Former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers confirmed the presence of American nuclear warheads in bunkers at the Netherlands’ Volkel air base. According to the Telegraph’s report, the Dutch airbase “houses 22 tactical nuclear bombs belonging to the United States as part of a Cold War military arsenal described by the country’s former Prime Minister as ‘absolutely pointless.’”
The 22 weapons are reported to be B61 thermonuclear bombs, each four times as potent as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Sources say that although the bombs are completely intact, they “are not thought to be kept in immediate operational readiness.”
This is not the first time that sources have revealed that the United States maintains hidden weapons of mass destruction in other countries. In 2010, WikiLeaks revealed that the US maintained atomic weapons in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Turkey. At that time, the German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, called for the removal of US nuclear weapons from his country’s soil. Lubbers’ disclosure could also cause Dutch politicians to demand the removal of the nuclear weapons.
The Telegraph reported that a spokesman for the Royal Dutch Air Force refused to confirm Lubbers’ revelation and told the Dutch broadcaster NOS that these issues “are never spoken of.” “He, as former prime minister, knows that well,” the spokesperson said.
Bruno Waterfield, 22 ‘Pointless’ US Nuclear Bombs at Dutch Airbase,” Telegraph (UK), June 10, 2013, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/10110527/22-pointless-US-nuclear-bombs-at-Dutch-airbase.html.
“US Nuclear Bombs ‘Based in Netherlands’ – ex-Dutch PM Lubbers,” BBC, June 10, 2013, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22840880.
“US Nuclear Bombs Stored in Netherlands: Former PM,” PressTV, June 18, 2013, http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/06/10/308214/us-nuclear-bombs-stored-in-netherlands/.
Student Researcher: Cristian Jaramillo (Santa Rosa Junior College)
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (Santa Rosa Junior College)