“Thank you President Obama. Italy is fully determined to follow through with its commitment for nuclear security.” So tweets Prime Minister Renzi after participating in the Washington Summit on Nuclear Security in April [2016].

In his presentation at the Summit, President Obama writes “Proliferation and the potential use of nuclear weapons constitute the greatest threat to global security. This is why, seven years ago at Prague, I guaranteed that the United States stop exporting nuclear weapons”.

At the very moment he makes this declaration, the B 61-12, the new US nuclear bombs, are being developed. These are meant to replace the current B61 that the US has installed in Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey. Tests are underway to fit out the B61-12 with anti-bunker capacity, that is, to penetrate the subsoil. The B61-12, steered to this end, explodes with far-reaching effects to destroy command centres and other subterranean structures. It is therefore a weapon for first strike that is, a nuclear attack by ambush.

To use these new nuclear bombs with precision guidance and variable power, Italy is providing not only bases at Aviano and Ghedi-Torre, but also pilots trained for US-led nuclear attacks. The [Federation of American Scientists] writes that this is proved by the presence at Ghedi of the 704th Munitions Support Squadron, one of four U.S. Air Force units deployed in the four European bases “where US nuclear weapons are programmed to launch from planes of host countries”.

Confirmation comes again from the US: the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (one of the most authoritative sources on nuclear weapons) writes that, on 2 March 2016: “Italian air forces (with Tornado PA-200 airplanes) are assigned missions to carry out a nuclear attack with US nuclear missiles, held under the control of the US Air Force personnel until the US President does not authorize their use”.

And so, in the nuclear race between the US/Nato and Russia, Italy, officially a non-nuclear country, is transformed. It is on the front line, and therefore, a potential target. A race that will become even more dangerous with new US nuclear bombs lining up in Europe that lower the nuclear threshold: “This type of nuclear weapons that are more precise – warn a range of experts interviewed by the New York Times –increase the temptation to use them, even to use them pre-emptively”.

Faced with the growing danger that looms over us, which due to the political and media black out, the clear majority did not warn us about, general appeals to nuclear disarmament are not enough; the terrain inclined to demagogy. Suffice to think that President Obama, after following through with nuclear development with 1,000 billion dollars, declares that he wants to “realize his vision of a world without nuclear weapons”.

It is necessary to denounce – as the Committee No to War, no to NATO are doing – the fact that, by hosting and getting ourselves ready to use nuclear weapons, Italy is violating the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, ratified in 1975. This treaty provides that:
“each militarily non-nuclear state undertakes not to receive nuclear weapons from anyone whosoever, nor to control such weapons, directly or indirectly” (Article 2). In Italy, the only specific means we have to contribute to neutralizing nuclear escalation and to completely eliminating nuclear weapons, is to demand that Italy stops violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and on this basis, require the United States to remove any nuclear weapons from our national territory and not to install the new B61-12 bombs here.

Is anyone in Parliament prepared to ask for this without mincing words?

Anoosha Boralessa
Il Manifesto (Italy)