Nuke Mentality Changing in Europe


A mindset is changing in Europe—as recent statements by French President Jacques Chirac and a former German defense minister suggest.

In a January 19 speech at a nuclear submarine base in Brittany, France, President Chirac expanded his country’s definition of nuclear deterrence when he warned that France could use its nuclear weapons if attacked by a state or state-sponsored terrorist organization: “[T]he leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, as well as those who would consider using, in one way or another, weapons of mass destruction, must understand they would lay themselves open to a firm and adapted response on our part.”

Chirac explained that such a response “could be a conventional one. It could also be of a different kind.” He added that France would consider a nuclear response in the event of “unbearable act of aggression, a threat or blackmail” (, January 19).

To add credibility to his threat, Chirac then announced the reduction of the number of nuclear warheads on some of France’s missiles so as to carry a smaller payload to deliver precise hits.

Chirac’s speech shifted France’s nuclear doctrine from one purely dissuasive and defensive in nature to one that supports a limited nuclear response to just the threat of an attack. France, once seen as the Western model for social integration and tolerance, is displaying its willingness to deliver nuclear strikes to specific targets.

Jean-Pierre Maulny, deputy director of the Institute of International and Strategic Relations, said Chirac broadened the definition of the “vital interests” France would defend with nuclear weapons to include not just France itself, but its allies as well (ibid.).

Chirac’s announcement demonstrates a change in how Europe views its dependence on America’s nuclear umbrella. The leading nations in Europe are unsatisfied with their status as junior partners in the trans-Atlantic alliance. Europe has always been embarrassed that even within its own territory, such as the Balkans, it has needed American troops and funds in order to keep peace. Europe is eager to show that it is just as capable as the United States in solving international problems.

Dominique Moisi of the French Institute of International Relations interpreted Chirac’s statement as an announcement to the U.S. that Washington doesn’t hold “the monopoly of deterrence” (Agence France Presse, January 20).

The idea of freeing Europe from its nuclear dependence on Washington is slowly catching on. Such a considerable shift in France’s nuclear policy sparked minimal debate in Europe. Across the Rhine, a German government spokesman, Thomas Steg, backed up Chirac’s statements, saying Berlin didn’t see a “reason to believe that France’s policy has changed or will change in the future.”

German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung, though he called Chirac’s comments counterproductive, also said, “We need all options at our disposal. But before that, everything must be attempted on the diplomatic front ….” Yes, diplomacy comes first, but Germany won’t leave out a military option either.

Interestingly, a week after Chirac’s speech, a former German defense minister and member of Germany’s ruling party, Rupert Scholz, broke a national taboo by telling a newspaper, “We need a serious discussion over how we can react to a nuclear threat by a terrorist state in an appropriate manner—and in extreme cases with our own nuclear weapons” (, January 26).

While Germany is not likely to violate any proliferation treaties just yet, Scholz’s comment demonstrates just how much Europe’s mindset is changing. Sixty years ago, even the idea of allowing Germany to have its own nuclear arsenal would have sparked outrage within its neighbors and the U.S. As recently as 1990, Germany, as a prerequisite for reunification, renounced the manufacture and possession of nuclear weapons. Now the idea that was once so outrageous is gaining acceptance.

Of course, that is what France and Germany are aiming for. If they float the idea of using nuclear weapons now, eventually, when the time comes to assert their power, the people will accept this deadly measure.

What better time to justify the use or possession of a nuclear arsenal than when radical Islam and its terrorist supporters are on the verge of lunacy? Possessing or using a nuclear arsenal just doesn’t seem so outrageous when Iran’s president is calling for a whole nation to be wiped out and his country is actively seeking its own nuclear arsenal.

Though the idea of a nation today using nuclear weapons may seem far-fetched, Bible prophecy shows this is exactly what will happen. Chirac’s shift in policy is bringing us just one step closer to when a German-led Europe will engulf the world in a nuclear World War iii. For more information, request our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.