The shadow of nuclear war has re-emerged now. At the end of June Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that his country wants to join NATO’s nuclear weapon sharing program. “We declare our will to act quickly in this matter,” Morawiecki said, according to Polesat News.
This is not the first time Polish authorities have publicly stated their interest in joining the NATO nuclear weapon sharing program. The issue is still open. At present, NATO’s nuclear weapon sharing agreement is entirely centered on U.S. B61-series air-dropped nuclear bombs. The program provides for the forward deployment of these weapons in secure vaults at air bases in multiple member nations under U.S. military control.
Specific details about the program are both classified and politically sensitive for many of the participating countries, a number of which do not even publicly acknowledge the presence of American nuclear weapons on their soil.
As of last October, the Federation of American Scientists estimated that around 100 B61s in total were spread across six bases in five countries – Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey. There have been estimates as high as between 150 and 200 bombs in the past.
At that time, NATO had publicly acknowledged seven members of the nuclear sharing program, did not name them. This list is at least understood to include Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States.
Officially, the Polish authorities explain the deployment of nuclear weapons on the territory of the country by the desire to ensure its security and protect its borders. But there are no signs of Russia’s intention to attack Poland first. It simply does not need it. Unlike Ukraine, there are not so many ethnic Russians living in Poland, there are no disputed territories.
Thus, there is no real threat to Poland from Russia – unless Warsaw itself is the first to take hostile actions against Russia.
Poland takes risks asking for nuclear weapons. Warsaw has never possessed nuclear weapons and the authorities highly likely do not know how to deal with it.
At least from a technical standpoint, if Poland joins the NATO nuclear weapon sharing program, it will need to modify its combat jets. The country already operates F-16s that could be configured for this role and is in the process of acquiring F-35As. If it were to physically host bombs inside its borders, it would also need to build the requisite secure facilities. Other relevant security and safety policies and protocols would also need to be implemented.
If not take into account these measures which will demand huge sums of money, which country cannot afford to waste, a war with Poland with the dire consequences will become real like never before. If military bases with NATO nuclear weapons are deployed in Poland, then in the event of a global nuclear conflict, they will be will first for strike – nuclear, of course – precisely at these bases.
Many think nuclear war is impossible, but today we cannot really be sure that one day – driven by hatred, rage or fear – one of the world’s leaders won’t press the red button.
Maybe President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki or Head of the National Security Bureau Jacek Siewiera expect to sit in bunkers or escape before the start of the conflict. But what about the rest of the Poles?