Nothing is eternal under the Moon. This ancient truth is never any shortage of evidence, but hardly three and a half years ago, someone could assume that the world will change so quickly. The Ukrainian crisis, the return of Crimea to “native shores” and, finally, the election of Donald trump gave impetus to the changes which without exaggeration can be called the tectonic. One of the possible consequences of this global political shift – Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear-free status.
Right, right a thousand times Vladimir Putin, saying that attempts to create a unipolar world has failed, and “we live in a different dimension.” Really beautiful this new world is difficult to call. The situation is even somewhat worse than that which was observed during the cold war. Picture of the bipolar world was, at least, simple and clear. On one side of the iron curtain – the Soviet Union and its allies, on the other – the birthplace of the United States, Pax Americana. And now – go figure: a lot of poles, all mixed up in the world a human hostel.
Well, the coming to power of Donald trump threatens to do to flip it upside down. “The country, which we defend should pay for it – said the new occupant of the White house. – If they won’t do it, the US should give them the opportunity to defend themselves”. As for NATO, it is “obsolete”. These words were a real shock to the Europeans first and foremost for the Germans who have not forgotten the famous recognition of the 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy made in German in two steps from the Berlin wall: “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner” it. – “MK”).
Although Tarnowskie installation was later slightly adjusted, mitigated, the amendment is clearly not enough to restore faith in the reliability spread over Europe, the us nuclear umbrella. “The days when we could rely on other, passed,” stated Angela Merkel, speaking in late may at a campaign event in Munich. According to the head of the German government, she clearly felt it “in the last days” – a clear allusion to recent communication with the new American President.
“I can say only one thing: we Europeans must take their destiny into their own hands,” summed up Mrs. Chancellor. About what that can mean these words are constructed from different versions. One thing is clear: scrapping of the old world order dramatically expanded the boundaries of the acceptable. One evidence of the request made this spring in the scientific service of the Bundestag Roderigo by Kiesewetter – a colleague of Merkel’s party, the Deputy of the lower chamber, the former commander of the rapid reaction forces of the Bundeswehr. General parliamentary Deputy asked the experts to assess the rigidity of the international obligations of Germany “in relation to the handling of nuclear weapons”.
According to the same Kizevetter, in the discussion of national security issues should not be now “no taboos”. And restrictions really kicked the bucket. The country has deployed an open public discussion on the topic: “should Germany’s own atomic bomb?” And a growing number of molders of opinion answers this question in the affirmative.
The fermentation of minds
More recently, such thinking was considered a lot of frostbitten marginal, asocial comparable only to that of Holocaust denial – a criminal offense, by the way, in Germany the act. Calls for nuclear armament of the country, though not planted, but in a decent society the person with such a “cave” views the entrance was ordered. Mainstream, by contrast, was the idea of universal nuclear disarmament. But in recent months the limits of decency on the German political scene coming out. One of the first swim for the buoys ventured publisher respectable conservative newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) Berthold Kohler.
His article with the telling title “unthinkable”, published in the FAZ after the election trump, gives a fairly clear idea about the changes in the mentality of the German establishment. The order established in Europe after the “victory of liberal Western democracy over Soviet tyranny,” writes Kohler, shaken because of the actions of Russia, “Putin wants to make great again”, again great. At the same time to Wake up from their slumber China, aspiring to remember that “dragons require a large space for walking”. Until recently, both the desire of these States to broaden its sphere of domination and influence, was restrained by the opposing force, which guaranteed the security of its allies in Europe and Asia, the United States of America.
However, the known statement of the new American President made the Russian and Chinese leaders “to exclaim with joy in their protected from eavesdropping residences,” says Kohler. Even Washington did not dare to completely remove defensive umbrella, covering allies and partners, the belief that America does not separate his fate from their fate, is fundamentally undermined. If trump will hold the previous line, predicts a publisher of the FAZ, the main burden of the concerns about external security will somehow be shouldered by the Europeans. The burden, which they didn’t in 1945.
And here’s the interesting part: “It will have some unpleasant consequences, which we managed to avoid when we were under the curse often, but a convenient American defense: higher defense spending, the return of compulsory military service… And absolutely unthinkable for German brains – a question of possessing its own nuclear deterrent force, which can compensate for doubts about the American guarantee. The relevant French and British arsenals in their current state it is too weak.”
Those who reject the idea of nuclear armament of Germany, I hope that trump “listen to the wise counsel” that it would hobble the American political system or “the night will come the good fairy will give him intelligence.” However, German politicians should be prepared for the fact that none of this will happen, says Kohler.
Of course, to say that the idea seized the masses, would still be an exaggeration. But this is not the exotic, not the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Some German political experts who hold the same point of view, have expressed it even more categorical. For example, Maximilian Terhalle, senior researcher, London school of Economics and political science, calls for early nuclear weapons of the country.
We must not tarry, argues the scientist: “Some believe that Germany’s withdrawal from the Treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons is possible only in the case that doubts about the American guarantee will be confirmed de facto. In other words: we must wait until trump will issue its policy. But could Germany afford to wait that long? Defence policy cannot be only reactive, in critical times, it we must act proactively.”
The Russians are coming
The main danger for Germany and Europe, according to Kohler, Terhalle and other “friends of the atom” is, as you might guess, our country. Like, in the case of the disappearance of an American nuclear umbrella military balance in the Old world will change dramatically in favor of Russia. They say that Putin will not fail to take advantage of it because they do not want to see a Europe of democratic and market-oriented. “Putin again and again is clear that – convinces Terhalle. For the last time, in the case of Ukraine. Putin intends to take revenge for the injury of 1991”.
Speech, according to the analyst, is neither more nor less, as “our vital interests and our political values.” In order effectively to defend them, Germany should be militarily strong – a problem that cannot be solved without creating their own nuclear Arsenal. Other solutions to the problem – the illusion, the expert concludes. One who expects to do purely political means “naively underestimates Putin’s claim to power over an unprotected Europe.”
Thesis, to put it mildly, not indisputable. But the question in this case is not the validity of these thoughts aloud, but to what extent they correspond to the political atmosphere in the country. According to the assessment, for example, the leaders of the German Socialist equality party, the political organization of the Trotskyist persuasion, such sentiments are characteristic of the whole of the ruling class. “The German elites once again want war” – sounding the alarm extreme left. Calls for nuclear armament of Germany, published in the leading Newspapers of the country for a few months before the elections to the Bundestag (they will be held 24 September), are, according to this view of the world, “a very alarming signal.”
With a vigilant leftists can agree on at least one of – that experts and commentators advocating nuclear weapons as a deterrent to Russia, can not be attributed to crazy town. As rightly noted by the German Trotskyists, this is not a freak, single, and “intellectual props of the ruling class”. There are, of course, and other “props” that hold diametrically opposed positions. However, the arguments used by opponents of “atomization”, sometimes before a kind that can be confused with the pros.
“If Germany really starts to create its own nuclear Arsenal, it will significantly increase the risk of conflict in Europe, predicting, for example, the staff of the Carnegie endowment Ulrich kühn and Tristan Volpe, who calls dream colleagues about the atomic bomb made in Germany “very dangerous idea”. – Russia will certainly try to prevent the implementation of the German nuclear weapons program. Russians can try to arrange the murder of the participating scientists, to paralyze nuclear facilities through cyber attacks or even to destroy them with air strikes”.
Some of the Germans, this scenario may indeed scare someone finds it to be nonsense, a figment of the imagination inflamed. But surely there will be those whom these mind games will make the ardent supporters of the nuclear project. After all, if the towns and villages of Germany and indeed may one day fall in Russian rockets and bombs – no matter for what reason, other exit really is not: it is urgent to acquire a nuclear Arsenal. Because a more reliable method of protecting themselves from external aggression today does not exist.
Crashing in the expert-media environment, the political elite taboo on “homosexuality” in the nuclear issue continues to remain in force. Here the remarks on this subject are extremely rare. One obvious reason for the “conspiracy of silence” is obvious – the approaching elections to the Bundestag. No one wants to risk points and ratings. And in the same vulnerable position are both supporters and opponents of the German non-peaceful atom. The first would have to prove that trump and Putin is not so terrible, unpredictable and treacherous, as they are painted, but such rhetoric is unlikely to have appeal to the electorate. And the second, to the fortuneteller do not go, after his “coming-out” will be immediately branded by opponents as “warmongers”, “adventurers” and “warmongers”.
However, there’s a pretty good reason to believe that the mindset of those who are currently at the helm of the country, not so very different from the one that shows the publisher of FAZ and his associates. Referred to inquiry of the Deputy from the CDU Roderica of Kieswetter in the scientific service of the Bundestag on nuclear capabilities of the country is not very similar to a spontaneous initiative from below. Too ticklish, delicate affected subject to the MP decided to go it alone, risking to substitute the leadership of his party.
In principle, international legal barriers to enable the country to acquire their own atomic bomb, are well known. And the response scientific service Kiesewetter they re meticulously listed, quoted and prepared. This is, firstly, the Treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT), to which Germany acceded in 1969. And, secondly, the Treaty on the final settlement with respect to Germany, also known as “the Contract “Two plus four”, concluded on 12 September 1990, the FRG and the GDR on the one hand and the Victor countries in world war II – France, USSR, UK and USA.
The Treaty returned unconditionally capitulated country full sovereignty in foreign and internal Affairs, thus opening the way to its unification. The German side assumed certain obligations. Paragraph 1 of article 3 of “Treaty “Two plus four” States: “the government of the GDR and the FRG confirm their renunciation of the manufacture, possession and disposal of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. They declare that the United Germany will also adhere to these obligations…”
Everything seems to be clear. But it must be noted that these rules are not in Germany sacred cows. If America withdraw its security guarantees in respect of the Federal Republic, the country is entitled to renounce their nuclear obligations, claims, for example, a group of eminent experts in the field of political science in their joint text published in the weekly Spiegel. While scientists refer to well-known international legal principle that the contract remains in force only as long as there are circumstances that produced it.
However, the gap of international treaties – it is scandalous and troublesome. It’s possible that that is to say, the German strategic plan “B”. Well, the outline of plan “A” is quite clearly drawn in clarifying the scientific service of the Bundestag: the obligations of Germany deriving from the NPT and “Contract “Two plus four” are limited to the ban on creation of own nuclear weapon, nothing prohibits Germany to take part in similar international projects. It is first and foremost about their financing. But who pays, as you know, Piper. And everything else too.
The most probable partner of the German “nuclear munitions” – neighboring France. The strategic nuclear forces of this country consist of 300 charges. For comparison: in Russia today, 7000 nuclear weapons, America – 7000. In short, there is room to grow. Including in qualitative terms. However, the current French military budget is barely enough to maintain a “doomsday weapon” in its current state. Strategic nuclear forces cost the country about three billion euros per year. For upgrades – but this issue is very serious today, the money is already there.
“This opens up a space for the respective Franco-German negotiations, – said Francois ESBWR, a leading expert and Chairman of the Supervisory Council of the International Institute for strategic studies (London). In other words: if the Germans want to buy a stake in the French strategic nuclear forces, then a more opportune moment for this hard to imagine.
By the way, France had twice invited the Federal Republic to participate in its nuclear weapons programme. The first time was in 1960-ies: the corresponding proposal was made by Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, President Charles de Gaulle. A second attempt was made in 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy, during talks with Angela Merkel. Both times the French, and received a categorical refusal: Germany is worried about its pacifist image.
But the third attempt to create a Franco-German nuclear Alliance will have, apparently, is much more likely to succeed. Moreover, it is not excluded that this time the initiative will come from the Germans themselves. The image is now nothing where the above listed nuclear muscles.
The law of the taiga
In the debate about whether Germany’s own nuclear shield, there is almost no technical component. No one – neither the supporters nor the opponents of this idea – there is no doubt that for a country with a powerful modern military-industrial complex, has accumulated extensive experience in nuclear engineering and nuclear power, the creation of a nuclear Arsenal will not make the slightest problem. Will need a few years, if not months. A few more difficulties will arise with the development and production of delivery vehicles, but this task didn’t seem daunting.
One cannot ignore, by the way, and the relevant historical context. In Germany was opened the nuclear fission (1938, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman). The Germans first created and the first to use cruise and ballistic missiles (1943-1944 years). By the way, according to some historians, the first tests of nuclear warheads was also held on German soil in 1945, shortly before the collapse of the Third Reich. However, this hypothesis is not supported yet by the majority of their colleagues. But the undeniable fact is that the German physicists removed after the war in the Soviet Union, has made a great contribution to the creation of the Soviet atomic bomb. One of them, Nikolaus Riehl, got even for that Gold Star of Hero of Socialist labor, one, Baron Manfred von Ardenne, was the winner of the Stalin prize…
In short, the atom, and rockets for the Germans – the usual thing. A political decision – the eye does not have time to blink, as the nuclear club added another regular. It is clear that the scenarios according to which Russia would start to put out German nuclear ambitions with fire and sword, sending killers and inflicting air strikes seem to put it mildly, implausible. But enthusiasm on the part of Moscow on this occasion, of course, also be expected. Truly, for that fought for it and ran. Namely, for the future to as one of the poles of the Atomic chemoga megaponera Reich. Third, thank God, and the version 4.0, liberal and democratic. But it is much more powerful in all aspects, including militarily – than the model, destroyed 72 years ago.
The process of turning a meek pacifist Germany to the regional military superpower noticeable, in fact, already today. The Bundeswehr actively collects under the banners of the armed forces surrounding, the smaller States, becoming for them, in the words of the Germans themselves, “anchor army.” And this is not a figurative expression. Here’s a relatively recent example: earlier this year, the German command was institutionally subordinated to the fourth brigade of the Czech and 81st mechanized brigade of the Romanian army. Especially close military cooperation has evolved from the Germans with the Dutch: in operational command of the Bundeswehr is now two-thirds of the army of the Netherlands.
But, it is clear that the possession of a nuclear bomb will “getting up off its knees” to a qualitatively new level. Without harsh negative reaction from Moscow that “arbitrariness” is, of course, will remain. However, the stock arguments in this case we have, admittedly, not great. “Remember the wonderful saying: whatever Jupiter is allowed is not allowed a bull – said three years ago, the Russian President, speaking on the topic of red lines in world politics. – We can’t agree to such wording. Maybe the bull is not allowed, but I want to tell you that the bear no one will not ask permission. He is considered the master of the taiga”.
But the same arguments lead supporters of nuclear armament of Germany. The same “law of the taiga”: their own masters, to their statutes not put to us And what, pray tell, cover now this logic? Welcome to the wonderful multipolar world, gentlemen. Enjoy.
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