By Manlio Dinucci*
The United States – as announced last month – has begun delivering new B61-12 nuclear bombs to Italy and other European countries. An official document from the U.S. Department of the Air Force confirms this.
The document establishes “security rules for C-17 air transports of B61-12 weapons in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.”
In the Pentagon’s geography, that area includes not only Europe but the entire Russian Federation.
The document specifies which nuclear weapons will be transported aboard the C-17 Globe-Master, the largest U.S. military transport aircraft.
The aircraft transports the B61-12 nuclear bombs from the United States to Europe and Europe to the United States.
The bombs replace the B61-3, B61-4, and B61-7, and a single B61-12 has four power options, depending on the target to be hit.
The C-17 Globemasters – the document continues – also carry other nuclear weapons: the B61-11, W78, W80-1, B83-1, and W87-0.
The safety standards listed in the document confirm the hazardous nature of loading, transporting, and unloading nuclear weapons.
There is “the likelihood that an aircraft with nuclear weapons on board will catch fire” and that in-flight failure of the aircraft will “force an emergency landing” or the “release of nuclear weapons.”
The deployment on our territory of the new U.S. nuclear bombs – first-strike weapons with precision guidance and bunker-busting capabilities, with which the F-35 fighter jets, in particular, will be equipped – exposes Italy to the front line of the increasingly dangerous confrontation between NATO and Russia.
In doing so, Italy is violating the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, ratified in 1975, which states, “Each of the militarily non-nuclear states undertakes not to receive nuclear weapons directly or indirectly from anyone.”
The episode concludes with an interview with Vladimir Kozin, one of Russia’s leading experts on politico-military issues, and historian Franco Cardini on the silence of the Italian government and parliament and the historical phase in which we find ourselves.
* Manlio Dinucci, award-winning author, geopolitical analyst, and geographer, Pisa, Italy. He is a research associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).