Germany Debates Nuclear Weapons, Again. But Now it’s Different

Germany is once again debating nuclear deterrence. This has happened on various occasions before: in 2016 when Donald Trump came into office, in 2018 when Donald Trump almost wrecked the NATO summit, in 2020 when French President Emmanuel Macron offered the Europeans a strategic nuclear dialog, and in 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine. Looking at the current German nuclear weapons debate, Dr. Ulrich Kühn notes in a new article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that there are four key differences to previous debates: The European security environment has changed, political heavyweights are now part of the debate, nuclear disarmament plays no role in the public debate in Germany and a new acrimony is spreading in the German media discourse. All while German public opinion views nuclear weapons far less negatively than in the past. Ulrich Kühn notes that the German debate has pushed the boundaries of what is conceivable in German politics consistently closer to the atom. 

You can find the article “Germany debates nuclear weapons, again. But now it’s different” on the Bulletin of Atomic scientists.