchanges. Russia needs to sell its oil and gas to survive. If it destroyed Europe it would destroy its markets. Nobody believes that Russia would want to invade Europe like under Stalin. Civilization has advanced since these dark times.

emma.finney in reply to Pumpernickel__

Poor pumpy, your authoritarian mentality will never understand that it is Theresa May's respect for democracy that made her follow through on the referendum verdict.
In a free and democratic referendum the British public voted for Brexit. Ms. May has an obligation to respect the democratic rights of the British people to get out of the EU. Britain is not like the authoritarian EU where one keeps on voting in referendums till the EU gets the results it wants.
You will never understand democracy. In fact you are unaware of your staggering ignorance of democracy, whose main essence is "demos", the will of the people.
The will of the people was expressed in the Brexit vote, got it?
It is not Ms.May's responsibility to thwart the will of the people like EU autocrats do on a regular basis.

ShrNfr in reply to Kremilek2

" On the other hand, Europe with many nuclear detergents could be more stable."

If there are that many detergents, it is probably best to just wash your hands of the matter. The result will be cut and dried.

sanmartinian in reply to Pumpernickel__

to Pumpernickel__ on German nukes

"Civilization has advanced since these dark times."

True, the world has changed a lot but a number of people are not noticing it.

In the 1950s, an intelligent French writer, despite being a communist in the fashion of the times, said that France and Britain were becoming decadent because they had "Portugalised" themselves. As Portugal had done in the 17th century, they were becoming smug and isolating themselves from the rest of the world not noticing it was changing fast.

60 years later it is still true. The difference is that in France it is only around 25% of the voters who haven't noticed the world outside is changing fast whilst in Britain, mostly in England, it's more than 50%.

Britons won't notice it until a shock hits them as the first month of Trump's government is shocking Americans.

When you enter decadence you don't mend your ways for quite some time. Spain took a century to learn, Portugal took two.

With the acceleration of History, maybe things will go faster for Britain.


Instead of whining about Trump again why don't Europeans reflect on the fact how lucky they have been to have had a FREE nuclear shield provided by the USA for almost 70 years.
Now the Europeans have to start paying for their own nuclear defense and they are shocked shocked that the US taxpayer will no longer pay for Europe's security.
70 years of American protection has bred generations of spoiled selfish Europeans who think America exists for the benefit of Europe. They have no concept of what a burden Europe has been to the American taxpayer.
Western Europe has many rich countries who can easily afford to have their own nuclear shield.
Time to stop leeching on the US taxpayer and take responsibility for their own defense.
Here is a novel idea - Europeans are responsible for Europe. Not Americans.

Mark and Volha

Take a page out of Ukraine's lesson book. Give up your nukes and the Russians will take what they want. In the face of international "guarantees" of Ukraine's borders, the response the annexation of Crimea three lashes with a wet noodle and a "brave" Canadian PM publicly refusing to shake hands with Putin.

sanmartinian in reply to ashbird

to ashbird on History

You are too kind to assume I have answers for your pertinent questions.
Let me try not to give too silly answers. Portugal's two centuries tardiness in addressing her second decadence was probably a consequence of several coincidences and a serious cause.
Let me start with the coincidences.
-Lisbon's 1755 earthquake that shocked the world so much that it produced literature masterpieces all over the world, Candide by Voltaire being the best known. It also so severely destroyed the Portuguese economy and concentrated so much the national attention to the rebuilding that Portugal completely missed the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
-The three Napoleonic invasions, the only time that Portugal suffered a foreign occupation.
-The capital of the Kingdom being transferred to Rio de Janeiro to keep the country independent from the occupying country (Napoleonic France)
- The independence of Brazil promoted by the Portuguese king who was for a time Emperor of Brazil, for another time King of Portugal.
-The civil war between liberals and absolute monarchists in the early 1830s. All these coincidences account for a century of turmoil in a country that tended to shun wars and violence during all its previous History.
Now for what in my opinion is the main reason:
- As Arnold Toynbee has expressed in so many volumes, civilisations are born, grow, attain a pinnacle, get tired, withdraw from the world and enter decadence. So far there aren't any exceptions
- I, rightly or wrongly, believe that the national fatigue that causes decadence is deeper or longer lived if the effort to become great is more pronounced.
- Portugal had about half a million people when she started her worldwide navigations. Less than a century later Portugal controlled the vast majority of coastlines outside Europe: from Japan, China, Oceania, all of Africa, most of the Americas from Newfoundland (the name is the translation of Terra Nova in Portuguese) to Chile.
- More important, starting with a population of only half a million, Portugal produced a cultural empire that today counts about 220 million Portuguese native speakers, the fifth or sixth most spoken language in the world. It's a ratio of 1 initial native speaker to 440 today.
-To compare, English has a guessed ratio of 1 to 66. Spanish, the second most natively spoken language in the world, has a ratio estimated at 1 to 100. French, maybe 1 to 20. Russian perhaps 1 to 10.
-This shows the tremendous effort of expansion by a small nation. No wonder the national fatigue and decadence lasted so long and was so deep. In my opinion, it's no coincidence that Spain with the second higher effort had the second longer and deeper decadence.
Well, right or wrong, this is my opinion. Professional Historians that I am not, will certainly have a better one.
And I fully agree with you that ever since the Athenian democracy and the Roman Republic were invented, rule by the people has always been an artifice invented by alpha males (today alpha females too) to persuade other humans to feel happy with their rule.
But Churchill was right: democracy is a bad political system but all others are worse...
At least, we believe we choose our destiny. Not that with the Trumps and Theresa Mays of this world this leads us anywhere but at least we believe it was who chose them...

Alex Tunbridge Wells

A better idea might be to reduce reliance on Russian energy imports. Instead, Germany prefers to phase out nuclear power. Not much chance of accepting nuclear weapons.

edwudwudwud in reply to emma.finney

Yes, but there are plenty more like that in his neck of the woods stuck in the 19th century who should be quarantined. “Saint Martin Schulz”…a LOL indeed…one of his “Europe’s” favourites…..and probably one of the most hated men in the real Europe.
They haven’t many friends in this “Europe” of theirs, it’s true.

Meanwhile there’s always still more chaos barrelling onto “Europe” from Germany’s Greek meddling, resulting in a Greek tragedy all because the French and German banks saw a killing to be made out of the political project, so did German industry. If they had written off their debt the EU experiment would have lost face and pissed off the German industrialists that the latter depends on. Far easier to kill Greece instead apparently.

It seems that Merkel is now lunging at the idea of her own €MF to replace the “European Stability Mechanism”. Perhaps Merkel is aware of the global unpopularity of Germany’s constant running to the IMF as it highlights EU (particularly the original German and French manipulators) responsibility for and consequent exposure to Greece and the whole collapsing €-Zone.
More obviously it may be intended for domestic electioneering. Germany has been badly stung by its experience of having to bail out Athens twice already, which has opened up rifts with its European neighbours and is deeply unpopular with Bild-Welt-reading German voters such as your pen friend who still have not realised that it is a problem of their (France-Germany-EU) making.
Apparently Berlin first proposed the idea of the fund as a European equivalent to the IMF in 2010 and has been working around the clock to get their “ally” France on board ever since.
It now looks set to succeed according to yet another fanatical German MEP Mr Giegold, who is urging EU Commission boss Jean-Claude Juncker to step in and put a stop to the plans.
Strident MEP Giegold: "The German government is planning a strike against European democracy (a stentorian LOL). What initially sounds like *more Europe* is really a weakening of the EU institutions.”
Kettle-pot-hilarious: two democratically cro-magnon forces collide head-on, the German industrialist string-puller and the deluded ‘eu’ “visionaries”.
This is hugely embarrassing for German €-bots Schulz and Merkel---:-)
Nothing like a vicious bout of kraut in-fighting to bring about the end of “Europe" especially if the maniac €uronazi Schulz and mad €urozombie Merkel destroy each other's careers.
What happens with the €urocreep MEP “more Europe” Giegold is of no consequence, but he may get credit for triggering a lot more than he wished for...with luck…for the future of the continent--:-)))
Only the krauts refer to the EU as 'Europe' as if it were their 'nation' would be only fitting if they are the ones to bugger it up spectacularly---:-]
Most Germans don’t see it, but they are still in love with a pre-democratic empire that belongs in the 19th century, one that has not made them popular in Europe. When will they wake up?

Michael Dunne in reply to Pumpernickel__

May want to work on your chronology there with Winston. Like starting with World War 1, which placed Great Britain in difficult financial straights.
And maybe two years of not so great conduct of war (like being forced to retreat from France in 1940) didn't help either. Maybe? The country wasn't emasculated by the US.
And don't think its a media concoction about your Russian friends there. Think a good number of people take Putin's invasions, posturing and authoritarianism seriously. Not everyone is on the take, like with Schroder, or some crooks in a bank or two...


This is the single most bogus story the Economist has ever run, and that is saying a lot. A country that has phased out its peaceful nuclear power, is going to build nuclear WEAPONS?


Whatever the circumstances the possibilities of Germany having a nuclear weapon due to the existence of pacifist, green, social democrats, and many similar lefties is 0.0000000000001%.
They even have nuclear reactors.
But they will be able to make the EU create EU nuclear weapons paid by the German. But as an EU act it will beyond useless.

scott0962 in reply to Piotr Pastor

The idea that Germany caused the First World War all by itself is an astonishing bit of historical revisionism. What caused WWI was the international system of diplomacy and treaty entanglements based on mutual distrust and the seeking of advantage, perceived or real, over rival European states. Britain and France were players of this game and just as much to blame as Austria or Germany when the events in Sarajevo caused the whole balance of power system to blow up in everyone's faces.

Kouroi in reply to CA-Oxonian

From a historical perspective it is not inconceivable to imagine Russia wanting to unleash its forces to western Europe and try to occupy and incorporate in their newly rising empire such territories. After all, they took a lot from turks and mongols and mostly split other lands with Germans, several times, or in alliance with other european powers grabbed this or that piece of land (e.g. Finland). Everyone in Europe was playing the same game.

I do think that NATO was formed to keep Germans down, Russians out and Americans in. There is no strategy interest for Russia to start nuking Europe. All those clouds will come back to rain on them as well. Not the same thing can be said about the U.S., who dearly wants launching pads of nukes on Russia all over Europe.

Russia getting Crimea with the excuse of a referendum is not akin to Russia invading Europe and cannot be constructed as such. Not the same can be said about U.S. invading Iraq and the intention to invade Iran.

The best thing for Europe would be if the Americans would take all their armies and leave Europe be.

sanmartinian in reply to Pumpernickel__

to Pumpernikel_ on Brexit benefits for Britain
I have no idea, only guesses, of what Junoir and Maher think about eventual Brexit benefits for Britain.
I can only state my thoughts.
I was right in predicting well before the referendum that Brexit would not change much the economy. Brexit is an administrative matter and economic agents are far more competent at circumventing administrative arrangements than bureaucracies at implementing them.
I was very wrong at imagining that the British would manage Brexit reasonably well. In my 85 years of close connections with England (I started playing with English toddlers before any others) I never saw such an incompetent government.
Whereas beforeTheresa May became PM, I was mildly in favour of Brexit as it would avoid the huge anti-EU English majority from becoming a fifth column with benefits for both Britain and the EU, I now am not so sure.
The mentioned political benefits of Brexit are still there but the lack of unimportant economic consequences for Britain are beginning to look doubtful.
Mrs May has never read an introductory book on the modern science of successful negotiations and with a little help from the three Stooges, she's doing every possible thing wrong. The disguised mirth of EU negotiators is becoming hard to hide.
While I'm still hopeful that realities will keep the political benefits of Brexit for both the UK and the EU without severe economic consequences for the UK, I'm beginning to fear Mrs May's mismanagement will damage Britain's economy seriously.
No need to repeat that although I don't care much for party politics, I am a centre right voter and my condemnation of Mrs May and the three Brexiteers comical incompetence has nothing to do with political preferences. In fact, what worries me more in Britain these days is the utter incompetence of her politicians. The few honourable exceptions are just that: very few and totally unpopular. It's a problem of voters, not elites.
Many other countries have suffered from the same at different times in their History.


"Even the leader of Poland’s governing party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a habitual Germanophobe, called in February for a European nuclear deterrent, presumably financed largely by Germany."

-- Ahh, what could go wrong? Germanophobes protected by Germany-funded nuclear deterrents...


Now that there's an infant in the White House, European nations that wish to retain some measure of independence need to consider how best to create defensive capability in a very short period of time. Putin is unlikely to sit around waiting for his enemies to build capacity.

What are the real options? One, train a citizen army in asymmetric warfare, to increase the total cost of any Russian invasion (oops, sorry, Russian volunteers with heavy weapon systems rushing spontaneously to rescue oppressed Russian-speakers in neighboring countries). Two, buy medium-range nuclear weapons from the USA and from any other willing seller.

These actions depend on educating a complacent, overweight, indolent and spoiled citizenry about some of the realities of life. And that, in many ways, is the hardest obstacle of all to overcome.

ashbird in reply to Pumpernickel__

Yes, indeed sanmartinian is always a good read and indeed one of the kindest commenters around. I enjoy reading his posts very much and learn from him frequently. I think he is a very erudite commenter. Even when he disagrees, he continues to be polite. I have not read you much before. Look forward to following your posts. I am not much of a politician myself. I mostly read to learn and find out about commenters' very diverse opinions. I comment only on things I think I know a little about, which mostly are mundane stuff about how/why people get along or not get along. I try to keep quiet when I don't know anything. Thank you for your replies. :)