WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: July 11, 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. 21/2003
MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS NEWS
USA: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: "The Sunflower", July 2003, No. 74
The July 2003 issue of "The Sunflower" covers the following:
SPECIAL SECTION ON THE US MISSILE DEFENSE POLICY
Nuclear-Tipped Interceptors banned (Source: yahoo.com, 9 July 03)
Members of the United States House of Representatives surrendered at least partially to sanity on July 8, when they approved a provision in the Defense Appropriations Act of 2004 that explicitly bans the use of any federal funds for the development, procurement, or use of nuclear-tipped interceptors in the proposed National Missile Defense system.
The single sentence in the lengthy Defense Appropriations Act, under Section 8110, states, "None of the funds in this Act may be used for research, development, test, evaluation, procurement or deployment of nuclear armed interceptors of a missile defense system." The House restriction will be paired with the Senate-sponsored ban, which was re-introduced for the 2004 budget cycle, paving the way toward making these dangerous systems permanently out of bounds.
The inclusion of this ban demonstrates an acknowledgment by the representatives of the American people in government that excesses in military thinking and planning pose grave threats to national security. The detonation of a single nuclear warhead above American territory could rain radiation down on US soil, and cause irreparable damage to the low earth orbit satellites that global economic livelihood relies heavily upon.
INES Council member Alice Slater comments:
"The most important part of the prohibition is that they closed off all the loopholes. For years the government denied that they were "developing" new weapons but if you asked them if they were doing "research" they owned up to it--if you were clever enough to use the right catch word. They always claimed that you couldn't prohibit "research," but here we have a precedent and they have prohibited "research." Now we should ask for a prohibition on ALL research on all nuclear weapons. If they can do it for nuke-tipped bombs, they can do it for bunker busters, mini-nukes, etc."
Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/
News on the implementation of the US Nuclear Posture Review (Source: William M. Arkin: A New Nuclear Age; Planners design technology to withstand the apocalypse; in: Los Angeles Times, 6 July 03)
US Defense Department documents recently made available to the Los Angeles Times describe how the government is now moving ahead with a number of new programs toward that end, including a $200-million, eight-year effort to expand and streamline nuclear war planning. Concurrently, the same commercial technologies used in wireless communications and personal computing are being enlisted to achieve a long-standing nuclear war fighter's dream: systems able to operate even during a protracted nuclear war.
According to classified and unclassified briefing and contracting documents, the modernization efforts seek to make existing nuclear war planning systems "more flexible and adaptable on all fronts." The new focus increases the "number of threat countries" included in nuclear war planning and expands the types of targets to be considered. The plans also envision an expanded role for both special operations and cyber- warfare in the event of a full-scale nuclear war. New software tools are being developed to speed up the time it takes U.S. Strategic Command to prepare nuclear options for the president, the secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In May, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems and Lockheed Martin Mission Systems were awarded contracts to begin designing the new planning tools envisioned in the Nuclear Posture Review. According to military documents, they are needed because "the current process has no growth capability to handle the increasing target requests, which are projected to grow tenfold by 2007."
When the eight-year program is complete, key nuclear commanders and civilian decision-makers will not only have a "point-and-click" interface for planning nuclear war; they will also have a new array of specially configured laptops, cell phones and other electronic gear to streamline a variety of tasks.
New communications systems aimed at maintaining presidential control over nuclear forces are also being developed and deployed. The most important, known by the acronym GEMS, will modernize the current systems that handle transmission of nuclear "go codes," or orders from the president to launch a nuclear attack. The update will allow for greater capacity and quicker transmission of information and intelligence.
Utilizing highly automated systems and new, higher-bandwidth satellites, military planners expect to be able to still function even after a nuclear attack. The systems will incorporate such things as secure video teleconferencing and voice recognition software to ensure security. A constellation of up to five advanced satellites costing more than $400 million apiece will be launched into orbit beginning in 2006 to enable secure communications between the president and the country's nuclear forces.
The expanded communications systems will have both fixed and mobile communications terminals in at least 31 states and seven foreign countries, as well as at numerous classified sites, according to military documents. Terminals will be placed in military headquarters, at missile launch sites, on bombers and other aircraft supporting nuclear warfare and on submarines and support ships. When fully operational in 2010, the system will provide "survivable" terminals to connect underground nuclear command centers and nuclear forces. Even the paging devices of bomber crews on nuclear alert will be connected to the system.
But the real innovation is the 69 "transportable terminals" small enough to be set up, operated and maintained by one person. These communications terminals will be designed to "reliably operate in pre- through post-nuclear environments," according to an official "statement of objectives" for the project. A December 2002 "operational requirements document" outlines how, as tension levels increase, mobile support teams would be sent with these terminals to secret locations. In the event of nuclear war, the mobile teams would restaff command posts, bombers and tankers. They would rendezvous with submarines and transport new nuclear weapons to surviving units capable of delivering them.
The new systems are just one part of the military's implementation of the more aggressive nuclear war strategies laid out in the Nuclear Posture Review. In June 2002, the Navy and the Air Force rolled out a new system that would allow for the reception of emergency messages during or after a nuclear attack even if other communications systems had failed. Because the system operates on a low frequency, it is slow, but that also means it isn't subject to the same disruptions from electromagnetic pulses that could interrupt most other systems after a nuclear explosion.
Some of the technology that will soon be employed in implementing the Nuclear Posture Review's mandates is not new. One system, designed to allow the transmission of encoded "emergency actions messages," employs new Windows-like software and "open architecture networking." It initially came into use in August 2001, and proved so valuable on and after Sept. 11 that the Air Force notified the defense industry last month that it is looking at procuring an additional 200 or more of the systems in the future.
Sept. 11 also served as the spark for communications network improvements at the presidential level. The White House has initiated a highly classified "Pioneer" project to resolve deficiencies in presidential communications revealed after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. "The events of Sept. 11, 2001, illustrate the need to improve our national command and control architecture," Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., commander of Strategic Command, told Congress in April. Military planners and government agencies, he added, were working to craft a new national system to rectify the problems.
On the recent meeting of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) (Source: Medical Association for Prevention of War Australia, 11 July 03)
The participants in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) meeting in Brisbane on 9-10 July reiterated their strong political support for the initiative, and underscored that the PSI is a global initiative with global reach. They agreed to move quickly on direct, practical measures to impede the trafficking in weapons of mass destruction (WMD), missiles and related items.
This was the second meeting of the eleven PSI countries. The first meeting was in Madrid on 12 June. Participants are Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the UK and the US.
The Brisbane meeting focused on defining actions necessary to collectively or individually interdict shipments of WMD or missiles and related items at sea, in the air or on land. Participants emphasised their willingness to take robust and creative steps now to prevent trafficking in such items, while reiterating that actions taken would be consistent with existing domestic and international frameworks.
Europe and NPT 2005
Europe and NPT 2005 Abolition 2000 UK/France report, prepared by George Farebrother of World Court Project, is now available on the British Abolition 2000 website as a PDF file (100KB): http://abolition2000uk.gn.apc.org/whatsnew.html
"Transparency in Nuclear Warheads and Materials: The Political and Technical Dimensions" (Source: Federation of American Scientists "Secrecy News", Volume 2003, Issue No. 46, May 29, 2003)
Increased transparency concerning nuclear weapons inventories can help to verify negotiated limits on nuclear stockpiles, to defuse international tensions, and to strengthen controls on nuclear materials, arms control experts say.
Such transparency is the subject of an impressive new volume published last month by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and Oxford University Press.
"Transparency is complex in both concept and practice. It is multidimensional, it is not always a good thing, and transparency measures have to be orderly, honest and widely adopted if they are to win the confidence and support of states," writes William Walker in an introductory chapter. Transparency is "fundamentally a servant of international law and of the attempt by states to adopt common norms and rules of behavior in their mutual interest. It has little meaning or utility outside that framework."
In fact, the authors scrupulously note that under adverse circumstances, nuclear transparency could diminish deterrence or lead to the disclosure of weapons design information and further proliferation.
Yet while the prospects for immediate progress in strengthening nuclear transparency "appear poor," concludes editor Nicholas Zarimpas, "greater transparency in the management of nuclear warheads and materials would genuinely contribute to the strengthening of international security, the reduction of nuclear-related threats and the enhancement of predictability in inter-state relations."
"Transparency in Nuclear Warheads and Materials: The Political and Technical Dimensions" is edited by Nicholas Zarimpas. SIPRI and Oxford University Press, 2003. For more, see: http://editors.sipri.se/pubs/zarimpas.html
Modern Pit Facility information bulletin
Western States Legal Foundation and Los Alamos Study Group have produced an Information Bulletin on the Modern Pit Facility, placing it in the broader context of U.S. nuclear weapons programs and policies, "Mass Producing Weapons of Mass Destruction: U.S. Plans for a New Nuclear Weapons Factory and the Global Resurgence of Nuclear Arms."
This Information Bulletin is available in pdf format at: http://www.wslfweb.org/docs/mpfinfo.pdf
UNFCCC workshops on synergies and cooperation with other conventions
Organized by the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the workshops on synergies and cooperation with other conventions were held from 2-4 July 2003, at Espoo, Finland.
The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) workshop focused on possible synergies and joint action with other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) workshop addressed cooperation with other conventions (cross-cutting areas under the UNFCCC, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), (the Rio conventions)).
A final summary of these workshops can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/climate/cespo/
Biotechnology in Developing Countries (Source: IISD Linkages Update, 8 July 03)
Published by the Norwegian Centre for International Environment and Development Studies in April this year, the report "Biotechnology in Developing Countries: Needs and Modes of Competence Building" examines opportunities for building scientific capacity in developing countries around the various applications for biotechnology. With particular reference to Africa the report looks at a range of applications from industrial to small scale agriculture: http://www.nlh.no/noragric/publications/reports/NoragricRep14A.pdf
Ozone Handbook (6th edition) (Source: IISD Linkages Update, 8 July 03)
Published by UNEP in June this year, the sixth edition of "The Handbook for the International Treaties for the Protection of the Ozone Layer" updates readers of what's happening in the international arena of ozone protection up to the end of 2002. Divided into five main sections, the Handbook provides a detailed overview of the Ozone treaties:
The Handbook is available as a PDF file from: http://www.unep.org/ozone/Handbook2003.shtml
Calendar of Disarmament Events: call for disarmament events
Reaching Critical Will (RCW), a disarmament initiative of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, hosts a Calendar of Disarmament Events at: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/disarmcal03.html
In the past, the Disarmament Calendar featured only intergovernmental meetings and conferences. However, as we all know, real change - disarmament included - rarely happens from the top down. Therefore RCW is updating the calendar to include disarmament events taking place from the grassroots up.
If you or your organization is hosting a disarmament-related event, please email to: to have your event posted on the calendar. Please include contact information for those who may be interested in participating in the event.
Report of European Network for Peace and Human Rights Conference
150 delegates from 30 countries from Europe, America, Egypt and Yemen attended the European Network for Peace Conference at Brussels, 26-27 June 2003. Here are recommendations for action which came out of the conference:
1. Campaign for a demilitarised Europe, having one political voice, which should highlight the defects in the common foreign, security and defence policy. It should build Europe in to a peaceful alternative to US.
2. Create a unified peace movement linking it with world Social Forums and Human Rights Organisations around the globe.
3. Link all war crimes tribunal initiatives through out the world for taking governments and leaders to task for conducting an illegal war and pursuing crimes against humanity.
4. To work for changing the mindset of military and ordinary people from the culture of killing to culture of peace by pursuing an agenda for education.
5. Campaign for a bigger, well funded OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) for building and maintaining peace and security.
6. Campaign for governments to comply with international treaties and multilateral trade agreements. Work for a moratorium for developing space and nuclear weapons. Find a way to break the deadlock facing the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). Also prepare for Prepcom 2004 and review conference 2005.
7. Campaign for more information about the positive role of UN and ask for all its information centres to remain open all over Europe as they are facing closure.
8. Campaign for reforms of all world institutions UN, EU, WTO, IMF and World Bank to be more transparent, democratic and accountable. They should work under the rule of law and be legitimate.
9. Campaign for a united world opinion of all citizens for democracy and justice, which can become the second super power and counterweight to US hegemony.
10. Work for the protection of people from violations of human rights and civil liberties. Women should be represented in all decision making bodies of all organisation to ensure their added value of peace building to all peace processes.
A copy of the full report is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
Worldwide protests against Bush's nomination for a second term
INES Council member Alice Slater, president of the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE) writes:
"To our friends all over the world and in the US: Please join us in a worldwide protest at the start of the Republican Party's convention to nominate George Bush for a second term--here in NY on August 29, 2004. Please plan a protest in your own country in solidarity with the citizens of the US who are planning to end the Bush regime."
The protests are initiated by United for Peace and Justice, a U.S. anti-war coalition with more than 600 member groups: http://www.unitedforpeace.org
UFPJ looks forward to working with many other organizations on this day of protest, so please contact them at: < > if your group wants to work collaboratively on these actions and to let us know about other actions being planned to coincide with the Republican Convention.
"Disarmament Diplomacy" No. 71, June/July 2003 http://www.acronym.org.uk/dd/dd71/index.htm
Summary of contents:
World Committee on Radiation Risk formed
Low levels of ionizing radiation and the full range of the adverse effects have not been sufficiently addressed. The independent World Committee on Radiation Risk (WCRR) has been formed to focus on these issues.
Guiding Principles of WCRR:
For more, contact Cindy Folkers (USA): < >
CONFERENCES, MEETINGS, SEMINARS
Responsible Marketing – Sustainability and Qualitiy of Life. The Contribution of Research
For more details, visit: http://www.uneptie.org/pc/sustain/advertising/events_specifics/UNEP_ESOMAR_Oct03.htm
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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