Thursday, July 20, 2006

Russia to Resume Nuclear Testing?

Thanks to Bush's disregard for long-standing arms control and disarmament efforts including the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, decades of world progress towards halting the nuclear arms race is unraveling. (h/t Hornet)

Russia Prepared to Conduct Nuclear Tests — Defense Minister
“We proceed from existing reality and keep the test range in constant preparedness, while adhering to all our commitments,” the agency quoted him as saying when asked whether or not Russia would resume testing if countries that have not joined the international treaty banning test explosions and any other nuclear explosions do so.

“Certain large nuclear powers have not ratified the treaty,” Ivanov said. (...)

Ivanov last week announced plans to deploy new intercontinental ballistic missiles, saying that the nation needs a strong nuclear deterrent to protect itself from foreign “blackmail” - a comment referring at least in part to potential pressure from the United States. ...(more)
Bush admin pushes out weapons experts for croniesThe "Bush administration's arms control policies began with a refusal to submit a global treaty to ban underground nuclear-test blasts indefinitely for Senate ratification," and a withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Since then North Korea has developed its own nukes and by most accounts Iran is on the way to do so herself, if Iran doesn't have a few already. Venezuela looks to be shopping the idea too, reportedly with help from Iran. Russia and China have begun unprecedented joint military exercises and arms trading to counter the US presence in central Asia, and now just days after the G8 summit in Moscow, Russia begins backpedaling from her commitment to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). How can the US possibly try to force states like North Korea and Iran to abide by the very same treaties that the US withdrew from?

At every turn, Republicans continue to make our world less safe.

Heck of a job, chimpy.

Fueling the Nuclear Fire: Nuclear Policies of the Bush Adminstration
The George W. Bush administration came into office with the clear intention to strengthen US global military dominance, including its nuclear dominance, and it has been true to this major policy goal. Under this administration, military expenditures have increased by some $100 billion to approximately $400 billion annually, and nuclear weapons have assumed a far more central role in US security policy.

The administration’s blatant disregard for the United Nations Security Council and for long-standing arms control and disarmament efforts are clear signs that it is prepared to chart a unilateral course with regard to security issues. It has also signaled its desire to overhaul its nuclear arsenal, developing smaller and more usable nuclear weapons, which could be used as part of the new “Bush doctrine” of preemption. The administration has developed contingency plans for the use of nuclear weapons against seven other countries and against weapons of mass destruction (WMD) stockpiles of what it considers to be “rogue” states. (...)

Failure to Lead toward Nuclear Disarmament

In sum, Bush’s aggressive nuclear policy has shown scant concern for US treaty obligations, rendering many international arms control measures meaningless.

• Most prominently, the Bush administration has withdrawn from the ABM Treaty to pursue missile defenses and test space-based weapons.

• The Bush administration is not taking seriously, nor attempting to fulfill, US obligations for nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT, nor has it shown good faith in fulfilling the 2000 NPT Review Conference’s 13 Practical Steps for Nuclear Disarmament - including pursuing the promised “unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear weapons states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals….”

• Washington has made clear that it does not intend to send the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) back to the Senate for ratification. The Bush administration has indicated plans to shorten the time needed to resume underground nuclear testing, and is developing more usable nuclear weapons and contingency plans for their use.

Current nuclear policies by the Bush administration must be viewed as highly provocative to other countries. They suggest that the US reserves to itself the right to use its own weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, as it deems appropriate, while, at the same time, seeking to deny that possibility to other countries. ...(more)

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