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No decision yet on choosing USA or UK nuclear submarines, but a USA Bill to train Australian submariners!

Ed. note: But Australian nuclear zealot Jonathon Mead (left) and nuclear enthusiast Peter Dutton are on the job, in lockstep with the Americans.

Booster For AUKUS: US Could Train Australian Navy On Its Nuclear Subs While Canberra Decides Between US, UK Submarines

Eurasian Times, By Sakshi Tiwari, June 18, 2022 The Australian nuclear submarine project, assisted by the US and the UK under the AUKUS agreement, has faced several controversies. Recently, the former Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton made startling revelations about his government’s plan to buy American Virginia-class nuclear submarines.

Even though the claims enthused observers about a possible purchase by Australia, the officials have maintained that the decision has not been reached. Canberra is expected to choose between the US Virginia-class submarine or British Astute-class submarines.

In an all-new development, the US lawmakers have introduced a bill called ‘Australia-US Submarine Officer Pipeline Act’ to train Royal Australian Navy officers in the operation of nuclear submarines. The bill was moved into Congress even as doubts remain over the Virginia-class submarine purchase.

The ‘Australia-United States Submarine Officer Pipeline Act’ would allow Australian naval officers to begin training in the United States to operate and maintain nuclear-powered submarines before eventually commanding the future boats.

“The new bipartisan bill will establish a joint training pipeline between the US Navy and the Royal Australian Navy and enable the start of US-based training of Commanding Officers for Australia’s future fleet of nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS alliance,” the AUKUS working group said in a news release.

The bill requires the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Energy to begin a training exchange in 2023 and continue it in subsequent years. It is the result of Congress’ AUKUS working group, formed in April to help develop the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia’s new cooperation.

In November 2021, Australia inked a nuclear submarine technology-sharing deal with the United States and the United Kingdom as part of the AUKUS defense agreement. Australia is only the second country after the United Kingdom to secure a transfer of nuclear propulsion technology from the US.

Currently, the AUKUS partners are pursuing an 18-month study period to assess the requirements of Canberra’s nuclear submarine project, as previously reported by EurAsian Times. In September 2021, it abandoned a deal with the Naval Group of France for diesel-electric submarines and signed the AUKUS pact in favor of nuclear submarines.

Training Before Manufacturing

Nuclear-powered submarines are more expensive, but they are quieter and harder to detect, and they can stay submerged longer since they don’t need to surface to refuel.

With Australia, the US plans to begin training a cadre of young officers now to be ready to command the country’s submarines when the time comes, noted Defense News.

“The AUKUS alliance is the most important national security partnership that America has entered into in decades,” Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., said in a news release. “While [design] work is ongoing, it makes sense to open the US Navy’s nuclear training programs to Australia’s naval officers to acquire proficiency in the operation of nuclear submarines.”

The Chief of the Royal Australian Navy’s nuclear-powered submarine task force, Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead, previously told The Strategist that Australians co-crewing with American and British submarines are likely to be part of an interim submarine capability.

“To train personnel,” Mead said, “We could embed sailors and officers in a US or UK boat to the point where we may have a 50% UK or US crew and a 50% Australian crew.”

When the first submarine is launched in South Australia, the goal is to have the crew trained, the industrial base ready to maintain it, and the regulatory system set up. “We have exchange officers on board our submarines and ships all the time.”

Mead also toured training schools in the United Kingdom and the United States to assess their systems. Many crew members receive reactor training and study nuclear physics concepts, but they are not nuclear physicists.

“‘They’ve been given a six-month course, and then they go to sea and become competent and current on their tradecraft at sea in a submarine,’ he explained.

“So we need to set up a system supported by the US and UK to provide our people with reactor training. If you’re an engineer, you may be a nuclear physicist. If you’re working at the front end of the boat, you require some knowledge of the reactor in case there’s an emergency, but not to the same level.”

The sentiment in Australia, [i.e in Jonathon Mead] thus, seems to align with American plans to start training Australian sailors and Naval officers. However, the exact nature and specifics of the training module are not yet known……………………….

Australia does not have sufficient nuclear infrastructure or advanced industrial capacity to build nuclear submarines. The shortcomings in nuclear infrastructure have had many experts suggest purchasing subs from the two AUKUS partners or building Australian submarines overseas.

Building nuclear-powered submarines would cost Australia billions of dollars and years of infrastructure construction. However, for the project to become a reality and for Australia’s crew to operate nuclear subs perfectly, training is one of the top priorities for AUKUS.

Even though Australia sells some nuclear fuel and has a single nuclear reactor for scientific study, the country does not have a substantial civil or military nuclear program. To get a head start, Australia could first start training on American or British nuclear submarines or lease older retired American submarines until they can deploy their indigenous designs, according to a National Interest report.

The Urgency For AUKUS

Australia’s nuclear submarines are expected to be operational no sooner than the end of the next decade. Consequently, the former Defense Minister Dutton had indicated that his government wanted to purchase two US submarines “this decade” to avoid a gap in replacing the country’s outdated Collins-class submarine fleet, with another eight US submarines under development in South Australia as part of the project.

This plan, he claims, would have eliminated the need to wait until 2038 for the first submarines designed in the United States to be built in Australia. The Royal Australian Navy currently operates six diesel-electric guided-missile submarines.

……………… While a decision regarding purchasing a nuke sub from the UK or the US hangs in the balance, training to use a nuclear submarine could be an easier way forward……..  https://eurasiantimes.com/booster-for-aukus-us-to-train-australian-navy-on-its-nuclear-subs/

June 20, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US squanders $80,000 every minute on nuclear weapons

These think tanks are routinely quoted in the press, who treat the proclamation of these corrupt representatives of the arms dealers as the gospel truth.

WSWS, Andre Damon @Andre__Damon 17 June 22, The United States spends over $80,000 every single minute on nuclear weapons, more than every single country in the world combined, according to a new report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

The massive annual spending on these weapons of mass destruction is more than the  federal government spends on primary and secondary education programs. 

Despite rising inflation and a raging pandemic, the United States is massively expanding its nuclear arsenal, with spending on nuclear weapons surging 14 percent between 2020 and 2021. 

While the US spent $44.2 billion on nuclear weapons in 2021,  China spent $11.7 billion, and Russia spent $8.6 billion.

………………. The report found that major corporations providing nuclear weapons contracts to the US and its allies had their nuclear arms contracts double in 2021. “Companies in France, the United Kingdom and the United States were awarded $30 billion in new contracts (some spanning decades into the future), twice as much as they received in 2020.”

The report noted that in 2021, the Department of Defense requested $28.9 billion for “Nuclear Modernization,” including the “Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, B-21 Bomber, Long-Range Stand Off Weapon, Columbia class submarine, missile warning” and “$7 billion for Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications.”

[Ed. note.    This article goe s on to detail USA weapons expenditure.]

……………………………. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons report further reviews the corrupt nexus between major corporations, lobbyists and leading think tanks, which function as paid-for agents of the arms manufacturers. The report notes: 

At least twelve major think tanks that research and write about nuclear weapons in India, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States collectively received between $5.5 million and $10 million from companies that produce nuclear weapons. The CEOs and board members of companies that produce nuclear weapons sit on some of their advisory boards, serve as trustees and are listed as “partners” on their websites. 

The Atlantic Council, according to the report, “received between $590,000 – $1,284,992 from eight companies that produce nuclear weapons: Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Technologies, Safran and Textron. Additionally, the Atlantic Council received between $50,000 – $99,999 from a national laboratory working on nuclear weapons, Los Alamos National Laboratory.”

The Brookings institution think tank, for its part, “received between $575,000 and $1,149,997 from three companies that produce nuclear weapons: Leonardo, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. This represents an inflation-adjusted increase of between $287,075 and $574,149 from past year funding. The Brookings Institution reported a new funder, Leonardo, and constant funding from Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.”

These think tanks are routinely quoted in the press, who treat the proclamation of these corrupt representatives of the arms dealers as the gospel truth.

Ultimately, however, the damage caused by the colossal squandering of social resources on nuclear weapons pales in comparison to the damage that would be caused if these weapons were used.

With the United States massively escalating its war against Russia, the prospect of the weapons of mass destruction that the United States uses to cajole and bully the whole world being put to use is an increasingly dangerous reality. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/06/17/glvd-j17.html

June 18, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ukraine killing civilians in ‘unprecedented’ shelling on Donetsk ignored by Western media and politicians

Western media and politicians prefer to ignore the truth about civilians killed in Donetsk shelling. When Kiev’s guilt in attacks on a maternity hospital cannot be denied, it’s simply brushed under the carpet   https://www.rt.com/russia/557201-kievs-guilt-shelling-donetsk/ RT, Fri, 17 Jun 2022

Following intense Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk on June 13, some Western media sources, in tandem with outlets in Kiev, unsurprisingly claimed that the attack – which killed at least five civilians and struck a busy maternity hospital – was perpetrated by Russian forces.

Why Moscow would launch rockets at its own allies wasn’t explained, nor would it make much sense.

The Donetsk People’s Republic’s foreign ministry reported“Such an unprecedented. in terms of power, density and duration of fire, raid on the DPR capital was not recorded during the entire period of the armed conflict [since 2014]. In two hours, almost 300 MLRS rockets and artillery shells were fired.”

The Ukrainian shelling began late morning, resumed in the afternoon, and continued for another two hours in the evening, a deafening series of blasts throughout the city, terrorizing residents and targeting apartment buildings, civilian infrastructure, the aforementioned hospital, and industrial buildings.

◾Ukrainian bombing of Donetsk renewed just before 6 pm, hitting residential areas across the city for the next two hours.◾Journalist @EvaKBartlett is reporting from Donetsk. pic.twitter.com/499QeCv9Cq

— Juan Sinmiedo (@Youblacksoul) June 13, 2022Comment: The Tweet is no longer available because Twitter has banned the user.

Locals say this was some of the heaviest bombing of Donetsk since 2014, when the region declared its independence from post-Maidan Kiev.

In the Budyonnovsky district in the south of the city, Ukrainian shelling of a market killed five  civilians including one child. Just two months ago, Kiev’s forces hit another Donetsk market, leaving four civilians dead.
In the hard-hit Kievskiy district, to the north, the shelling caused fires at a water bottling plant and a warehouse for stationery, destroying it. The building was still in flames when journalist Roman Kosarev and I arrived about an hour after the attack. Apartment buildings in the area also came under fire, leaving doors and windows blown out and cars destroyed.

 civilians including one child. Just two months ago, Kiev’s forces hit another Donetsk market, leaving four civilians dead.

In the hard-hit Kievskiy district, to the north, the shelling caused fires at a water bottling plant and a warehouse for stationery, destroying it. The building was still in flames when journalist Roman Kosarev and I arrived about an hour after the attack. Apartment buildings in the area also came under fire, leaving doors and windows blown out and cars destroyed.

RussianMissionUNESCO

To all those in the West who support Kiev regime we recommend to examine the evidence of barbaric heavy artillery shelling of Donetsk by Ukrainian forces on June 13th. 5 hospitals, 3 schools and a kindergarten have been damaged. Will @UNESCO react to these crimes of Kiev?

Hypocritical silence after maternity hospital shelling

In a world where media reported honestly instead of manufacturing its own reality, there would be outrage over Ukraine’s attack on the Donetsk maternity hospital. But history shows that is not a world we live in.

As I wrote last year, Western media and talking heads also diligently avoided condemnation when terrorists attacked or destroyed Syrian hospitals, including the shelling of a maternity hospital in Aleppo, which killed three women.

At the damaged Donetsk hospital, I saw the gaping hole in the roof and remnants of the Uragan MLRS rocket which struck it. Most of the windows of both buildings were blown out.

Images shared on Twitter noted, “Both gynecology and intensive care have been bombed.” Other footage, taken by Donetsk war correspondent Dmitri Ashtrakhan, showed dozens of women, some heavily pregnant, taking shelter in the basement of the shelled maternity hospital.
Were these women and this hospital in Kiev, you can bet Western media would be loudly reporting it 24/7 for weeks. Instead, just as the West has steadfastly ignored Ukraine’s eight years of war on Donbass, they also omit reporting on the hospital.

Grotesquely, some Ukrainian and Western media instead disingenuously reported that it was a Russian attack, not Ukrainian, which terrorized, injured and killed civilians on June 13.

Just as Western media’s lack of reporting, or twisting of the narrative, on Ukraine’s shelling was to be expected, so too was the UN’s weak-worded condemnation, with the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, calling it “extremely troubling.” Were the situation reversed and Russia responsible for bombing a Ukrainian maternity hospital, his words would almost certainly have been far stronger.

In fact, they already have been: Three months ago, when Kiev accused Russia of an attack on a maternity hospital, in Mariupol.

Back then, the Guterres emphatically tweeted, “Today’s attack on a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, where maternity & children’s wards are located, is horrific. Civilians are paying the highest price for a war that has nothing to do with them. This senseless violence must stop. End the bloodshed now.” A strong reaction to what later emerged to be a hoax claim, when the UN itself even admitted it could not verify the story. But a mild reaction to a documented reality in Donetsk.

The UN did, at least, rightly note the attack on the Donetsk maternity hospital was, “an obvious breach of the international humanitarian law.” So there’s that.

The thing is, Ukraine has violated international law for its eight years of waging war on the Donbass republics, using prohibited heavy weapons and targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure. This is only the latest incident.
Tears flow for hoax hospital bombing

In March, Western corporate-owned media supported Kiev’s claim that Russia had launched air strikes on a Mariupol maternity hospital, claiming three civilians had been killed. At the time, as reported, “The White House condemned the ‘barbaric’ use of force against innocent civilians, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that ‘there are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenceless’.”

As it turned out, witnesses reported there hadn’t been any air strike. There were explosions: just as terrorists bombed an Aleppo home in 2016 and used a mildly injured boy for their propaganda against Syria and Russia, so too did Ukrainian forces in Mariupol, setting the stage to incriminate Moscow.

Russia called the accusations “a completely staged provocation,” analyzing photos from the area and noting “evidence of two separate staged explosions near the hospital: An underground explosion and another of minor power, aimed at the hospital building,” and further noting that a “high-explosive aviation bomb would destroy the outer walls of the building.” Russia also pointed out that the facility had stopped working when Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion expelled staff in late February and militarized the hospital, as Ukrainian forces did elsewhere in Donbass.

Marianna Vyshemirskaya, one of the women featured in the Western propaganda around the hospital, later spoke out and said there was no air strike, and that prior to the alleged event, Ukrainian soldiers expelled all the doctors and moved pregnant women to another building.

She also maintained that she and other women were filmed without warning by an Associated Press journalist dressed in a military uniform and wearing a helmet.

Even three days after Ukraine’s intense bombardment of Donetsk and targeting of the maternity hospital, when still more testimonies have emerged, Western media and politicians remained silent.

The suffering, and deaths, of the people of Donetsk doesn’t fit the Western narrative, so they misreport it or simply just don’t reference it at all, enabling Ukraine to continue to commit war crimes.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years). @evakbartlett

June 18, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

When the secretaries of Defense and State said publicly the U.S. wants Ukraine to win and weaken Russia, Biden said tone it down

U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that the trajectory of the war in Ukraine is untenable and are quietly discussing whether President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should temper his hard-line public position that no territory will ever be ceded to Russia as part of an agreement to end the war, according to seven current U.S. officials, former U.S. officials and European officials.

“He was not happy with the rhetoric,” said one official familiar with President Biden’s conference call with Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin.   NBC News June 16, 2022, NBC News, By Carol E. Lee, Courtney KubeKen Dilanian and Abigail Williams

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken had taken off on separate flights from southeastern Poland after their risky, high-stakes visit to Kyiv when they were conferenced into a phone call from President Joe Biden

During their whirlwind April trip, Austin appeared to expand the U.S. goals in Ukraine, saying publicly that the administration wanted the Ukrainians to win the war against Russia, not just defend themselves, and that the U.S. hoped to weaken Russia to the extent that it could not launch another unprovoked invasion. Blinken had publicly aligned himself with the remarks. Now Biden wanted to discuss the mounting headlines that resulted.

Biden thought the secretaries had gone too far, according to multiple administration officials familiar with the call. On the previously unreported conference call, as Austin flew to Germany and Blinken to Washington, the president expressed concern that the comments could set unrealistic expectations and increase the risk of the U.S. getting into a direct conflict with Russia. He told them to tone it down, said the officials.

“Biden was not happy when Blinken and Austin talked about winning in Ukraine,” one of them said. “He was not happy with the rhetoric.”

The secretaries explained that Austin’s comments had been misconstrued, another senior administration official said. But the displeasure Biden initially conveyed during that phone call, the officials said, reflected his administration’s belief that despite Ukrainian forces’ unexpected successes early on, the war would ultimately head in the direction it is now in two months later: a protracted conflict in which Russia continues to make small and steady advances.

U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that the trajectory of the war in Ukraine is untenable and are quietly discussing whether President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should temper his hard-line public position that no territory will ever be ceded to Russia as part of an agreement to end the war, according to seven current U.S. officials, former U.S. officials and European officials.

Some officials want Zelenskyy to “dial it back a little bit,” as one of them put it, when it comes to telegraphing his red lines on ending the war. But the issue is fraught given that Biden is adamant about the U.S. not pressuring the Ukrainians to take steps one way or another. His administration’s position has been that any decision about how and on what terms to end the war is for Ukraine to decide.

“We are not pressuring them to make concessions, as some Europeans are. We would never ask them to cede territory,” one U.S. official said. “We are planning for a long war. We intend to prepare the American people for that, and we are prepared to ask Congress for more money.”

Biden announced a new $1 billion military aid package for Ukraine on Wednesday after speaking with Zelenskyy. Congress last month authorized an additional $40 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, which is expected to last until October. 

The National Security Council and the State Department declined to comment.

The Pentagon and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The future of the war in Ukraine, including how it might end, is expected to be a key topic when world leaders gather in Europe next week for the NATO and G-7 summits.

European officials are more openly discussing their preference that Zelenskyy enter into negotiations with Russia and consider relinquishing some territory Russia has gained in its latest invasion. Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014 and annexed Crimea.

On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said Zelenskyy must negotiate with Russia…………

many experts, as well as U.S. and European officials, believe Russian President Vladimir Putin will claim Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region as Russian territory once conquered in the coming months and declare victory, and Zelenskyy will have to negotiate.

Biden was asked on June 3 if he believes Ukraine will have to cede territory to achieve peace and he left open the possibility, saying he won’t tell the Ukrainians what to do………………

In April, Biden administration officials sounded more optimistic about Ukraine’s position in the war than they currently do…………………….

While White House officials are loath to be seen as pressuring Ukraine to agree to a deal with Russia that gives up some territory, there is growing concern that Zelenskyy’s public posture that there can be no deal unless all Russian troops leave Ukraine is unsustainable. Even if the Europeans lean more heavily into the notion of such a deal with Russia, which could get more pronounced as winter approaches, given Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas, administration officials said they intend to hold their ground on letting Ukraine decide its future………..https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/secretaries-defense-state-said-publicly-us-wanted-ukraine-win-biden-sa-rcna33826

June 18, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

What I Know About Human Life as a Nuclear Downwinder

A government that knowingly harms its own citizens must be held accountable. Our lives are worth more than civilization-ending weapons.  https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/06/17/what-i-know-about-human-life-nuclear-downwinder MARY DICKSON, June 17, 2022

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, we unbelievably find ourselves on the brink of a new Cold War, ironically as casualties of the last Cold War are running out of time to seek the compensation and justice they deserve.

President Biden recently signed into law a stopgap bill to extend for another two years the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which pays partial restitution to select victims of atmospheric nuclear testing on American soil.  While a welcome first step, it fails to address thousands more Americans who have been excluded from compensation despite the devastating harms they have suffered from radiation exposure. Time is running out as many are literally dying as they wait for justice.


I am a casualty of the Cold War, a survivor of nuclear weapons testing. Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah during the Cold War I was repeatedly exposed to dangerous levels of radioactive fallout from hundreds of detonations at the Nevada Test Site just 65 miles west of Las Vegas.

Our government detonated 100 bombs above ground in Nevada between 1951 and 1962 and 828 more bombs underground through 1992, many of which broke through the earth’s surface and spewed radioactive fallout into the atmosphere as well. The jet stream carried fallout far beyond the test site where it made its way into the environment and the bodies of unsuspecting Americans, while a government we trusted repeatedly assured us “there is no danger.”

In the spring before my 30th birthday, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Children, especially those under the age of five at the time of radiation exposure, as I was, were most at risk.

I have been sliced, radiated and scooped out. I have buried and mourned the dead, comforted and advocated for the living, and worried with each pain, ache and lump that I am getting sick again. I survived thyroid cancer as well as subsequent health complications that left me unable to have children. My sister and others I grew up with were not so fortunate. They lost their lives to various cancers and other radiation-related illnesses.  Before she died, my sister and I counted 54 people in a five-block area of our childhood neighborhood who developed cancer, autoimmune disorders, and other diseases that ravaged them and their families.

The government’s ambitious program of nuclear testing had tragic consequences for countless unsuspecting, patriotic Americans living downwind. “We are veterans of the Cold War, only we never enlisted and no one will fold a flag over our coffins,” a late friend of mine was fond of saying.     

The U.S. government finally acknowledged its responsibility in 1990 when it passed the bipartisan Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which paid partial restitution to some fallout victims in select rural counties of Utah, Arizona and Nevada. The bill never went far enough. We now know that the harm wreaked by fallout extends far beyond these counties.  We also know that people are still getting sick. The suffering has not ended.

As part of a coalition of impacted community groups working with allied advocates nationwide, we have worked hard for the speedy expansion and extension of RECA through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021. This bipartisan bill would add downwinders from all of Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico and Guam, as well as uranium miners who worked in the industry beyond 1971. It also would increase compensation from $50,000 to $150,00 for all claimants and extend the program for 19 years.

The House bill currently has 68 co-sponsors, the Senate bill 18, Republicans and Democrats from across the country. What we now need are their colleagues in both parties to join them.

As we reach out to Senators and Representatives asking them to support the bills, we are sometimes confronted with questions about cost. What, I ask in return, is a human life worth? Over the last 32 years, RECA has paid out $2.5 billion to 39,000 Americans. To put that into perspective, each year this country spends $50 billion just to maintain our nuclear arsenal.  Are our lives not worth 0.5% of the cost of weapons that harmed us?

What is paramount is rectifying the mistakes of the past. As Rep. Diane Titus of Nevada said, “These people are Cold Warriors and we do not leave our warriors on the field.”

A government that knowingly harms its own citizens must be held accountable. Our lives are worth more than civilization-ending weapons. It’s a simple matter of priorities and justice.

June 18, 2022 Posted by | health, PERSONAL STORIES, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Weapons Treaty Ban in the Footsteps of 1982’s Million-Person March

COUNTERPUNCH, BY JOHN LAFORGEHAMBURG, Germany 17 June 22,

Last Sunday marked the 40th anniversary of the June 12, 1982 million-person march in New York City for a “freeze” on nuclear weapons building, followed two days later by a mass nonviolent action at the consular offices of nuclear weapons states. Some 1,700 people, myself included, were arrested as we sat in the street blockading the nuclear-armed consulates, confronted by horse-mounted cops literally chomping at the bit while we nervously stared up at the menacing police singing We Shall Not be Moved.We were moved out of the street that day in 1982, but the movement wasn’t deterred. We’ve pushed on for decades in spite of ridicule, harassment, and imprisonment, seeing to the slashing of the U.S. nuclear arsenal from over 60,000 in those days, to today’s approximately 5,000 — an amount still grotesque enough to incinerate and contaminate most of the living beings on Earth.

……………………………………….this week Vienna, Austria is hosting the First Meeting of States Parties, UN member states that have agreed to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Over 100 governments will participate. The great majority of the world’s representatives — 122 countries — voted their approval of the TPNW in 2017, and 62 have since ratified it. The treaty has entered into force, and only the tiny minority of nuclear-armed governments and their military allies continue to reject it — for “deterrence” reasons that have been shown to be irrational and unachievable. Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine prove that nukes don’t deter war. Instead, they needlessly create the real possibility of globalized, radioactive catastrophe, all the while stealing tens of billions of dollars, and mountains of brain power, away from programs that are crucial and urgently needed.

A colossally expensive nuclear arms race is again underway among the richest militaries in spite of global climate chaos, refugee crises, medical emergencies, and food shortages, all of which must be confronted if want to survive. The world’s nine nuclear-armed countries spent $82.4 billion upgrading their arsenals in 2021, the biggest spender being the United States, according to “Squandered,” the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ annual report on nuclear spending.

Nuclear weapons states always claim their H-bomb budgets are for “refurbishment” of old, dangerous systems — something that their bedfellows in the nuclear reactor biz never admit about their old units. The power industry’s dangerous, outdated GE and Westinghouse junkers are never said to need retirement, but “license extensions,” and 93 out of 94 have been allowed to blow past their engineered 40-year shutdown mandates and into today’s deadly game of Fukushima Roulette — a crap shoot with suicide the public never agreed to join.

Germany’s clean phase-out of its 17 power reactors, and South Africa’s and Libya’s abandonment of nuclear weapons, have shown that both sides of denuclearization are possible. Now the TPNW presents the world with the practical, international means of eliminating the Bomb. With enough million-person marches, we can still shame the twin nuclear devils and bring the era of nuclear threats to an end.

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.   https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/06/17/the-nuclear-weapons-treaty-ban-in-the-footsteps-of-1982s-million-person-march/

June 18, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as New Instrument in Nuclear Disarmament Process

It should also be emphasized that the TPNW is gaining global popularity thanks to the efforts of civil society, which encourages governments and parliamentarians of their respective countries to accede to the Treaty. Kazakhstan welcomes the decision of several European countries (Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland), including the declared intention of NATO members (Germany and Norway), to participate as observers in the First Conference of the States Parties to the TPNW.

Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as New Instrument in Nuclear Disarmament Process, https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2022/06/17/treaty-on-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons-as-new-instrument-in-nuclear-disarmament-process/ June 17, 2022, By Mukhtar Tileuberdi

On June 21–23, Vienna will host a historic event in the field of nuclear disarmament – the First Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

The entry into force of this treaty in January 2021 became a long-awaited signal that demonstrated the determination of the UN member states to take concrete measures to outlaw nuclear weapons.

This was a significant moment for Kazakhstan, which in the past experienced detrimental consequences of nuclear tests. As President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted in his speech at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, “today Kazakhstan is an example and a role model for the whole world as a responsible state that voluntarily abandoned its nuclear-missile arsenal and closed the world’s largest nuclear test site.”

For half a century, our land suffered atmospheric, ground, and underground tests. This impacted the health of about 1.5 million Kazakhs living near the test site with an area of more than 18,000 square kilometres. The consequences of radiation are felt to this day.

On the initiative of Kazakhstan, the closing date of the Semipalatinsk test site – August 29 – was declared in 2009 by the UN General Assembly the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Emphasizing the symbolism of this date, in 2019 Kazakhstan submitted to the UN Secretariat an instrument for ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Kazakhstan voluntarily abandoned the 4th largest nuclear arsenal in the world, which it inherited after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in 1993 joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a state that does not possess nuclear weapons. Let me note, that the TPNW was developed in support of the NPT and fully complements its objective of strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime, the peaceful use of atomic energy and wider international security.

In fact, TPNW reflects the dissatisfaction of most UN member states with the disregard by nuclear countries of their obligations on nuclear disarmament, enshrined in several international treaties and documents, including Article VI of the NPT. For this reason, we believe that the treaty should be mentioned in the Final Document of the forthcoming NPT Review Conference in August 2022.

The Treaty establishes several mandatory legal initiatives in the field of nuclear disarmament. For example, nuclear weapons are considered illegal for the first time in human history. Secondly, the production, testing, acquisition, transfer, storage and deployment of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices, as well as the use of threats to use them, are prohibited.

A nuclear-weapon country can join the TPNW if it agrees to destroy its nuclear weapons in accordance with legally binding, verifiable, time-specific plans. Similarly, a country hosting nuclear weapons can join if it agrees to remove them. The Treaty does not prescribe specific timeframes or disarmament measures, as they are planned to be approved by the member states following the First Conference of the TPNW.

Kazakhstan’s active participation gave impetus to the organisation of the First Conference of the TPNW. The most important contribution of our country to this process was acting as a facilitator of substantive solutions. In particular, at the initiative of Kazakhstan and Kiribati (which suffered 39 American and British nuclear weapon test), a working group was created to develop proposals on the issue of positive obligations in accordance with Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty related to providing support for victims of nuclear testing and use of nuclear weapons, as well as environmental rehabilitation.

The positive obligations under the TPNW refer to the nodal aspects and are focused on eliminating damage from the use and testing of nuclear weapons in the past, as well as preventing possible damage in the future.

The medium-term goal of this initiative on the adoption of positive obligations is to establish an International Trust Fund to finance projects related to victim assistance and environmental restoration.

A specific mechanism is being discussed for identifying sources of funding (from TPNW member-states and non-member states, NGOs, philanthropists, and individuals) for work that requires special knowledge, materials, and equipment. It is important to note that this proposal has found support among the expert community and academic circles.


I would like to note that with the financial support of Kazakhstan and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, Kazakh people affected by nuclear testing and the youth representatives from Pacific Island countries will be able to participate in the First Conference of the TPNW and share their stories from a high international rostrum to draw attention to how deplorable the consequences of the use/testing of nuclear weapons can be.

The TPNW positive obligations are of practical value for Central Asia. In accordance with Article 7 of the TPNW, states may request the assistance of other parties to the Treaty and international structures to implement the abovementioned provisions. Considering the existing problem of uranium tailing ponds in several countries of our region, this initiative would help to attract donor funds from other states and international organisations for the reclamation of tailing ponds and the implementation of preventive measures to help the population near uranium mines.

Therefore, Kazakhstan, as the only state in the CIS region that has acceded to the TPNW, is conducting systematic work in accordance with Article 12 on the universalisation of the document to expand the membership of its participants, primarily from among the countries of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (CANWFZ).

Let me remind that CANWFZ, established by Kazakhstan jointly with its regional neighbours through the 2006 Semipalatinsk Treaty, is the first and currently the only such zone in the Northern Hemisphere. A key addition to it was the Protocol, containing negative security assurances, which stipulates that countries possessing nuclear weapons undertake not to use them on the parties to the Treaty. In this regard, we are grateful to the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and France for completing the ratification of this important document. Last year, the foreign ministers of the states that are parties to the Treaty – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – made a joint statement on its 15th anniversary, in which they reaffirmed their unshakable commitment to its provisions and called on the United States to ratify the above-mentioned Protocol as soon as possible.


The members of nuclear-weapon-free zones around the world are at the forefront of the nuclear disarmament process. The main goals and objectives of establishing these zones are in line with the principles of the TPNW. This means that a state party to the Semipalatinsk Treaty can accede to the TPNW without assuming additional obligations. Besides, if a state that is party to the Semipalatinsk Treaty has already adopted relevant national regulatory legal acts to implement the provisions of the Semipalatinsk Treaty, then this will probably be sufficient to fulfil the obligations that the state will assume by joining the TPNW. This is confirmed by leading international NGOs and experts in the field of nuclear disarmament.

It should also be emphasized that the TPNW is gaining global popularity thanks to the efforts of civil society, which encourages governments and parliamentarians of their respective countries to accede to the Treaty. Kazakhstan welcomes the decision of several European countries (Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland), including the declared intention of NATO members (Germany and Norway), to participate as observers in the First Conference of the States Parties to the TPNW.

The Treaty is another effective platform for our efforts to build a world without nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan will continue to show an example of high responsibility to the present and future generations of humankind.


In this context, it’s worth noting the UN Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, adopted at the initiative of Kazakhstan at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in 2015. The Universal Declaration calls for the total elimination of nuclear weapons as the only guarantee against their use or threat of use. Last year, the resolution received a record number of 141 votes from UN member states, indicating its positive momentum. Particularly noteworthy was the support from India and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which possess nuclear weapons, as well as from Iran, which was among the co-sponsors of the resolution.

If nuclear weapons are declared to be outside of international law, the call for nuclear-weapon states to take urgent steps in the field of nuclear disarmament will increase significantly. To this end, Kazakhstan continuously encourages dialogue between nuclear countries and the TPNW supporters in order to align their views and strengthen trust between them, which is especially important given current geopolitical conditions. Such work is also being carried out within the framework of the Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament and specialised platforms within the UN, including the First Committee of the General Assembly, where our country will take over the chairmanship during the 77th session.

The possibility of signing the TPNW and its entry into force have given many countries additional hope for a safer and rational world, which is currently in a serious crisis. As noted by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, with about 13,400 nuclear warheads around the world, the possibility of using nuclear weapons is more real than in the darkest days of the Cold War. The current military confrontation in Ukraine, discussions about proliferation of nuclear weapons and mutual threats to use them, raise the question about the collective vulnerability of humanity and the urgent need to ban and eliminate the deadly weapons.

The practical contribution of Kazakhstan to nuclear disarmament encourages us to continue calling on nations and governments to redouble their efforts to rid our planet of the threat of nuclear self-destruction by strengthening mutual trust. With that in mind, Kazakhstan has nominated its candidacy for the position of Vice Chair of the First Meeting of the TPNW in 2022 and Chair of the Third Meeting for 2024–2026.

We call on all states, including nuclear-weapon powers, to develop a phased plan for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045, to the centenary of the UN. The proposals and agreements to achieve this goal could be reflected in the final documents of both the First Conference of the TPNW and the NPT Review Conference.

Kazakhstan realizes that there are many political and technical obstacles on the way to achieving this noble and ambitious goal. We consider it necessary to embark on a practical work in this direction.

June 18, 2022 Posted by | Kazakhstan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ukraine vows to reclaim Crimea with US weapons

So far Russian forces, who have an overwhelming advantage in artillery and other arms, are steadily gaining land in Donbass.

Ukraine vows to reclaim Crimea with US weapons.   https://www.rt.com/news/557265-ukraine-crimea-us-weapons/ 19 June 22,

Kiev aims to recapture all lost territory from Russia, including the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine’s defense minister says,  
US-supplied weapons will allow Kiev to win back all land lost to Russia, including Crimea, Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov said on Thursday.

“We are going to liberate all our territories, all of it, including Crimea,” Reznikov told CNN in an interview in Brussels.

According to Washington, the Kiev authorities earlier gave “assurances” they would not use American weapons to stage attacks inside Russia, as the US is concerned it could further escalate tensions between Moscow and NATO. However, Ukraine then backtracked on its promise, stating it would use US-supplied rocket systems to strike its neighbor’s territory should it deem such attacks necessary.

Crimea, which voted overwhelmingly in a 2014 referendum to reunite with Russia, “is a strategic objective for Ukraine because it’s Ukrainian territory,” Reznikov told CNN. “But we will move step by step,” he added.

The first stage in Kiev’s plan is to stabilize the situation on the ground, according to Reznikov. During the second stage, Russian forces would be pushed back to the lines they occupied before the ongoing military offensive.

The minister stressed that only after that can discussions begin with Ukraine’s foreign partners on “how to liberate territories.”

The Russians “will see that in Kherson, they will see it in Zaporizhzhia, they will also see it in Mariupol… these are Ukrainian lands, and Crimea is also Ukrainian land, no matter what,” he said.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also vowed to “liberate” Crimea and the Republics of Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR), which are recognised by Russia as independent states. “We will come to all our cities, to all our villages, which do not yet have our flag,” he pledged.

So far Russian forces, who have an overwhelming advantage in artillery and other arms, are steadily gaining land in Donbass.

Ukraine’s troops have complained of a lack of weaponry to turn the tide in the battle, and are suffering heavy losses in manpower. In his interview, Reznikov refused to give an exact number of Ukrainians killed in the fighting, but said he “hopes” the figure is below 100,000.

On Wednesday, Washington announced another $1 billion in military assistance to Kiev, on top of $5.3 billion it had already provided to Ukraine during and before the conflict with Russia.

During a phone conversation, US President Joe Biden told Zelensky that the new deliveries would include “additional artillery and coastal defense weapons, as well as ammunition for the artillery and advanced rocket systems that the Ukrainians need to support their defensive operations” in Donbass, according to the White House.

Moscow has warned against “lethal aid” supplies to Ukraine by the US and its allies, saying they only prolong the fighting, while also increasing the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and the West.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has also warned that if Kiev is given long-range missiles, “we will draw the appropriate conclusions and use our weapons, which we have enough of, in order to strike at those objects that we have not yet struck.”

Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

June 18, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear-armed nations spent $82.4bn on weapons in 2021 

Nuclear-armed nations spent $82.4bn on weapons in 2021  https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/6/15/nuclear-armed-nations-spent-82bn-on-weapons-in-2021

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons accuses nuclear-armed nations of ‘obscene’ spending and notes extensive industry lobbying. 

The world’s nine nuclear-armed countries spent $82.4bn upgrading their atomic weaponry in 2021, eight percent more than the year before, a campaign group has said.

The biggest spender was the United States, which accounted for more than half the total spending, followed by China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) said in its annual report on nuclear spending.

“Nuclear-armed states spent an obscene amount of money on illegal weapons of mass destruction in 2021, while the majority of the world’s countries support a global nuclear weapons ban,” the group said in its report. “This spending failed to deter a war in Europe and squandered valuable resources that could be better used to address current security challenges, or cope with the outcome of a still raging global pandemic. This corrupt cycle of wasteful spending must be put to an end.”

ICAN noted that nuclear weapons producers also spent millions lobbying on defence, with every $1 spent lobbying leading to an average of $256 in new contracts involving nuclear weapons.

“The exchange of money and influence, from countries to companies to lobbyists and think tanks, sustains and maintains a global arsenal of catastrophically destructive weapons,” the report said.

On Monday, the Stockholm International Peace Research (SIPRI) warned that all nine nuclear-armed countries were increasing or upgrading their arsenals, and that the risk of such weapons being deployed appeared higher now than at any time since the height of the Cold War.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, has openly threatened to use its nuclear weapons.

ICAN estimates North Korea spent $642m on nuclear weaponry in 2021 even as its economy struggled under United Nations sanctions and the pandemic-linked closure of borders.

Pyongyang walked away from denuclearisation talks after the collapse of a summit with then-US President Donald Trump in 2019, and has carried out a record number of missile launches this year. There are concerns it is preparing for its first nuclear weapons tests since 2017.

There is no official confirmation on the amount North Korea spends on nuclear weapons or its arsenal. SIPRI estimates it has as many as 20 warheads.

Nuclear weapons spending, 2021

Source: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

  1. United States $44.2bn
  2. China $11.7bn
  3. Russia $8.6bn
  4. UK $6.8bn
  5. France $5.9bn
  6. India $2.3bn
  7. Israel $1.2bn
  8. Pakistan $1.1bn
  9. North Korea $642m

June 16, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The deteriorating nuclear order

We’re returning to a time when nuclear threats were the norm — and the world flirted with Armageddon.

Politico, BY IVO DAALDER, June 15, 2022

“A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

So said the leaders of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States for the very first time, just five months ago. Today, however, the prospect of nuclear weapons use is perhaps greater than any time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

Just weeks after co-signing the joint statement on preventing nuclear war, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a war of aggression against a neighbor that had given up its nuclear weapons in return for Russia’s explicit assurance “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine [and] refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine.”

At the onset of war, Putin made an explicit threat to “those who stand in our way,” saying that the “consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history.” And just three days later, he said he’d raise the alert level of its nuclear forces — though there are no indications that he did.

Russia has sought to enhance the threat of using nuclear weapons for years now. 

Realizing its conventional capabilities were no longer a match for the U.S. and NATO, some time ago, Moscow adopted a military doctrine in which its use of so-called tactical weapons might persuade an adversary to back down. And with progress in its war against Ukraine stymied by determined Ukrainian forces backed with sophisticated Western weapons, the possibility that Putin might decide to “escalate to deescalate” has become especially alarming.

But it’s not just Russian behavior and threats that are lowering the nuclear threshold. There are an increasing number of other worrying developments on the nuclear front, starting with actions taken by other established nuclear powers.

For one, the U.S. is in the midst of a massive nuclear modernization program, costing upward of $1 trillion and including new land-based missiles, a new strategic bomber and new missile-carrying nuclear submarines. It’s also deployed low-yield nuclear warheads to give Washington the capability to respond to any limited nuclear use by Russia — though few believe a nuclear exchange is or can remain limited.

China’s also modernizing and expanding its nuclear forces at a fast clip. It’s been digging new missile silos in the Gobi Desert, and the Pentagon estimates that it will deploy 1,000 nuclear warheads by the end of the decade — effectively ending its long-standing policy of relying on a minimal deterrent.

Britain, too, has announced that it’s increasing its nuclear capabilities, boosting its possible future sea-launched warhead numbers by 40 percent. And France has embarked on a major new modernization program of nuclear missiles and submarines.

But it’s not only the established nuclear powers that are expanding capabilities — newer and aspirant powers are as well.

Pakistan and India have growing nuclear arsenals that, in a few years, may equal those of France or Britain. North Korea not only has resumed nuclear material production but has also expanded the mission of its growing nuclear forces from deterring attack to advancing its national interests. And Iran now possesses enough material for a nuclear bomb as prospects of returning to the nuclear deal restraining it have all but vanished.

This increasing nuclearization around the world is putting new pressure on the nonproliferation regime.

The more countries look to the nuclear option to ensure security, the more the incentive for other countries to follow. For example, Iran’s emergence as a nuclear threshold state increases the pressure on countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey to reconsider their non-nuclear status…………………..

Pakistan and India have growing nuclear arsenals that, in a few years, may equal those of France or Britain. North Korea not only has resumed nuclear material production but has also expanded the mission of its growing nuclear forces from deterring attack to advancing its national interests. And Iran now possesses enough material for a nuclear bomb as prospects of returning to the nuclear deal restraining it have all but vanished.

This increasing nuclearization around the world is putting new pressure on the nonproliferation regime.

The more countries look to the nuclear option to ensure security, the more the incentive for other countries to follow. For example, Iran’s emergence as a nuclear threshold state increases the pressure on countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey to reconsider their non-nuclear status.  https://www.politico.eu/article/nuclear-weapons-russia-war-ukraine-united-states-china/

June 16, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The US-led bloc is unwilling to fight Russia directly and treats Ukraine as a proxy, Dutch PM admits.

NATO pledges more heavy weapons for Ukraine

The US-led bloc is unwilling to fight Russia directly and treats Kiev as a proxy, Dutch PM admits. Rt.com  15 June 22,
Ukraine must get more NATO heavy weapons, the military bloc’s head said on Tuesday, ahead of a meeting of a US-led ‘contact group’ set up to discuss the plan’s logistics. NATO is trying to adapt to the “constantly changing” demands from Kiev, according to the American envoy to the bloc. 

“Ukraine should have more heavy weapons and NATO allies and partners have provided heavy weapons … and they are also stepping up,” its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday in The Hague, where he met with leaders of seven member states ahead of the NATO summit scheduled for the end of June……….

Meanwhile, US Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith was reported as saying that NATO states are trying to adapt to Kiev’s demands for additional weapons, which are constantly changing.

According to the Pentagon, initial efforts to supply Ukraine focused on portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, but are now shifting to tanks and heavy artillery due to the nature of the current fighting in Donbass.

Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has said that Kiev urgently needs 1,000 howitzers, 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, 500 tanks, 2,000 armored vehicles, and 1,000 drones. 

While the US has pledged only four HIMARS rocket launchers, the Pentagon’s policy chief, Colin Kahl, on Tuesday revealed that they would be supplied with heavy guided missiles, with a range of 70 kilometers. ……..

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.  https://www.rt.com/news/557173-ukraine-heavy-weapons-nato/

June 16, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japan gov’t to skip 1st U.N. nuclear ban meeting next week

 KYODO NEWS 15 June 22, – Japan will not join the first meeting of parties to a U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons to be held in Vienna next week, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday, despite high expectations for its attendance as the only nation that has suffered atomic bombings.

Japan, which has not signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, did not complete the procedures for taking part in the three-day meeting, including as an observer, by the Tuesday deadline.

Survivors of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, as well as member nations of the U.N. treaty, had hoped that the Japanese government would participate in the gathering that kicks off next Tuesday………………. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/06/740ac3501176-japan-govt-to-skip-1st-un-nuclear-ban-meeting-next-week.html

June 16, 2022 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japanese youths at Vienna Nuclear Ban Treaty meeting, call for abolition of nuclear weapons 

Japanese youths to call for abolition of nuclear weapons at Vienna meeting,  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220612_14/   Fourteen Japanese youths plan to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons at the first meeting of signatories to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna later this month.

In an online meeting on Sunday, Takahashi Yuta, a university student from Hiroshima, said the younger generation must take over from the atomic-bomb survivors, or hibakusha.

He said many young people will travel to the meeting in Vienna, and he wants to convey the hibakushas’ voices to the world.

Okuno Kako, another university student from Hiroshima, is also working on environmental

Okuno said if nuclear weapons are used, they would cause temperatures to fall globally. She added that nuclear tests and the production of nuclear weapons also adversely affect the environment.

She said she wants to appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons from the viewpoint of both environmental protection and peace, although they may appear to be unrelated.

The students plan to explain the hibakushas’ experiences at events organized by non-governmental organizations, and to give speeches calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

They also hope to convey the hibakushas’ views to representatives of the signatory countries in Vienna.

June 14, 2022 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ukraine’s high casualty rate could bring war to tipping point

Ukraine is not short on bravery and determination. Western support is still in place, as shown by the UK announcement to supply a handful of – perhaps three – multiple rocket launchers this week, even if Kyiv said almost immediately it wanted many times more. But it is Russia’s forces that have found a way to advance in the Donbas, raising the question of whether the three-month war is at another turning point.  

Ukraine’s high casualty rate could bring war to tipping point

Analysis: Kyiv’s fighting strength is stretched, yet Russia could now benefit from a pause in fighting, Guardian  Dan Sabbagh in Kyiv 10 June 22, ”……………………   The sheer number – more than 20,000 casualties a month – raises questions about what state Ukraine’s army will be in if the war drags on into the autumn. The same is true for the Russians too, of course. But the invaders already control large chunks of Ukraine, and they can pause the fighting with the territorial upper hand.

……………………………………………..Western officials prefer not to discuss the impact of the war on the defenders, instead highlighting the problems for the Russians in their briefings. This week, one of those officials said their estimate was that the invaders had lost “15,000 to 20,000 dead”, out of an invasion force that was 150,000 or more. Yet despite this, Moscow’s army has still not lost its offensive capability.

But they chose not to provide similar estimates for Ukraine, which can create a lopsided impression that the Russians are faring worse. In fact, with an artillery overmatch of 10 or 15 to one, according to the Ukrainians, it may well be that the invaders’ casualty rate is far lower at the moment, because they are able to deal death from a greater distance to defenders who cannot see them.

Ammunition is certainly running short on the Ukrainian side, again by their own admission. Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, has said Ukraine is using 5,000 to 6,000 artillery rounds a day, and has “almost used up” its stockpile of Soviet 152mm standard shells. It is now relying on Nato-standard 155mm howitzers; it is unclear how many of these it has.

Commanders have told the Guardian that Ukraine struggles for some basic equipment such as encrypted radios (where mobile phones work, it is not uncommon to rely on the secure Signal app instead) or advanced sights and optics of the types commonly used by western militaries.

Ukraine is not short on bravery and determination. Western support is still in place, as shown by the UK announcement to supply a handful of – perhaps three – multiple rocket launchers this week, even if Kyiv said almost immediately it wanted many times more. But it is Russia’s forces that have found a way to advance in the Donbas, raising the question of whether the three-month war is at another turning point.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/10/ukraine-casualty-rate-russia-war-tipping-point

June 11, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) join the call for UK to join the nuclear ban Treaty Summit

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities have joined with campaign groups
opposed to nuclear weapons in calling on the British Foreign Secretary to
ensure that the UK is represented at the forthcoming nuclear treaty ban
conference to be held later this month in Vienna.

Sixty-one member states
of the United Nations have so far signed and ratified the UN Treaty on the
Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first international law to prohibit the
manufacture, stockpiling, transfer and use of nuclear weapons which entered
force in January 2021. A further twenty-five states have signed the Treaty
in readiness to ratify it.

These member states will meet at the UN in
Vienna between 21 – 23 June to discuss the progress so far in creating a
nuclear weapons free world, and, in light of the recent conflict in
Ukraine, the next best steps to get there. None of the world’s nuclear
weapons states have so far engaged with the treaty, and the UK has
steadfastly refused to recognise it, despite five of the states, including
the UK, making a commitment as signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty to work in ‘good faith’ to achieve global nuclear disarmament at
the earliest possible date. Britain made this commitment as one of the
first signatories to the NPT in 1968. 

NFLA 8th June 2022 https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/nuclear-free-local-authorities-join-call-for-uk-to-attend-nuclear-ban-summit/

June 11, 2022 Posted by | politics international, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment