GLOBAL DISARMAMENT STARTS AT HOME
IT'S TIME TO DISARM AMERICA!
Talking Points Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security Working Group
United for Peace and Justice (www.unitedforpeace.org), August 2003
prepared by Jacqueline Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation (www.wslfweb.org)
and John Burroughs, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy (www.lcnp.org)
1) WMD FOUND IN US AFTER FRUITLESS SEARCH IN IRAQ!
UN and U.S. weapons inspectors have been unable to find evidence of active
nuclear, chemical or biological weapons programs in Iraq. But ordinary U.S.
citizens have discovered that programs are underway at the U.S. nuclear weapons
laboratories to upgrade every weapon type in the arsenal, including bombs, cruise
missiles, and Trident submarine warheads, in many cases giving them enhanced military
capabilities. The same labs are upgrading their biowarfare research capabilities.
At STRATCOM, the U.S. militarys nuclear command and control center
at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska, top-level Pentagon officials
met the week of August 4th to discuss a proposal for the production of
modified and new nuclear weapons.
A contest has been launched between the Lawrence Livermore (CA) and Los Alamos (NM)
National Laboratories to design a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, a
nuclear bomb designed to withstand a high-speed collision with the ground and bore
through 20 - 30 feet of rock or concrete before exploding. This high-yield
weapon, at least 75 kilotons and perhaps much larger (the Hiroshima bomb was about 15
kilotons), is intended to destroy deeply buried and hardened targets. Its use would result
in a huge, deadly, radioactive mushroom cloud.
Research is ongoing on both low-yield nuclear warheads and on targeting
techniques to make nuclear weapons more usable, particularly against deeply buried targets and
chemical and biological weapons facilities.
The U.S. opposes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which would block possible U.S.
proof testing of new or modified nuclear weapons. (Some new or modified weapons could be, and
have been, deployed without such tests.)
Los Alamos recently manufactured the first nuclear weapons pit (plutonium trigger) in 14 years
that meets specifications for the U.S. stockpile. Plans are underway for a modern pit
production facility with a capacity of up to 450 pits/year. At that rate, one years
production would equal the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world.
The nuclear weapons laboratories are building new biowarfare research facilities that will allow
the conduct of aerosol studies, including tests on live rodents, using infectious agents or biotoxins.
While the nuclear labs say that this new bioweapons research is for defensive purposes, some
defensive research also has offensive applications. Biocontainment facilities for biodefense
research are being upgraded or built at two dozen or more other laboratories around the country. In 2001,
the U.S. blocked completion of a verification protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention that would have
allowed international inspectors to visit U.S. research facilities.
2) AS IT DEMANDS THAT NORTH KOREA VERIFIABLY AND IRREVERSIBLY DISMANTLE ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM, THE U.S.
IS REFUSING TO APPLY THE SAME PRINCIPLES TO US/RUSSIAN REDUCTIONS.
The U.S. demands that North Korea and Iran refrain from acquiring nuclear weapons and submit to IAEA inspections in
accordance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). But Article VI of the NPT also requires the U.S. and
other existing nuclear powers to eliminate their arsenals through good-faith negotiations. The U.S. is now blatantly
rejecting NPT commitments it made in 2000 to apply the principles of irreversibility and verification to reduction of
Unlike prior agreements, the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) with Russia does not
require the verified destruction of a single delivery system or warhead. In addition to SORT-permitted
deployed strategic (long range) warheads, 1700-2200 in 2012, the U.S. plans to retain hundreds of
tactical (short range) weapons and many thousands of warheads in reserve, including large numbers
perhaps 2000 a decade from now - in a responsive force capable of redeployment within weeks
- Today and into the future, the U.S. remains ready at all times to strike Russia and other countries,
within minutes of an order to do so, with about 2000 missile-based warheads.
3) WHILE ITSELF PREPARING TO USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS THE US WARNS NORTH KOREA AND IRAN AGAINST ACQUIRING NUCLEAR
ARSENALS AND WAGED A WAR ALLEGEDLY TO PREVENT IRAQI ACQUISITION OF WMD.
The December 2002 Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction declares that the United States reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force - including through resort to all of our options - to the use of WMD against the United States, our forces abroad, and friends and allies. All of our options" includes both conventional and nuclear response capabilities, employed in appropriate cases through preemptive measures.
The January 2002 Nuclear Posture Review plans for first use of nuclear weapons in response to non-nuclear attacks or threats involving biological or chemical weapons or "surprising military developments," and targets countries including Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Libya. Early this year a Theater Nuclear Planning Document was drawn up for Iraq.
4) GLOBAL DISARMAMENT STARTS AT HOME - ITS TIME TO
The U.S. demands disarmament from other nations while expanding its reliance on the
ultimate weapons of terror and increasing the risk of their use in the War on
United for Peace and Justice rejects this hypocritical, dangerous and unsustainable
policy and has made nuclear disarmament one of its priorities, calling for sweeping
measures to eliminate nuclear arms in the U.S. as well as worldwide.
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