The United States has ordered 400 copies of the B61 Mod 12 thermo-nuclear bomb from Boeing.

The media spotlight is shining on Geneva, where talks are underway for the denuclearization of Iran, which does not have nuclear weapons and adheres to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel however remains in the shadows, albeit with hundreds of nuclear weapons pointed at Iran and other countries, and not adhering to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Even more in the shadows is the fact that the United States, while they are engaged in the Geneva process of denuclearization Iran, is nuclearising Europe, potentiating the weapons stored in Germany, Italy , Belgium, Holland and Turkey. There are about 200 B-61 bombs in addition to more than 500 French and British nuclear launch ready warheads. According to a conservative estimate, in Italy there are from 70 to 90, stored at Aviano (Friuli ) and Ghedi Torre. But there could be still more in other sites. It is not known how many more nuclear weapons are on board units of the Sixth Fleet and other warships dropping anchor in our ports.

What is officially known is that these B-61’s munitions will be converted from free-fall bombs into "smart" bombs, which, through a system of satellite and laser guidance, can be dropped and directed from a great distance. New precision-guided nuclear bombs, expected to cost 8-12 billion for 400-500 bombs, have an average explosive power of 50 kilotons ( about four times the Hiroshima bomb ).

Other aspects, coming out a hearing of the Congress Subcommittee on Strategic Forces (October 29), cast an even more more worrysome light on the whole affair. Washington assures that "NATO will remain a nuclear alliance " and that "even if NATO aggreed with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons in Europe, we would still require the completion of the B61-12 program". The new weapon will replace the five variants of the current B61, including B61-11 400 kiloton penetrating bunker buster bombs and the maxi-bomb B83 at 1200 kilotons. In other words, it will have the same destructive force as these more powerful bombs. At the same time, the B61-12 "will be integrated with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter," a doubly important fact because "the F-35 is destined to become the only dual capacity fighter, nuclear and conventional, of the air forces of the United States and allied nations." This will happen soon in Italy and other European countries. It is therefore not a simple modernized version of the B-61, but a versatile weapon that has the function of several bombs, including those projected to "decapitate" the enemy country, destroying bunkers and command centers and other underground structures in a nuclear first strike.

As bunker-buster bombs are not currently deployed in Europe, the introduction of the B61-12, which also performs this function strengthens the ability of offensive U.S. / NATO nuclear forces in Europe. Italian pilots - who are trained in the use of the B-61 with Tornado fighters, as was done in "Steadfast Noon" maneuvers that took place in Aviano and Ghedi in the second half of October, will soon be trained for nuclear attack with F-35s armed with B61-12. In this way, Italy would violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which requires that it "not receive nuclear weapons from anyone." And the United States violates it because the terms of the treaty require them "not to transfer nuclear weapons or control over such weapons to anyone whomsoever."

But this can not be seen because the media spotlight is trained on the Geneva show.

Roger Lagassé
Il Manifesto (Italy)