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GLOBAL DISARMAMENT STARTS AT HOME

IT'S TIME TO DISARM AMERICA!



Talking Points – Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security Working Group
United for Peace and Justice (www.unitedforpeace.org), August 2003

prepared by Jacqueline Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation (www.wslfweb.org)
and John Burroughs, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy (www.lcnp.org)

1) WMD FOUND IN US AFTER FRUITLESS SEARCH IN IRAQ!

UN and U.S. weapons inspectors have been unable to find evidence of active nuclear, chemical or biological weapons programs in Iraq. But ordinary U.S. citizens have discovered that programs are underway at the U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories to upgrade every weapon type in the arsenal, including bombs, cruise missiles, and Trident submarine warheads, in many cases giving them enhanced military capabilities. The same labs are upgrading their biowarfare research capabilities.

  • At STRATCOM, the U.S. military’s nuclear command and control center at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska, top-level Pentagon officials met the week of August 4th to discuss a proposal for the production of modified and new nuclear weapons.

  • A contest has been launched between the Lawrence Livermore (CA) and Los Alamos (NM) National Laboratories to design a “Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator,” a nuclear bomb designed to withstand a high-speed collision with the ground and bore through 20 - 30 feet of rock or concrete before exploding. This “high-yield” weapon, at least 75 kilotons and perhaps much larger (the Hiroshima bomb was about 15 kilotons), is intended to destroy deeply buried and hardened targets. Its use would result in a huge, deadly, radioactive mushroom cloud.

  • Research is ongoing on both “low-yield” nuclear warheads and on targeting techniques to make nuclear weapons more usable, particularly against deeply buried targets and chemical and biological weapons facilities.

  • The U.S. opposes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which would block possible U.S. “ proof” testing of new or modified nuclear weapons. (Some new or modified weapons could be, and have been, deployed without such tests.)

  • Los Alamos recently manufactured the first nuclear weapons pit (plutonium trigger) in 14 years that meets specifications for the U.S. stockpile. Plans are underway for a “modern pit production facility” with a capacity of up to 450 pits/year. At that rate, one year’s production would equal the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world.

  • The nuclear weapons laboratories are building new biowarfare research facilities that will allow the conduct of aerosol studies, including tests on live rodents, using infectious agents or biotoxins. While the nuclear labs say that this new bioweapons research is for “defensive” purposes, some defensive research also has offensive applications. Biocontainment facilities for “biodefense” research are being upgraded or built at two dozen or more other laboratories around the country. In 2001, the U.S. blocked completion of a verification protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention that would have allowed international inspectors to visit U.S. research facilities.

2) AS IT DEMANDS THAT NORTH KOREA “VERIFIABLY AND IRREVERSIBLY DISMANTLE” ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM, THE U.S. IS REFUSING TO APPLY THE SAME PRINCIPLES TO US/RUSSIAN REDUCTIONS.

The U.S. demands that North Korea and Iran refrain from acquiring nuclear weapons and submit to IAEA inspections in accordance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). But Article VI of the NPT also requires the U.S. and other existing nuclear powers to eliminate their arsenals through good-faith negotiations. The U.S. is now blatantly rejecting NPT commitments it made in 2000 to apply the principles of irreversibility and verification to reduction of its arsenal.

  • Unlike prior agreements, the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) with Russia does not require the verified destruction of a single delivery system or warhead. In addition to SORT-permitted deployed strategic (long range) warheads, 1700-2200 in 2012, the U.S. plans to retain hundreds of tactical (short range) weapons and many thousands of warheads in reserve, including large numbers – perhaps 2000 a decade from now - in a “responsive force” capable of redeployment within weeks or months.

  • Today and into the future, the U.S. remains ready at all times to strike Russia and other countries, within minutes of an order to do so, with about 2000 missile-based warheads.

3) WHILE ITSELF PREPARING TO USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS THE US WARNS NORTH KOREA AND IRAN AGAINST ACQUIRING NUCLEAR ARSENALS AND WAGED A WAR ALLEGEDLY TO PREVENT IRAQI ACQUISITION OF WMD.

The December 2002 Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction declares that the United States “reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force - including through resort to all of our options - to the use of WMD against the United States, our forces abroad, and friends and allies.” “All of our options" includes both “conventional and nuclear response” capabilities, employed in “appropriate cases through preemptive measures.”

The January 2002 Nuclear Posture Review plans for first use of nuclear weapons in response to non-nuclear attacks or threats involving biological or chemical weapons or "surprising military developments," and targets countries including Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Libya. Early this year a “Theater Nuclear Planning Document” was drawn up for Iraq.

4) GLOBAL DISARMAMENT STARTS AT HOME - IT’S TIME TO DISARM AMERICA!

The U.S. demands disarmament from other nations while expanding its reliance on the ultimate weapons of terror and increasing the risk of their use in the “War on Terrorism”.

  • United for Peace and Justice rejects this hypocritical, dangerous and unsustainable policy and has made nuclear disarmament one of its priorities, calling for sweeping measures to eliminate nuclear arms in the U.S. as well as worldwide.

To join the listserv for the UFPJ Nuclear Disarmament/ Redefining Security
working group, send a blank email to
ufpj-disarm-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

 


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