Germany, the Tornado, and the future of NATO,

[…] Germany’s struggle to decide on a successor for its aging Tornado fighter aircraft truly is a story that keeps on giving. Since the 2000s, the Eurofighter has assumed many of the old workhorse’s functions, but some of the 85 remaining Tornados still provide the capability to carry forward-deployed US nuclear bombs. In doing so, they facilitate Germany’s contribution to nuclear burden sharing in NATO. […]

Nuclear disarmament is not an invalid political goal – it is enshrined in international law no less. But were German politics in the coming years to move in this direction and fail to replace the Tornado, it could put the fundamentals of the European security order under great pressure. […]

Germany abandoning its dual-capable aircraft could even mark the beginning of the end for nuclear burden sharing in NATO. Public opinion in the three other countries that contribute dual-capable aircraft to the nuclear mission – Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands – is even less enthusiastic about nuclear deterrence than it is in Germany. If Germany were to quit, such allies may eventually follow suit. In turn, other NATO members with more favourable views of nuclear deterrence, like Poland or Romania, might seek bilateral agreements with the US to satisfy their security needs. Either way, the alliance’s deterrence and defence posture would become even more beholden to Washington. Läs artikel