WHAT'S NEW IN INES?

No.24/2003

Dateline: August 4, 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. 24/2003


MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS' NEWS

UK: Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR): Understanding the military influence on science and technology

Below is introductory information on a new one year research project, "Understanding the military influence on science and technology," being carried out by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR)

Support of research across the globe has undergone radical change over the past twenty years. Military funding of science and technology continues to be high, both in the UK and in many other countries. Despite a significant fall in this funding after the end of the Cold War, the recent declaration of the so called 'War on Terror' threatens to reverse this situation. Moreover, with an increasing push for science and technology to be commercially directed, this threatens to undermine government control of where arms technologies may be sold. Questions of commercial confidentiality compromise open science. Meanwhile scientific expertise is increasingly needed to help combat pressing environmental, social and medical problems.

Currently, one third of the UK's public funding for science, technology and engineering research and development - approximately 2.6 billion per annum - comes from the Ministry of Defence. In addition military corporations provide a further 100 million.

Such funds support both pure and applied science and technological development. The defence industries are globally one of the largest and most powerful - BAE Systems in the UK is the second largest defence contractor in the world with annual sales in 130 countries of 12 billion. What is the effect of this military funding on the direction and openness of science and technology in the UK? There has been little research undertaken to address this question. Scientists for Global Responsibility has secured funding for one year to chart the impact of the military influence on the direction and priorities of science and technology.

Some of the questions posed include:

* what effect does military-academic collaboration have on dissemination of research findings?

* does military funding of science and technology focus on arms-related issues to the detriment of research into conflict prevention policies and strategies or less security-driven areas such as the provision of clean water, sustainable energy and agriculture? Is this exacerbated by the growing presence of collaborative military science and technology ventures such as the UK Defence Technology Centres and Towers of Excellence?

* should military funded R&D which has wider ethical implications, such as neuroscience or biotechnology research, be subjected to wide public scrutiny?

* does the development of UK Defence Technology Centres and Towers of Excellence, provide value for money in fostering open and accountable science?

The project will use case studies, in-depth interviews of leading figures in the defence, research and science policy areas and other decision makers in order to provide a detailed picture of military funding and the direction of such research in the UK. Source material from the Office of Science and Technology (OST) and the Ministry of Defence as well as academic papers, university reports and statistics, websites and other sources of information will also be used to fill in what will be complex landscape of research endeavour and its support.

The project will produce and disseminate a concise, contemporary and accessible Report of interest and relevance to peace and disarmament workers, decision-makers across the scientific domain, as well as researchers within science and the public.

For further information, contact Dr Stuart Parkinson, Director, SGR: < >

Notes

1. The project is funded by the Network for Social Change, a charitable trust

2. Information sources:


THE US-UK WAR AGAINST IRAQ

UK: The Lord Hutton Inquiry on the Dr Kelly affair (Source: CASI list, posting of 1 August 03)

The Lord Hutton Inquiry on the Dr Kelly affair is starting. If you wish to follow it, visit the following URL: http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/ 
It will be updated as the Inquiry proceeds.


Iraq war failed to make Britain safer (Source. CASI list, posting of 31 July 03)

The war in Iraq failed to reduce security threats against Britain and may have harmed efforts to tackle the al Qaeda terror network, the British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said on July 31.

In its report, "Foreign Policy Aspects Of The War Against Terrorism," the committee noted government concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, among other security threats to Britain. "We cannot conclude that these threats have diminished significantly, in spite of 'regime change' in Iraq and progress in capturing some of the leaders of al Qaeda," the report said.

The report can be found at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmselect/cmfaff/405/405.pdf 


 USA: "Bring Them Home Now!" http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/ 

"Bring Them Home Now!" is a coordinating committee of military families, veterans, active duty personnel, reservists and others "opposed to the ongoing war in Iraq and galvanized to action by George W. Bush's inane and reckless challenge to armed Iraqis resisting occupation to 'Bring 'em on.'"

Their mission is "to mobilize military families, veterans, and GIs themselves to demand: an end to the occupation of Iraq and other misguided military adventures; and an immediate return of all US troops to their home duty stations."

For more, see the URL indicated above.


Iraqi newspapers (Source: Colin Rowat, CASI posting, 29 July 03)

MENAVista, an online project dedicated to producing a deeper understanding of the Middle East and North Africa region, provides a list of Iraqi post-Saddam era newspapers at: http://www.menavista.com/iraqi_media.htm 

Most of the papers listed are in Arabic, but there also some in English and even in Kurdish language. Each paper is briefly described and hyperlinked to its respective homepage.


SPECIAL SECTION ON THE US MISSILE DEFENSE POLICY

Report of the American Physical Society Study Group on Boost-Phase Intercept Systems for National Missile Defense

In the last WNII issue, reference was made to this report under the title "US National Missile Defense: Scientific, technical and budgetary issues".
INESAP coordinator Regina Hagen has pointed out, that the report can be found at: http://www.aps.org/public_affairs/popa/reports/nmd03.html 


China and Russia Urge Space Arms Ban (Source: Reuters/Washington Post, 31 July 03)

On July 31, China and Russia said "Star Wars" dangers were growing and called for a quick start to talks on a treaty to ban weapons in space. The two powers delivered their plea at a session of the United Nations-backed Conference on Disarmament just over a year after tabling proposals for a pact, to be known as PAROS -- Preventions of an Arms Race in Outer Space --, that have met with a cold reception from Washington.

"Dire developments augur ill for the issue of PAROS," Chinese disarmament ambassador Hu Xiaodi told the 66-nation forum, declaring that efforts were under way to "control and occupy outer space." "The risk of weaponization of outer space is mounting," he added, in remarks that sources close to his delegation said were aimed at the U.S. National Missile Defense (NMD) system due to start up in September next year.

Also on July 31, Russia's ambassador, Leonid Skotnikov, told the Geneva disarmament forum that his country remained firmly committed to banning the deployment of weapons in outer space and wanted a moratorium while a treaty was negotiated.

"We are ready to take on such a commitment immediately as long as the leading space powers join in a moratorium," he said. Skotnikov also called for renewed efforts to relaunch discussion on confidence-building measures on PAROS that have been stalled for almost a decade.

Russia, he said, had started to take unilateral action to ensure openness and reduce fears about its own space activities by notifying in advance planned launches of probes, their purpose and their flight paths.

"We call on other countries which have space launching capabilities to join us and undertake all necessary measures for building confidence in outer-space activities," Skotnikov added.

Proponents of a pact, which include many European and nearly all developing countries, say it is vital to ensure that the 1967 treaty banning weapons of mass destruction in outer space is not undermined.


NUCLEAR WEAPONS 


Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org  Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/ 


Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

This is the title of a comprehensive article written by INES Deputy Chair Dr David Krieger. Due to its length it is not possible to publish it in here, but it is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.

If you wish to receive the article from the author, contact him through: < >


New publications

The Nuclear Confrontation in South Asia
This is the title of Chapter 5 of the SIPRI Yearbook 2003 "Armaments, Disarmament and International Security" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003). The Chapter is written by M. V. Ramana and INESAP member Zia Mian, and can be found at: http://www.princeton.edu/~globsec/publications/pdf/SIPRI-03-Ramana-Mian.pdf 

C3: Nuclear Command, Control Cooperation
Published by the Washington-based Center for Defense Information (CDI), C3: Nuclear Command, Control Cooperation is written by Col. (Ret.) Valery Yarynich, formerly an officer Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces and currently a visiting associate professor at California State University in San Bernardino. During his long career with the Russian military, Col. Yarynich participated in the design, testing and deployment of the main C3 systems for silo-based and mobile strategic missiles.
The book (291 pages in English), takes a comprehensive look at Russian and U.S. command, control and communication (C3) systems and doctrine, looking at the historic and technical rationale for the two sides differing approaches. It further makes the case that the United States and Russia need to closely coordinate on C3 of their nuclear arsenals, not only to prevent mutual suspicion and spur further arms reductions, but also to protect against possible terrorist activities that could lead to accidental nuclear war.
Table of contents and introduction are available at:  http://cdi.org/product/index.cfm 


WHISTLEBLOWERS

September 30 Vigils to Call for Freedom for Vanunu and Nuclear Abolition

There will be vigils around the world on and around Tuesday, September 30 calling for the immediate release of imprisoned Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. September 30 is the 17th anniversary of his kidnapping and imprisonment. Vanunu, who worked at the Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev Desert, told the London Sunday Times in 1986, as a matter of conscience, about Israel's secret nuclear arsenal.

The international campaign to free Vanunu is calling for people to vigil in front of Israeli embassies, consulates and other sites in countries around the world, calling for nuclear abolition and Mordechai's release.

Mordechai has repeatedly been turned down for parole and is scheduled to serve his full sentence. He's been given a release date of April 22, 2004. It's imperative that we keep the pressure on the Israeli government and let them know that there are people around the world who continue to call for Vanunu's unconditional and immediate release.

Also on September 30, the launch of an international appeal will be announced to raise funds to help Mordechai rebuild his life after his release.

If you are interested in being part of this worldwide vigil for Mordechai, or have any questions, please contact as soon as possible, the U.S. campaign to free Vanunu at:   or the British campaign to free Vanunu at:  

For more information about Vanunu, and to sign the international petition calling for his release, visit: http://www.nonviolence.org/vanunu/  and http://www.vanunu.freeserve.co.uk/ 

For a report and photos of the 2001 and 2002 international vigils, visit: http://www.nonviolence.org/vanunu/w02vigils.html  and http://www.nonviolence.org/vanunu/archive6/f02vigils.html 


CONFERENCES, MEETINGS, SEMINARS

11th International Conference of the Greening of Industry Network (GIN2003)

To view all five Tracks and included sessions, as well as for registration, visit: http://www.greeningofindustry.org/go2003/tracks.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: