Do Germany and the Netherlands want to say goodbye to US nuclear weapons?

A test version of the new B61-12 guided nuclear bomb to be deployed in Europe as part of a modernization program. Photo from a video by Air Force Staff Sgt. Cody Griffith.

Do Germany and the Netherlands want to say goodbye to US nuclear weapons?


Disclosure Statement

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.


Research for this paper was funded by the Charles University Research Centre programs UNCE/ HUM/028 (Peace Research Center Prague/Faculty of Social Sciences) and PROGRES Q18.


Bargués, Pol. 2021. “From ‘Resilience’ To Strategic Autonomy: A Shift in the Implementation of the Global Strategy?” EU-LISTCO Policy Paper Series, No. 09, February.

Buijs, Peter. 2018. “The Influence of NVMP’s Medical-Humanitarian Arguments on Dutch Nuclear Weapons Politics: The Netherlands Can Make a Difference in Reaching a Nuclear Weapons-Free World.” Medicine, Conflict and Survival 34 (4): 313–23.

Czaputowicz, Jacek, Fu Ying, Brett McGurk, and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. 2019. The Berlin Pulse: German Policy in Perspective. Hamburg: Körber Stiftung.

Der Tagesspiegel. 2020a. “Es Wird Zeit, Dass Deutschland Die Stationierung Zukünftig Ausschließt,” May 3, 2020.

———. 2020b. “‘Rolf Mützenich Is on the Wrong Track,’” May 8, 2020.

Deutscher Bundestag. 2021. “Stenografischer Bericht. 207. Sitzung. Plenarprotokoll 19/207,” January 29, 2021.

DPA. 2020. “Survey: Germans Largely in Favour of US Troops Withdrawing,” August 4, 2020.

Egeland, Kjølv. 2020. “Spreading the Burden: How NATO Became a ‘Nuclear’ Alliance.” Diplomacy and Statecraft 31 (1): 143–67.

Fiott, Daniel. 2018. Strategic Autonomy: Towards ‘European Sovereignty’ in Defence? European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS).

Flournoy, Michèle, and Jim Townsend. 2020. “Striking at the Heart of the Trans-Atlantic Bargain.” Der Spiegel, June 3, 2020.

Fuhrhop, Pia. 2021. “The German Debate: The Bundestag and Nuclear Deterrence.” In Europe’s Evolving Deterrence Discourse, edited by Amelia Morgan and Anna Péczeli, 27–38. Livermore, CA: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

ICAN. 2021. “NATO Public Opinion on Nuclear Weapons.”

Kristensen, Hans M., and Matt Korda. 2021. “United States Nuclear Weapons, 2021.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 77 (1): 43–63.

Kunz, Barbara. 2020. “Switching Umbrellas in Berlin? The Implications of Franco-German Nuclear Cooperation.” Washington Quarterly 43 (3): 63–77.

Meier, Oliver. 2020. “German Politicians Renew Nuclear Basing Debate.” Arms Control Today, June 2020.

Meijer, Hugo, and Stephen G Brooks. 2021. “Illusions of Autonomy: Why Europe Cannot Provide for Its Security If the United States Pulls Back.” International Security 45 (4): 7–43.

Onderco, Michal. 2021. “The Dutch Debate: Activism vs. Pragmatism.” In Europe’s Evolving Deterrence Discourse, edited by Amelia Morgan and Anna Péczeli. Livermore, CA: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Onderco, Michal, Michal Smetana, Sico Van der Meer, and Tom W. Etienne. 2020. “When Do the Dutch Want Their Country to Join the Nuclear Ban Treaty? Findings of a Public Opinion Survey in the Netherlands.” Working Paper.

Rassbach, Elsa. 2010. “Protesting US Military Bases in Germany.” Peace Review 22 (2): 121–27.

Reuters. 2021. “German Greens Overtake Conservatives as Chancellor Candidates Announced,” April 20, 2021.

Shirobokova, Ekaterina. 2018. “The Netherlands and the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.” Nonproliferation Review 0 (0): 1–13.

Squassoni, Sharon. 2021. “Why Biden Should Abandon the Great Power Competition Narrative.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 77 (1): 3–4.

Vaddi, Pranay. 2021. “How Biden Can Advance Nuclear Arms Control and Stability with Russia and China.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 77 (1): 18–20.

Walt, Stephen M. 2021. “It’s Time to Fold America’s Nuclear Umbrella: Using Washington’s Nuclear Arsenal to Protect Its Allies No Longer Makes Any Sense.” Foreign Policy, March 23, 2021.

White House, The. 2021. “Interim National Security Strategic Guidance.” Washington, D.C.


[1] We collected the data between September 17-19, 2020 in the Netherlands (1,603 respondents in total) and between September 22-28, 2020 in Germany (1,352 respondents in total). We weighted the data to make our sample representative of age, gender, education, geographic location, and voter recall of the last parliamentary election.

Together, we make the world safer.

The Bulletin elevates expert voices above the noise. But as an independent nonprofit organization, our operations depend on the support of readers like you. Help us continue to deliver quality journalism that holds leaders accountable. Your support of our work at any level is important. In return, we promise our coverage will be understandable, influential, vigilant, solution-oriented, and fair-minded. Together we can make a difference.

Get alerts about this thread
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments