WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: June 19, 2003
This is the weekly electronic information service of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility
Editor: Tobias Damjanov, e-mail:
WNII is archived at: http://inesglobal.org/archive.htm
INES homepages: http://inesglobal.org http://www.inesglobal.com/
INES International Office
INES Chair: Prof. Armin Tenner [Please note that the first "1" in q18 is the number one, while the last "l" is an "L"]
CONTENTS of WNII No. 19/2003
SPECIAL SECTION ON THE US MISSILE DEFENSE POLICY
Presidential Directive on "National Policy on Ballistic Missile Defense" (Source: Federation of American Scientists "Secrecy News", Volume 2003, Issue No. 45, May 27, 2003)
The full text of National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 23 concerning "National Policy on Ballistic Missile Defense" was obtained by Bill Gertz of the Washington Times and reported in the Times on May 27.
The Bush Administration's national security directives are almost never seen by Congress or the public. NSPD 23 is only the second such directive to reach the public domain in full.
NSPD 23, signed December 16, 2002, differs in a few small but interesting ways from the White House fact sheet on missile defense policy that was published last week.
The Directive specifically cites North Korea's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles as a justification for U.S. missile defense programs. And it notes that "the United States will seek permission respectively from the U.K. and Denmark to upgrade early-warning radars in Fylingdales and Thule, Greenland."
See the full text of NSPD 23 here: http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nspd/nspd-23.htm
Canada intends to cooperate with USA
Canada officially announced on May 29, 2003, that it will cooperate with the United States on a missile defense program. For more, see Center for Defense Information Missile Defense Update #12, June 12, 2003: http://www.cdi.org/newsletter/topicView.cfm?topicID=25&listID=9
Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Statement: The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons in the Twenty-First Century: A Path Forward
The peoples and governments of the world face an urgent challenge relating to weaponry of mass destruction and particularly to nuclear weaponry.
At the crossroads of technology, terrorism, geopolitical ambition, and policies of preemption are new and potent dangers for humanity. Despite ending the nuclear standoff of the Cold War era, nuclear weaponry is again menacing the peoples of the world with catastrophic possibilities.
We recognize the need for any government to pursue its security interests in accordance with international law; and further, we recognize that distinctive threats to these interests now exist as a result of an active international terrorist network having declared war on the United States and its allies. Nonetheless, we reject the assessment of the current US administration that upgrading a reliance on nuclear weapons is in any sense justified as a response. We find it unacceptable to assign any security role to nuclear weapons. More specifically, nuclear weapons are totally irrelevant and ineffective in relation to the struggle against terrorism.
Nuclear weapons, combined with policies that lower barriers to their use, pose unprecedented dangers of massive destruction, recalling to us the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Any major use of such weapons could doom humanity’s future and risk the extinction of most life on the planet.
The international regime preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons has badly eroded in recent years, and is in danger of unraveling altogether. This is due in large part to the refusal of the nuclear weapons states to fulfill their long-standing obligations set forth in Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to pursue nuclear disarmament in good faith. Other states, taking note of this underlying refusal to renounce these weapons over a period of more than five decades, have seen growing benefits for themselves in acquiring nuclear weapons.
Back in 1998, India and Pakistan, responding at least in part to the failure of the declared nuclear weapons states to achieve nuclear disarmament, decided to cross the nuclear weapons threshold. These two countries, both having always remained outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, have a long history of conflict and war with each other. They are a flashpoint for potential nuclear war in South Asia.
Another flashpoint is Israel’s undeclared, yet well-established, nuclear weapons arsenal, which introduces the risk that nuclear weapons will be used in some future crisis in the Middle East. Israel’s nuclear arsenal and the implicit threat of its use has encouraged other Middle Eastern countries to seek or acquire weapons of mass destruction, including the establishment of nuclear weapons programs.
A third flashpoint exists on the Korean Peninsula in Northeast Asia, where North Korea has withdrawn from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other agreements restricting its nuclear program. The North Korean government has announced that it will expand its nuclear weapons program unless the US agrees to negotiations to establish a mutual security pact.
US government policies are moving dangerously in the direction of making nuclear weapons an integral component of its normal force structure, and terrorists are becoming increasingly unscrupulous in challenging the established order. Terrorist organizations have been boldly seeking access to weaponry of mass destruction. Beyond this, the recent Iraq War, supposedly undertaken to remove a threat posed by Iraqi possession of these weapons, seems to have sent the ironic message to North Korea and others that the most effective way to deter the United States is by proceeding covertly and with urgency to develop a national arsenal of nuclear weapons.
US official policies to develop smaller and more usable nuclear weapons, to research a nuclear earth-penetrating weapon for use as a "bunker buster," and to lessen the timeframe for returning to underground nuclear testing, along with the doctrine and practice of preemptive war, have dramatically increased the prospect of future nuclear wars. The nuclear policies and actions of the US government have proved to be clearly provocative to countries that have been named by the US president as members of “the axis of evil” or that have been otherwise designated by the present US administration to constitute potential threats to the United States. Several of these countries now seem strongly inclined to go all out to acquire a deterrent in the face of American intimidation and threats.
There is no circumstance, even retaliation, in which the use of nuclear weapons would be prudent, moral or legal under international law. The only morally, legally and politically acceptable policy with regard to nuclear weapons is to move rapidly to achieve their universal and total elimination, as called for by the world’s leading religious figures, the International Court of Justice in its 1996 opinion, and many other governments and respected representatives of civil society. Achieving such goals would also dramatically reduce the possibilities of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorist organizations.
Given the existence of treaty regimes that already ban chemical and biological weapons, the outlawing and disarmament of nuclear weapons would complete the commitment of the governments and peoples of the world to the prohibition and elimination of all weaponry of mass destruction. Such a prohibition, and accompanying regimes of verification and enforcement, could lead over time to a greater confidence by world leaders in the rule of law, as well as encourage an increased reliance on non-violent means of resolving conflicts and satisfying grievances.
It is the US insistence on retaining a nuclear weapons option that sets the tone for the world as a whole, reinforcing the unwillingness of other nuclear weapons states to push for nuclear disarmament and inducing threatened or ambitious states to take whatever steps are necessary, even at the risk of confrontation and war with the United States, to develop their own stockpile of nuclear weaponry. In this post-September 11th climate, the United States has suddenly become for other governments a country to be deterred rather than, as in the Cold War, a country practicing deterrence to discourage aggression by others.
For these reasons, we call upon the United States government to:
We also call on other nuclear weapons states to accept their responsibilities to work toward a world without weapons of mass destruction as a matter of highest priority.
These steps leading to the negotiation and ratification of a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons should then be coordinated with existing arrangements of prohibition associated with biological and chemical weapons to establish an overall regime dedicated to the elimination of all weaponry of mass destruction. It would be beneficial at that stage to also create an international institution with responsibility for safeguarding the world against such diabolical weaponry, including additional concerns associated with frontier technologies, such as space weaponization and surveillance technology, radiological weapons, cyber warfare, advanced robotics, genetic engineering and nanotechnology.
Finally, we recommend that an international commission of experts and moral authority figures be appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations to issue a report on existing and emerging weaponry of mass destruction and to propose international arrangements and policy recommendations that would enhance the prospects for global peace and security in the years ahead and, above all, the avoidance of any use of weapons of mass destruction.
Humanity stands at a critical crossroads, and the future depends upon our actions now.
June 16, 2003
US Nuclear Posture Review: selected references (Sources: MoveOn Bulletin, 6 June 03; AFSC mailing, 12 June 03)
The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is a military planning document Congress mandated in 2000. The Bush administration delivered the NPR in 2002, but its contents were classified. Leaked versions reveal the NPR recommends a greater role for nuclear weapons and missile defense. In 2002, WNII published information on the NPR in its issues 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 12.
IAEA Report on Iran (Source: Federation of American Scientists "Secrecy News", Volume 2003, Issue No. 52, June 19, 2003)
"Iran has failed to meet its obligations under its [Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty] Safeguards Agreement with respect to the reporting of nuclear material, the subsequent processing and use of that material and the declaration of facilities where the material was stored and processed," according to a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The report, which has not been formally released by the IAEA, presents new findings on the state of Iran's nuclear program and the apparent violation of its nonproliferation commitments. The text is available here: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/iaea0603.html
Action Resource for the Commemoration of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki
The Hong Kong-based Asian Center for the Progress of Peoples (ACPP) has produced this material "to encourage and assist the commemoration of these events".
It is available on the ACPP website: http://www.acpp.org or can be sent to you as a plain text file on request. Contact: < >
USA: Enhanced Whistleblower Protection Sought (Source: Federation of American Scientists "Secrecy News", Volume 2003, Issue No. 49, June 12, 2003)
New legislation to protect whistleblowers -- individuals who "blow the whistle" and expose fraudulent or wasteful activity -- was introduced this week by Senators Akaka, Leahy, Levin, Durbin and Dayton.
"Whistleblowers have proven to be important catalysts for much needed government change over the years," said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). "From corporate fraud to governmental misconduct to media integrity, the importance of whistleblowers in galvanizing positive change cannot be questioned."
"Whistleblowing is never more important than when our national security is at stake," said Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), citing the case of FBI whistleblower Colleen Rowley and others.
Yet the existing protections against retaliation that were codified in the Whistleblower Protection Act in 1994 have been steadily eroded over the years. In 1999, for example, a court took it upon itself to rule that whistleblowers were not entitled to the law's protection unless they had "irrefragable proof" of their claims. This ruling sent government employees and attorneys alike rushing to their dictionaries, where they discovered that "irrefragable" means "impossible to refute."
This extreme interpretation was never Congress' intent, legislators said. "To address this unreasonable burden placed on whistleblowers, our bill would replace the 'irrefragable proof' standard with 'substantial evidence'," said Senator Daniel Akaka.
See the" Federal Employee Protection of Disclosures Act" (S.1229), with introductory statements by Senators Akaka, Levin and Leahy here: http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2003/s1229.html
Whistleblower protection has "a bi-partisan constituency that spans the ideological spectrum," observed Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project and Kris Kolesnik of the National Whistleblower Center, supporters of the new legislation.
UN and Small Arms and Light Weapons (Source: IPB mailing, 2 June 03)
The UN Department for Disarmament Affairs has launched a website for the First Biennial Meeting of States on the Implementation of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons: http://disarmament.un.org/cab/salw-2003.html
The site is currently in English only, however it is hoped to have information in all 6 languages in the near future.
Comments and ideas on the site are most welcome. Please contact Sharon O'Brien, Associate Political Affairs Officer, Conventional Arms Branch, Department for Disarmament Affairs: < >
USA: "Foundations of Foreign Policy," 1969-1976 (Source: Federation of American Scientists "Secrecy News", Volume 2003, Issue No. 48, June 6, 2003)
The US State Department has published a new volume of its Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series entitled "Foundations of Foreign Policy," 1969-1976, that focuses on the "worldviews" of President Nixon and National Security Adviser Kissinger. The full text of the new FRUS volume is posted here: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/nixon/i/
USA: Anti-war movement United for Peace and Justice (Source: Conference report by Steven Staples, Polaris Institute, Canada, 12 June 03)
United for Peace and Justice, a US-wide anti-war movement coalition, held a national conference in Chicago, June 6 to 8. Delegates from more than 400 organizations in 38 states attended the first-ever National Anti-War Strategy and Planning Conference of the United for Peace and Justice (UfPJ) coalition. The coalition was founded last year to help co-ordinate groups against the war on Iraq and to organize some of the largest anti-war rallies in recent U.S. history – notably the one held February 15, when millions across the world demonstrated against a potential war.
Steven Staples of the Polaris Institute, Canada, has disseminated an highly interesting Conference Report which is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
U.S. Conservatives Take Aim at NGOs (Source: OneWorld.net, 12 June 03)
On 11 June, the notorious American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a neoconservative Washington think tank that has been particularly influential with the Bush administration, sponsored an all-day conference, "Nongovernmental Organizations: The Growing Power of an Unelected Few."
"NGOs have created their own rules and regulations and demanded that governments and corporations abide by those rules," according to AEI and the conference co-sponsor, the rightist Institute of Public Affairs of Australia. "Politicians and corporate leaders are often forced to respond to the NGO media machine, and the resources of taxpayers and shareholders are used in support of ends they did not sanction."
"The extraordinary growth of advocacy NGOs in liberal democracies has the potential to undermine the sovereignty of constitutional democracies, as well as the effectiveness of credible NGOs," they warned.
To shed more light on NGOs, AEI announced the launch of a new website, NGOWatch.org: http://www.ngowatch.org, that will provide information about their operations, funding sources and political agendas. Brian Hook of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, which is co-sponsoring the site, said it will cover those NGOs "with the most influence in international affairs."
CONFERENCES, MEETINGS, SEMINARS
Depleted Uranium Weapons: The Trojan Horses of Nuclear War International conference towards a worldwide ban on DU/Uranium weapons
For more details and registration, visit: http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de
INES WEB AND E-MAIL SERVICE
No new or changed email or web addresses in this issue. All INES e-mail addresses and homepages are available upon request from:
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