Former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, the center-right government leader during the Reagan-era, has revealed that the Netherlands is still playing host to 22 American nuclear weapons.
“I would never have thought those silly things would still be there in 2013. I think they are an absolutely pointless part of a tradition in military thinking,” Lubber said, in comments for a National Geographic documentary.
Experts familiar with the situation say that the 22 bombs are B61 bombs of about a 50 kT yield. They remain stored at the Volkel Air Base, initially built in 1940 as a Nazi airfield. The bombs are believed to have been there since the 1960s.
Other NATO member nations, Germany in particular, have been pressing for the US to remove nuclear arsenals from their soil, saying the deployments put them at risk of targeting in the even of a broader war. US officials have ruled out moving the nukes, saying Europe must “share the risk.”