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PostLiving Next to Nukes (John Heelan, UK, 09/08/17 12:47 pm)
Tim Ashby's comments (7 September) reminded me of the US-UK relationship in the 1980s vis-à-vis cruise missiles.
What follows is my adaptation of Tim's comments for the UK in the 1980s. I lived overlooking Greenham Common for 20 years, visiting the base frequently and thus had direct experience:
"The (UK) government and armed forces never had command and control of the nuclear warheads which were stored in highly secure bunkers (in Greenham and elsewhere, having been flown in on C130s that landed and took off over my house) and after being attached to the cruise missiles, were frequently observed being moved by local roads or along the nearby M4 motorway to different sites using transporters. US troops had complete control of the missiles, with the UK military (often Royal Marines) relegated to guarding the perimeters against incursions by the Greenham women. The cost to the UK of this arrangement was the alleged targeting of a pre-emptive USSR 40-megaton nuclear weapon strike at the site that was within my line of sight."
JE comments: John Heelan has often reminded us that the primary US strategy with NATO has been to keep the Killing Fields away from the homeland. It must have been stressful going during the Cold War. Fortunately, for 72 years the strategy has kept the Killing Fields out of Western Europe, too.
Were the ladies of Greenham particularly ferocious, John...?