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Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation Hybrid Designs for Warheads

Unpublished Letter to the New York Times on "US Selecting Hybrid Designs for Warheads"
Peter Weiss, President, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy
January 7, 2007

To the Editor:

"US Selecting Hybrid Designs for Warheads" (front page, Jan. 7) exposes in all its starkness the arrogance and absurdity of the current United States policy on nuclear weapons. Year after year the overwhelming majority of the world's nations vote in the General Assembly of the United Nations to urge the nuclear weapon states to negotiate in good faith for the total elimination of these monstrous weapons, as they are required to do by Article VI of the Nonproliferation Treaty and by the unanimous opinion rendered by the International Court of Justice in 1996. The US answer to this quasi-universal yearning for a nuclear-free world is stated dryly by General James E. Cartwright, head of the Strategic Command, which controls the US nuclear arsenal, in the following words: "It is not the nation's position that zero is the answer to the size of our inventory." Instead, according to the article, the administration seems ready to embark on a $100 billion dollar decades-long program to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal, as soon as a Solomonic decision has been made that will allow both of the nation's competing nuclear labs, Los Alamos and Livermore, to participate therein.

Three days ago, in another paper, a quartet of elder statesmen, George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn, laid out a program of concrete steps leading to the "reassertion of the vision of a world free of
nuclear weapons". Since these four hardly qualify as starry eyed pacifists, their call to action should be entitled to some credibility. But is anybody listening?


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