Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 14, 2013

David Albright: Germany Could Make Nuclear Weapons - Punish It!

Reuters (slightly modified): Germany could reach key point for nuclear bomb by mid-2014: U.S. experts
Germany could produce enough weapon-grade uranium for one or more nuclear bombs by mid-2014, and the United States and its allies should intensify sanctions on Berlin before that point is reached, a report by a group of U.S. nonproliferation experts said.

President Barack Obama should also clearly state that the United States will take military action to prevent Germany from acquiring a nuclear weapon, the report said.
The 154-page report, "U.S. Nonproliferation Strategy for the Changing World," produced by five nonproliferation experts, was expected to be released on Monday.

"Based on the current trajectory of Germany's nuclear program, we estimate that Germany could reach critical capability in mid-2014," the report said.

It defined "critical capability" as the point when Germany would be able to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for one or more bombs without detection by the West.

By mid-2014, Germany would have enough time to build a secret uranium-enrichment site or significantly increase the number of centrifuges for its nuclear program, said David Albright, one of the project's co-chairs and president of the Institute for Science and International Security.

"We don't think there is any secret enrichment plant making significant secret uranium enrichment right now," he told Reuters. But there is "real worry" that Germany would build such a plant, he said.

The report recommends that the United States and its allies intensify sanctions pressure on Germany prior to that point because once Berlin acquires enough weapon-grade enriched uranium it would be "far more difficult to stop the program militarily."
In addition to Albright, the other project co-chairs were Mark Dubowitz, executive director of The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and others.

I agree with the report's point that Germany could produce enough weapon-grade uranium for one or more nuclear bombs by mid-2014 if it would build a secret uranium-enrichment site.

Alas, there is no sign that Germany, or any other country, is doing such.

There are also many stupid or even criminal things David Albright could do if David Albright would. But should David Albright, or anyone else, be punished for action he could take if he would take it? Really? Where could or would this end?

With this utterly stupid report David Albright has finally laid off his "neutral" cover masks and shown his real face. Co-chairing over such nonsense with the ultra-neocon warmongers of the FDD disqualifies him from any further neutral discussion of non-proliferation issues.

In retrospect his obsession with pink tarps and tree cutting proliferation can now be seen as serious sign of a developing paranoid personality disorder. Albright is now afraid of the obvious, that someone could secretly do something nefarious if s/he would secretly do something nefarious. Albright demands that, because of the obvious "could if would", someone should therefor be punished. If this is not a serious paranoia based on a bipolar disorder what is?

Posted by b on January 14, 2013 at 18:01 UTC | Permalink


2014 has more to do with the "estimate" that Albright seems to have of the US political and military readiness rather than Iran's capabilities. Such a belief by itself is non-sense since the problem in the near future for America is the economy and the fate of the middle-class and not the warmachine and the state of mind of the people that have their finger on the button(s).

Besides, the kind of embargo this report emphasize on run deeply against the strategic interests of the US. One simple outcome of such move is that the US has to pull, push, bargain and haggle constantly with 20 to 30 powers over a well bellow its category regional power while the targeted country, Iran, supposedly the most imminent threat, is continuing the business it's accustomed too by now with the rest of the world and while the two, three direct competitors are rubbing their hands behind the scene and laughing at her.

This argument by itself is enough to show that even if the US threat perception on Iran is considered as correct, which I doubt, further escalation will be detrimental to her interests.

Posted by: ATH | Jan 14 2013 19:26 utc | 1

Well, according to good democratic traditions, Germany has to prove it is not building the bomb. Anonymous experts in the opposition claim the military is doing it in tunnels in the Harz Mountains or in caves yet to be discovered. Germany's anti-Semitic author Augstein has eliminatory phantasies with regards to Israel, Henryk M. Broder, the renowned specialist in anti-Semite hunting, says.

Posted by: k_w | Jan 14 2013 19:53 utc | 2

I kind of agree. Germany only had re-unification in the last 30 years. Look what happened during World War II. Germany is just not stable enough.

Plus the less people with nuclear weapons the better. Isn't Germany covered by US security agreement?

So while you think, why pick on Germany, in general, isn't less nukes better?

And yes, this applies to Iran, as well.

Posted by: Brian | Jan 14 2013 20:03 utc | 3

I have to admit I read the original reuters news with incredulity.

But, sure enough, there was David Albright being quoted insisting that Iran be punished for something that it could do, even though he happily admits that they aren't doing it.

Maybe I should be given my speeding ticket now even though, you know, I'm not actually driving my car.....

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 14 2013 21:55 utc | 4

b - you left off the Netherlands, after all they already possess uranium enrichment technology locate at Almelo, Overijssel and what is to stop them building secret enrichment plants in tunnels under Ijsselmeer (must be something to do with Overijssel - the name is so similar).

Posted by: blowback | Jan 14 2013 22:22 utc | 5

Albright isn't paranoid. He's a Goebbels emulating liar. A war criminal pushing aggressive wars. He needs to be paranoid, sitting in a cell, listening to the sound of hammers and saws steadily working outside his tiny barred window, building a platform in his honour.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 15 2013 0:36 utc | 6

Great Fallout: NDAA Chinese tunnel scare 'smokescreen for US nuclear intentions'

"A US defense report has called for contingency planning to neutralize a vast Chinese tunnel network with both “conventional and nuclear forces.” James Corbett told RT the “Underground Great Wall” scare is being used to mask US nuclear ambitions.

The report drew a firestorm of criticism via its unconventional Internet-based research methods, which relied on Google Earth, blogs, military journals and even a fictional television program about Chinese artillery soldiers, to reach its conclusions.

But the questionable conclusions of the Georgetown report and Washington’s drive to more properly assess China’s military capability, are more reflective of Washington’s own ‘nuclear strategy’ than Beijing’s ambitions, James Corbett, editor of the Japanese-based Corbett Report news website, argues...."

Also video.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 15 2013 1:01 utc | 7

Nice work, b.

America has a StuporPower legend to gild and embellish, plus a long list of things the "leaders" would rather not talk about - like Freedom & Democracy for America's wage slaves.

It's deflection.
Obama would much rather cheer Albright's rambling nonsense about Germany - or read the MSM's wishful thinking about US-NATO's "rebels" in Syria - than have the Pentagoons admit that the 'campaign' in Afghanistan has evolved into a terminal SNAFU which will make the Vietnam exit look like a brief, but carefree, Sunday picnic.

They're already talking about turning Afghanistan into a junkyard by leaving all their useless 'protective' armoured crap behind - IF they decide to leave; aka if their military geniuses ever figure out how to get out in one piece - a scheme which the (comprehensively pissed off) Afghans will do their best to thwart.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 15 2013 3:44 utc | 8

check news report by Kelley on PArchin:

Posted by: clint | Jan 15 2013 6:01 utc | 9

Well, an unidentified intelligence official told me that David Albright makes child pornos in his house at night.

The international community should call on David Albright to open up his house each night so that the international community can be sure he is not making kinder-porn.

Posted by: clint | Jan 15 2013 6:09 utc | 10

Here is an interesting quote from that report:
"The president should explicitly declare that he will use military force to destroy Iran's nuclear program if Iran takes additional decisive steps toward producing a bomb,"

That statement is utter madness, because no post-ww2 US President would ever make such a declaration.

He can't, for the good and simple reason that any such strike is utterly and completely illegal under international law.

A "pre-emptive strike" is allowed, sure, but that's an attempt to throw the first punch when your opponent is already shaping up a haymaker at your nogg'un.

But attacking Iran to stop it from acquiring the boxing gloves ain't no "pre-emptive strike", and can not possibly be massaged away as "pre-emption".

It isn't; it's "preventive war", and that's just a lame term for a "war of aggression".

The USA launches wars of aggression all the time, of course, but no President would ever actually ADMIT to it.

No President would ever do that, since that would out himself as a war criminal.

Which is why no President would ever make the sort of explicit declaration that Albright is recommending, and that he DOES recommend exactly that is an indication of just how delusional and idiotic David Albright really is.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 15 2013 8:59 utc | 11

here is the ISIS/Neocon "report" even hosted on the ISIS website: U.S. Nonproliferation Strategy for the Changing Middle East 166 pages PDF

Posted by: b | Jan 15 2013 12:43 utc | 12

How interesting, Germany starts thinking for itself (just a little) and all of a sudden, the US wants to impose sanctions on it. What a shocker....

Posted by: Base | Jan 15 2013 14:10 utc | 13

It IS rank opportunism and fully exploiting one's position to it's utmost, transgressing the bounds of logic, reason or reasonableness.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jan 15 2013 14:14 utc | 14

not paranoia. Don't go assumimg people are stupid, cause they make stupid arguments. More likely it means you don't know who's perspective they're defending. (of course here WE know who's perspective Albright is concerned with.) Come on b, you shouldn't use half a dichotomy. You eloquently made your case, I wonder if it's possible to make your point as clear, without the barbs and snark? I'm not really criticizing you, I'm wondering if the stories you report COULD be presented in the lame stream press. Is it possible, or would that inherently dilute the story or it's needed impact. In short, I guess I'm asking, is there anyway this stuff could be acceptable in polite company?

Posted by: scottindallas | Jan 15 2013 14:33 utc | 15

cause the future of this country, our citizenship demands, pressing this conversation to all corners of society. Is there a polite way to do this? Or, will we need to lay in wait, for some tragedy, some gross trespass that gives up the opportunity to lay bare what so many want to ignore.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jan 15 2013 14:35 utc | 16

I think you do a terrific job b. I'm asking this of each of us, not pointing fingers--at all. I LOVE calling a spade a spade, eviscerating someone in a debate. Sadly, that's probably not as productive as it is satisfying.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jan 15 2013 14:50 utc | 17

@12 b, I note that there is a Chapter 3 in that report: "Chapter 3: Proliferation by State Actors (Other Than Iran) in the Middle East—Challenges and Opportunities"

Yet how odd that in a chapter regarding the states in the Middle East there is no mention that Israel refuses to sign the NPT, and only the most obligue of references to the fact that Israel already possesses nuclear weapons.

How odd.

You'd think that Elephant In The Room would be worthy of some detailed comment in such a chapter, along with a recommendation (and, Lordie me, isn't this report otherwise full of recommendations?) that maybe it's a good idea for the USA to have a publically-expressed policy opinion on this.

But, no, apparently not.

Apparently ISIS doesn't know what to think about *that*.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 16 2013 1:58 utc | 18

=== Breaking News Report ===

A new study by expert for stuff David NotAtAllBright shows that American politicians might reach an average IQ of 70. Asked for more details on this frightening scenario NotAtAllBright explained that confidential information obtained from certain confidential sources that must remain unnamed as well as some drawings from his neighbors daughter (4) clearly and unambigously point toward imminent potential latent danger that might possibly come to be not unimaginable.

Meanwhile major american political figures have stated their determination to confront the menacing evolution. "We will fight against intelligence wherever it rears its ugly head in this wonderful country!" stated Mr. Gumby Derp, speaker of the house. Gen. Petrolaeus put in words what describes the americans militarys stance "No proud american will ever have an IQ to surpass the length of his guns barrel!"
"We are" declared Ex president Hush "a peace loving people but we must not be underdisestimatized! If this accusation were found to be true, our brave men in uniform will not hesitate to keep nukulaer bombs and stuff on the table."

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jan 16 2013 3:17 utc | 19

On David NotAllThatBright's report --

"“The report does not offer a realistic formula for negotiating a satisfactory agreement on limiting Iran’s nuclear programme,” said Greg Thielmann, a senior fellow at the Arms Control Association(ACA) and a former top State Department analyst on proliferation issues. “It would require Iran to capitulate on virtually all fronts.”

“Some of the measures it suggests would be likely to disrupt P5+1 unity….and the maximalist requirements it cites for an agreement could convince Tehran that the U.S. objective is regime change, rather than full compliance with its obligations to the IAEA,” he noted.


"The endorsement by Albright, who is frequently cited by mainstream U.S. media as an expert on the technical aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme, of the report’s policy-oriented recommendations, such as making a military attack on Iran more credible, came as a surprise to some proliferation experts, including two who participated in the roundtables but asked to remain anonymous because of the off-the-record nature of the proceedings.

“His expertise is a technical one, but this is mostly a political paper,” noted one expert. “This covers areas that go far beyond his expertise.”

Posted by: clint | Jan 16 2013 5:09 utc | 20

New push for tougher Iran sanctions, by you know who.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Jan 16 2013 10:29 utc | 21

oops, sorry, clint [#20]. Went straight to the comment box.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Jan 16 2013 10:30 utc | 22

One of the sillier aspects of Albright's claim, about US Ally and NATO member Germany's nuclear ambitions, is that Germany already has nukes.

According to wikipedia:
List of States with Nukes
Germany has 10 to 20 US nukes under the Nuclear weapons sharing agreement - along with Belgium, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey.

Unfortunately, the article's credibility is spoiled somewhat by the inclusion of "Israel" as a 'suspected' nuclear power. As everyone with more than half a brain has already deduced, "Israel" has no nuclear weapons.
If it had 200 there's no way Bibi would be whipping "Israelis" into a frenzy of "existential fear" of Iran; they'd be too busy Schadenfreuding their way through the privations caused by their last 'courageous' attack on Gaza.

I also think that if Germans had wanted their own secret nuclear weapons stockpile, they're smart enough to have arranged it more than a decade ago.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 16 2013 15:22 utc | 23

Congratulations, Germany! You have been upgraded! Threatened with punitive action & no longer just banished to the corner!
Remember when Condi pledged to `punish France, ignore Germany and forgive Russia' for not falling in line with Imperial America's order to join the shameless Iraq invasion?
France was well chastised with unsettling Muslim riots that enabled the triumph of the poodle Sarkozy now followed by the equally puppy-eyed and clueless Hollande. Germany is led by the dependable Chancellor Merkel who can be counted on not to rock the EU boat and apologized to the Knesset as profusely as though those gas chambers were just yesterday!
But,yup, now that Germany is a bit petulant about the euro crisis - we'll
ratchet up some nuclear alarm, and warn them not to buck the Empire's line.
Ah, Germany, fame at last! Gunter Grasse for President!

Posted by: nakedtothebone | Jan 16 2013 17:20 utc | 24

Great post! Yes, Albright shows his true colors more and more all the time.

Posted by: Dan Joyner | Jan 16 2013 21:59 utc | 25

@25 "Yes, Albright shows his true colors more and more all the time."

Yeah, but according to Mark Hibbs we are not supposed to mention that.

I have to say that Mark's blog post at armscontrolwonk makes depressing reading since, apparently, these techinical wonks spend their days sitting around drinking latte's while they wait for Unnamed Guys In Trenchcoats to whisper rumours into their ear.

It appears to be their singular use i.e. they are very useful for spreading scuttlebutt.

And none better than David Albright (which you would see if you followed the link that Mark provided in his post).

Heck, despite what Mark Hibbs said in that post there isn't even enough "evidence" to level an "accusation" at Assad.

All there is is a scare campaign build upon an assumption that the building that was bombed by Israel *must* have been designed for 50 tonnes of uranium. Ergo, if that building was designed to use 50 tonnes of uranium then there *must* *be* 50 tonnes of uranium hidden away somewhere inside Syria.

That's 2003-era paranoia, and while I would expect nothing less from Albright I had previously thought better of Mark Hibbs.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 17 2013 4:06 utc | 26

@Don Joyner - Hi Professor, I am honored!

@Johnboy - all those ArmsContolWonks depend on government (like) sources to make a living. They don't really like to go after government propaganda like the stuff Albright is spreading.

Posted by: b | Jan 17 2013 18:47 utc | 27

Yes, b, Ploughshares supports that blog and also ISIS. Ploughshares is generally pretty good but its boss and Albright are friends and thus the funding for the moron.

Posted by: clint | Jan 18 2013 0:34 utc | 28

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