Russia’s Nuclear Paranoia Fuels Its Nuclear Propaganda

August 23, 2016
Jeffrey Lewis

The following is an excerpt of an article in Foreign Policy.

Twitter has been aflame with reports that the United States is moving the few dozen nuclear weapons stored at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to Deveselu military base in Romania. […] It’s most likely Russian propaganda, all part of an elaborate strategy to build opposition to US missile defense efforts and deflect criticism of Moscow for violating arms control treaties. […]

The evidence to suggest that there are US bombs in Romania is pretty thin. An anonymous person blindsided a former Romanian president with a “sources say” question that he was dumb enough to answer — allowing Romanian media to cover it as though sources actually say — and then an obscure EU-focused website called EurActiv stated the outrageous rumor as outright fact, citing nothing more than “independent sources.”


Here’s some important context: Deveselu is an “Aegis Ashore” site for US missile defense interceptors — that is to say, it is a land-based version of the ship-based missile defense system. (It even kind of looks like a ship on land.) The Russians have always hated the idea of US missile defenses being stationed in the territories of their erstwhile Warsaw Pact allies and have said so repeatedly. Claiming that US nuclear weapons are going to be stored at Deveselu is a surefire way to stir up local European populations against a given military site. You don’t need to be an arms control wonk to connect the dots here.

Continue reading at

Comments Are Closed