Germany and weapons of mass destruction

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Though Germany is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, since World War II it has generally refrained from using this technology to outfit its own armed forces with weapons of mass destruction (WMD), although it participates in the NATO nuclear weapons sharing arrangements and trains for delivering nuclear weapons.

Germany is among the powers which possess the ability to create nuclear weapons but has agreed not to do so (under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as reaffirmed by the Two Plus Four Treaty). Along with most other industrial nations, Germany produces components that can be used for creating deadly agents, chemical weapons, and other WMD. Alongside other companies from the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, India, The United States, Belgium, Spain, and Brazil, German companies provided Iraq with chemical agents needed to engage in chemical warfare during the Iran-Iraq war[1].

History

World War I

As one of the major combatants in World War I, Germany used and developed what we would today describe as weapons of mass destruction. During World War I, Germany developed and used chemical weapons, for instance mustard gas. These weapons were also employed by the Allies.

World War II

During World War II, Germany worked to develop atomic weapons, though Allied scientists ultimately beat the Germans to this goal - the international team included many displaced émigré scientists from Germany itself; see German nuclear energy project. German scientists also did research on other chemical weapons during the war, including human experimentation with mustard gas. The first nerve gas, tabun, was invented by the German researcher Gerhard Schrader in 1937. During the war, Germany stockpiled tabun, sarin, and soman but refrained from their use on the battlefield.

Cold War and beyond

During the Cold War, nuclear weapons were deployed in Germany by both the United States (in West Germany) and the Soviet Union (in East Germany). Despite not being among the nuclear powers during the Cold War, Germany had a political and military interest in the balance of nuclear capability. In 1977, after the Soviet deployment of the new SS-20 IRBM, West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt expressed concern over the capability of NATO's nuclear forces compared to those of the Soviets. Later in the Cold War under the chancellorship of Helmut Kohl, the West German government expressed concern about the progress of the nuclear arms race. Particularly, they addressed the eagerness of Germany's NATO allies, the United States and United Kingdom, to seek restrictions on long-range strategic weapons while modernizing their short-range and tactical nuclear systems. Germany wanted to see such short range systems eliminated, because their major use was not deterrence but battlefield employment. Germany itself, straddling the division of the Eastern and Western blocs in Europe, was a likely battlefield in any escalation of the Cold War and battlefield use of nuclear weapons would be devastating to German territory.

In 1957 the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) was created to promote the use of nuclear energy in Europe. Under cover of the peaceful use of nuclear power, West Germany hoped to develop the basis of a nuclear weapons programme with France and Italy.[2] The West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer told his cabinet that he "wanted to achieve, through EURATOM, as quickly as possible, the chance of producing our own nuclear weapons". [3] The idea was short-lived. In 1958 Charles De Gaulle became President of France and Germany and Italy were excluded from the weapons project. Euratom continued as the European agency for the peaceful use of nuclear technology, becoming part of the structure of the European Economic Community in 1967.

Germany ratified the Geneva Protocol on 25 April 1929, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty on 2 May 1975, the Biological Weapons Convention on 7 April 1983 and the Chemical Weapons Convention on 12 August 1994. These dates signify ratification by the Federal Republic of Germany, during the division of Germany the NPT and the BWC were ratified separately by the German Democratic Republic (on 31 October 1969 and 28 November 1972, respectively).

The United States provides about 60 tactical B61 nuclear bombs for use by Germany under a NATO nuclear weapons sharing agreement. The weapons are stored at Büchel and Ramstein Air Bases, and in time of war would be delivered by Luftwaffe Panavia Tornado warplanes. Many countries believe this violates Articles I and II of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), where Germany has committed:
"... not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly ... or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices ...".


The U.S. insists its forces control the weapons and that no transfer of the nuclear bombs or control over them is intended "unless and until a decision were made to go to war, at which the [NPT] treaty would no longer be controlling", so there is no breach of the NPT. However German pilots and other staff practice handling and delivering the U.S. nuclear bombs[4] Even if the NATO argument is considered legally correct, such peacetime operations could arguably contravene both the objective and the spirit of the NPT.

Like other countries of its size and wealth, Germany has the skills and resources to create its own nuclear weapons quite quickly if desired. The Zippe-type centrifuge was, indeed, invented by captured Germans working in the Soviet Union in the 1950s, and URENCO operates a centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in Germany. There are also several power reactors in Germany that could be used to produce bomb-grade plutonium if desired. Such a development is, of course, highly unlikely in the present benign security environment. In September 2007 the French president Sarkozy asked Germany, if doesn't want to take part in the French nuclear programme and be so also a nuclear power.[5]

German participation to aid Iraqi production of weapons of mass destruction

Two thousand Iranians who suffered from chemical warfare during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) submitted an indictment some years ago with a Tehran court against nine companies that had provided Saddam Hussein, then president of Iraq, with the deadly weapons. 455 American and European companies provided aid to Iraq during its war with Iran, and two thirds of the companies were German. The United Nations published a 12,000-page report about the conflict and named all the companies involved. An Iraqi special tribunal started trial of dictator Saddam Hussein after his fall. Iranian chemical victims were absent in the closed-door trial and the grievances of Iran's victims were not a part of the agenda in the tribunal.

References

External links

. A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a weapon which can kill large numbers of human beings, animals and plants.
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For the use of biological agents by terrorists, see bioterrorism.
Biological warfare (BW), also known as a germ warfare, biological weapons, and bioweapons
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Chemical warfare is warfare (and associated military operations) using the toxic properties of chemical substances to kill, injure or incapacitate an enemy.
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This page is protected from moves until disputes have been resolved on the .
The reason for its protection is listed on the protection policy page. The page may still be edited but cannot be moved until unprotected.
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A radiological weapon (or radiological dispersion device, RDD) is any weapon that is designed to spread radioactive material with the intent to kill, and cause disruption upon a city or nation.
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Albania once possessed a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. This stockpile of chemical weapons included 16,678 kilograms of mustard agent, lewisite, adamsite, and chloroacetophenone.
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57 (03): pp. 45-52. Retrieved on April 16, 2006.
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The Argentine military government of 1976 started a nuclear weapons program in the 1980s, which was scrapped when democracy was restored in 1983.

Missile systems

During the 1980s, the Alacrán (English: Scorpion) and Cóndor 2 missiles were developed.
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Australia is not currently known or believed to possess weapons of mass destruction, although it has participated in extensive research into nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in the past.
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Military of Brazil

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The Government of Canada does not possess any weapons of mass destruction and has signed treaties repudiating possession of them. Canada ratified the Geneva Protocol in 1930.
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Please help recruit one or [ improve this article] yourself. See the talk page for details.
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Nuclear weapons

History of nuclear weapons
Nuclear warfare
Nuclear arms race
Weapon design / testing
Effects of nuclear explosions
Delivery systems
Nuclear espionage
Proliferation / Arsenals
Nuclear-armed states
US Russia UK France
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This article or section may contain inappropriate or misinterpreted which do not the text.
Please help [ improve this article] by checking for inaccuracies. This article has been tagged since February 2007.
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nuclear power program, see Nuclear programme of Iran
Iran is not known to possess weapons of mass destruction, and has signed treaties repudiating possession of them, including the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Nuclear
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Discussion of Iraq and weapons of mass destruction concerns the Iraqi government's use, possession, and alleged intention of acquiring more types of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) during the presidency of Saddam Hussein.
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Jericho I with a range of 500km and the Jericho II with a range of 1,500km.
  • The Shavit rocket is used for inserting objects into a low earth orbit.
  • Third version of the Jericho missile is possible. Jericho III is thought to have been in service since mid-2005.
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  • Japan heavily invested in and used the WMD before the end of World War II

    Bioweapons

    Main article: Unit 731

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    Although the Netherlands do not have weapons of mass destruction made by itself, the country does participate in the NATO nuclear weapons sharing arrangements and trains for delivering U.S. nuclear weapons, i.e. it has weapons of mass destruction made by another country.
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    North Korea claims to possess nuclear weapons, and the CIA asserts that it has a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons. North Korea was a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but withdrew in 2003, citing the failure of the United States to fulfill its end of the Agreed
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    Pakistan started focusing on nuclear development in January 1972 under the leadership of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Pakistan's nuclear weapons development program was in response to the loss of East Pakistan in bloody civil war in which India supported the civilian rebels
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    During the Cold War, Poland had active programs for the development of weapons of mass destruction. Poland also is working with Russia to help eliminate the large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons developed by the Warsaw Pact countries.
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    Russia possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the world. Russia declared an arsenal of 40,000 tons of chemical weapons in 1997 and is said to have around 8400 nuclear weapons stockpiled in 2005 of them making its stockpile the largest in the world.
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    During the 1980s, South Africa pursued research into nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Six nuclear weapons were assembled [1] . With the anticipated changeover to a majority-elected government in the 1990s, the South African government dismantled all of its nuclear
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    The Republic of China or Taiwan, denies having chemical or nuclear weapons. During the 1970s, the ROC had an active program to produce plutonium using heavy water reactors, but after strong pressure from the United States, the reactor was dismantled and the U.S.
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    The United Kingdom is one of the five official nuclear weapon states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has an independent nuclear deterrent. The United Kingdom renounced the use of chemical and biological weapons in 1956 and subsequently destroyed its general stocks.
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    ^]]  Michael Barletta and Christina Ellington (1998). Obtain Microbial Seed Stock for Standard or Novel Agent . Iraq's Biological Weapons Program. Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies.
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    Anthem
    "Das Lied der Deutschen" (third stanza)
    also called "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
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    Allied powers:
     Soviet Union
     United States
     United Kingdom
     China
     France
    ...et al. Axis powers:
     Germany
     Japan
     Italy
    ...et al.
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    Armed Forces
    (1979) Get Happy
    (1980)

    Alternate cover

    US 1979 and 2002 reissue cover, also known as "paint spatter cover"

    For the military meaning, see Armed forces.

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