From now until the spring of next year, the United States will transfer to Europe the new model of the B61-12 nuclear warhead, which is an advanced version of the model currently deployed on the continent. “These weapons arrive at a time of great nuclear tension on European soil at a time when the majority of the citizens of the host countries want instead to remove them and join the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” he denounces the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICANW) , I can) at the end of December. The new model will replace the already deployed “old” B61-11: in fact, thanks to their agreements with the United States, five European countries have agreed to host atomic weapons operated by the United States on their territory. Since the end of the Cold War, their number has decreased dramatically but there are still a total of 150 bombs left, with 20 in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, 50 in Turkey and 40 in Italy. In our country, warheads are stored at the military bases in Gede, which is a facility shared by the allied forces, and at the Aviano facility, which is exclusively owned by the United States.
The B61-12 is a new, advanced nuclear warhead designed to be carried by specially equipped bombers and has an explosive yield of between 0.5 kilotons and 50 kilotons. However, the weapon has a penetrating capability that greatly increases its potential against underground targets to a destructive power equivalent to a 1,250 kiloton surface detonation, or 83 times the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. This is not the only improvement, the bomb is in fact equipped with a new “tail-guided” system which according to the analyzes of the Federation of American Scientists (Fas) will greatly increase its maneuverability and accuracy. The new guidance system was developed by Boeing, a multinational weapons manufacturer that ranks third in the world classification Global military spending for 2021 from Sipri, The Stockholm Independent Peace Research Institute, where it sold weapons totaling $33.4 billion.
However, this is not the only “improvement” that has been made. If in fact the previous B61-11 warhead could only be loaded on B-2 aircraft, this new version can be carried by all nuclear-capable bombers supplied to NATO countries, including the F-35 and Tornado. “It is not simply about replacing old heads with new models with the same capabilities but about a real technical improvement – explains L other economics Francesco Vignarca, Campaign Coordinator Italian Network for Peace and Disarmament-. This could be seen as a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by all signatories, including Italy, which hosts these weapons. Moreover, every step to modernize the nuclear arsenal only serves to erode the taboo against the use of these weapons.”
Such as already mentioned Since I can, in fact, make any justification regarding the use of nuclear weapons and any threat of their use doing nothing but bringing the world closer to a dramatic stage escalation atomic. “Even the use of ‘tactical’ or ‘limited’ nuclear weapons finds no justification – Vignarca resumes-. One detonation would be enough to start one escalation Dangerous and uncontrollable.
Even if these are American weapons, and therefore it is up to the United States to decide on their use, if they are ever used, it will be through European military aircraft, piloted by European citizens. Combined with the lack of transparency about the sharing of nuclear weapons, this event raises questions about whether nationals of host countries would agree to be complicit in any escalationThe majority of citizens of countries that host nuclear weapons, an ICAN-sponsored survey shows, are instead in favor of joining the TPNW. 87% of Italian citizens interviewed supported it, along with 68% of Germans, and 77% of Belgians. And 78% of the French, that their country join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (adopt). Which can happen without ever violating the obligations imposed by NATO. “NATO in theory is not a” nuclear “alliance but a” nuclear-capable “- recalls Vignarca -. If at first glance they seem to be insignificant details, in fact they are of great importance because they would allow the member states to accede to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons without renouncing the Charter The Atlantic.”
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