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February 04, 2010

US Nuclear Weapon Storage Site Penetrated…By Peace Activists.
Posted by Kelsey Hartigan

In the words of Jeffrey Lewis, “Holy crap.”

Stop what you’re doing and watch this YouTube video. Right now.

Last week, a group of peace activists hopped a fence and traipsed around an air base in Belgium that houses somewhere between 10-20 U.S. nuclear bombs.  From Hans Kristensen:

Fortunately, the people were not terrorists but peace activists from a group known as Vredesactie, who managed to climb the outer base fence, walk cross the runway, breach a double-fenced security perimeter, and walk into the very center of the air base alongside the aircraft shelters where the nuclear bombs are thought to be stored in underground vaults.

Apparently, the activists were wandering for over an hour before a lone guard approached them. 

Allow me to state the obvious:  This is bad. Very bad.

Not only does this raise serious red flags where security issues are concerned, but it also begs a larger question:  Why are these nuclear weapons still there in the first place?

Someone out there is dying to snap back and lecture me on the merits of the U.S. nuclear umbrella. While I agree to a certain extent that extended deterrence benefits U.S. allies and acts as a strong security guarantee, deploying nuclear weapons on foreign soil—where people are apparently free to roam around—does not enhance the security of anyone.  In fact, this is a direct example of how these weapons are a liability, not an asset.  

Seriously, people.  This should not take a rocket scientist (pun intended) to figure out.


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Thank you very much for informative post.Nuclear security in Pakistan has evolved substantially during the past nine years, and although improvements are still needed, both physical security and operational procedures are now stronger.

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This video is total crap. It is obvious that neither the people in the video or the people on this website know anything about military security or nuclear weapons. It is obvious that there are no nuclear weapons stored at that base. How do I know this? Because at no time do you see any U.S. Air Force personnel in the video. U.S. nuclear doctrine requires that all nuclear weapons be guarded and maintained by U.S. military personnel up to the moment they are released to NATO forces for actual use. The only soldier seen in the video is a Belgian air force security policeman. And if you had taken the time to notice you would have seen that he did not have a magazine inserted in his rifle. It was unloaded!
Second, the reason there is no strong security around is that those hardened aircraft shelters are empty. In case you haven't heard, the cold war is over! There are thousands of these shelters all over western Europe that sit empty because there are no longer any planes to put in them. Many U.S. air bases in Europe have simply shut down.
Finally, it's obvious that no research has been done here on what a typical U.S.A.F. munitions storage area looks like. They are surrounded by double fences with patrol roads both inside and outside the perimeter with heavy lighting all around. The overwhelming amount of personnel assigned to nuclear duties in the USAF are security police. Nuclear weapons are not stored in aircraft shelters, they are stored in underground igloos separate from the airfield portion of the base, for both safety and security reasons. If you want to see what a depot with real nuclear weapons in it is like, look at this image of barksdale AFB's msa here

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