ICAN Scottish Partner

Latest Events

Donate to SCND

Amount to donate:
£  GBP  




ScrapTrident


US withdraws Nukes from Lakenheath

left
Nuclear weapons' expert Hans Kristensen has disclosed that, according to his sources,
the US has withdrawn its B61 nuclear bombs from the airbase at Lakenheath in East Anglia.
In 2000 there were believed to be 480 US nuclear weapons in Europe. The largest number were 
at Lakenheath which is thought to have stored 110 of the bombs.
He earlier reported that in 2004 President Bush authorised the withdrawal of nuclear
weapons from Ramstein in Germany. There have been a series of reports from within the
US military, expressing concern about the security and role of these bombs deployed at
Airbases across Europe.
The news has not yet been confirmed by the Government or the MoD in the UK.



 
Nuclear weapons' expert Hans Kristensen has disclosed that, according to his sources,
the US has withdrawn its B61 nuclear bombs from the airbase at Lakenheath in East Anglia.
In 2000 there were believed to be 480 US nuclear weapons in Europe. The largest number were 
at Lakenheath which is thought to have stored 110 of the bombs.
He earlier reported that in 2004 President Bush authorised the withdrawal of nuclear
weapons from Ramstein in Germany. There have been a series of reports from within the
US military, expressing concern about the security and role of these bombs deployed at
Airbases across Europe.
The news about Lakenheath has not yet been confirmed by the Government or the MoD in 
the UK.
 
All the bombs recently deployed in Europe have been variants of the B61.  However they 
fall into 2 categories:
 
(a) Weapons deployed for use by the US Air Force at Lakenheath (UK), Ramsdein (Germany),
Aviano (Italy) and Incirlik (Turkey).
 
(b) Weapons deployed for the use of local Air Forces, but kept in US custody at Buechel 
(Germany), Kleine Brogel (Belgium), Volkel (Netherlands) and Ghedi Torre (Italy).
 
In 2003 a report by RAND into the Future of US Nuclear Forces concluded that "the purpose
of United States nuclear weapons currently deployed in Europe is political, not military".
 
There have been a series of reports in recent years revealing serious concern within the 
US Air Force about the security of the weapons. The most recent was published by Hans
Kristensen earlier this month. In recent years the alert status of the nuclear capable
aircraft in Europe has been reduced to one measured in months.  
It may well be that, in the case of the bombs allocated to US aircraft, the Pentagon have 
concluded that they might as well be returned to the United States. Although so far some
of these weapons remain at Aviano and Incirlik.
 
The continued allocation of nuclear weapons to NATO allies will be regarded as primarily
political, rather than military. However, between the Pentagon and the State Department, the 
US Government do not appear to be able to comes to terms with the fact that many in these
European countries are not grateful for this nuclear arrangements.
 
The secrecy behind the Lakenheath announcement is hard to understand. Perhaps the US are
unwilling to stoke up the wider campaign to remove all the weapons. Rightly or wrongly
they may be concerned that a total withdrawal would have a negative impact on their
relations with a minority of NATO Governments.
CND has consistently campaigned against the presence of the US nuclear weapons in 
Britain for 50 years and welcomed the news that they may all have gone.