People's Opposition to NATO

Anti-War Protest in Britain Opposes Permitting U.S. Nuclear Weapons at RAF Lakenheath

On Saturday, May 21, several hundred people gathered at RAF Lakenheath, a U.S. air force base in England, to protest against U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear bombers once again being brought to Britain. In its statement the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)[1] said: "The return of U.S. nuclear weapons to Britain -- along with the upgrading of its nuclear weapons across Europe -- constitutes a further undermining of prospects for global peace. The U.S. is the only country to locate its nuclear weapons outside its own borders and this major increase in NATO's capacity to wage nuclear war in Europe is dangerously destabilizing. Their return will increase global tensions and put Britain on the front line in a NATO/Russia war."

Speaking at the rally in front of the base, Tom Unterrainer, CND Chair, said that U.S. nuclear weapons are being brought to Britain with no discussion in the Westminster Parliament, or any other institution. He said that "when the government was asked to comment on these developments the reply was very clear as to who is calling the shots over these nuclear weapons." It was the U.S. calling the shots in the relationship between the United States government and the British government, the United States military and the British military, because the answer from James Heappy, the government Under-Secretary of State for Defence, was that "the British government does not comment on United States spending." 

Tom Unterrainer continued that "never mind that the U.S. spending on this site at Lakenheath is part of a $380 million redevelopment of the nuclear storage sites across Europe." He said that the governments of states belonging to NATO "welcome these nuclear arms with open arms and keep their mouths shut when they are asked to account for their actions." He said that "this is why CND is opposing nuclear weapons and being very clear sighted about Britain's relationship with the United States and what that means in terms of what NATO represents as a military threat to us all." 

He said, "We are not alone in facing these U.S. nuclear bombs; in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey similar arrangements are in place. In many of those places, just like here, high-tech fighter bomber aircraft are to be stationed, all the better for raining death, destruction and genocide on people's heads. And in all of these places they will soon be receiving new U.S. nuclear bombs."

He concluded that CND of course opposes all nuclear weapons wherever they are but in particular, "we oppose Britain's Trident weapons system and we also sharply oppose the alliances, the treaties, the secret arrangements and secret deals that mean that this country is tied to an international network of nuclear armed states." He said that CND must continue its work in dangerous times and "the return of nuclear bombs to Lakenheath must be resisted in an ongoing campaign."

As mentioned, the British government refuses to confirm or deny that U.S. nuclear weapons are to be stationed at Lakenheath as the base is classed as U.S. land over which the U.S. claims sovereignty on the soil of Britain. This in itself is outrageous. It makes Britain as criminal as is the United States in its warmongering, and tied to it. 

It appears that both the U.S. and Britain are prepared to break the taboo on nuclear weapons and their use, and promote the thinking of the unthinkable. Their pretext is that, on evidence which is questionable, Russia is prepared to wage a first strike with tactical nuclear weapons. The U.S. and Britain also cite the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in this context.

It is vital that the anti-war movement stop Britain hosting the U.S. preparations for nuclear war on British soil with the nuclear bombers at Lakenheath and other bases in Britain, as a component part and escalation of opposing U.S./NATO aggression, of which Britain is an enthusiastic champion. There is also a vital necessity to stop Britain's warmongering role and its refusal to stand for peaceful solutions to conflicts in the world, whether in Ukraine, Somalia, Yemen or Palestine. The anti-war movement opposes Britain's role as the main ally of the U.S. and its drive to expand NATO to militarize Europe, Africa, Asia and the East Pacific. 

Like the protests at Lakenheath, people all over the world demand an end to this participation in global warmongering and stand for peace. This is the nub of the matter.


1. Stop U.S. Nukes Coming to Lakenheath!

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 6 - June 5, 2022

Article Link:


Website:   Email: