WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: January 20, 2002
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. 3/2002
SPECIAL SECTION ON US MISSILE DEFENSE POLICY
Bill would ban space-based mind control weapons (Source: Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News, Volume 2002, Issue No. 4, January 10, 2002)
US Representative Dennis Kucinich (Democrats-Ohio) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives late last year that would ban weapons in space. But while there have been many similar legislative initiatives in the past, Rep. Kucinich's bill is distinguished by its unusually expansive definition of "weapons."
Among the weapons that it would proscribe the new measure includes "psychotronic" devices that are "directed at individual persons or targeted populations for the purpose of ... mood management, or mind control."
No explanation for this peculiar proposal was immediately available. But the text of "The Space Preservation Act of 2001" (H.R. 2977), introduced on 2 October 2001, may be found here:
The Kucinich bill was hailed by Citizens Against Human Rights Abuse, one of a number of organizations of people who say they are victims of government experimentation involving electromagnetic and other psychotronic weapons. See their web site here:
The bill has been referred to three House Committees.
Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/
The new US Nuclear Posture Review
David Krieger: The US Nuclear Posture Review: Putting the Promise of Disarmament on the Shelf
The Bush administration has conducted the first Nuclear Posture Review since 1994, and has released a classified version of the report to Congress. The report, which has not been made public, provides an updated strategic nuclear plan for the United States. It helps to clarify Bush's promise to President Putin to reduce the deployed US strategic nuclear arsenal by two-thirds to between 2,200 and 1,700 over a ten-year period.
The Bush nuclear posture stands on three legs. First, deactivated nuclear weapons will be kept in storage rather than destroyed. Second, the nuclear weapons that are deactivated will be replaced by powerful and accurate conventional weapons. Third, missile defenses will be deployed ostensibly to protect the US from attack by a rogue state or terrorist. Despite the planned reductions in the nuclear arsenal, the Bush administration intends to retain a flexible responsive capability by putting a portion (perhaps most) of the deactivated warheads into storage, making them available for future use. The problem with this approach is that it will encourage the Russians to follow the same path and to also keep deactivated nuclear warheads in storage. This means that the promised reductions will not be disarmament at all. It will not lead to the destruction of the nuclear warheads, nor will it be irreversible, as called for by the parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It will be subject to reversal at any time for any reason, by the Russians as well as the US. In essence, the Bush administration is hedging its bets, and simply putting nuclear weapons on the inactive reserve list, ready to be activated should they decide circumstances warrant doing so. It is sending a message to the Russians that we do not trust them and that we do not intend to any longer follow the path of irreversible reductions in the nuclear arsenals of the two countries set forth in verifiable treaties. The Russians will likely follow our lead and also put deactivated nuclear weapons into reserve stocks, where they will be subject to diversion by terrorists. This would be highly unfortunate since the Russians would prefer to make the nuclear reductions permanent and irreversible. The new nuclear posture also calls for cutting down the time necessary to reinstate a full-scale US nuclear testing program should the administration decide to do so. This also fits the pattern of flexible response. According to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, "Recognizing that the world can change in dangerous and unpredictable ways, we are putting more emphasis than we have in the last 10 or 15 years on that underlying infrastructure that allows you, including in the nuclear area, to rebuild capabilities or build new ones if the world changes."
A second factor driving the Bush administration's nuclear posture is its belief that conventional weapons now have the capability to replace nuclear weapons in deterring an enemy from attacking. Again, according to Mr. Wolfowitz, "We're looking at a transformation of our deterrence posture from an almost exclusive emphasis on offensive nuclear forces to a force that includes defenses as well as offenses, that includes conventional strike capabilities as well as nuclear strike capability." It is anticipated that many of the nuclear warheads being placed in storage will be replaced, particularly on the submarine force, by highly accurate, precision-guided conventional warheads, capable of doing enormous damage.
A third factor figuring prominently in the Bush administration's nuclear posture is its plan to deploy missile defenses. Over the continuing objections of Russia, China and many US allies, President Bush has made clear that he intends to move forward with deployment of ballistic missile defenses that will violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. In December, President Bush gave formal notice to the Russians that the US will withdraw from this treaty in six months.
The Bush administration argues that withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and deployment of ballistic missile defenses will make the US safer, but this is a very unlikely proposition. Instead, it makes the Russians nervous about US intentions, and this nervousness must be increased by the Nuclear Posture Review's emphasis on retaining the deactivated US nuclear warheads in storage. US deployment of ballistic missile defenses will also force the Chinese to expand their nuclear deterrent force with increased targeting of the US. Increases in the Chinese nuclear arsenal may also touch off a new nuclear arms race in Asia.
The bottom line of the new US nuclear posture is that it is built on smoke and mirrors. It will reduce the number of deployed nuclear weapons, but it will put them on the shelf ready to be reinstated on short notice. It will also retain enough nuclear weapons to destroy any country and annihilate its people. Recent computer-based estimates generated by the Natural Resources Defense Council indicate that eliminating Russia as a country would take 51 nuclear weapons and China would require 368 due to its large population. On the other hand, the US could be destroyed as a country with 124 nuclear weapons and all NATO countries, including the US, could be destroyed with approximately 300 nuclear warheads.
The recent Nuclear Posture Review tells us that US policymakers are still thinking that nuclear weapons make us safer, when, in fact, they remain weapons capable of destroying us. Their desire to retain flexibility is in reality a recipe for ending four decades of arms control. Their push for ballistic missile defenses is a formula for assuring that US taxpayers enrich defense contractors while diverting defense expenditures from protecting against very real terrorist threats. The Bush promise of nuclear weapons reductions turns out to be a policy for missing the real opportunities of the post Cold War period to not only shelve these weapons but eliminate them forever.
US Nuclear Posture Review may not comply with law (Source: Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News, Volume 2002, Issue No. 4, January 10, 2002)
Contrary to an explicit legal requirement, the Pentagon has still not produced an unclassified report on its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which defines the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. military strategy.
On 9 January, the Pentagon held a press briefing outlining the conclusions of the Review, and released a three-page Foreword from the otherwise classified report. But the FY 2001 Defense Authorization Act specifically directed that a report on the Review be submitted in December 2001 "in unclassified and classified forms as necessary." The unclassified Foreword to the classified NPR report is posted here:
Whether this Foreword, which merely presents "a summary of the highlights" of the report, satisfies the requirement for an unclassified report will ultimately be for Congress to decide after it returns on 23 January.
See also: "Nuke Weapons Policy Still Secret" by John Fleck from the January 5 FAS Journal:
Russia Rejects US Plan to Store Warheads (Source: The New York Times, 11 January 2002)
On 10 January, Russia strongly criticized Bush administration plans to store rather than destroy decommissioned nuclear warheads, suggesting that such plans would undermine the credibility of any new arms control accord aimed at eliminating thousands of nuclear weapons.
The spokesman for Russia's Foreign Ministry, Aleksandr Yakovenko, said in a short but pointed statement, "We hold that Russian- American agreements on further reductions of the nuclear arsenals must be, first, radical - down to 1,500-2,200 warheads; second, verifiable; and third, irreversible so that strategic defensive arms will be reduced not only 'on paper.' "
A number of arms control experts said the United States reserve of nuclear weapons currently numbers several thousand warheads beyond the 6,000 in active service. Russia maintains a much smaller reserve, officials here say. Moreover, that reserve is expected to shrink more rapidly as Moscow diverts more of its resources to upgrading its conventional military forces.
2002 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Women's Major Group for the multi-stakeholder dialogues
The facilitator of this women's caucus grouping at the WSSD, including the PrepCom Sessions II and IV, is the US-based Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). You'll find at their website: http://www.wedo.org
NOTE also WEDO's Sustainable Development Program listserv which you can join by sending a blank email to:
For more information, contact Rebecca Pearl at WEDO:
Report "Financing for Sustainable Development" http://www.iied.org/pdf/wssd_ffsd.pdf
Edited by Tariq Banuri and Tom Bigg, this new report (see URL above) states that discussions surrounding both the WSSD and the Financing for Development (FFD) process indicate an absence of creative thinking on the issue of financing, and on the challenges of globalisation. It argues that there is a crisis of legitimacy confronting the agencies and actors involved in development processes and presents some ideas and approaches which could usefully be acted upon in preparation for the two Summits.
1] Legitimacy as a Systematic Challenge - Adil Najam, SDPI Pakistan
2] Sustainable Development and the Effectiveness of ODA – Jens Martens, WEED Germany
3] Debt and Sustainable Development: A new paradigm – Andrew Simms and Ann Pettifor, NEF UK
4] Fiscal Deficit - Konrad von Moltke, WWF US
5] Reforming Foreign Capital Flows: The Role of Socially Responsible Investment Nick Robins, Hendersons Global Investors UK
6] Migrant Remittances - Tariq Banuri, Stockholm Environment Institute Boston
7] Strengthening Demand - Tariq Banuri, Stockholm Environment Institute Boston
8] Sustainable trade, value chain governance, and resource mobilisation for sustainable development - Nicola Borregaard, CIPMA Chile
9] The Age of Globalisation - Tariq Banuri, Stockholm Environment Institute Boston
'Financing for Sustainable Development' has been produced by the RING alliance of sustainable development policy institutes. The RING is a global alliance of research and policy organisations that seeks to enhance and promote sustainable development through a programme of collaborative research, dissemination and policy advocacy. It was formed in 1991 to stimulate preparations for the 1992 Rio Summit. For more information, see: http://www.ring-alliance.org
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:
< < < < < end of No. 3/2002 what's new in ines < < < < <