German opposition demand US nuclear pullout
In response to a critical report of US nuclear security, Germany's opposition parties have called for the withdrawal of nuclear arms from America's German airbases
Berlin -- Germany's three main opposition parties are demanding that the United States of America remove all nuclear weapons from their German airbases.
The Greens, the Left party and the liberal FDP made the call in response to an internal report by the United States Air Force (USAF) which concluded that USAF bases abroad which held nuclear weapons did not conform to required standards of safety and security.
The USA has maintained a number of bases in western Germany since the end of the second world war, initially to fight the cold war but also as military operations points close to strategic US interests in Iraq and Israel, reducing the need for costly transatlantic flights.
Although they have been reduced in number since the height of the cold war, there are still a significant number of small scale nuclear arms at USAF bases.
FDP leader Weserterwelle told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper, "The atomic weapons in Germany are a remnant of the cold war and must be removed,"
He added that the current worries about security only strengthened the case for nuclear withdrawal from Germany.
The Greens insisted that Germany, as part of Nato, should both demand the removal of nuclear weapons from its soil and refuse to partake in any Nato-led war utilising nuclear arms, whilst the Left party accused the ruling grand coalition of lacking the courage to stand up to America on such issues.
Germany itself has never held any kind of military nuclear capability.