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"Should Germany Go Nuclear?" Topic

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Arjuna15 Apr 2022 8:12 p.m. PST

We all know it's not going to happen, but since those Russian fools have opened a Pandora's box of Undead worms that everyone thought were dead and buried, I think it's a fun scenario.

Should Germany Go Nuclear? – On AICGS


1. Hell, Yes!
2. Hell, No!
3. "The Hun is always either at your throat or your feet."
4. I'm scared, could we all be friends again, please?

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2022 12:46 a.m. PST

Why would it need to? Germany sits nicely under the NATO US/UK/French nuclear umbrella.

Thresher0116 Apr 2022 9:42 a.m. PST

1. Yes, and I suspect the Swedes, Japanese, and a number of others can and may do so soon.

As a reminder David, the USA "promised to protect" Ukraine from attack in exchange for them giving up their weapons, AND Russia agreed to a non-aggression pact.

Yes, some have said it wasn't formally agreed to, perhaps correctly, though in the USA, a verbal promise IS considered to be a verbal "contract".

Look how that turned out for Ukraine. Seems like the best reason to NOT believe in America's "nuclear umbrella" which has very large holes in it.

Heedless Horseman16 Apr 2022 10:02 a.m. PST

2 NO. UK and US can do the job if needed. Germany with Nukes is a bad idea. WE have been there with Germany, twice… and UK is not going to be part of European State. Futures can change in a very short time.
But… strangely… think Japan should have them…!
Geography and threat from NK and China..

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Apr 2022 11:23 a.m. PST

Does anyone else remember the great Tom Lehrer's song, "The MLF Lullaby?" The Multi-Lateral-Force was a suggestion in the mid-60's that Germany should be given The Bomb.

Part of the song went,

"Once all the Germans were warlike and mean,
But that couldn't happen, again.
We taught them a lesson in 1918,
And they've hardly bothered us since then!"

What's old is new again….


ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa16 Apr 2022 11:35 a.m. PST

Again no, silly expensive. Germany just making the commitment to fund Ukraine longer term (a year or two) with just a fraction of the cost of a nuclear weapons programme would screw Putin's Russia over far more effectively.

Cke1st16 Apr 2022 11:37 a.m. PST

(lyrics copyright Tom Lehrer)

Sleep, baby, sleep, in peace may you slumber.
No danger lurks, your sleep to encumber.
We've got the missiles, peace to determine,
And one of the fingers on the button will be German.

Why shouldn't they have nuclear warheads?
England says no, but they are all soreheads.
I say a bygone should be a bygone,
Let's make peace the way we did in Stanleyville and Saigon.

Once all the Germans were warlike and mean,
But that couldn't happen again.
We taught them a lesson in nineteen eighteen,
And they've hardly bothered us since then.

So sleep well, my darling, the sandman can linger.
We know our buddies won't give us the finger.
Heil--hail--the wehrmacht, I mean the bundeswehr,
Hail to our loyal ally!
Will scare brezhnev,
I hope he is half as scared as I!

Martin Rapier16 Apr 2022 12:10 p.m. PST

More nuclear proliferation is a great way of making the world a more dangerous place. Germany is a NATO member and doesn't need its own nukes.

I am sure Ukraine bitterly regrets giving up its Soviet era nukes though.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2022 12:46 p.m. PST

Agree that it would to be worth the domestic political headache for the Germans when there are already three nuclear armed NATO members, one of which has the second most nuclear weapons in the world

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2022 2:17 p.m. PST

There seems to be some confusion of "should" with "will" or "ought to."

My short to medium-term prediction--say ten years--is that it won't. In a few months or a year or two, they'll roll over and go back to sleep. Most of that short-term surge in spending won't actually be spent on weapons or training, and the projected long-term boost won't happen.

"Should?" Maybe. US promises are worthless. As a German statesman, would you literally bet the country on France's willingness to start a nuclear war to defend you? I'm sure Taiwan bitterly regrets being talked into dropping their nuclear weapons program.

But the Tom Lehrer song we should be quoting is "Who's Next?"

JSchutt16 Apr 2022 8:33 p.m. PST

Since diplomacy games are represented in the minority here it is not surprising that warfare, weapons and how ro deploy them comes to mind first. As a child in South Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis within a stones throw of nuclear weapons I understand the notion of security zones and the empathy required to respect the notion. "Duck and Cover" exercises… huddled under our desks was cruel punishment for a child considering the pointlessness of it all now. Every conflict is avoidable so nuclear weapons are not the answer…. certainly not a survivable one. The need to covet what other people have and take it with extreme prejudice is humanities curse as fortold in Genesis.

Arjuna16 Apr 2022 8:53 p.m. PST

>In a few months or a year or two, they'll roll over and go
>back to sleep. Most of that short-term surge in spending
>won't actually be spent on weapons or training, and the
>projected long-term boost won't happen.

Yes, you're spot on.
The 100 billion in debt that Germany is now generously touting as an investment in security in times of still-low interest rates neither erases past failures nor is it in addition to an increased defense budget.
That will remain the same for now, and those 100 billion will be used over the next 5-10 years to patch up the worst gaps.
Presumably in the hope that everything will have calmed down by then.
Of course a value added tax of 19% is included, returning 16 billion back into state treasury, so its just about 84 billion.
And now lets take into account inflation over the next 5-10 years…

Smoke grenade.

It's cynical, but the money would probably be better spent training and equipping the Ukrainian proxies.
After all, THEY want to defeat the Russians themselves.

Arjuna17 Apr 2022 12:16 a.m. PST

> Why would it need to? Germany sits nicely under the NATO US/UK/French nuclear umbrella.

There may be an U.S. umbrella in the foreseeable future, but I doubt there will be a French one, and I'm sure there won't be a British one.

So, as a scenario:
The next POTUS rebukes the Euros, especially Germany, that the U.S. has more important things to do and they have to handle their own affairs in the provinces.

France goes Marine LePen.
That is neutral with regards to Russia.

Great Britain stands its ground firmly.
That is, as close as possible to the USA.

In the meantime the EU is going down the drain because of the social unrest and the refugee crisis that will result from the coming economic problems worldwide.

Russia is licking its wounds after declaring itself the victor in a war in which it won nothing except two devasted provinces of a completely devastated Ukraine.
And because that worked so well, it is hatching the next atrocities in say 15 years.
Which anyone who wants to know can know, because Russia lies about pretty much everything except what it's really up to.

And now the hypothetical point:
Germany does not fall for Russia this time, but realizes that it has, but is not allowed a European leadership role to play.
France and the U.K. oppose this because they are for well-understood traditional reasons against it.
And well, its the Germans after all.
If we can't have it, why should they?
And who would blame them for their reasoning?
Beside, of course they have better things to do.
Fishing rights, refugee deterement, the Malvlands/Falkinas, whatever.

And who knows, can you really trust Article 5 NATO?

Former Putin adviser and Russian historian Sergey Karaganov claims, 'Nyet':
Russia cannot afford to lose, so we need a kind of a victory

But who in his right mind would believe a former Putin adviser and Russian historian?

Of course not, they can't be fooled again…


Lilian17 Apr 2022 4:57 a.m. PST

Germany is already nuclear, under US nuclear protection at Ramstein, as Poland, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom
France has definitively nothing to do here as nuclear umbrella for Germany or any other country, except maybe Andorra and Monaco, its independant nuclear force is only to sanctuarize the French territory against a nuclear attack and not at all as nuclear guarantee for the US-NATOised countries of Europe beginning by Germany who bought F-35 under US military and nuclear protectorate

Thresher0117 Apr 2022 5:10 a.m. PST

The US promised to protect Ukraine too and look how that worked out for the latter country.

Heck, the US "leadership" has even nixed Ukraine getting Mig-29s for their own defense during the middle of a war AND ethnic cleansing/genocide and the complete obliteration of whole cities.

If they can't have them now, when can they get approval for fighter jets to defend their country?

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa17 Apr 2022 6:02 a.m. PST

My personal view is that MiG-29s were considered too 'offensive' and likely to result in poking the Bear that bit too hard. Also lot of Russian strikes seem to be from within their territorial boundaries and even Ukraine are being careful and selective about strikes within Russia. Not to mention the potential logistical problems getting them there.

Another thing to bear in mind the politicians, rightly or wrongly, want to keep some options in hand should the Bear do something 'stupid' escalatory like dosing the Ukrainian defences in the Donbas with phosgene gas.

Basically Ukraine is probably not going to get air supremacy but they do need material to keep their airspace contested and may thwart Russia's total war strategy more.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2022 8:47 a.m. PST

Yes as pointed out, why would many other nations in NATO need their own Nukes. The US has enough for any of NATO's needs.

My personal view is that MiG-29s were considered too 'offensive' and likely to result in poking the Bear that bit too hard.
Well IMO that sort of thinking is long over. I.e. offensive vs. defensive "weapons" it was a political concept. With little to do with reality, etc.

Lessons learned – Something we saw in recent history. If the guy on the ground requests it. It should probably be sent. E.g. Mogadishu … the US requested our own armor. The WH said it would look too aggressive, etc. Hence when needed during the Blackhawk Down incident we had to depend on other UN Nation's armor. Costing us a number of losses of very well trained soldiers, etc.. Because the politicians did not want to look too offensive to the rest of the world, etc..

Take-way : Flash forward to today

likely to result in poking the Bear that bit too hard.
That idea has long passed. Send the Ukrainians what the want/need, short of WMDS of course.

Keep NATO forces out of directly getting involved.

Don't start WWIII … with WMDs or otherwise …

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa17 Apr 2022 9:30 a.m. PST

Well IMO that sort of thinking is long over. I.e. offensive vs. defensive "weapons" it was a political concept. With little to do with reality, etc.

Agreed, though the West clearly feel, to paraphrase, they have to obey the forms of Kanly even if Putin isn't! Its also a concept that is very fuzzy around the edges. For example it seems to be an open secret that SAS trainers are on the ground in Ukraine.

Personally, Governments need to get a bit more long term rather than just giving the Ukrainian's stuff on a week by week basis. Something like 1 trillion dollars was spent in Afghanistan, the West could open a kitty right now and agree to completely fund the Ukrainian state budget for 3 years for something in the order of just 150 billion. Also start looking at systems the Ukrainians can use even if they do need significant training. Its clear this isn't going to be over by May 9 regardless of whatever is going on in Putin's head and the West really need to demonstrate they have Ukraine's back long term.

Thresher0117 Apr 2022 11:14 a.m. PST

Putin seems to consider any weaponry given to Ukraine as too much, given the recent threats to the USA and others, so might as well call his bluff, or get on with WWIII.

I'd even give the Ukrainians their nukes back, and let Putin ponder that.

If he attacks Ukraine with nukes, it would be good for the Ukrainians to do the same back – irradiated Moscow, and Putin's dachas anyone?

MAD works, apparently, especially against mad men.

microgeorge Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2022 11:20 a.m. PST

I hope and believe that someone in Putin's inner circle will "relieve" him of duty" should he order a nuclear strike. They might look the other way if he decides to use chemical weapons though.

Thresher0117 Apr 2022 4:46 p.m. PST

He's already used chemical weapons in Syria, and I suspect he will do so in Ukraine, before he'll dare to use nukes.

The latter is a bit too far, and the "fallout" literally and figuratively from that could be too dangerous and long-lasting.

Chems seem to be less persistent, but still very deadly, and can be cleaned up when/if needed.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2022 4:54 p.m. PST

Its also a concept that is very fuzzy around the edges.
It's classic politico double speak, almost Orwellian. They like optics over reality as they are always looking for doners for their next election. And besides like so often has be seen, most in the US couldn't find these areas of conflict on a map, etc. And the elected & appointed leadership up the chain know it.

So you can say almost anything in a daily briefing to the reporters on TV. Most won't know fact from fiction. E.g. like the opinions expressed on "The View". Their view must be from an alternate reality. But yet many still watch them.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2022 11:57 a.m. PST

Interesting thoughts – if I was a German citizen I believe I would be having a lot of thoughts about just how much to rely on US, French and UK goodwill over the long haul – although as noted there are already something like 20 plus US nukes at Buchel which in the event of war are tasked to Luftwaffe Tornadoes

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2022 3:54 p.m. PST

What A Nuclear War Between The U.S. And Russia Could Look Like



Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2022 4:13 p.m. PST

as noted there are already something like 20 plus US nukes at Buchel which in the event of war are tasked to Luftwaffe Tornadoes
Well that pretty much says it … the German de facto have nukes …

What A Nuclear War Between The U.S. And Russia Could Look Like
Hopefully this will never happen …

Thresher0118 Apr 2022 5:24 p.m. PST

Yes, and no on those German nukes, since I'll bet they don't have the codes to activate them.

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2022 7:38 p.m. PST

The NATO Treaty was ratified into law by the US Senate properly as a legal promise to defend the signatories. When did we ratify a nuclear umbrella over Taiwan or Ukraine? Oh, that's right, we did not.

That may not matter to you, but it remains a point of law under the Constitution of the United States, a document I still support, however unfashionable it has become today.

You can argue how likely the US is to follow that legally binding treaty, but the point is that legally we do not nor have we ever had an obligation to get US men and women, military or civilian, killed for Ukraine or Taiwan.

I believe in Ukraine's right to defend itself. I believe we should arm them to do so. I would have gone over to fight them if I wasn't in my mid 50s with a family dependent on my income. However I do not believe for one thin second we should risk World War Three just to own Putin or the Russians.

I do believe that China is a huge threat and I wish we had signed a legal treaty with Taiwan back in the 50s, but we didn't. It would never happen now, but all we can do is give them support as we can and make it not worth China's while to attempt it.

I suspect, in my heart of hearts, that China will be much more circumspect about it, infiltrating slowly so that when the moment comes, they will remove the Taiwanese government to inflict maximum chaos from within at the moment they make their move.

Had Russia done that, and they definitely had the opportunity if not the foresight to do so, Ukraine would not have Zelensky and the war might have ended that much sooner.

I believe China is better at that type of game, which is terrifying. If you are unaware, China has announced plans to build lots of new MIRVed ICBMs. When done, they will be either the lead or second place Nuclear power and the US will be third. Prepare for a lot of Chinese nuclear blackmail in the future. Don't think they can do it? Look at their space program, which is as prolific currently as Elon Musk's while NASA screws up even more a launches lately (the SLS), and the usual suspects argue against the US renewing our own Nuclear arsenal, which by any standard is looking a bit creaky.

So while you are busy planning World War 3 against Russia, China is about to say, ‘Hold my beer.'

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Apr 2022 2:15 p.m. PST

Well said….


Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP19 Apr 2022 2:24 p.m. PST

Tgerritsen +1

Yes, no way should the US have boots on the ground in the Ukraine and Taiwan in a combat role if at all at this point. Before a conflict e.g. in the Ukraine since 2015 the US/NATO were training the Ukraine forces, should not be a negative however.

Trying to stop WWIII and a possible WMD/Nuke exchange has to be a priority. But we still should support those who are fighting the Russians. Or may have to fight the PRC/CCP …

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP23 Apr 2022 10:07 p.m. PST

Did anyone read that article? It was written while Trump was in office. If he gets in office again, that alone could drive Germany to developing their own nuclear forces. IMO, Trump will pull the US out of NATO. Then what choice would Germany have against an aggressive Russia which has the tacit support of the US?

This is one of many reasons the US needs to be in NATO and have troops in central Europe, indefinitely. Once we pull out, those Europeans would be at each others throats again and this time with Nukes. Then the US will once again have to send troops to Europe to clean up their mess.

Arjuna23 Apr 2022 10:55 p.m. PST

@Old Contemptible

Exactly that.
The goal of the Russians from the beginning was to reset the old game to field one.
But this time it's with nukes.

But leave Donnie as a person out of the picture, it doesn't lead anywhere.
Frankly said, he had a point.

The Europeans needed to get much more involved in Europe, especially the Germans, to take the pressure off the USA, which is much more concerned about China.
China, which of course is waiting to see what happens.

For obvios reasons, nobody wants a nuclear armed Germany, and I doubt it will ever try.
But the old geostrategic situation of yesteryear would arise again, yes.
With all the consequences.
That is, as I wrote elsewhere, the russians seem not know what they have reawakened.
Or even worse, that was their intention, but they think they have the better cards this time.
Nuclear cards.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa24 Apr 2022 2:01 a.m. PST

I may have got the MiG-29 thing wrong. Ukraine have apparently been quietly passed spares and airframes.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2022 8:31 a.m. PST

that alone could drive Germany to developing their own nuclear forces. IMO, Trump will pull the US out of NATO.
No … highly unlikely. NATO nations were not paying their fair share of their GDP, IIRC. That is why the US POTUS threatened to leave NATO back then.

The point was also made by that POTUS was why was Germany buying energy from Russia ? While the USA was planning on being big of part of the forces, i.e. NATO defending Germany from those same Russians. The US was paying more than it's fair share to NATO. In more ways that one.

Did some of old NATO not study their history ? Or even current events. Putin is an old school former KGB Communist. He thought the end of the USSR was the biggest disaster in the 20th Century.

So who thought in NATO that it would be a good idea to downsize their military. Then even trust someone like Putin to do energy business in good faith ? IMO only fools would trust an old school former KGB Communist to depend on them for any power/energy. Remember WWI & WWII, then the Cold War ? Where Russia supported other Communist forces worldwide fighting US/SEATO/UN and NATO forces.

A tiger of Putin's ilk don't change it's stripes… Ever. Albeit the Russian Tiger in both leadership and in the field appears to showing it's age.

It is clear to me with nations like the UK & Germany as well as others in NATO downsized their military to the point of almost being ineffective. As they knew/thought the US would come to their aid as twice before in some cases. Many of the old NATO members thought the Russians were no longer much of a threat.

They were wrong … Now NATO is going on a footing it seems to increase their military, even if just a little. Plus sending massive material support to Ukraine.

So again … NO … Germany will not get nukes … They know as much of NATO does. If need be the US has more than enough nukes for MAD.

Arjuna07 May 2022 9:55 a.m. PST

Hm, seems I'm not the only German, that is thinking about the future more serious.

"For example, people still rely on the Americans for nuclear deterrence. But what do we do if the next American president doesn't renew this security guarantee?"

Bumpy translation of a German language news about the statement of Friedrich Merz, the leader of the German main oppositional Party, the Christian Democrats.

I guess, those foolish Russians probably still do not understand what they have really done.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2022 3:36 p.m. PST

We may have to just wait & see in 2024 … Regardless, seems the Russians/Putin understand very little lately. Not just they don't know how to fight combined arms … but the cause & effect of this invasion, to the US/NATO, and many others in the world.

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