a doctrine of mutual assured destruction……..in the case of nuclear arms, retaliation – whereby, in response to half the world being destroyed, you decide to destroy the other half – would not only be morally inexcusable, but irrational. Welcome to the nuclear hall of mirrors…..
there’s one thing that deterrence doesn’t protect against – the possibility of nuclear accident.
If a world without nuclear weapons is achievable, it will require political leadership. A country giving up its own would be a rare and shining thing: an altruistic act in world affairs. The cost would be minimal, the savings great, and it would make us far more convincing when trying to dissuade others from acquiring nuclear capability. Britain should do it.
It’s time to leave the nuclear hall of mirrors, Guardian, David Shariatmadari, 6 Oct 15
Deterrence isn’t enough to keep us safe: the prospect of a nuclear accident alone justifies ridding the world of these weapons. Britain should lead the way “Nuclear weapons can wipe out life on Earth, if used properly.” Despite being found in the liner notes of a Talking Heads album, this is the sentence I think best captures the bizarre contradictions of the atomic age. Human beings have manufactured bombs explicitly designed to unleash destructive forces equivalent to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of TNT. Deploy them and millions die; civilisation as we know it could disappear. And yet, they’re not actually supposed to be used. In fact, their proper function is to remain in the ground, or at sea, or in the air. Launch, fire or drop ‘em and the whole system has failed. Is there any other device so intricately constructed in order to decrease the likelihood of its own use?
Last week, Jeremy Corbyn, a man with at least a chance of being entrusted with the launch codes for 225 British warheads, stated that he would never press the nuclear button. I asked philosopher Jonathan Glover, whose book Humanity: A Moral History of the 20th Century, includes a study of the Cuban missile crisis, about the comments. He confirmed most analyses so far. “On the assumption that if he’s PM he has full say, that would indeed get rid of any deterrence”. In other words, were Corbyn to gain power, those weapons would become immediately impotent. His shadow defence secretary, Maria Eagle, called the remarks “unhelpful”.
Corbyn had let the air out of the nuclear balloon, given the game away. Continue reading
David Cameron says that he would use nuclear weapons The PM described nuclear bombs as ‘the ultimate insurance policy’ and said the attack could be ‘justified’, The Independent, Jon stone Sunday 4 October 2015 David Cameron has said there are circumstances in which he would launch a nuclear attack on another country.
The PM described nuclear bombs as “the ultimate insurance policy” and said the attack could be “justified”.
Mr Cameron’s statement comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would not use nuclear bombs on another country’s population.
“If you … believe like me that Britain should keep the ultimate insurance policy of an independent nuclear deterrent, you have to accept there are circumstances in which its use would be justified,” Mr Cameron told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show on 4 October…….Warheads carried on Britain’s nuclear submarines are eight times more powerful than the atomic bombs used in 1945.
Parliament is set to vote during this parliamentar on whether to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system.
Mr Corbyn opposes renewal, but some Labour MPs have said they disagree with him.
The Opposition’s official policy remains in support of Trident after the party’s leadership failed to secure a policy vote to change it at annual conference last week.
The SNP and Green Party oppose Trident. The Liberal Democrats want a small nuclear weapons system which they say would be less costly. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-says-that-he-would-use-nuclear-weapons-a6679256.html
Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader has reignited the debate about whether to replace Britain’s nuclear weapons. Here are the facts about the missiles and the submarines that launch them.
1. Next year, Britain will decide whether to build a new generation of nuclear missile submarines.
Since 1998, the only nuclear weapons Britain has are Trident intercontinental ballistic missiles aboard four Vanguard-class submarines.
4. A 100kt bomb detonated in the air over central London would probably kill about 250,000 people, almost instantly.
That’s before taking into consideration the effects of radioactive fallout.
(Technical note: The 250,000 figure has been worked out using Nukemap, thispopulation-measuring map, and a rule of thumb that the total dead caused by a nuclear explosion is roughly equivalent to the population inside the “5psi overpressure” radius.)………
7. According to the Royal Navy, the Trident missilehas a range of 4,000 nautical miles, or 7,500km.
That means that a submarine at its base in Faslane could hit targets in Nevada, or central India.
Within two minutes of launch the missile will be travelling at 6km a second, and can reach a target at maximum range in about 20 minutes……..
9. The Trident missiles are built, and owned, by the US, although the warheads and submarines are British-built.
The US weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin builds the missiles, and provides the technical support to keep them operational………
11. When a new prime minister is elected, they give the commanders of each of the four submarines a sealed letter, known as the letter of last resort.
These letters contain orders of what to do in the event that the government has been destroyed, and the prime minister and the “second person” have been killed or incapacitated, in a nuclear attack on Britain.
When the prime minister leaves office, their orders are destroyed unopened. No one knows what Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, or any of their predecessors wrote in their letters of last resort, and what action would have been taken if there had been an attack.
By Wendy Laursen 2015-09-30 The Russian navy has announced that it is developing its strategic nuclear submarine presence in the Pacific Ocean with the addition of the newest member of its submarine fleet……..http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/russia-bolsters-pacific-ocean-submarine-presence
People’s Forum: Iran agreement would prevent nuclear weapons http://www.elkharttruth.com/discussions/local-dialogue/peoples-forum/2015/10/02/People-s-Forum-Carl-Helrich-Iran-agreement-would-prevent-nuclear-weapons.html
Carl Helrich of Goshen breaks down the Iran nuclear agreement. Our agreement with Iran is to prevent Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon. With John Kerry and one of our greatest nuclear physicists Ernest Moniz at the table we were not confused by the physics.
To see why this is a good agreement requires some knowledge of nuclear weapons. The lowest level weapon is a uranium bomb (Hiroshima). This requires 90 percent enriched uranium. The next level is a plutonium bomb (Nagasaki). This is considerably more complex in production and triggering. The problems are known; details are classified. The physics limits sizes of these, which we attained in WWII. Modern American, Russian, British, French, Chinese and probably Israeli arsenals contain fusion weapons, for which size is (in principle) unlimited.
Iran is enriching uranium. The agreement stops enrichment at a level sufficient for power plants, but far short of the 90 percent necessary for a weapon. The time required to “break out” and produce 90 percent will decrease as centrifuge technology improves. The agreement, however, provides the IAEA access to Iran’s sites. And successful breakout still puts Iran at the lowest level in the hierarchy of nuclear weapons. Any attempt to move higher will be evident and we will respond.
The agreement will stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon for 15 years and, because it opens inspection of Iran’s nuclear sites, it also opens communication.
The world will be a better place if no nuclear weapon is ever again detonated in anger. But force can never guarantee that. And we can never erase the knowledge we have of nuclear weapons. Our only hope is in diplomacy and peaceful cooperation among nations.
Jeremy Corbyn row after ‘I’d not fire nuclear weapons’ comment, BBC News 30 September 2015 Jeremy Corbyn has faced criticism from senior Labour colleagues for saying he would not fire Britain’s nuclear weapons if he were prime minister.
Shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle said the words were “not helpful”, while shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn said Mr Corbyn should abide by the party’s decision on renewing Trident.
Mr Corbyn said nuclear weapons “didn’t do the USA much good on 9/11”.
He added that he was elected leader on a platform opposing Trident renewal.
Prime Minister David Cameron said Mr Corbyn’s comments showed Labour could not be trusted with Britain’s national security.
Following the shadow cabinet criticism of his comments, Mr Corbyn was asked by the BBC’s John Pienaar what the point of the Labour defence policy debate and review was.
He said: “The point of a policy debate is to try and bring people with me.”
n his conference address on Tuesday, Mr Corbyn said his landslide leadership win gave a “mandate” for his views on disarmament of Britain’s nuclear weapons.
On Wednesday’s BBC Radio 4 Today programme he said: “I am opposed to the use of nuclear weapons. I am opposed to the holding of nuclear weapons. I want to see a nuclear-free world. I believe it is possible.
“I do not think we should be renewing Trident… I think we should be promoting an international nuclear weapons convention which would lead to a nuclear-free world.”…….http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-34399565?SThisFB
Photos of what the Manhattan Project’s plutonium bomb did to human beings at Nagasaki prove the point. There is radioactive blowback in the fact that the thousands of tons of plutonium created since 1945 is so dangerously hot and long-lived that, like the underworld itself, nobody knows how to handle it at all — except maybe to trivialize it.
Hoping perhaps to show that the bomb from hell can be transformed from a vengeful, self-destructive, nightmare demon, into a benign, peace-loving, fairy-tale prince, nuclear propagandists and their friends in Congress are establishing nuclear war theme parks — without the taint of mass destruction — at former bomb factories and nuclear weapons launch pads all across the country: Continue reading
Leading U.S., Russia, European Experts Say Risk of Nuclear Use Rising, Ten Factors Heighten Risk http://www.nti.org/newsroom/news/leading-us-russia-european-experts-say-risk-nuclear-use-rising-ten-factors-heighten-risk/ 28 Sep 15, The risk of nuclear weapons use in the Euro-Atlantic region is on the rise—and it is higher today than it has been since the end of the Cold War, according to a new study and report from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).
The report, Rising Nuclear Dangers: Assessing the Risk of Nuclear Use in the Euro-Atlantic Region, was based on the results of a survey of leading security experts from the United States, Russia, and Europe who responded to a questionnaire from NTI. Nearly all shared the view that the significant deterioration in relations between the United States and Russia has led to dangerous conditions that make nuclear weapons use more likely—although the probability remains low.
“The United States and Russia are on an increasingly dangerous path. Weak channels of communication, close military encounters, and the other factors described in this report have increased the likelihood of misunderstanding and the possibility that a significant escalation in tensions could lead to catastrophe,” said NTI Co-chairman and CEO Sam Nunn.
The report cites 10 contributing factors to the heightened risk: Competing, irreconcilable narratives that drive heightened threat perceptions; a deficit of trust; domestic political imperatives; alliance politics; close military encounters; broken channels of communication; failing safeguards to prevent nuclear use; conventional force disparity; reckless nuclear saber rattling; and lack of nuclear experience.
The NTI report comes as President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin prepare this week to address the United Nations General Assembly. The presidents, who have not met one-on-one in more than a year, are scheduled to meet today in New York.
Report authors Robert Berls, NTI senior advisor for Russia and Eurasia, and Leon Ratz, also a Russia nuclear security expert at NTI, cited the risk of miscalculation as being of greatest concern. “It is the possibility of a major transformative event, such as a mid-air collision (between NATO and Russian warplanes) or a skirmish along NATO or Russian borders, that is on the rise,” the report says. “Such an incident involving the world’s two largest nuclear powers could plausibly shift alert postures and lead to a rapid series of escalatory measures precipitated by miscalculation and exacerbated by mistrust.”
IT WAS NOT INEVITABLE None of these factors justifies the bombing as inevitable…..
Hiroshima and Nagasaki: There were other choices , NAPSNet Special Reports, September 28, 2015, http://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-special-reports/hiroshima-and-nagasaki/ Nautilus Institute, by Peter Hayes
INTRODUCTION There is no single compelling factor to justify the bombings as inevitable, argues Peter Hayes. Rather, a series of decisions and events cumulatively drove the bomb forward from development to deployment at Hiroshima. The later nuclear attack on Nagasaki, moreover, was gratuitous. This report was initially published in the Fall 2015 issue of Global Asia. Peter Hayes is Professor at the Centre for International Security Studies, Sydney University, Director of the Nautilus Institute and a Global Asia editorial board member.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki: There Were Other Choices
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain within living memory. The mayors of these two cities, the first to be annihilated by nuclear weapons, have invited the Group of 7 leaders to meet with Japanese hibakusha(bomb survivors) after their May 2016 summit in Ise-Shima.
If they go — as they should — the question of whether the bombings were necessary should be uppermost in their mind. “Yes” would mean that nuclear deterrence, and its spawn, nuclear extended deterrence, have historical underpinnings justified in universal morality and international law, starting with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “No” would commit them to abolishing nuclear weapons, however long it takes, as the necessary redemption for needlessly sacrificing these two cities.
Today, this choice is starkly binary, albeit complex. In 1945, the decision to use the bomb was not obvious or even well understood by many of the key players. Continue reading
Convener calls time on nuclear weapons http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2015/09/29/convener-calls-time-on-nuclear-weapons 29/09/2015 , by Shetland Times,
The council’s convener has backed international calls for a world free of nuclear weapons.
A joint statement from mayors, religious leaders and parliamentarians from across the world was adopted in Hiroshima in August and presented to the United Nations on Saturday, the international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Malcolm Bell is a member of the Mayors for Peace organisation, which works internationally to raise consciousness around nuclear weapons abolition. It also seeks lasting world peace by working to address starvation, poverty, refugee welfare, human rights abuses and environmental destruction.
Shetland Islands Council is also a member of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities group, which works to increase local accountability over national nuclear policy, identify the impact of that on local communities, and to minimise nuclear hazards and increase public safety.
· Highlights the continuing risks of a nuclear catastrophe – whether by accident, miscalculation or intent – and the moral and security imperative to achieve nuclear abolition.
· Notes that ‘mayors are responsible for protecting the safety and welfare of their citizens, as well as for preserving and promoting cultural and environmental values and heritages’.
· Deplores the nuclear weapons budget of ‘$100 billion annually’, and says such funds could be used to reverse climate change, eliminate poverty and address other social and economic needs.
· Affirms ‘UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s description of the abolition of nuclear weapons as a “common good of the highest order”.
Mr Bell said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to endorse the joint statement of fellow civic heads, religious leaders and parliamentarians which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the nuclear age, and the foundation of the United Nations.”
“……Recently, the advocates of nuclear energy have been presenting to the people a deceiving choice between nuclear power and global warming. It is basically a form of extortion by the nuclear establishment towards the people and it is in its highest form, especially in the United States today. The alternatives of solar power, wind power, geo-thermal power and conservation are just a few of the safe, non-polluting answers to our energy problem but they are methodologically ignored or undermined. Their development and finally their application will simply not contribute profits to the nuclear empire and those who control it.
Countries like the US and other economically strong countries do not need nuclear energy, like some people advocate. Forward thinking nations such as Denmark are already generating 140% of their electricity needs from wind power alone. So why is the US government still advocating for nuclear energy?
While the nuclear power plant is producing nuclear energy, it is also producing new nuclear waste materials which can be used after some work to manufacture nuclear weapons. In other words, when nuclear reactors produce electricity, they also produce plutonium at the same time, which can be used to make nuclear bombs. That is very important for people to realize. In the United States, the Department of Energy finances and manages the nuclear weapons programs. In reality the Department of Energy is basically the Department of Weapons. The nuclear weapons programs need nuclear materials to make the bombs. Who provides them? The Department of Energy does. The building of nuclear power plants in the U.S. began in 1943 to produce atomic bombs — it was not until 1957 that plants began to produce electricity, providing a continuous supply of plutonium to the nuclear weapons programs.
With the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, official production of nuclear materials solely for weapons use ceased in the United States, however US government policy and funding decisions since that time have actively encouraged the development of greater nuclear energy capacity which, of course, produces more plutonium waste for nuclear weapons development.
In the U.S. today, 70 years since the US atomic bombing of Japan, nuclear weapons development is still on the rise. Currently President Barack Obama is planning to invest a further trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayers’ money into the military industry to develop and build more nuclear weaponry, despite the fact that the U.S. is already the most heavily armed nuclear nation in the world.
If someone looks honestly at all of the facts, it is obvious that nuclear power fuels the nuclear bomb, which in turn fuels world domination. It is the weapon of the strong to subdue the weak. The citizens of every country need to closely examine the information that the advocates of the nuclear power are providing to them. They only care for material progress, therefore they close their ears and eyes to anything that has to do with public health. They misinform and disinform the people. The examples are numerous……http://wakeup-world.com/2015/09/27/cancer-coverups-and-contamination-the-real-cost-of-nuclear-energy/
IS may get hold of nuclear weapon http://english.pravda.ru/news/world/25-09-2015/132133-isis-0/ – Polish web portal Interia analyzed probability of the Islamic State terrorists’ getting hold of nuclear weapons, having surveyed a number of experts.
However, other experts estimated the probable occurrence of a “dirty” bomb in hands of Islamists not so univocally. There are three options of getting nuclear weapon by the Islamic State, these are: purchase abroad, assistance of staff, that guards nuclear sites, or an attack (including a cyber one) against a Nuclear Power Plant.
Yukiya Amano, Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency called to stay alert. There is evidence that terrorists try their best to get access to nuclear weapons, or to data on the creation of a “dirty bomb”. IAEA has registered about 2,800 various incidents related to inadequate control over radioactive materials.
By the way, the US presidential candidate Donald Trump has recently called to attack the IS with a nuclear strike, despite its calling lives of civilians. Trump is going to strike the Syrian city of Al-Raqqah with a nuclear attack, in case he becomes a President.
Pravda.Ru reported that the IS leaders claimed about their intentions to make everything possible to obtain nuclear weapons. Terrorists possess huge funds after selling oil and intent to purchase chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. There have already been cases of chemical weapons employment in Syria by the “opposition”, which tried to perform an act of provocation against Bashar al-Assad.
Corbyn says Labour and SNP will join forces to oppose nuclear deterrent. Irish Times, 25 Sept 15 Labour leader’s opposition to Trident puts him at odds with many in his own party The British Labour Party will work with the Scottish nationalists to try to block the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent in a parliamentary vote due next year, Labour’s new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said on Friday.
The Conservative government backs the multibillion-pound renewal of Britain’s ageing fleet of nuclear-armed submarines. It has a slim majority in parliament, so some of prime minister David Cameron’s own MPs, as well as other opposition parties, would have to join with Labour and the SNP to defeat the plans.
The Scottish National Party, which won 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland in the general election in May, has long opposed renewing the weapons and had called on veteran antiwar campaigner Mr Corbyn to support them.
“My position on Trident has been very clear all of my life. I am opposed to nuclear weapons,” Mr Corbyn, who was elected as Labour’s leader earlier this month, told BBC Scotland.
“Trident should go. I do not believe that it is a form of defence. I do not believe it is something that anyone in their proper mind would ever want to use.”
Labour’s existing position is to back the renewal of Trident, although it has previously suggested reducing the number of submarines to three from four……..http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/corbyn-says-labour-and-snp-will-join-forces-to-oppose-nuclear-deterrent-1.2366935
“Experts remain skeptical and astonished about such an early timetable, since the upgrade of the weapons was only expected to be ready in 2019. Four years to prepare an airbase for the new weapons seems farfetched and would imply that the B61-12 is scheduled to arrive sooner than expected,” Vereycken told Sputnik.
Earlier this month, Belgian political organization Agora Erasmus drew up a petition against the modernization of NATO’s nuclear weaponry in Belgium. It is worth mentioning that US tactical nuclear armaments are currently stationed in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey.
“If the information is confirmed it would shock Europe into reality,” Vereycken underscored.
According to the journalist, the information could have been leaked by US military officials who oppose Barack Obama’s ‘nuclearization’ policy in Europe. Purportedly, those who released the information hoped that the leak would spark public protests in the EU… …….
The irony of the situation is that while Germany’s population remains widely opposed to nuclear power, the country is now being forced by Washington to station new nuclear bombs on its territory.
On the other hand, Washington’s recent saber-rattling and muscle-flexing in Europe have attracted the attention of international observers, who consider the moves a sign of the US’ increasing hostility toward Russia………http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150924/1027482113/us-nuclear-trap-for-europeans.html
US-Russia Nuclear Weapons Standoff: Air Force Won’t Station New Atomic Bombs In Germany Until 2020 http://www.ibtimes.com/us-russia-nuclear-weapons-standoff-air-force-wont-station-new-atomic-bombs-germany-2112791
“The B61-12 won’t reach full production until FY20,” said Shelley Laver, deputy director of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration public affairs department, who spoke with Tass Wednesday. “The articles implying deployment to Europe by the end of the calendar year would be inaccurate.”
The reports were based on an analysis of 2015 U.S. budget documents that said Air Force Tornado jet fighter bombers would be equipped with a new nuclear weapons system in the third quarter of this year.
The U.S. already has nuclear weapons inside Europe as part of a NATO-sharing program. While the countries involved — Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey — are technically non-nuclear states, they store, maintain and provide the means to deliver the weapons on behalf of the U.S. military.
Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said the German media was mistaken and actually meant that the nuclear project was in the second phase of a much longer project.
“All of these things have been in the books for years,” said Kristensen in the Tass report. “The [U.S.] Air Force has reported about the timelines for when these upgrades of the aircraft were going to be made and NNSA and many other agencies, of course, reported about the plans for the bomb itself.”
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