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Obama’s nuclear U-turn: Billions set aside for B61 nukes

Press TV – April 22, 2013

US President Barack Obama is accused of making a U-turn on his nuclear disarmament pledges as his administration plans to allocate billions of dollars for upgrading its atomic arsenal in Europe.

According to newly published figures, the United States will set aside more than USD 10 billion dollars for a life extension program for the B61 bombs and another USD one billion for adding controllable tail fins.

The plan to give new tail fins to nearly 200 B61 gravity bombs stored in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey would give them new mission and new capabilities. The bombs could be delivered by stealth F35 fighter-bombers.

“What will be going back to Europe will be a guided nuclear bomb… Especially when you combine it with F35 with stealth characteristics, that expands the targets you can hold at risk from Europe, because by placing the explosion closer to the target you can choose a lower explosive yield,” Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of Nuclear Scientists, told The Guardian.

“That is very important as there is less radioactive fallout. For many people this is a great concern because it means making nuclear weapons more ‘usable’,” Kristensen added.

In its Nuclear Posture Review in 2010, the US administration pledged to reduce its nuclear arsenal by not developing new nuclear warheads and vowing that it would not “support new military missions or provide for new military capabilities.”

According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, the US is believed to have deployed approximately 1,950 strategic nuclear warheads, including about 200 B61 gravity bombs deployed in five NATO states (Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the Netherlands).

It also keeps 2,650 non-deployed warheads in reserve, and 3,000 warheads which are reportedly awaiting disarmament.

“It flies directly in the face of the pledges Obama made in 2010 that he would not deploy new weapons,” Kristensen added.

The US is the only country to have used an atomic bomb in war. Hiroshima was devastated on August 6, 1945 after the US B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the city, killing an estimated 140,000 people instantly or gradually from radiation sickness and cancers. Three days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing more than 70,000.

The nuclear radiation emitted following the blasts continued to claim thousands of more lives over the past decades.

April 22, 2013 - Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , ,

1 Comment

  1. The price of freedom is really eternal vigilance. Starting in 1492, the world has been on a downward spiral. Wanton destruction of the planet and agrarian civilizations in the name of “development’ for a few. There are no more lands to be conquered so now we make parts of the planet unlivable in the name of war.

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    Comment by Ribeekah Grant | April 22, 2013


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