NATO reacted cautiously on Friday to a
Russian offer for the United States to use a Russian-controlled
radar in Azerbaijan for a missile defense shield, questioning
whether its location was ideal.
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to President
George W. Bush at a Group of Eight summit on Thursday that
Washington use the Azeri radar instead of planned missile
interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.
Moscow suspects the shield is aimed at Russia. Washington
says it is to stop missiles from "rogue" states.
"I think it is a bit close to the rogue states we are
discussing," NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told
a conference about the proposed Russian alternative.
"But it's a bit too early in the day for my final judgment.
It is always useful when two presidents are constructively
talking to each other on this," said de Hoop Scheffer, who has
promoted NATO as a forum for talks over the shield plan.
In Baku, Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov told
reporters Russia had approached his government with a proposal
to use the Qabala radar jointly with the United States, for
example in sharing information obtained by it.
"Azerbaijan is ready for such consultations," he said.
Azerbaijan had held what he called "rudimentary consultations"
with the United States about the radar.
The Qabala radar has operated in the north of Azerbaijan
since 1985 and is manned by Russian military who lease it from
the Azeris. One of the biggest radars in the world, it scans
the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and most of North Africa --
and can detect missiles launched in those areas.
Bush did not directly mention Putin's offer in comments to
reporters on Thursday. U.S. officials have in the past stressed
they regarded the proposed central European sites as ideally
placed to intercept missiles coming from the Middle East.
White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley said
Putin's idea was "a bold proposal." U.S. officials would study
the offer and discuss it with the Russians.
Putin said that if Washington took up the offer he would
not follow through with a threat to re-direct Russian missiles
to targets in Europe. The Kremlin said Putin's idea would
remove any need for a U.S. radar anywhere in eastern Europe.
(Additional reporting by Lada Yevgrashina in Baku)
some time to get them set up. This sort of ABM deployment has not
the slightest effect on the basic Nuclear Deterrence strategy which has
prevented the 'rational' use of nuclear IBMs or tactical nukes by any
state whose leaders not bent on national matyrdom. Since I am of the
opinion that the leaders of even those states who profess to theocracy
are simply using theocracy as it is their current modus operandi to run
the show, deterrence is also effective in their case too. However,
there will be cases where deterrence fails, we know this. There are
suicide bombers and there will be
suicide nuclear bombers - and accidents - and always Murphy's Law. So
we need to build and master sensible international detection and
protection against these rogue events.
Gates: U.S. missile plan in Europe a go
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the Bush administration is not
willing to replace its plan for a missile defense system in Eastern
Europe with Russia's counterproposal for a radar site in Azerbaijan.
That's the blunt message Gates was to deliver to Russian Defense
Minister Anatoly Serdyukov during a private meeting Friday at the NATO
gathering in Brussels.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Gates said that despite strident
Russian opposition, the U.S. will proceed with its plans for a radar
system in the Czech Republic to watch for missile threats and 10
interceptor rockets in Poland to shoot down any missiles.
Gates dismissed any notion that Russia's push for joint use of a
radar station in Azerbaijan could replace the broader U.S. plan. And he
expressed doubts that there could be any agreement with the Russians by
next month, when President Bush is scheduled to meet with Russian
President Vladimir Putin at Kennebunkport, Maine.
"I was very explicit in the (NATO) meeting that we saw the Azeri
radar as an additional capability, that we intended to proceed with the
X-Band radar in the Czech Republic," Gates said during a press briefing.
Gates' comments came as Russian officials called for a freeze on the
U.S. plan, arguing that it would undermine Russia's nuclear deterrent.
Russian officials reportedly issued threats against the planned sites
in Poland and the Czech Republic. Gates said Serdyukov, who was at the
NATO meeting, did not comment on his remarks.
Meanwhile, NATO ordered its military experts to draw up plans for a
possible short-range missile defense system to protect nations on the
alliance's southern flank that would be left exposed by proposed U.S.
anti-missile units in central Europe.
According to U.S. and NATO officials, the addition of the European
bases to anti-missile installations in North America would protect most
of Europe from the threat of long-range attack from Iran or elsewhere
in the Middle East. But it would leave Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and
parts of Romania exposed.
To fill that gap, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said
NATO experts would produce a report by February on short-range
anti-missile defenses "that can be bolted on to the overall missile
defense system as it would be installed by the United States."
Russia has threatened to retaliate against the U.S. plans by pulling
out of a key arms control treaty and pointing warheads at Europe for
the first time since the Cold War. However, at last week's G-8 summit,
Putin seemed to take a more open approach, suggesting Russia could
cooperate with the West on an anti-missile radar base in Azerbaijan.
The NATO ministers also were due to meet their Afghan counterpart
Friday. The defense ministers were seeking to increase training for the
Afghan military and reduce the rising toll of civilian casualties in
Gates urged European allies to stick to commitments to contribute
equipment and troops to the 36,000-strong NATO force in Afghanistan. He
also complained about "shortfalls in key capabilities" that are
affecting the Afghan fight, including delays in getting more transport
aircraft and the low level of military spending by some allies.
There are about 26,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Associated Press Writer Paul Ames contributed to this report.
nuclear missiles, made a remark that is uncharacteristically
unintelligent. He cited Iraq as an example of what can happen to
a nation that does not have the means to defend itself in the nuclear
age. If that had any logic it would mean every nation that was capable
of it should have an intercontinental nuclear weapons delivery system.
based on terror; second it had no allies. It was not part of an
alliance that had a nuclear umbrella. The logic of the nuclear
non-proliferation treaty is that global security can only be maintained
by having a system of alliances with a few major nuclear powers to
guarantee that no state would dare break the nuclear stand-off by using
a nuclear strike on a neighbour. The final flaw in Iraq's defence was
to spread false intelligence for local consumption that it had WMD.
Putin's remark is really uncharacteristically STUPID.
also seems to be linked with his idea that it is sensible for Iran to
have its own nukes, though he can't seriously believe that. However,
for us to be afraid of Iran actually using a nuclear weapon we would
have to have a theoretical target. That is supposed to be Israel. But
the possibility of Iran launching a strike on Israel is nil as it would
be immediately flattened by the US with either conventional or nuclear
weapons. So the only reason to stop Iran developing a fission device is
that it might get into the hands of terrorists who might smuggle it
overland so that its use could not be attributed to any state.
MARCH 2nd 2008
Kissinger, Shultz, and Nunn call
for serious nuclear decommissioning.
This is being decribed by some, and even by them on occasions (?), as a
world free of nuclear weapons. The latter is not reasonable. The
former, and all the stages they suggest, including serious cooperation
on all missile defence projects between Russia and China and the US is
not only reasonable but essential. These men are serious players.
Shultz and Nunn have a record of making sense that is unrivalled.
MARCH 10th 2008
WASHINGTON - Polish Prime Minister Donald
Tusk is hoping talks Monday
with President Bush will help break an impasse on allowing
U.S. missile defense interceptors to be based on Polish soil.
2 days ago Poland and the US signed further documents approving the
building of a missile defence system on Polish soil. As previously
explained here the system will nor launch warheads but non-explosive
missiles to impact a limited missile strike from a small, rogue state
or terrorist operation. However, the Russians seem to be convinced that
this system is really aimed at Russia. The logic here is difficult to
follow, as it would be quite useless against a Russian attack. Even
more difficult to fathom is the statement by a Russian General that the
deployment of such a system lays Poland open to a pre-emptive attack by
Russia. It does not lay it any more open that we all are at any time to
anyone crazy enough to launch a nuclear attack. That is the principle
of nuclear deterrence. It works amongst sane people with large nuclear
arsenals or in an alliance with a nuclear umbrella. For such people, a
pre-emptive strike is unnecessary. But there is no defence against
fanatics or unstable, rogue states in the hands of extremists. That is
why there is a case for limited, purely defensive systems,
strategically placed. Russia should have one or join with the EU and
NATO in its system. The statement reported below that "Russian military
doctrine would allow for a possible nuclear strike" means, quite
simply, that Russian nuclear doctrine needs examining. That is as
polite as I am able to be.
Russia could strike Poland over U.S. shield: report
A top Russian general on Friday said Poland's deal with the United
States to set up parts of a missile defense shield on Polish territory
lays it open to a possible military strike, a Russian news agency
Col-General Anatoliy Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the general staff,
told Interfax that Russian military doctrine would allow for a possible
Poland agreed on Thursday to host elements of a U.S. global
anti-missile system after Washington agreed to boost Poland's own
military air defenses.
"The USA is engaged in an anti-missile defense for its own
government, and not for Poland. And Poland, in deploying (elements of
the system) opens itself to a military strike. That is 100 percent,"
Interfax quoted Nogovitsyn as saying.
Nogovitsyn said Russia allows nuclear weapons to be used in
circumstances defined by its current security doctrine.
The Russian government revamped its national security doctrine in
2000, broadening the range of conflicts in which nuclear weapons could
"It is written clearly: We will use it in instances against
governments that have nuclear weapons; against allies of countries with
nuclear weapons, if they somehow enable them," he said.
Washington says the missile system is aimed at protecting the
United States and its allies from long-range missiles that could in the
future be fired by Iran or groups such as al Qaeda.
The Kremlin has long said that was untrue, and has opposed the
shield as a threat to Russia. The 10 interceptor missiles to be based
at a site in northern Poland compare with Russia's own nuclear arsenal
of more than 5,000 ballistic warheads.
In agreeing to deploy elements of the U.S. missile shield, Poland
"becomes an actionable object. Those targets are destroyed in the first
order," Nogovitsyn said.
Tension between Moscow and Washington has risen in the past week,
since Georgia's attempt to re-take its separatist region of South
Ossetia by force provoked a massive counter-attack by Russia.
(Reporting by Chris Baldwin, editing by Tim Pearce)
AUGUST 20th 2008
The only conclusion to come to is that the US diplomats and NATO
representatives are spectacularly unable to express themselves clearly
or understand the concerns of their Russian counterparts, or have any
sensible dialogue. That is not surprising, given that George Bush is so
incoherent that most UK citizens think he is just a bumbling idiot. How
must he and the increasingly school-ma'mish Rice sound when translated
into Russia. Communication using words and sentences that convey little
meaning beyond the formulaic (and these in American procedural
vernacular which must sound as ridiculous when translated into Russian
as some formulaic Chinese sounds when translated into English), must
make it unlikely that any meeting of minds is on the cards. It is
necessary to understand Russian history and realities. Bush and his
team do not even understand the realities of North America. Regime
change please, as soon as possible.
It is beyond
argument that moving steadily towards missile defense against certain
risks, with the aim of having something in place in 10 years time, is
good planning. What Russia objects to is the incessant march of
American, not just NATO, military personnel and arms, to the very
borders of Russia. They see this as economically and socially
destabilising, particularly when the US is run by people such as Bush
and his team who have little idea of the realities of politics outside
the US and, as is becoming more and more obvious, little idea of
their own country. Polish
that is based on disregard or enmity. Stability in the region should be
based on Russian and US support, not one playing games against the
other. The only way to classify the current US administration, a
spokeman for which has just made a fool of himself on BBC 2 Newsnight,
is juvenile and senile at the same time, lacking only maturity. "America is the first country to have gone from barbarism
to decadence without the usual intervening period of civilization" said
Oscar Wilde. To add "From juvenility to senility without a period of
maturity" would be a little unfair given the amazing performance and
sacrifice in WW II [once we had
tricked them into action by giving the Pearl Harbour advance
intelligence to Hoover instead of US Naval Intelligence], though
women they sent to do the job.
SEE SEPTEMBER 16th 2009
OCTOBER 26th 2008
The US Nuclear deterrent is getting attention now and none too soon. It
needs slimming down, maintaining, and a modern team who understand the
entire philosophy of deterrence as well as the limitations, the dangers
and the proper handling of policies and military moves in the nuclear
21st century. I hope this is what the stirrings hinted at below presage.
WASHINGTON – The
mighty U.S. arsenal of nuclear
weapons, midwived by World War II and nurtured by the Cold War,
is declining in power and purpose while the military's competence in
handling the world's most dangerous arms has eroded. At the same time,
international efforts to contain the spread of such weapons look
ineffective. More at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081026/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/nuclear_decline
DECEMBER 21st 2008
The Human Button -
Tuesday 2 December 2008 20:00-20:40 (Radio 4 FM)
I do not think this was a well judged item to
discuss in such a way on broadcast radio.
Repeated: Sunday 7 December 2008 17:00-17:40 (Radio 4 FM)
The principle of deterrence resides in a very simple concept - that the
person being deterred should believe that the consequences of certain
actions on their part will lead, with absolute certainty, to their own
downfall at the hands of those wielding the deterrent power and the
imbued with responsibility to apply it.
For those responsible for preventing an incoming nuclear strike (either
pre-emptive or by a nation facing defeat in non-nuclear conflict) to
discuss in public their disinclination to use nuclear retaliation, is
To wheel out retired senior statesmen who may well have never
understood the philosophy of deterrence in the first place (and few
politicians do), and ask them if they would have pushed the button,
playing to their vanity and maudling thoughts in old age, was
irresponsible and playing to the gallery.
It may very well be that if this country received a nuclear strike
there could be circumstances in which the Prime Minister would NOT
retaliate, even possibly for some of the reasons stated in your
programme. It could be that deterrence in that case had failed. It
could be that the strike had been launched by fanatics temporarily in
control of the nuclear arsenal who had been or were about to be
removed. It is indeed possible that retaliation would simply kill
millions of civilians and NOT be in the best interests of survivors in
All of that is possible. But the PM must be certain that he is are
personally capable of ordering a nuclear counterstrike, that right down
the chain of command every link is capable, and we must be certain that
any nuclear armed enemy believes that beyond any doubt whatsoever that
this is the case.
To event hint for a moment that 'humanitarian concerns' would render
the deterrent unusable against a nuclear aggressor would signal the end
of deterrence of any sort. To discuss this in public would be sensible
if we were dealing with a global audience of mature and informed
individuals, and that only such people could ever get near the levers
of nuclear arsenals.
Surely by now even the most callow BBC producer is aware that the
security that is necessary even in the UK demands extremely well
trained and mature individuals and a system of checks and balances
embedded in a society that has taken years to build up the surrounding
systems, and that such structures do not
exist in all other countries
developing nuclear capabilities.
It would be very wise and sensible now for the major powers to reduce
their nuclear arsenals, for a number of reasons. As this is done,
progressively, it is absolutely vital that the principle of deterrence
is maintained, and in so remaining deters any country from allowing even
perception to grow that it has a nuclear arsenal that is not
under the secure control of a rational government, regardless of its
political ideology which may range from the far left to the far right,
though the latter does present the greater risk.
That is an important part of keeping those individuals not subject to
rational deterrence away from the nuclear buttons. In the case of the
exceptions which may arise in extremis, an internationally developed
and staffed anti-missile system will indeed have to be developed, with
UN oversight, and their is no reason at all why this work cannot be
started once there is a new government in the US. It will be a long,
slow process, but also an inevitable one. Regardless of limited
antimissile systems, however, the principle of nuclear deterrence will,
however, always remain.
JANUARY 29th 2009
Some retired generals and diplomats have spoken out to the effect that
it coud be time for Britain to abandon its nuclear deterrent to save
money and aid the move to mulltilateral disarmament. They are extremely
wrong on all counts, financial and political. Militarily it has always
been a disastrous option so bringing that up is an absurd argument in
the first place. The CND people never understood how much time the
wasted and how they prolonged the cold war for no reason. The argument
today is the same.
JULY 06 2009
Some progress at last. If they can manage to sit down and TALK about
this business the could get a lot further, but it can't be rushed.
Obama, Medvedev agree to deal to cut nuke weapons
MOSCOW – Presidents
Barack Obama and Dmitry
confidently committed to a year-end deal to slash nuclear stockpiles by
about a third on Monday, but the U.S. leader failed to crack stubborn
Kremlin objections to America's missile defense plans — a major
stumbling block to such an agreement.
men renewed pledges to pull U.S.-Russian relations out of the dismal
state into which they had descended during the eight years of the Bush administration.
And to that end, they signed a series of agreements and joint
statements designed to enliven and quicken contacts on a broad range of
issues — including cooperation on Afghanistan, a key Obama foreign policy objective.
said the leaders both felt relations had "suffered from a sense of
drift. President Medvedev and I are committed to leaving behind the
suspicion and rivalry of the past."
His host expressed similar good will.
is the first but very important step in improving full-scale
cooperation between our two countries, which would go to the benefit of
both states," the Russian leader said. But he injected a note of
caution, saying discussions so far "cannot remove the burden of all the
There was no statement of Russian readiness to help the United
States persuade Iran
to abandon its nuclear ambitions, even though Obama's top Russia
adviser, Michael McFaul,
private meeting that opened the summit. Talks continued in an
expanded session that included 12 advisers for each president.
all the upbeat public statements, a pall of disagreement on missile
defense and NATO expansion lingered over the glittering Kremlin hall
where Obama and Medvedev answered reporters' questions. Obama said the
meetings had been "frank," diplomatic speak for difficult.
Obama sits down on Tuesday with Medvedev's patron and predecessor as
Minister Vladimir Putin,
the target of a verbal poke from the U.S. president last Friday. In a
pre-summit interview with The Associated Press, Obama said Putin still
had one foot in the old, Cold
War way of doing things.
Medvedev insisted on Monday that a replacement to the keystone START I
nuclear arms reduction treaty, which expires Dec. 5, must be linked to
Russian concerns about the U.S. missile defense program in Eastern
Europe, it remained unclear if the Kremlin was prepared to scuttle the
negotiations over that issue.
Samore, Obama's chief adviser on weapons of mass destruction and arms
control, told reporters he did not believe the Russians were prepared
to walk away.
"I think at the end of the day — because our missile defense does
not actually pose a threat to Russia's strategic forces — I think
they'll be prepared to go ahead without trying to extract a price on
McFaul said it had been made "crystal clear" from the beginning that
negotiations about a START replacement would not include any missile defense issues.
Washington insists the defense program is designed only to protect
European allies from missile attack by Iran.
to ease Kremlin concerns, Obama promised that an assessment of whether
the missile defense would actually work would be finished by late
summer, earlier than expected, and that he would share initial U.S.
thoughts with Medvedev.
Obama also said he understood in principle that arms control must
take into account both offensive and defensive weapons. But he insisted the
missile defense installations planned for Poland and the Czech Republic would pose no threat to
Russia. He said they were not being built to intercept missiles from "a
mighty Russian arsenal."
Obama does not approach the missile defense issue with the same
fervor as former
President George W. Bush,
whose administration was responsible for reaching agreement with the
two former Soviet satellites to serve as sites for the system.
planned START replacement pact — the centerpiece summit agreement —
calls for each side to reduce strategic warheads to a range of 1,500 to
1,675, and strategic delivery vehicles to a range of 500 to 1,100.
Current limits allow a maximum of 2,200 warheads and 1,600 launch
vehicles. The new treaty, as conceived, would run for 10 years. Each
side would have seven years to reach reduction goals with the final
three years used for verification.
Medvedev called the plan a "reasonable compromise."
Among the deals meant to sweeten Obama's two days of talks here and
show progress toward resetting U.S.-Russian ties was a joint statement
It included a deal to allow the United States to transport arms and
military personnel across Russian land and airspace into Afghanistan.
The White House said that would save $133 million a year, through a
transit fee waiver, shorter flying times and fuel savings.
The presidents outlined other areas in which they said their
countries would work together to help stabilize Afghanistan, including
increasing assistance to the Afghan army and police, and training
counternarcotics personnel. A joint statement said they welcomed
increased international support for upcoming Afghan elections and were
prepared to help Afghanistan and Pakistan work together against the
"common threats of terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking."
Among other side agreements was the resumption of military
cooperation, suspended after Russia
invaded neighboring Georgia last August and sent relations into a
nosedive. Last August, after the Georgian president ordered his
military to try to retake the breakaway region of South Ossetia, Russia
invaded and crushed the tiny nation's military.
McFaul said Obama would never accept Russia's contention that South
Ossetia and Abkhazia,
Putin has voiced deep anger with Georgia's coziness with the United
States as it lobbies to join NATO, and the standoff about Georgia is
likely to be a central issue when Putin meets with Obama on Tuesday.
Obama also will deliver a speech Tuesday to graduates of Moscow's New Economic School
in a bid to reach out to the Russian people. In addition, he plans to
meet with opposition leaders who are continually under government
pressure for their complaints about retreating democracy and freedom
Associated Press Writer Ben Feller contributed to this report.
SEPTEMBER 16th 2009
In the present circumstances, the
suspension of current plans for the missile defense system using Polish
and Czech territory seems reasonable. Long term, as pointed out
previously a system or systems based somewhere practical will still be
essential. There is no doubt Iran can build a bomb right now, and will
have some delivery capability soon, but they are not suicidal nor are
these weapons in the hands of Iranians who are completely lunatic.
These matters can be handled, and without George Bush and the Neocons
it is a whole lot easier.
Obama junks Bush's European missile defense plan
WASHINGTON – President
Obama abruptly canceled a long-planned missile shield for
Eastern Europe on
Thursday, replacing a Bush-era project that was bitterly opposed by Russia with a plan he
contended would better defend against a growing threat of Iranian
The United States will no longer seek to erect a missile base and
radar site in Poland
and the Czech Republic,
who had never accepted U.S. arguments, made by both the Bush
and Obama administrations, that the shield was intended strictly as a
defense against Iran
and other "rogue states."
the planned shield, however, means upending agreements with the host
countries that had cost those allies political support among their own
people. Obama called Polish and Czech leaders ahead of his
announcement, and a team of senior diplomats and others flew to Europe
to lay out the new plan.
"Our new missile
architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter
defenses of American forces and America's allies," Obama said in
announcing the shift.
system would link smaller radar systems with a network of sensors and
missiles that could be deployed at sea or on land. Some of the weaponry
and sensors are ready now, and the rest would be developed over the
next 10 years.
contemplates a system of perhaps 40 missiles by 2015, at two or three
sites across Europe. That would augment a larger stockpile aboard
ships. The replacement system would cost an estimated $2.5 billion,
compared with $5 billion over the same timeframe under the old plan.
The cost savings would be less, however, because the Pentagon is locked into
work on some elements of the old system.
The change comes days before Obama is to meet with Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev at the United
Nations and the Group of 20 economic summit. Medvedev reacted
positively, calling it a "responsible move."
"The U.S. president's decision is a well-thought-out and systematic
one," said Konstantin Kosachev, head of the foreign affairs committee in the State Duma,
the lower house of the Russian Parliament. "Now we can talk about
restoration of the strategic partnership between Russia and the United
At the same time, Russia's top diplomat warned that Moscow remains opposed
to new punitive sanctions on Iran to stop what the West contends is a
drive toward nuclear
The spokesman of Iran's parliamentary committee on national
security and foreign policy, Kazem Jalali, called the decision
positive, though in a backhanded way.
"It would be more positive if President Obama entirely give up such
plans, which were based on the Bush administration's Iran-phobic
policies," Jalali told The Associated Press.
said Iran's changing capabilities drove the decision, not any concern
about the Russians, but he acknowledged that the replacement system was
likely to allay some of Russia's concerns.
American reaction quickly split along partisan lines. Longtime
Republican supporters of the missile defense idea called the switch
naive and a sop to Russia.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it
"The administration apparently has decided to empower Russia and
Iran at the expense of the national security interests of the United
States and our allies in Europe," said Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon of
California, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee.
The Democratic chairman of that committee, Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, told the AP
the shift reflected a proper understanding of the current threat from
"It's about short- and medium-range missiles," Skelton said.
Obama administration said the shift is a common sense answer to the
evolution of both the threat and the U.S. understanding of it. Iran has
not shown that it is close to being able to lob a long-range missile,
perhaps with a nuclear
at U.S. allies in Europe. The Bush administration had calculated that
Iran might be able to do that as soon as 2012, but the new assessment
pushes the date back to 2018 or later.
has improved its ability to launch shorter-range missiles, however, and
despite the crude nature of some of those weapons the Pentagon now considers
them a greater short-term threat.
The United States will join international talks with Iran next
major shift that makes good on Obama's campaign pledge to engage the
main U.S. adversary in the Middle East.
The new government in Washington had never sounded enthusiastic
the Bush administration's European missile defense arrangement, in part
because Russia's adamant opposition was getting in the way of repairing
damaged ties with Moscow
and partly because some in the new administration felt Russia had a
point. Moscow said the system could undermine its own deterrent
Almost as Obama spoke at the White House, the Russian
ambassador was summoned there to get the news from national security
adviser James Jones.
It is unclear whether any part of the future system would be in Poland or the Czech Republic.
Gates said it might, and he also said he hopes Poland will still
approve a broad military cooperation agreement with the United States.
In an interview, the Pentagon's point-man on missile defense,
Marine Gen. James
Cartwright, stressed that development of the old ground-based
interceptor system would not stop.
The United States still assumes Iran is driving toward a long-range,
ballistic missile, and the system once planned for Poland would
provide additional defense against that eventual threat, Cartwright
Associated Press writers Jennifer Loven, Pauline Jelinek and
Desmond Butler in Washington and Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed to
AP NewsBreak: Nuke agency says Iran can make bomb
VIENNA – Iran experts at the U.N nuclear monitoring agency believe
Tehran has the ability to make a nuclear bomb
and worked on developing a missile system that can carry an atomic
warhead, according to a confidential report seen by The Associated
The document drafted by senior officials at the International Atomic Energy
Agency is the clearest indication yet that those officials share
Washington's views on Iran's
those views public.
document, titled "Possible Military Dimension of Iran's Nuclear
Program," appeared to be the so-called IAEA "secret annex" on Iran's
alleged nuclear arms program that the U.S., France, Israel and other IAEA
members say is being withheld by agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei — claims the nuclear
It is a record of IAEA findings since the agency began probing
Iran's nuclear program in 2007 and has been continuously updated.
information in the document that is either new, more detailed or
represents a more forthright conclusion than found in published IAEA
• The IAEA's assessment that Iran worked on developing a chamber
inside a ballistic
missile capable of housing a warhead payload "that is quite
likely to be nuclear."
• That Iran engaged in "probable testing" of explosives commonly
used to detonate a nuclear
warhead — a method known as a "full-scale hemispherical
explosively driven shock system."
An assessment that Iran worked on developing a system "for initiating a
hemispherical high explosive charge" of the kind used to help spark a nuclear blast.
another key finding, an excerpt notes: "The agency ... assesses that
Iran has sufficient information to be able to design and produce a
workable implosion nuclear device (an atomic bomb) based on HEU (highly enriched
uranium) as the fission fuel."
said in 2007 there was no "concrete evidence" that Iran was engaged in
atomic weapons work — a source of friction with the United States,
which has sought a hard-line stance on Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
to the AP report, the agency did not deny the existence of a
confidential record of its knowledge and assessment of Iran's alleged
attempts to make nuclear weapons. But an agency statement said the IAEA
"has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapon program
cited ElBaradei as telling the agency's 35-nation governing board last
week that "continuing allegations that the IAEA was withholding
information on Iran are politically motivated and totally baseless."
from a variety of sources ... is critically assessed by a team of
experts working collectively in accordance with the agency's
practices," it said.
reiterates that all relevant information and assessments that have gone
through the above process have already been provided to the IAEA Board of Governors
in reports of the director general."
The document traces Iran's nuclear arms ambitions as far back as
1984, when current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was president and
Iran was at war with Iraq.
At a top-level meeting at that time, according to the document,
Khamenei endorsed a nuclear
program, saying "a nuclear arsenal would serve Iran as a
deterrent in the hands of God's soldiers."
and other top Iranian leaders insist their country is opposed to
nuclear weapons, describing them as contrary to Islam. They argue that
Iran's uranium enrichment program and other activities are strictly for
Senior U.S. government officials have for years held the view that
Iran has the expertise to make a bomb.
The Obama administration said Thursday it was scrapping a Bush-era
plan for a missile
defense shield in Eastern Europe. Defense Secretary Robert Gates
said the decision came after U.S. intelligence concluded that Iran's
short- and medium-range missiles were developing more rapidly than
previously projected and now pose a greater near-term threat than the intercontinental ballistic
missiles addressed by the plan under former President George W.
The AP saw two versions of the U.N. document — one running 67 pages
that was described as being between six months and a year old, and the
most recent one with more than 80 pages and growing because of constant
updates. Both were tagged "confidential."
A senior international official identified the document as one
described by the U.S. and other IAEA member nations as a "secret annex"
on Iran's nuclear program. The IAEA has called reports of a "secret
The document is based on intelligence provided by member
states, the agency's own investigations and input from outside nuclear
arms experts under contract with the IAEA.
Iran is under three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions
for refusing to freeze enrichment, the key to making both nuclear fuel
and weapons-grade uranium. It is blocking IAEA attempts to probe
allegations based on U.S., Israeli and other intelligence that it
worked on a nuclear
Iran recently agreed to meet Oct. 1 with the U.S. and five other
powers seeking curbs on its atomic activities for the first time in
more than a year. But Tehran says it is not prepared to discuss its
Presented with excerpts from the earlier paper, the senior
international official said some of the wording and conclusions were
outdated because they had been updated as recently as several weeks ago
by IAEA experts probing Iran for signs it was — or is — hiding work on
developing nuclear arms.
At the same time, he confirmed the accuracy of the excerpts,
including Khamenei's comments, as well as the IAEA assessment that Iran
already had the expertise to make a nuclear bomb and was well-positioned to
develop ways of equipping missiles with atomic warheads.
An official from one of the 150 IAEA member nations who showed the
the older version of the document said much of the information in it
has either never been published or, if so, in less direct language
within ElBaradei's periodic Iran reports first circulated to the
agency's board and released to the public. That was confirmed by the
senior international official.
The officials providing the information both insisted on
anonymity because of the confidentiality of the document, which they
said was meant to be seen only by ElBaradei and his top lieutenants.
In the case of Khamenei, there is only an oblique reference in
the annex to ElBaradei's Iran report of May 26, 2008, saying the agency
had asked Tehran for "information about a high level meeting in 1984 on
reviving Iran's pre-revolution nuclear program."
The international official said the Iranians denied that Khamenei
backed the concept of nuclear weapons for his country.
The agency said earlier this year that Iran had produced more
than 1,000 kilograms — 2,200 pounds — of low-enriched, or fuel-grade,
uranium. That is more than enough to produce sufficient highly enriched
uranium for one weapon, should Iran choose to do so, and its enrichment
capacities have expanded since then.
The document concludes that while Iran is not yet able to equip its
Shahab-3 medium-range missile with nuclear warheads,
"it is likely that Iran will overcome problems," noting that "from the
evidence presented to the agency, it is possible to suggest that ...
Iran has conducted R&D (research and development) into producing a
The Shahab-3 missile has a range of up to 1,250 miles (2,000
kilometers), putting Israel
within striking distance, and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
The document also says Iran already could trigger a nuclear blast through
"methods of unconventional delivery" such as in a container on a cargo
ship or carried on the trailer of a truck.
ElBaradei last month urged Iran to cooperate with IAEA efforts to
probe allegations of a weapons program.
That Aug. 28 report noted that the information on Tehran's
alleged weapons program shared by board members "need to be addressed
by Iran with a view to removing the doubts ... about the exclusively
peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."
But in an indication that ElBaradei also is concerned, he
departed from the cautious language characterizing his Iran reports
He told a closed meeting of the IAEA board that if the
intelligence on Iran's alleged weapons program experiments is genuine,
"there is a high probability that nuclear weaponization activities have
taken place — but I should underline 'if' three times."
The U.S., Israel, France and other nations critical of Iran's
nuclear activities have for months said that ElBaradei was withholding
a "secret annex" on Iran in the IAEA's electronic archives that they
say goes far beyond the information and conclusions published by
ElBaradei in his regular reports on Iran.
Minister Bernard Kouchner
urged ElBaradei earlier this month to publish his confidential
information, saying it contained "elements which enable us to ask about
the reality of an atomic
bomb." Israel's Haaretz daily cited unidentified government
officials as demanding the same.
Asked about the discrepancy between the agency denial that it was
withholding information and the existence of the document, the senior
international official said the report was at this point an "internal
and constantly changing" record of what the IAEA knows and concludes
about Iran. As such, he said, circulating it, even only to IAEA board
members, would be counterproductive.
Only after the agency has concluded its investigation and drawn
final conclusions would it share the information with the board, he
said, adding that he could not say when that would be.
SEPTEMBER 24th 2009
council endorses nuclear curbs
The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution
for nuclear disarmament, in a session chaired by US President Barack
The resolution calls
for further efforts to stop the spread of nuclear arms, to boost
disarmament and to lower the risk of "nuclear terrorism".
It was the first time a US president had chaired a Security Council
The resolution comes amid growing concerns among Western powers
over Iran's nuclear ambitions.
"The historic resolution we just adopted enshrines our shared
commitment to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons," Mr Obama
told the Security Council after the resolution was adopted.
He said the next year would be "absolutely critical in
determining whether this resolution and our overall efforts to stop the
spread and use of nuclear weapons are successful".
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the resolution "a fresh
start toward a new future".
The resolution does not specifically mention countries by name, such
North Korea and Iran, but reaffirms previous Security Council
resolutions relating to their nuclear plans.
Jonathan Marcus, BBC News, New York
The unanimous backing for the US-drafted resolution is a measure of
the growing sense of urgency.
There is a growing fear amongst disarmament experts both inside and
outside government that the whole machinery intended to prevent the
spread of nuclear weapons - whose cornerstone is the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT - is looking increasingly fragile.
The NPT agreement is up for revision in May and the new
consensus at the UN Security Council sends a powerful signal that this
key agreement must be bolstered.
Iran's nuclear programme has been criticised by the US and five
nations who are set to hold talks next week.
Iran says its nuclear ambitions are for peaceful energy purposes,
but others fear it is developing weapons.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reflected those fears in
speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, saying that stopping
Iran acquiring nuclear weapons was the world's most urgent task.
After the resolution was passed, Iran rejected
allegations about its nuclear programme as "totally untrue" and
reiterated its "readiness to engage in serious and constructive
negotiations with interested parties".
The resolution commits member nations to work toward a
world without nuclear weapons, and endorses a broad framework of
actions to reduce global nuclear risks.
It also urges states to:
- join and comply with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
- refrain from testing nuclear weapons and ratify the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
- ensure safeguards of nuclear material and prevent trafficking
Mr Obama stressed that the US would play its part, seeking a new
strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia and moving ahead with
ratification of the test ban treaty.
"Although we averted a nuclear nightmare during the
Cold War, we now face proliferation of a scope and complexity that
demands new strategies and new approaches," Mr Obama said.
"Just one nuclear weapon exploded in a city, be it New
York or Moscow, Tokyo or Beijing, London or Paris, could kill hundreds
of thousands of people."
Also on Thursday, a UN ministerial conference adopted a declaration
urging compliance with the CTBT, which has been signed or ratified by
100 countries since 1996.
UN ON THURSDAY Nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presence at the meeting marked
the first US participation at the biannual conference since 1999, when
the US Senate refused to ratify the treaty.
On Wednesday, the first day of the UN General Assembly,
Iran's plans came under fire from several world leaders, including
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Russia signalled that it might be prepared to soften
its opposition to sanctions against Iran over its nuclear plans, though
China, another Security Council member, said increasing pressure on
Iran would not be effective.
But in a statement circulated outside the Security
Council on Thursday, Iran said France and the UK had not complied with
their own nuclear disarmament obligations, and were therefore not in a
position to judge others.
It accused Mr Sarkozy of making "preposterous" claims,
and said the UK "deliberately and cynically [had] ignored its legal
commitments" to the NPT.
"Our commitment to non-proliferation remains intact," the statement
SEPTEMBER 25th 2009
Iran's persistent lying is the problem, not that it poses a real risk
at this time. It's behaviour undermines the nuclear non-proliferation
treaty, a treaty which is vital to prove solid so that the established
nuclear powers can agree to reduce their arsenals to a minimum and
eventually put them under international control, to be used only in an
emergency against a rogue movement or an asteroid collision risk.
'concealed nuclear facility'
Iran concealed a partially-built second uranium enrichment
defiance of calls for transparency over its nuclear plans, US President
Barack Obama says.
The US, UK and France
said the UN had to be given immediate access and urged tough new
sanctions, while Russia also said it was "seriously concerned".
But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied that the facility
was in breach of IAEA rules.
The Western leaders would regret their statements, he added.
Iran told the UN about the plant on Monday, saying it was not
operational yet and would provide nuclear energy.
Tehran has previously acknowledged it has one enrichment plant, at
“ Iran must abandon any military ambitions for
its nuclear programme ”
Gordon Brown UK Prime Minister
Iran's decision to build a secret facility represented a "direct
challenge to the basic compact" of the global non-proliferation regime,
US President Barack Obama said, making a statement in Pittsburgh, where
he is hosting a G20 summit.
Despite Iran's assertions that the facility was for
peaceful purposes, the new plant was "not consistent" with that goal,
the US president said.
'Line in the sand'
Speaking alongside UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French
Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Obama said it was time for Iran to begin meeting
its international commitments.
BBC World Affairs correspondent Paul Reynolds
Iranian ambitions for this site are not known. It could be that they
wanted a back-up in case their main plant at Natanz was attacked. But
another fear is that they intended to enrich uranium more highly at the
secret plant, to a level suitable for a nuclear explosion.
The discovery will strengthen the demands by the US and
its allies for further sanctions to be imposed on Iran unless it
suspends all enrichment, as required by the Security Council.
"Iran must comply with UN Security Council resolutions and make
it is prepared to meet its responsibilities as a member of the
community of nations," Mr Obama said.
Tehran would be held accountable for any failure to meet these
responsibilities, he said.
Speaking after Mr Obama, the French and British leaders used strong
language to insist that Iran would now have to disclose full details of
its entire nuclear programme or face new and tougher sanctions.
Gordon Brown stressed that the US, France and UK were
"at one" on the issue, and accused the Iranians of "serial deception".
There was now "no choice but to draw a line in the sand" over the
nuclear issue, he said.
"Iran must abandon any military ambitions for its nuclear
Mr Sarkozy said the situation was a challenge to the entire
"Everything must be put on the table," the French president said,
adding that the world needed to see a "step change" from Iran in the
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, informed of the
plant's existence by Mr Obama this week, said the second plant was
against the requirements of UN Security Council resolutions.
Iran must co-operate fully with the UN watchdog, the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr Medvedev said.
China also said Iran should work with the UN watchdog, a foreign
ministry spokesman said in Pittsburgh.
Speaking in New York, where he has been attending the UN General
Assembly, Iran's President Ahmadinejad struck a defiant tone after the
"It's not a secret site. If it was, why would we have informed the
IAEA about it a year ahead of time?" he said.
He insisted Iran was acting within the boundaries of IAEA rules,
it does not need to inform the agency of any new site until 180 days
before any nuclear material is placed within it.
The existence of Iran's first enrichment plant, at
Natanz, was only confirmed after intelligence emerged from Iranian
exile groups several years ago.
Western governments are said to have known of the
existence of the new enrichment plant for some time. Mr Obama was first
told about it during the "transition" period before he took office in
January, officials say.
In Washington, US officials said the Western nations
decided to reveal their intelligence assessments when the Iranians
realised the plant's secrecy was compromised.
IRAN'S NUCLEAR SITES Iran insists that all its nuclear facilities are for
energy, not military purposes
Bushehr: Nuclear power plant
Isfahan: Uranium conversion plant
Natanz: Uranium enrichment plant, 4,592 working
centrifuges, with 3,716 more installed
Second enrichment plant: Existence revealed to IAEA in
Separate reports say it is near Qom, and not yet operational
Arak: Heavy water plant
The new facility is said to be underground at a mountain on the site
a former missile site belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards,
north-east of the holy city of Qom.
Construction on the facility - believed by the US to be
large enough to contain 3,000 centrifuges, not large enough for
commercial work - started in earnest in mid-2006, diplomatic sources
Iran's letter to the UN watchdog, the IAEA, on Monday
informed it that "a new pilot fuel enrichment plant is under
Iran told the agency that no nuclear material had been
introduced into the plant, and enrichment levels would only be high
enough to make nuclear fuel, not a bomb.
In response, the IAEA has requested Iran to "provide
specific information and access to the facility as soon as possible",
an IAEA statement adds.
The disclosure of the new plant comes one day after
world leaders stressed the need for greater co-operation against
nuclear proliferation and shortly before Iran is due to resume talks
with international powers on the issue.
Since taking office in January, Mr Obama has told
Tehran than he is ready for direct talks on the nuclear issue, but has
had no firm response from Iran.
Earlier this month, Tehran agreed to "comprehensive"
talks on a range of security issues - but made no mention of its own
The talks are due to be held in Geneva on 1 October
with Tehran and the five permanent UN Security Council members - US,
UK, Russia, China and France - plus Germany.
MARCH 26th 2010
WASHINGTON – The U.S. and Russia sealed the first major nuclear
weapons treaty in nearly two
decades Friday, agreeing to slash the former Cold
rivals' warhead arsenals by
nearly one-third and talking hopefully of eventually ridding a fearful
world of nuclear arms altogether.
This necessary step should be the start of
a process to reduce the nuclear weapons of the major powers to a bare
minimum, prior to their transfer to an international organisation
staffed by those powers.
MARCH 28th 2010
following report did not appear on the BBC \web site or on many of the
web pages from the usual press agencies and news services.
Why? Is their some minor political news censorship going on? I find
this statement by the NATO Secretary General worth publicising. Any
such system must be located in a country where it is accepted by the
majority of the people, and by NATO and Russia. It will be, as I have
made clear over the years, necessary.
Anti-missile defence needed to handle future
threats, NATO chief says
By News Wires the 13/03/2010 - 07:21
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
said Friday that the alliance needs an anti-missile defence system to
deter nuclear and long-range missile threats, including from non-state
actors, but assured Moscow that NATO posed no threat to Russia.
AFP - NATO needs to develop an anti-missile defence
system as a deterrence, the alliance chief said Friday, while seeking
to assure Moscow that the organisation posed no threat to Russia.
"We must develop an effective missile defence," NATO Secretary General
Anders Fogh Rasmussen told an international conference in the Polish
"In the coming years we will probably face many more countries and
possibly even some non-state actors armed with long-range missiles and
nuclear capabilities," he said.
Rasmussen also insisted later during a press conference that "a nuclear
capability will remain an essential part of a credible deterrence in
"I share the great vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.
"But as long as we do have nuclear weapons on earth and as long as we
know there are countries and non-state actors that aspire to acquire
such nuclear capacities, I think we should have a nuclear capacity as
part of our deterrent policy."
Rasmussen told the conference that a system for protection against
missiles should be part of NATO's policy of deterring threats.
"Deterrence works against rational actors but not all actors that we
will have to deal with in the future will be rational.
"That's why deterrence and defence need to go together and why we have
the obligation to look into the missile defence options," he said.
Anti-missile defence systems already in place within the NATO alliance
fall under a US shield that has missile interceptors in the United
States, Greenland and Britain.
Plans for it to be extended into eastern Europe have raised serious
concern in Russia.
Turning to Russia, Rasmussen said Moscow's policy towards Georgia are
fuelling "profound concerns" in NATO countries.
Russia and Georgia fought a brief war in August 2008 over the breakaway
Georgian region of South Ossetia, which Russia later recognised as an
independent state along with another rebel region, Abkhazia.
Rasmussen also said "Russia sent a wrong kind of signal by conducting
military exercises that rehearse the invasion of a smaller NATO
member," referring to Russian and Belarus war games in September on
in February, the Kremlin published a strategy paper listing first among
"chief outside military threats" the fact that NATO is attempting to
"globalise its functions in contravention of international law."
"Russia's new military doctrine does not reflect the real world. It
contains a very outdated notion about NATO and the role of NATO,"
"Let me stress NATO is not a threat to Russia and NATO will never
invade Russia nor do we consider Russia a threat to NATO."
He stressed that "a much improved relationship between NATO and Russia
would be the best reassurance of all our nations."
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told the press conference
that "Secretary General Rasmussen's effort to re-engage Russia are most
"Central Europe wants NATO to develop relations with Russia as a
partner pragmatically and with full respect to the legitimate security
concerns of both sides," he added.
MAY 28th 2010
The UN has made very important progress, signed up to
today by the
signatories of the non-proliferation treaty, on the
control of Nuclear Weapons. It includes the agreement, acknowledeged by
Israel and Iran and the US, to work for a nuclear free MIddle East,
with talks to move forward on that to start in 2012.
any reader to imagine how even this stage could have been reached
without the prior removal of Saddam Hussein as dictator of Iraq. OK,
time is up, just admit his removal was an essential stage in this
process, as have been many other stages in recent international
of the news I see that Israel has noted the resolution but finds it
hypocritical. Er, yes. Hypocrisy is the usual language of pots and
kettles but in this case a nuclear free Middle East would certainly be
safer for Israel and everyone else. But as we know, they will never
learn - that would be a betrayal of their....well what exactly it would
be a betrayal of I forget, I suppose their reason for living.
Row over possible Trident nuclear decision delay
It is true that part of the agreement
that made the current Tory-Liberal coalition possible was acceptance of
the current policy to upgrade Trident. Bernard Jenkin's reservations on
any delay are to be taken seriously. However, a case can be made on the
grounds of cash-flow providing the delay does not seriously increase
the overall cost or bring about the loss of trained human resources
required in the future. It can release funds for where they are needed
now in other parts of the defence budget.
I do not think a well judged delay would be
prejudicial to the Trident programme itself. No other system can
provide the credibility of a self contained submarine launched
ballistic or cruise deterrent. Any surface seaborne delivery system
could only be economically competitive if it was part of a surface
capability that was multi-tasking and subject to tracking and diversion
tactics and therefore useless as well as expensive. The arguments for
an air-launched deterrent have long since been exhausted. It is
extremely unlikely that any submarise alternative would be less costly
by the time it was established and Trident decommissioned. The case for
Trident or nothing is overwhelming. The case for nothing has been dealt
with already in this file.
NOVEMBER 19th 2010
Make up your minds for goodness sake. The civilized world needs to
develop an anti-ballistic missile system. It must be built by
agreement. Russia included.
A missile defence system covering all Nato countries has been agreed at
the alliance's summit in Lisbon, US President Barack Obama has said.
The shield would cover all Nato members in Europe and North America.
Nato is also backing the swift ratification of the Start treaty
between the US and Russia, cutting nuclear weapon stockpiles.
DECEMBER 21st 2010
The US Senate votes to end debate on the New Start nuclear treaty
between the US and Russia, and appears set to ratify the pact on
It is a
good thing the childish behaviour of the US Republicans has encouraged
enough of their number to help Obama get this treaty signed.
But it seems there is a long ways to go and it is going to get harder.
Tactical nukes are going to be harder still to reach agreement on. The
strategic overkill at the moment is so absurd the US and Russia could
get by with a 10th of what they have and still make deterrence real.
The 10% left would in fact be far more of a deterrent given that it
could be properly managed, secure and ready.
I just hope these letters to the New York Times are representative of
mainstream American public opinion:
good reporting here:
JANUARY 1st 2011
More from tjhe NY Times on 'The Next Treaties'
. . . .
One of their most urgent tasks is slashing — or better, doing away with
— their tactical nuclear weapons. These smaller arms, with a 300- to
400-mile range, have no military utility or deterrent value. They also
have never been the subject of a treaty, or of any verification. That
is what makes them so particularly frightening.
The United States has about 500 tactical nukes, including 180 in
Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. These weapons are
considered secure. But Russia’s arsenal is much larger — between 3,000
and 5,000 — and, likely, vulnerable to covert sale or theft.....
and note the word 'considered'. While we should not negotiate out of
fear, we can all benefit from increased, not diminished security by
getting on right away with a steady reduction. It is inconceivable that
party politics will not be abandoned on this matter as there is nothing
to be gained there. After all, even these voters
don't seem too exercised over the likelihood of a Russian invasion of
either Europe or elsewhere.
U.S. and Romania Move on Missile Plan
Published: May 3, 2011
WASHINGTON — The United States and Romania
announced an agreement on Tuesday on the location for basing American
antimissile interceptors in Romania as part of a program designed to
link Washington and its NATO
allies against an Iranian threat. The agreement immediately drew
complaints from Russian officials.
can't seem to get it together with Moscow.
I suppose the employment that results down the line is what makes Obama
hesitate. If only these human resources could be redeployed to
strategic defense against the real enemies: pollution, waste and
depletion of finite resources, land and water....
Editorial from the Ny Times
The Bloated Nuclear Weapons Budget
Published: October 29, 2011
But James Baker, who served the world so well when in office, has other