Germany, France Spar Over Missile Shield’s Impact on Nukes

German Officials Say Missile Shield Should Lead to Arms Cuts

Though the two nations have generally seen eye to eye on issues of NATO policy, France and Germany are said to be in open conflict recently over the issue of the NATO-wide missile defense shield.

The German government is keen on using the missile shield as a justification for further nuclear weapons cuts within the alliance. French officials, however, insist that they will not consider any cuts to their arsenal.

German FM Guido Westerwelle insisted that the alliance should focus on the cuts to its nuclear arsenal. “Disarmament is coming up on the agenda. We want the peace dividend,” Westerwelle insisted.

France has one of the largest nuclear weapons arsenals in the world. Though Germany is not a nuclear weapons power itself, the United States has insisted that it keep nuclear capable warplanes in its arsenal for dropping American nuclear weapons, and the nation keeps the weapons inside Germany despite official complaints from the German government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of