Joe Gamp| UPDATED: 16:24, Sat, Aug 4, 2018
GERMANY is debating whether it is time to become a nuclear nation. Donald Trump’s increasingly belligerent threats to withdraw NATO security is forcing Germans to think the unthinkable – unthinkable at least since the deadly V1 and V2 rockets of Werner Von Braun.
Political scientist Christian Hacke, who is a key figure in German foreign policy, said Germany can “only rely on itself” as relations within the European union and the wider world intensify.
Germany is an economic superpower with the means to create nuclear deterrent of its own but under international law, framed in the wake of World War II, was prevented from doing so.
During the Cold War, Protocol III of the Treaty of Brussels forbade the country from possessing nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
In an essay published yesterday, Mr Hacke said that Germany needs nuclear weapons to meet the challenges of the current international climate.
The new debate in the country comes in light of Donald Trump’s attack on the EU and his subsequent trade tariffs.
It also follows fresh threats from North Korea and the ensuing dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington.
Speaking to POLITICO, Mr Hacke believes Mr Trump’s approach to German foreign policy – including his slating of NATO – has prompted the need for nuclear armament.
Mr Hacke said: “Since the American nuclear guarantee has become doubtful and presumably no European deterrent variable seems feasible, the conclusion follows that in extreme cases, Germany can only rely on itself.
“Germany can no longer rely 100 percent on the fact that an allied nuclear power would intervene atomically for its security in an emergency.
“With that, the gaze is turned to the white elephant in the room, about which nobody wants to speak in Germany.
“How do we think about a potential nuclear power Germany?”
Meanwhile lrike Franke, analyst for European Council on Foreign Relations, said it was “crucial’ for Germany to have the debate.
Germany is considering Nuclear weapons as foreign tensions grow – but do Germans want it? (Image: GETTY)
He said: “It’s crucial for Germany and Europe that we have a strategic debate.
“What Germany is slowly realizing is that the general structure of the European security system is not prepared for the future.”
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear weapons (NPT) is an international treaty which aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States make up the five nations under the NPT agreement.
Other nuclear armed countries outside the treaty include India, North Korea and Pakistan.