Lower House Wants No Nuclear Weapon Role for JSF
THE HAGUE, 21/11/13 - The Lower House has adopted a motion stating that the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF/F-35) must not be allowed to drop nuclear weapons.
The Socialist Party (SP) motion was supported by Labour (PvdA), centre-left D66, small Christian party ChristenUnie, the leftwing Greens (GroenLinks) and the Party for Animals. It specifies that the Dutch fighter aircraft should not be allowed to be equipped with the US nuclear weapons that are stationed at the Volkel airbase.]
The JSF will be the successor to the F-16, which is equipped to release nuclear weapons. The F-16s are to be replaced by the JSF in 2024.
Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert recently said in the Lower House that the JSF has the technical capacity to drop a nuclear bomb. This capability did not however play any role whatever in the decision to buy the plane, she added.
According to PvdA leader Diederik Samsom and conservative (VVD) parliamentary leader Halbe Zijlstra, the adopted motion is separate from the NATO role in nuclear questions. The debate on the nuclear role must be carried out with the Foreign Minister, they say.
The House rejected a D66 motion on Tuesday in which the cabinet was asked to postpone the purchase of the JSF/F-35 as successor to the F-16j. Remarkably, PvdA MP Lutz Jacobi supported the motion, the only one in her party.
Samsom indicated he has no problem with the position of Jacobi. "The party is always free to make a weighing-up. We always hope to make such a decision unanimously, but for Lutz it is still too early
The position of Jacobi has no consequences for the advent of the JSF. As well as the VVD and PvdA coalition parties, the CDA and the smallest Christian party SGP support the plan.