Forces: December 5, 1999


US Defense Secretary Cohen, in Europe on a tour to improve relations with European allies, had to formally deny rampant rumors that the US planned to withdraw 200 of its nuclear weapons from seven bases in Europe. The report of withdrawing 200 warheads has been circulating in Europe for two months, but Cohen said it was "not only unfounded, it is false... There is no such proposal ... It's a totally fabricated story". The actual number of US nuclear weapons remaining in Europe is highly classified, but the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists put the number at 150-200 last October. US nuclear weapons are thought to be stockpiled in Germany, Belgium, Britain, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, and Turkey.--Stephen V Cole

The EU has formed a military committee to design a 40,000-man EU rapid reaction force. The force is to be formed by 2003 and will be ready to deploy to a crisis within 60 days. In theory, the force will include enough transportation and communication units that it will not have to rely on US facilities or units.--Stephen V Cole

Bulgaria agreed on 29 Nov to shut down two of its old reactors in 2003 and two others in 2006 in exchange for 200 million Euros in aid, 250 million Euros in loans, and a promise of a fast track for membership in the EU.--Stephen V Cole


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