WAR AND WEAPONS

OVERVIEW ARTICLE

Author: Metta Spencer

Even before our primate ancestors began to walk upright, there were wars—times when whole human communities or groups within a community tried to kill each other. Scholars have reached this conclusion partly on the basis of Jane Goodall’s discovery that our closest primate relative, the chimpanzee, engages in war,(1) and partly on the basis of archaeological evidence. One site of skeletons was found in Kenya dating back 9,500 to 10,500 years showing that a group of 27 people had been massacred together.(2) Indeed, there is strong evidence that levels of violence were higher in prehistoric times than today.(3) One example is a cemetery about 14,000 years old where about 45 percent of the skeletons showed signs of violent death.(4) An estimated 15 percent of deaths in primitive societies were caused by warfare.

But life did not consistently become friendlier as our species spread and developed. By one estimate, there were 14,500 wars between 3500 BC and the late twentieth century. These took around 3.5 billion lives.(5)

Can we conclude, then, that war is simply an intrinsic part of “human nature,” so that one cannot reasonably hope to overcome it? No, for there is more variation in the frequency and extent of warfare than can be attributed to genetic differences. In some societies, war is completely absent. Douglas Fry, checking the ethnographic records, identified 74 societies that have clearly been non-warring; some even lacked a word for “war.” The Semai of Malaysia and the Mardu of Australia are examples.(6)

We may gain insights about solutions to warfare by exploring the variations in its distribution, type, and intensity. We begin with the best news: We are probably living in the most peaceful period in human history!

Infographic-Healthcare-Not-Warfare-GDAMS-3.jpg

Infographic, Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS)

Historical Changes in Rates of War

Steven Pinker is the scholar who most convincingly argues that violence has declined, both recently and over the millennia. Pinker’s book Enlightenment Now, contains a graph showing the numbers of battle deaths by year from 1945 to 2015. A huge spike represents World War II, of course, for that was most lethal war in human history, causing at least 55 million deaths. How can we reconcile that ghastly number with any claim that the modern era is a peaceful epoch?

Pinker’s proof is based on distinguishing sharply between absolute numbers and rates. To be sure, 55 million is a huge number, but the Mongol Conquests killed 40 million people back in the thirteenth century, out of a world population only about one-seventh the size of the world’s 1950 population. Pinker says that if World War II had matched the Mongols’ stupendous rate of killing, about 278 million people would have been killed.

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Sudan war threatens ‘world’s largest hunger crisis’: World Food Program
Warring generals leave at least 25 million people facing food insecurity, with humanitarian response at ‘breaking point’.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/6/sudan-war-could-trigger-worst-famine-in-world-wfp
6 Mar 20246 Mar 2024
 
file:////Users/mettawspencer/Library/Group%20Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/TemporaryItems/msohtmlclip/clip_image001.jpg
file:////Users/mettawspencer/Library/Group%20Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/TemporaryItems/msohtmlclip/clip_image001.jpgCivilians who fled war-torn Sudan following the outbreak of fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) camp at the UNHCR transit centre in Renk, Renk County of Upper Nile State, South Sudan, on May 1, 2023 [Jok Solomun/Reuters]
The war in Sudan threatens to trigger “the world’s largest hunger crisis”, a United Nations agency has warned.
The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Wednesday that more than 25 million people scattered across Sudan, South Sudan and Chad are “trapped in a spiral” of food insecurity. However, the brutal civil war shows no sign of easing after 10 months of fighting.
The “relentless violence” leaves aid workers unable to access 90 percent of people facing “emergency levels of hunger,” the WFP added.
Concluding a visit to South Sudan, WFP executive director Cindy McCain said: “Millions of lives and the peace and stability of an entire region are at stake.”
Two decades after the world rallied to respond to famine in Sudan’s Darfur state, the people of the country have been “forgotten”, she added.
At crowded transit camps in South Sudan, where almost 600,000 people have fled from Sudan, “families arrive hungry and are met with more hunger,” said the WFP. One in five children crossing the border is malnourished, it added.
Currently, only five percent of Sudan’s population “can afford a square meal a day”, the UN agency reported.
‘Breaking point’
Sudan’s civil war between rival government factions erupted in April 2023. Pitching army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan against his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo, who now

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commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the conflict has killed tens of thousands, destroyed infrastructure and crippled Sudan’s economy.
It has also uprooted more than eight million people. With two million forced from their homes before the fighting broke out, Sudan already hosts the world’s largest displacement crisis.
Both the RSF and army have been accused of indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, targeting civilians and obstructing and commandeering essential aid.
The WFP warned that the humanitarian response is at “breaking point” and will remain so unless the violence comes to a halt.
“Ultimately, a cessation of hostilities and lasting peace is the only way to reverse course and prevent catastrophe,” it said.
Offering some small hope, Sudan’s government said in a statement on Wednesday that it has agreed for the first time to take delivery of humanitarian aid via Chad and South Sudan.

RUSSIA’S NUCLEAR DOCTRINE HAS BEEN EXPOSED
Russia’s nuclear doctrine has been exposed
Newly revealed documents also shed light on Moscow’s relationship with Beijing
By Mark Galeotti
The Spectator February 29, 2024
Dr. Mark Galeotti is a political scientist and historian. His book Putin’s Wars: From Chechnya to Ukraine is out now.
https://thespectator.com/topic/russia-nuclear-doctrine-exposed-putin-china/

Secret documents have been leaked that reveal Russian scenarios for war games involving simulated nuclear strikes. They shed light on Moscow’s military thinking and its nuclear planning in particular, but ultimately only reinforce one key factor: if nuclear weapons are ever used, it will be a wholly political move by Putin.

The impressive twenty-nine documents scooped by the Financial Times date back to the period of 2008 (when Vladimir Putin was technically just prime minister but still effectively in charge) to 2014 (after the sudden worsening in relations with the West following Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity and the annexation of Crimea). Although this means that they are a little dated, they nonetheless chime with our understanding of Russian doctrine today. As a result, they give a useful sense not only of the circumstances in which Moscow might use nuclear weapons, but also the degree to which China — for all the mutual expressions of friendship — is still regarded as a potential threat by the Russian military.

They spell out a series of criteria for the use of tactical or non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNW), with yields of “merely” Hiroshima-level, compared with the kind of larger warheads which could level whole cities. All of them, in keeping with the state nuclear policy adopted in 2020, allow for the first use of nuclear weapons as a response to a serious and material threat to the state. Quite what this means seems to range from a significant invasion onto Russian soil to the loss of 20 percent of the country’s nuclear missile submarines. Overall, their use is envisaged in situations where losses mean that Russians forces could “stop major enemy aggression” or a “critical situation for the state security of Russia.”

Although the nuclear threshold looks a little lower than we might have previously thought, we need to be cautious about drawing too concrete a set of conclusions from the war game scenarios — not least because of how old the plans are. It is essentially a given that major Russian exercises will include a simulated nuclear strike for training ground purposes. To this end, they may be massaged to ensure such an outcome.

Yet there are two specific sets of questions that the FT‘s scoop does raise. The first relates to Ukraine. Could, for example, a major Ukrainian incursion into territories Moscow claims to have annexed trigger a nuclear response? The honest answer is that — in theory — it could, as these are now considered Russians. However, we have to be clear that any use of NSNWs would be a political one: it will be Putin, not some doctrinal flow chart, that makes the decision.

The documents are also interesting in the light they shed on Moscow’s relationship with Beijing. It should hardly be a surprise that the Russians wargame a clash with China. First of all, that’s what militaries do: prepare for even unlikely circumstances. Secondly, they’re not necessarily that unlikely, especially as nationalists in and outside the Chinese government periodically question the “unfair treaties” imposed on it in the nineteenth century, including the 1858 Treaty of Aigun and the 1860 Treaty of Peking. The latter, for example, saw some 390,000 square miles surrendered to Russia. Finally, there is a deep-seated suspicion of China within many of the security elite.

These documents post-date the 2001 Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation between China and Russia. In recent years, the Sino-Russian relationship has strengthened, but even so this is more than anything else because the enemy of my enemy is my strategic partner. It is a deeply pragmatic relationship, though. Beijing uses Moscow’s desperation for oil and gas sales to force down the price, while Russia’s security services have been stepping up their hunt for Chinese spies (and finding them). 

There remain fears that Beijing might some day seek to take the under-populated Russian Far East for their land, their resources, and their historical importance. Even before the Ukraine invasion, there was no meaningful way Russia’s thinly-stretched forces in the Far Eastern Military District could stop such an attack, and thus it is no surprise that in the exercise notes, NSNWs are to be deployed “in the event the enemy deploys second-echelon units.”

Of course, both Moscow and Beijing have disputed the authenticity of these documents. However, they are not so much proof that Russian nuclear policy is more permissive than we had assumed but a reminder of the political aspect of their use. At sea, the Russians are more quickly willing to use NSNWs, not least because of the presumed lower risk for civilian “collateral damage.” On the eastern front, they are an essential equalizer when facing a more populous and rapidly-arming frenemy. In the west, they are an information weapon, a threat to brandish in the hope of scaring electorates into demanding Kyiv be forced into an ugly and unequal peace to avert potential escalation. The real unknown is quite what Putin thinks about using them in his Ukraine war, and that is not something we can find in any doctrines or documents, alas.

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From “The Nation”
This Russian Opposition Leader Met With Putin to Discuss a Cease-Fire to Stop the Killing
An interview with Russian opposition leader Grigory Yavlinsky.
By NADEZHDA AZHGIKHINA
Nadezhda Azhgihina is a journalist and the director of PEN Moscow.
Translated by Antonina W. Bouis.
https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/this-russian-opposition-leader-met-with-putin-to-discuss-a-ceasefire-to-stop-the-killing/

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Grigory Yavlinsky is the founder of Russia’s leading and oldest democratic opposition party, Yabloko, which is the only party in Russia calling for a cease-fire. The interview was conducted by The Nation’s longtime contributor Nadia Azhgikhina at Yabloko’s Moscow offices.

Q: At the end of 2023, the Russian media talked a lot about Yavlinsky’s “peace program” and about your midnight December 19 meeting in the Kremlin with Putin to discuss it. What is the essence of this program?

Right now, we need to reach a cease-fire agreement. That means talking about the disengagement of heavy weapons and troops, setting demarcation lines, ensuring international observation and control, and so on. Until the killing of people is stopped, it is impossible to talk about any positive prospects. I believe that the most important thing today is to stop the killing of people. Isn’t that clear? Over the past year, there have been no significant changes on the battlefield. The Ukrainian counteroffensive ended in nothing. But recently I read in the Western press that the number of people killed every day has increased significantly. That is, people on both sides are dying every day. For what?

I am amazed that there is not one major, influential politician in the world today who would put people’s lives first, before geopolitical projects. They talk about anything at all but people’s lives; that doesn’t matter. Yes, politicians seem to be sorry, but at the same time they speak directly about the necessity to continue the war until some “victorious end.” The preservation of human life is not the main criterion for them.

That is why people are dying every day. And on top of that, Ukraine is losing its prospects. I am a Russian politician, and Russia started this conflict, so it is not for me to talk about Ukraine’s problems. But personally, Russia and Ukraine are very dear to me, they are like my right and left hands. What is happening is incredibly painful for me. And I will do everything to stop the deaths of both Russians and Ukrainians. Cease-fire first and foremost.

A cease-fire is not a border treaty. There has been no peace treaty between North and South Korea for 70 years. There is no treaty between Russia and Japan, and no one has been bothered by it for years. The peculiarity of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine is that the situation is such that nothing else is possible. Everything else—other negotiations, discussions, truce—will be possible much later and only on the basis of a cease-fire agreement.

Q: With US involvement?

In one form or another, US participation is important. It can’t be done without the US. It would be good if China were not left out. Putin is explicitly saying that we are not interested in territories. He is interested in dialogue with the White House about Russia’s role, NATO, arms, etc.

Q: Your opponents say: You can’t have a cease-fire because Russia will then go farther. Let Russia first withdraw from Ukrainian territories. Putin cannot be trusted.

In such a situation and with such participants, it is not a matter of faith. It is necessary to make concrete decisions and in such a way as to minimize the possibility of their violation. This is politics. For example, we should realize that Russia has nuclear weapons, and the solution of territorial problems should be achieved through long and complex negotiations, not by force. In the meantime, people are just being killed.

I would say to my opponents: If you are in favor of continuing the war, go to the line of contact yourself and send your children there. It is easy to criticize from a cozy office or a European restaurant. You have to realize that Putin doesn’t really need any respite. He is actively exporting oil despite the sanctions. He can build any kind of factory. He doesn’t even need mobilization—he will promise contract workers the kind of pay they never dreamed of, and people will go on their own. What breathing space does he need? Ukraine objectively does not have as much strategic depth as Russia. It is organized differently, and the West’s help is not unlimited, especially since the Middle East has now become a serious problem for the West, a conflict that could escalate into a very dangerous one. In this context, what is happening in Ukraine has come to be perceived as a distant “local” conflict. Few American citizens actually care where exactly the border between Russia and Ukraine will be. People simply don’t want war, even though not a single American is officially fighting in Ukraine.

Q: Why do so many people today not want to talk about peace? Are they more afraid of talking about peace than they are of war?

Talking about peace is talking about official and mutual recognition of borders. So far there is no basis to talk about it. There are no prerequisites for a full-fledged peace now. That is why I am only talking about a cease-fire, i.e., that we should stop killing people. After that, they can take even 20 years to negotiate the terms of peace. Let me remind you about Finland. When, in 1939, the Red Army captured an important piece of Finnish territory, Marshal Mannerheim sat down at the table with the prime minister and the president and convinced them to stop in order to save the country and preserve the future. As a result, the country, its army, and its leadership were preserved. It is a difficult choice. But it is there for now. A peace treaty is a distant prospect. Two things are extremely important now. The first is to stop killing people immediately. The second is to preserve prospects, the opportunity to move into the future. Can’t 80 percent of Ukraine be oriented toward joining the EU?

Things will be very difficult in the returned territories. There is a lot of destruction and land mines. What will be done with the unfortunate population? Find out who sympathized with the Russians and punish them? This has already happened in liberated settlements and cities. What to do with people? Put them in jail? Is it not clear that there will be guerrilla warfare? An endless story… And Crimea? It’s no secret that today the majority of people there really support Russia.

Q: There was at least one moment when a cease-fire seemed to be possible.

Right. In November–December 2022, after the successful Ukrainian operation near Kharkiv and Kherson. Then there was a moment when both sides could have said something provisionally satisfactory to their peoples: Moscow something about the annexed territories, and Zelensky to declare that he had preserved the country, the sovereignty of the nation-state and was joining the EU. But this important moment was missed.

Q: What did Putin say in response to your proposal?

He was silent.

Q: But he listened to it?

Yes, he did. I told him I’m personally ready to negotiate an immediate cease-fire.

Q: You’re probably the only one everyone would talk to today, including in Ukraine and in the United States.

I am ready to do everything possible to stop the killing of people.

Q: Yabloko is the only party that openly calls for peace. You refused to participate in the presidential election, for the first time.

Actually, I refused for the first time in 2004—it was obvious then what was going on. There have been seven presidential elections in Russia since 1991. I participated three times. In 2000, I came third out of 11 candidates. Now it’s kind of a referendum, a plebiscite on Putin’s support, not a competitive election, and presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov has already announced the results. Nevertheless, I still offered to informally collect signatures for my program, the peace program. We decided that if 10 million signatures were collected, that is, about 10 percent of voters who support my nomination, I would run despite all the difficulties. In two months, we collected about one and a half million signatures.

Q: Probably there were many voters afraid to leave their passport data on the signature sheets, I know such people.

That’s right, people are afraid to declare their opposition to the current government. Fear. It has enveloped the entire country in recent years. We live in a condition of fear.

Q: Why is it back? Why are the worst features of the Soviet past returning? During perestroika, there was confidence that we were free of the heavy legacy, that there was no return to it. How did this happen?

Because in the 1990s we carried out mistaken reforms, even criminal ones, and deceived people, deceived their hopes. It is well known what gross mistakes and crimes were committed. Mikhail Poltoranin, a Russian official close to Yeltsin, wrote in his memoirs how he tried to persuade Yeltsin in the fall of 1991 to appoint me as his deputy in charge of reforms. Yeltsin said: Yavlinsky will do what he thinks is necessary, but I need IMF loans, and they have a completely different reform plan. So, he appointed Gaidar [who pursued “shock therapy reform”]. And those were the wrong reforms. Of course, by and large it was not about the IMF. The problem was the lack of understanding of the essence of what had to be done, and the lack of political will of the Russian leadership in the first place.

On January 2, 1992, Russia announced “price liberalization”! This in a country without a single private enterprise at the time; there were only state monopolies. By the end of the year, hyperinflation reached 2,600 percent! That is, prices rose 26 times. Enterprises stopped, there was a gigantic decline in production, unemployment, crime. My 500 Days program provided for the use of people’s financial savings during the Soviet period for the privatization of small and medium-sized enterprises, the emergence of real private business, the creation of an inter-republic banking union, the implementation of an economic treaty between the former union republics, with which in the autumn of 1991, 13 republics out of 15 agreed in one way or another. All that was crossed out. In 1993, people protested the situation. The protest was crushed with the shooting and destruction of the Russian Federation parliament.

Q: People become disillusioned with democracy because of failed economic reforms.

Yes, you’re right. In addition, the government fraudulently transferred large state property to people close to them via the “loans for shares” program. This is how the oligarchs appeared, and corruption became the foundation of Russia’s economic system. A tiny group of oligarchs enriched themselves, merging power and property. The separation of powers, an independent court, a real parliament, an independent press, trade unions, real democracy were contraindicated and categorically unacceptable for the state corporate-criminal system.

The third circumstance is that during the 10 years of reforms after 1991, there was never an official state and legal assessment of Stalinism and the Soviet period in general. It is not surprising that the practices of that time have returned.

Under these conditions, in the 2000s the authorities imposed a formula on people, which many obeyed: “Mind your own business and do not interfere in politics. Nothing depends on you anyway. Democracy is just empty words.” High oil prices made it easier as people began to live better.

In my opinion, Russia has a lot of wonderful people, but as a result of all this there is no civil society. Today the country is experiencing the collapse of the failed post-Soviet modernization.

Q: Can there be a way out today?

We can talk about a way out when they stop killing people. Now the situation is worse than in December of last year. At that time, there were publications about the possibility of starting negotiations on a cease-fire. But Ukraine attacked a Russian warship. Russia responded with a missile attack. Then there was a strike on the Russian city of Belgorod. And so on since January first, almost every day. The situation is moving backward.

Q: What don’t Americans understand about Russia? What would be important to do to improve relations, to ease the dangerous confrontation?

We need to talk. Dialogue with Russia cannot be avoided. Sanctions have not worked because Russia is part of the world economy. The world economy cannot live without Russia. For example, all this time, gas from Russia continues to flow through Ukraine to Europe. There are many other examples. Russia is not going anywhere. This must be understood.

Second. We need to think about the future. I would not be surprised if an even more aggressive dictator emerges in the Russian political field, with a real claim to power.

And third. By the middle of the 21st century, the European Union will not be able to separate itself not only from Ukraine, but also from Russia and Belarus. It will have to look for some effective form of integration. This is an imperative, which must be met, otherwise Europe will not be able to become a serious center of economic power, competing with North America and Southeast Asia.

Q: Lately, the fear of the nuclear threat seems to have disappeared from the agenda, and war itself looks like a computer game to many. Is it the result of the war generation being gone? The generation of Khrushchev and Kennedy?

The digitalization of consciousness is hugely important. Thirty years ago, experts thought that digitalization would mean the free exchange of opinions and ideas, but that is not what has happened. Everything negative that was in people came out and became extremely loud, flooding social media. This digitally disordered and dangerous world is becoming a reality. That’s how populists and ignoramuses enter politics.

Q: But a living human voice, it seems to me, can stand up to hype and strong arm populism. I see how the voice of Yabloko is a sign of hope and a reference point for many people in Russia. Looking at you, some people are no longer afraid. What gives you hope? What do you see as the party’s main task today, and your own?

We are trying, doing everything possible and even seemingly impossible to create a civil society in Russia. We believe it is important that a real public opinion appears and that it becomes a factor influencing what is happening. We persistently talk to people and continue to insist that the most important thing today is to stop killing people. We believe that politics has only one main and indisputable goal—it must serve people, individuals, their interests.

I love my country, my people. What is happening today in Russia and Ukraine is a terrible tragedy for me. I want the killing to stop, and I want Ukraine and Russia to be preserved as modern states, to have a future.

Q: What gives you strength?

The memory of my comrades who gave their lives so that the country would be free.

Also, I am sure that at some point a window of opportunity will open. I vividly remember the feelings of a dead end in the early 1980s. What was there to hope for? But suddenly Gorbachev came and the modernization of the country began. The window of opportunity will definitely open. But you have to be ready for it.

The article linked by Michaela (autonomous weapons and the new laws of war) is certainly an interesting topic which can be expanded to encompass AI more broadly and how it may influence the waging of war, the making/keeping of peace, the environment, and global systems.

Re: A Peace of Jerusalem
For anyone who wishes to participate in the crowdsourcing project, you can send us your ideas by way of Twitter/X, email, or via the form located at the end of the text. You may be as anonymous as you like. First, simply review the current iteration of the document, then send in any comments, questions, or suggestions. Contact info below.

Web: https://apoji.org/preamble/ (preamble)
Current text linked at end of preamble.
X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/PaxYerushalmi
Email: periji@apoji.org

A Peace of Jerusalem: The basic process…

APoJi_Process-11.09_09.14.png

This is the report of the CWWPP for 2022. It indicates that there can be no peace without work on the trauma of war. We welcome correspondence and discussion to cwwppsummer@gmail.com

Would you like to end war and to create a culture of peace? Join our 6 hour course Ending War 101 that looks at “Can War be Ended?, Is a “Just War” even possible?, What does Tolerating War Cost Us? and What Can We Do?” please register at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/ending-war-101-making-the-impossible-possible/ The course is on now in Sept. 2023

Great article

A Nuclear Review Conference Amidst Loud War Drums
By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) — The Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which runs from August 1-26, takes place amidst a raging battle: a nuclear Russia vs a non-nuclear Ukraine and potential military conflicts on the horizon, including a nuclear China vs a non-nuclear Taiwan, a nuclear North Korea vs a non-nuclear South Korea and a nuclear Israel vs a non-nuclear Iran.
And in equally serious development, US non-proliferation experts have written to US President Joe Biden, echoing concerns expressed by both China and Indonesia, about a proposed plan by US and UK, two major nuclear powers, to sell Australia atomic submarines under the 2021 AUKUS partnership.
Tariq Rauf, former Alternate Head of NPT Delegation, and Head of Verification and Security Policy at the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told IDN the Tenth NPT Review Conference is “taking place in the worst international situation in the 54-year history of the NPT”, as he recounted the following:

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UN GA.png
Last edited 1 year ago by Project Save The World

With regard to our discussion of this evening, 31 July 2022 on the Global Town Hall, I have a comment that I didn’t have a chance to make.

We will not be able to heal the wounds of war or to prevent future conflicts without dealing with the psychological traumas. We must work seriously with the generation that experienced the conflict. We also must work with future generations. Wars and conflicts repeat. There is vast evidence of trans-generational transmission of the traumas.There are very large numbers of examples of this.

Unfortunately, there is insufficient capacity to deal with these traumas.

The organization with which I work, the Coalition for Work with Psychotrauma and Peace, www,cwwpp.org, cwwppsummer@gmail.com, gives training and supervision online and without charge to anyone, regardless of previous training. We also are open to cooperation with other non-profit organizations.

I propose something different: the Universal Abolition of Militarism. That is, give politicians a chance to speak the truth. The War industry forces them to lie to us, for they sre not magicians. Politicians cannot ensure their country exports the tanks, machine guns, air-fighters, bombs, rockets, and other killing toys they produce and promote Peace at the same time.

If there are no wars, countries stop buying, causing the unemployment of millions of workers in the War industry. Also the redundancy of millions who make a living a legal murderers, employed by the Armed Forces. By the way, these are the most traumatized of all people involved in war. This is a natural phenomenon, for employees of the Armed Forces are ordered to kill people they don’t know, never met before. People who’ve done nothing wrong to them. They simply have to kill to prevent whoever politicians decided to call the “enemy”, kills them.

In the process they kill old people, women and children. We have to stop this madness. A pilot flying at great altitudes and speeds while dropping bombs, destroying life, families, societies, buildings, the environment, the economy, what is he ‘defending’? throwing bombs, rockets, grenades, planting landmines, launching torpedoes from 300 miles away, can that be called “Defense” as politicians call the military ‘BUSINESS’? politicians and diplomats (specially sent to foreign countries to help promote military exports in a very competitive industry) make money for themselves, whilst causinf inflation, poverty and hunger. United Nations countries have produced, in their 75 years existence, nearly 100 million homeless (refugees).

If we don’t rid the world of this poison called Militarism, there will be no future generations. Only a well trained Police, fire-fighters, ambulance services are necessary, for social violence, accidents and natural disasters.

Wars also prove there is no Democracy, for voters never ask their government to give them a war, but politicians, though their representatives at Embassies, UN, IMF, EU, NATO, CIA and similar agencies, manage to concoct organize and negotiate all wars in the world.

We must end this absurdity and immorality.

Talk to the Russians in the Arctic?
Maybe the best way to begin taking care of the well-being of the Arctic people is by talking to them, person-to-person. Most younger people in Russia now speak English. There are huge numbers of the living in the Arctic — at least in comparison to the numbers in other Arctic countries. They have cities with universities. I bet they even have Zoom there. (I don’t actually know, but I bet they do.) Why not get the names of some scholars in a city like Norilsk and send them a note to get acquainted? Here is a picture of a street in Norilsk.

Norilsk.png

Pugwash Note on Present Dangers

The present global situation is very dangerous. Not since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis have we had such a dangerous environment. But while the Cuban missile crisis lasted 13 days, the present situation has continued for over 100 days since February 2022.
Of course, the main problem now is the war in Ukraine. There are many underlying motivations for this war. The history of relations between what is now Ukraine and Russia is several centuries old and very complex. More recently, antagonism between the Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking populations has been revived, together with the separatist movement in the eastern part of Ukraine (the Donbas) where, according to the UN, between 2014 and the end of 2021 more than 14,000 people have been killed. The annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 also raised concerns in Ukraine.
The eastward expansion of NATO that reached many of the countries bordering Russia—despite informal assurances given at the end of the Cold War between Russia and the US—is also an important factor of concern for Russia. Russia is obviously worried not only by the loss of its “external zone of influence,” but also about its own territorial integrity. On the other hand, the 2014 election in Ukraine changed the leadership and strengthened the pro-Europe sentiment (evidenced by the Euromaidan demonstrations). Between 2014 and the beginning of 2022, the tensions inside Ukraine grew considerably, as did the number of people killed, especially in the Donbas area.
On 24 February 2022, Russia decided to invade Ukraine. The goals cited for this invasion have shifted over time, from forcing a new leadership in Ukraine to the occupation of the Donbas and part of the Ukrainian Black Sea shore. Understanding the Russian motivations is possible, but this is of course very different from justifying in any sense this attack. By signing the Charter of the United Nations, all states committed to refrain from the threat or use of force against the political independence and territorial integrity of any other state.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has certainly been catastrophic for the Ukrainian population. It is hard to assess the number of civilians and soldiers from both sides who have been killed in Ukraine since 24 February 2022; estimates are 10,000 civilian casualties and 100,000 soldiers. Beyond the tragedy for the Ukrainian people, concerns have been raised about the increasingly tense relations between Russia and most NATO countries.

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Last edited 1 year ago by Adele Buckley

We need to find a way to demilitarize, both to prevent an accidental or intentional nuclear exchange, and to release resources to resolve global warming. But how? Civilian defence can be part of the answer for many countries. It would not only reduce military budgets gradually, but, by lowering tensions, make nuclear disarmament more tenable. Also, nonviolent defence, when it is intended as more than a minor supplement to military defence, is a radical democratic project. That is an important consideration, in light of authoritarian tendencies worldwide.
To follow up: https://sandbroo.faculty.politics.utoronto.ca/The-Viability-of-Nonviolent-Defence-Today/

The continuing unprovoked mass-slaughter of innocent Ukrainian civilians by Russia is inexcusable. Having said that, Russian president Vladimir Putin’s apparent fear of NATO expansion, though especially the deployment of additional U.S. anti-nuclear-missile defense-system batteries, further into eastern Europe is typically perceived by the West as unmerited paranoia.  
 
Surely he must realize that the West, including NATO, would never initiate a nuclear-weapons exchange. But, then, how can he — or we, for that matter — know for sure, particularly with America’s military past? 
 
While Ronald Reagan postulated that “Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong,” who can know what may have historically come to fruition had the U.S. remained the sole possessor of atomic weaponry. There’s a presumptive, and perhaps even arrogant, concept of American leadership as somehow, unless directly militarily provoked, being morally/ethically above using nuclear weapons internationally. Cannot absolute power corrupt absolutely? 
 
After President Harry S. Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur as commander of the forces warring with North Korea — for the latter’s remarks about using many atomic bombs to promptly end the war — Americans’ approval-rating of the president dropped to 23 percent. It was still a record-breaking low, even lower than the worst approval-rating points of the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.     
 
Had it not been for the formidable international pressure on Truman (and perhaps his personal morality) to relieve MacArthur as commander, could/would Truman eventually have succumbed to domestic political pressure to allow MacArthur’s command to continue?

Opinion: Give Russia’s U.N. Security Council seat to Ukraine

Marc Thiessen | The Washington Post | 7 April 2022

In a fiery speech Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called out the U.N. Security Council for its utter fecklessness in responding to Russia’s horrific war crimes in his country. The United Nations is incapable of holding Russia to account, Zelensky said, because Moscow “turns the right of veto in the U.N. Security Council into a right to kill.” Member states should “remove Russia” from the Security Council, he said, or “dissolve yourself altogether.”

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Zelensky is absolutely right. But we should take his bold proposal a step further. Not only should Russia be kicked off the Security Council, its seat should be given to Ukraine. Indeed, there is precedent for doing just that.

It is not written into the U.N. Charter that the “Russian Federation” is entitled to a permanent seat on the Security Council. The U.N. Charter states that “The Republic of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America shall be permanent members of the Security Council.” Two of those named countries no longer occupy seats on the Security Council.

On Oct. 25, 1971, the U.N. expelled the “Republic of China” (Taiwan) and admitted the “People’s Republic of China” (mainland China), which then became one of the five permanent members of the Security Council (or the P5). Despite its Security Council veto, Taiwan was powerless to stop its own expulsion by a vote of the U.N. General Assembly. A U.S.-led proposal to make China’s representation an “important question” requiring a two-thirds supermajority vote, failed by a vote of 59 to 55 (with 15 abstentions). The General Assembly then passed Resolution 2758 removing Taiwan by a simple majority vote of 76 to 35 (with 17 abstentions). In so doing, it set the precedent that a sitting member of the P5 could be removed and replaced by another entity with a plausible claim to the seat.

Just as Communist China now occupies the seat designated for the “Republic of China,” Russia now occupies the seat designated for the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” But the “Russian Federation” and the “U.S.S.R.” are not the same country. Indeed, Putin’s justification for his invasion of Ukraine is to reclaim territory lost during the Soviet Union’s dissolution.

Just as the UNGA voted to expel Taiwan and declare that henceforth the People’s Republic of China would be deemed the legitimate occupant of the “Republic of China’s” seat, it could vote to expel Russia and declare that henceforth Ukraine will be deemed the legitimate successor state to the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” — giving it the old Soviet seat. One need look no further than Putin’s own 6,885-word manifesto for war — laying out a case stretching back more than 1,000 years that Ukrainians and Russians are one people descended from “Ancient Rus” — to justify declaring Ukraine to be the legitimate successor of the U.S.S.R.

The China precedent from 1971 establishes that Russia and China would be powerless to veto such a move in the Security Council. And unlike Taiwan, which did nothing to merit its U.N. ejection, Russia has earned its removal in spades.

The U.N. Charter explicitly states that a member state can be expelled if it “has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter.” This past month, the General Assembly twice voted to overwhelmingly declare that Moscow is doing just that in Ukraine. On March 2, the General Assembly voted 141 to 5 (with 35 abstentions) to condemn the “aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine in violation of Article 2 (4) of the Charter.” And on March 24, it again condemned Russia for violating the Charter and creating a humanitarian crisis by a vote of 140 to 5 (with 35 abstentions).

In both cases, almost three-quarters of member states voted to condemn Russia. That is more than enough votes to replace Russia on the Security Council. Indeed, it would exceed the two-thirds supermajority required if the question of Russia’s replacement were deemed an “important matter.” On Thursday, the General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council. It can use the exact same procedure to replace Russia on the Security Council.

So, it can be done. Whether it will be done is a different matter — a question not of procedure, but of political will. It’s one thing to vote for a strongly-worded statement; quite another to impose actual consequences.

But the United States should force a vote and make every nation go on record — because Russia’s presence on the Security Council is a disgrace. The Putin regime is raping, murdering and massacring innocent men, women and children in Ukraine. If the United Nations can’t impose consequences on Putin and his henchmen for those crimes, then Zelensky is right — “the U.N. can simply be dissolved.”

Read More: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/07/russia-ukraine-united-nations-zelensky-right/

Hi everyone––I’ve written a short piece for Passage advocating for Canada to attend the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. I hope folks find it useful!

https://readpassage.com/why-wont-canada-attend-a-historic-meeting-on-nuclear-disarmament/

Matt Korda

A Statement for Peace 

 

All citizens around the world are urged to stand up against war and the potential conflict between the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the NATO alliance. In an age of global interdependence, when the Cold War has been relegated to a bygone era, global citizens should exercise their will, based on the foresight that conventional and nuclear weapons of one nation can no longer overtake another. Any conflict, even started by nations claiming self-defense or territorial integrity, can find that targeted bombing boomerangs back to their populations. This style of incurring damage on one country by another is outmoded because advanced technologies have changed the nature of warfare: it has become lethal to fight, and it halts the advance of all human development.

 

This threat of war comes at a time when most countries are dealing with the Covid pandemic, and when national economies are suffering economic hardship. One hundred and sixty million people worldwide have fallen into extreme poverty in the past two years. Women and children are the most affected with the closure of schools, loss of secure livelihoods, and high health costs. In this scenario a war between Russia and NATO would be tantamount to increasing this misery of so many people, and unnecessarily adding insult to injury.

 

We, members of the Jai Jagat International, call on the United Nations to exercise its authority, which has greater legitimacy than any individual state or military alliance, to stand for the defense of smaller nations against foreign aggression. If the United Nations Charter is enacted by citizens across the world, then the sovereign right of states and individuals is sacrosanct. 

 

We also call on all multilateral bodies associated with the UN and bodies like the G-20 “to let good sense prevail” at this moment of crisis. Genuine and respectful dialogue needs to be encouraged between Russia, the US, and the NATO Alliance, keeping in mind the interests of the larger world community. This dialogue needs to include diplomatic solutions and redressal of the economic challenges faced by each country in an interdependent world due to the gradual transition away from fossil fuels. To achieve peaceful coexistence, one does not impose harsh sanctions on a civilian population, pushing them to the brink of violence, or having them retaliate by cutting off the energy supply to millions of people.

 

 

We recall the statement of Mahatma Gandhi that “an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind”. Towards achieving a more nonviolent world, we reaffirm the need for all people to unite around the principles of a just and peaceful coexistence, for this is what binds the human family in a common destiny.

Op-ed: Toronto’s Waterfront Shouldn’t Serve as a Stage to Promote Warplanes

Yves Engler | NOW Toronto | 29 August 2021

https://nowtoronto.com/op-ed-torontos-waterfront-shouldnt-serve-as-a-stage-to-promote-warplanes 

With the Canadian military set to select a new fighter jet, the controversial F-35 stealth fighter will be participating in its first Canadian International Air Show next weekend.
As a father of a young child, I understand the appeal of some excitement in the sky, especially after the lockdown.
But flying warplanes over Lake Ontario is not innocent fun. 
Since the establishment of the Royal Canadian Air Force a century ago the Department of National Defence has promoted airshows. The CF-18 Demonstration Team and Snowbirds, which will also be flying over Lake Ontario, seek to “inspire” support for an air force that has bombed Iraq, Serbia, Libya and Iraq/Syria over the past three decades. Many civilians were killed directly or due to the destruction of infrastructure. 
As people seek to make sense of what’s happening in Afghanistan, it’s important to consider the death, destruction and enmity engendered by airstrikes.
The F-35 is a fighter jet that’s bombed Afghanistan. It is marketed as capable of releasing a B61 nuclear bomb. Toronto city council reaffirmed its commitment to Toronto being a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in 2018 and, according to an April poll, 80 per cent of Canadians believe “the world should work to eliminate nuclear weapons.” Rather than something to celebrate, the F-35 is a testament to humanity’s predilection for ploughing its resources and ingenuity into perfecting the art of killing. What could the US $1.7 trillion spent on the stealth fighter project accomplish if channeled towards fighting infectious diseases or transitioning away from fossil fuels?
The F-35 is participating in this year’s airshow as part of Lockheed Martin’s push to win the contract to provide the RCAF with 88 new fighter jets. Despite promising not to purchase the fighter during the 2015 election, the Liberals have included the F-35 in the three-jet competition set to be decided in the coming months. 
The No Fighter Jet coalition opposes the purchase. The Canadian Foreign Policy Institute released a public letter last month calling on Trudeau to scrap the $19 billion ($77 billion over their full lifecycle) purchase. The letter was signed by Canadian musicians Neil Young, Tegan and Sara and Sarah Harmer, as well as authors Michael Ondaatje, Gabor Maté and Yann Martel. The statement was also endorsed by environmentalists Naomi Klein and David Suzuki, as well as three sitting MPs, four former MPs and prominent international figures such as Roger Waters, Daryl Hannah and Noam Chomsky. 
Thousands of Torontonians have fled countries that have been bombed by fighter jets in recent years. The sound of low-flying warplanes can be triggering for those who have experienced such violence. There is often an influx of 911 calls whenever fighter jets fly by urban areas. 
Amidst a pandemic and intensifying climate crisis, Toronto’s waterfront shouldn’t serve as a stage to promote violent, incredibly expensive and environmentally destructive warplanes.
Yves Engler is the author of Stand On Guard For Whom? — A People’s History of the Canadian Military (Black Rose).

The US spent $2 trillion in Afghanistan – and for what?

Patrick Sabga | Al Jazeera | 16 August 2021

“Since 2001, the US has spent $2.26 trillion in Afghanistan, the Costs of War Project at Brown University calculates. The biggest chunk – nearly $1 trillion – was consumed by the Overseas Contingency Operations budget for the Department of Defense. The second biggest line item – $530bn – is the estimated interest payments on the money the US government borrowed to fund the war.
Yet for all those trillions, Afghanistan still has one of the smallest formal economies on the planet. Last year, President Ashraf Ghani said 90 percent of the population was living on less than $2 a day.
The illicit economy, meanwhile, has boomed. After US forces drove the Taliban from power in 2001, Afghanistan cemented its place as the leading global supplier of opium and heroin – a crown it is likely to keep as the Taliban emerge victorious again.
If that return weren’t poor enough for the US, the Afghan army and the government it was meant to protect have now collapsed. President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country and the Taliban are taking selfies behind his desk. This is what a $2 trillion investment has yielded for the US: a chaotic, humiliating end to a 20-year war.”

Read More Here: https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/8/16/the-us-spent-2-trillion-in-afghanistan-and-for-what?

The Canadian public shows much greater support for serious nuclear disarmament measures than does its Government. My opinion piece based on a Nanos poll demonstrates a solid majority in favour of Canada adhering to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: Government out of step with Canadians on nuclear weapons

THE UNIVERSAL ABOLITION OF MILITARISM

To me, the Universal Abolition of Militarism, that is of Armed Forces, Military Sciences and the War Industry are the very first thing we must campaign for and achieve. The trillions of dollars spent annually on the Military, would solve all other problems. Take health for instance, at the moment Governments spend 30 to 40 times on scientists and engineers working to destroy life, buildings and nature than what they spend on those working on medical research, to help us live longer and healthier lives. 80% of the destruction of the environment is caused by military tests and actual wars. Hunger, lack of hospitals, of schools, homelessness (though poverty of refugees) is the direct result of wars and of the money spent on them. Social violence exists because in order to have Armed Forces, Governments must produce lovers of weapons, of fighting, on killing. This is why the partnership between The Pentagon and the Hollywood Film Industry is so strong. Militarism kills Democracy. Nobody wants or likes wars. Nobody asks Governments to organize wars. But, against our will, Governments impose wars upon us. We should all unite in demanding the end of Militarism,universally. President HUFUD

Please

Canada, NATO, & The Nuclear Ban Treaty

Paul Meyer | CDI Institute | 19 January 2021

Does the TPNW complement existing treaties? What are its aims and what gaps could it fill?

Supporters of the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) characterized it as filling a “legal gap”. This refers to the fact that of the three categories of WMDs—chemical, biological, and nuclear, only the first two categories are subject to comprehensive prohibition treaties. Nuclear weapons are only constrained by the 1968 (Nuclear) Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT has a far lower standard of restriction on nuclear weapons. The treaty commits its state parties to work towards nuclear disarmament and oppose any proliferation, but the NPT is actually silent on the possession and use of nuclear weapons. Article VI of the NPT outlines an obligation to engage in good faith negotiations to bring the arms race to a cessation at an early date, and for nuclear disarmament. But the NPT lacks the comprehensive prohibition of the other treaties. What’s especially significant is that the TPNW also prohibits the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.”

Read More Here: https://cdainstitute.ca/paul-meyer-canada-nato-the-nuclear-treaty-ban/

Canada, NATO, & The Nuclear Ban Treaty

Paul Meyer | CDI Institute | 19 January 2021

Does the TPNW complement existing treaties? What are its aims and what gaps could it fill?

Supporters of the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) characterized it as filling a “legal gap”. This refers to the fact that of the three categories of WMDs—chemical, biological, and nuclear, only the first two categories are subject to comprehensive prohibition treaties. Nuclear weapons are only constrained by the 1968 (Nuclear) Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT has a far lower standard of restriction on nuclear weapons. The treaty commits its state parties to work towards nuclear disarmament and oppose any proliferation, but the NPT is actually silent on the possession and use of nuclear weapons. Article VI of the NPT outlines an obligation to engage in good faith negotiations to bring the arms race to a cessation at an early date, and for nuclear disarmament. But the NPT lacks the comprehensive prohibition of the other treaties. What’s especially significant is that the TPNW also prohibits the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.”

Read More Here: https://cdainstitute.ca/paul-meyer-canada-nato-the-nuclear-treaty-ban/

I don’t know either. But does it matter? I mean, we know what they are doing to the Yemen people, regardless of the national origin of their weapons, so we should not be providing them with tools that they MIGHT use to oppress people. Sell weapons only to legitimate police forces, and only certain kinds of non-military weapons at that.

I don’t know either. But does it matter? I mean, we know what they are doing to the Yemen people, regardless of the national origin of their weapons, so we should not be providing them with tools that they MIGHT use to oppress people. Sell weapons only to legitimate police forces, and only certain kinds of non-military weapons at that.

If you’re in Canada, please take action to say No to the War on Yemen,
Yemen is now the world’s worst humanitarian disaster – and 15 billion in Canadian-made weapons are going to the Saudis. Take action and call on Trudeau to stop sending munitions that fuel the war in Yemen.

  1. Sign this petition.
  2. Email your contacts this petition.
  3. Put out the post below social media.

Social Media Post to use:

Please kindly sign & widely share this Canadian Government petition. With enough signatures we can tell the Trudeau Govt to stop the sale of arms to Saudi & to bring them to The Hague for war crimes in #Yemen > https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-3075 #YemenCantWait #Yemen #StopArmingSaudi

Thank you

Excellent suggestion, Ali. Is there any proof that the Saudis are using Canadian weapons against the Yemen people? I am not saying that they AREN’T — I really just don’t know.

That’s an interesting point, but it sure seems contradictory to say that you are negotiating in good faith while actually continuing to possess nuclear weapons. In fact, I don’t think any NW state even pretends to be negotiating for nuclear disarmament.

If you’re in Canada, please take action to say No to the War on Yemen,
Yemen is now the world’s worst humanitarian disaster – and 15 billion in Canadian-made weapons are going to the Saudis. Take action and call on Trudeau to stop sending munitions that fuel the war in Yemen.

  1. Sign this petition.
  2. Email your contacts this petition.
  3. Put out the post below social media.

Social Media Post to use:

Please kindly sign & widely share this Canadian Government petition. With enough signatures we can tell the Trudeau Govt to stop the sale of arms to Saudi & to bring them to The Hague for war crimes in #Yemen > https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-3075 #YemenCantWait #Yemen #StopArmingSaudi

Thank you

Excellent suggestion, Ali. Is there any proof that the Saudis are using Canadian weapons against the Yemen people? I am not saying that they AREN’T — I really just don’t know.

That’s an interesting point, but it sure seems contradictory to say that you are negotiating in good faith while actually continuing to possess nuclear weapons. In fact, I don’t think any NW state even pretends to be negotiating for nuclear disarmament.

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, I will be joining a conversation with Metta Spencer on her To Save The World YouTube channel. We will be speaking about my work on the McIntyre Powder Project, which is a justice project that I founded to seek answers about the health effects on miners and factory workers who were historically required by their employers to inhale finely ground aluminum dust known as McIntyre Powder – a non-consensual prophylactic medical treatment against the lung disease silicosis. My father, Jim Hobbs, was one of the affected underground miners, who ended up with Parkinson’s. After years of advocacy, researchers found a link between Parkinson’s and McIntyre Powder exposure in a groundbreaking study released in 2020.

What does this have to do with PEACE? Metta’s invitation to engage in this conversation gave me pause to think about the notion of peace and how it relates to the fight that I am engaged in to seek justice and reparation for what was at its core an industrial human health experiment. Where there is wrongdoing, human rights violations, or similar offences, the pathway to peace begins with acknowledgement of the wrongdoing, the violations, the offences. It is fundamental for healing to acknowledge the wound. I very much look forward to speaking with Metta and her guest co-host Dr. Richard Denton.

For anyone seeking background on this subject, please watch The Fifth Estate’s 2016 documentary “The Miner’s Daughter”, or read the Toronto Star’s April 15, 2017 article “In human experiment, Ontario miners say they paid a devastating price” – both of which are available under the “Media Reports” tab of the McIntyre Powder Project website. Thanks!

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, I will be joining a conversation with Metta Spencer on her To Save The World YouTube channel. We will be speaking about my work on the McIntyre Powder Project, which is a justice project that I founded to seek answers about the health effects on miners and factory workers who were historically required by their employers to inhale finely ground aluminum dust known as McIntyre Powder – a non-consensual prophylactic medical treatment against the lung disease silicosis. My father, Jim Hobbs, was one of the affected underground miners, who ended up with Parkinson’s. After years of advocacy, researchers found a link between Parkinson’s and McIntyre Powder exposure in a groundbreaking study released in 2020.

What does this have to do with PEACE? Metta’s invitation to engage in this conversation gave me pause to think about the notion of peace and how it relates to the fight that I am engaged in to seek justice and reparation for what was at its core an industrial human health experiment. Where there is wrongdoing, human rights violations, or similar offences, the pathway to peace begins with acknowledgement of the wrongdoing, the violations, the offences. It is fundamental for healing to acknowledge the wound. I very much look forward to speaking with Metta and her guest co-host Dr. Richard Denton.

For anyone seeking background on this subject, please watch The Fifth Estate’s 2016 documentary “The Miner’s Daughter”, or read the Toronto Star’s April 15, 2017 article “In human experiment, Ontario miners say they paid a devastating price” – both of which are available under the “Media Reports” tab of the McIntyre Powder Project website. Thanks!

The following document was produced by a movement initiated by Sergey Rogov, former director of the USA/Canada Institute in Moscow. It has been endorsed by 146 experts; see their names at the end. We hope to produce a talk show on our Youtube channel with arms control experts in Moscow, Canada, and other NATO countries. Watch for it on our channel, https://youtube.com/c/ToSaveTheWorld .
— Metta Spencer

Recommendations of the Participants of the Expert Dialogue on NATO-Russia Military Risk Reduction in Europe

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This group of experts from Russia, the United States and Europe held 15 online-seminars on NATO–Russia Risk Reduction in summer and fall of 2020 and offer the following ideas:

To maintain strategic stability, we look forward to immediate action to extend the New START Treaty for 5 years.

At the same time, we are concerned by the deterioration of the European security situation in recent years. The nuclear and conventional arms control system that took decades to build is rapidly unraveling, with nothing to take its place. Incidents in the course of military activities which bring Russian and NATO forces into close proximity are worrisome in their own right and run the risk of escalation. While members of our group diff er over the root causes of the crisis, we are concerned that as tension builds between Russia and NATO, a real military confrontation becomes an increasing danger.

Given this situation, we call upon our countries’ leaders to demonstrate the political will necessary to take a number of urgent actions in order to reduce the risks of military conflict. These military and security actions should be pursued whether or not we make progress in reducing the serious political disputes among our countries. Indeed, these steps can contribute to an atmosphere, in which resolution of those difficult political issues becomes more achievable.

We propose a set of measures, recognizing that not all of these steps will be immediately feasible. The detailed recommendations below address the following areas:

1. Re-establishing practical dialogue between Russia and NATO, including direct contacts between the military commanders and experts of Russia and NATO member states.

2. Developing common rules that will reduce the risk of unintended incidents on land, air and sea.

3. Enhancing stability by increasing transparency, avoiding dangerous military activities, and providing dedicated communication channels that would avoid escalation of incidents that might occur.

4. Utilizing (and possibly supplementing) the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act to codify restraint, transparency and confidence-building measures.

5. Exploring possible limitations on NATO and Russian conventional force deployments in Europe to enhance transparency and stability.

6. Establishing consultations between Russia and US/NATO on the topics of intermediate-range missiles and ballistic missile defense, in order to prevent a new nuclear missile race in Europe.

7. Preserving the Open Skies Treaty.

SPECIFIC PROPOSALS

1.The need for dialogue

1.1. Political dialogue should be revitalized at the ambassadorial level in the NATO-Russia Council and include briefi ngs by military experts as appropriate.

1.2. As part of the NATO 2030 refl ection process, Russia and NATO member states should analyze relations between NATO and Russia with a view to developing the military-to-military dialogue. At a time when most NATO-Russia cooperation remains suspended, such a dialogue should not be viewed as a departure from NATO’s “no business as usual” policy, but as a step that is necessary to increase predictability and reduce the risk of military incidents at sea, in the air and on land escalating to the level of military conflict.
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The following document was produced by a movement initiated by Sergey Rogov, former director of the USA/Canada Institute in Moscow. It has been endorsed by 146 experts; see their names at the end. We hope to produce a talk show on our Youtube channel with arms control experts in Moscow, Canada, and other NATO countries. Watch for it on our channel, https://youtube.com/c/ToSaveTheWorld .
— Metta Spencer

Recommendations of the Participants of the Expert Dialogue on NATO-Russia Military Risk Reduction in Europe

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This group of experts from Russia, the United States and Europe held 15 online-seminars on NATO–Russia Risk Reduction in summer and fall of 2020 and offer the following ideas:

To maintain strategic stability, we look forward to immediate action to extend the New START Treaty for 5 years.

At the same time, we are concerned by the deterioration of the European security situation in recent years. The nuclear and conventional arms control system that took decades to build is rapidly unraveling, with nothing to take its place. Incidents in the course of military activities which bring Russian and NATO forces into close proximity are worrisome in their own right and run the risk of escalation. While members of our group diff er over the root causes of the crisis, we are concerned that as tension builds between Russia and NATO, a real military confrontation becomes an increasing danger.

Given this situation, we call upon our countries’ leaders to demonstrate the political will necessary to take a number of urgent actions in order to reduce the risks of military conflict. These military and security actions should be pursued whether or not we make progress in reducing the serious political disputes among our countries. Indeed, these steps can contribute to an atmosphere, in which resolution of those difficult political issues becomes more achievable.

We propose a set of measures, recognizing that not all of these steps will be immediately feasible. The detailed recommendations below address the following areas:

1. Re-establishing practical dialogue between Russia and NATO, including direct contacts between the military commanders and experts of Russia and NATO member states.

2. Developing common rules that will reduce the risk of unintended incidents on land, air and sea.

3. Enhancing stability by increasing transparency, avoiding dangerous military activities, and providing dedicated communication channels that would avoid escalation of incidents that might occur.

4. Utilizing (and possibly supplementing) the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act to codify restraint, transparency and confidence-building measures.

5. Exploring possible limitations on NATO and Russian conventional force deployments in Europe to enhance transparency and stability.

6. Establishing consultations between Russia and US/NATO on the topics of intermediate-range missiles and ballistic missile defense, in order to prevent a new nuclear missile race in Europe.

7. Preserving the Open Skies Treaty.

SPECIFIC PROPOSALS

1.The need for dialogue

1.1. Political dialogue should be revitalized at the ambassadorial level in the NATO-Russia Council and include briefi ngs by military experts as appropriate.

1.2. As part of the NATO 2030 refl ection process, Russia and NATO member states should analyze relations between NATO and Russia with a view to developing the military-to-military dialogue. At a time when most NATO-Russia cooperation remains suspended, such a dialogue should not be viewed as a departure from NATO’s “no business as usual” policy, but as a step that is necessary to increase predictability and reduce the risk of military incidents at sea, in the air and on land escalating to the level of military conflict.
Read more

‘This is going to be quite a show’: Biden’s arms control team eyes nuclear policy overhaul

President Joe Biden is assembling a national security team with an unusually ambitious agenda to negotiate new arms control treaties, scale back the nuclear arsenal, and review decades of military doctrine.
But veterans of the last administration fear this newly empowered group of progressives may be naive about what can be achieved without undermining U.S. security, and are already warning them to prepare for a shock when they read the latest intelligence.

Taking up posts at the Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council are a cadre of experts who collectively have their sights on a renaissance in nuclear restraint, after President Donald Trump withdrew from three arms control pacts, threatened a nuclear war with North Korea and expanded the role of nuclear weapons in war planning.

Biden has already agreed to extend the last remaining nuclear agreement with Russia, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and called for further negotiations with Moscow to place new limits on their arsenals, the world’s largest. And the group of arms control experts he is enlisting to carry out his agenda represents the vanguard of a decades-long progressive push to pull back from the nuclear brink and seek the elimination of atomic weapons.
“The stars are aligned,” said Joe Cirincione, a veteran nonproliferation advocate who mentored a number of Biden’s picks. “Extending New START for five years is just the opening gambit. This is going to be quite a show.”
Read more

‘This is going to be quite a show’: Biden’s arms control team eyes nuclear policy overhaul

President Joe Biden is assembling a national security team with an unusually ambitious agenda to negotiate new arms control treaties, scale back the nuclear arsenal, and review decades of military doctrine.
But veterans of the last administration fear this newly empowered group of progressives may be naive about what can be achieved without undermining U.S. security, and are already warning them to prepare for a shock when they read the latest intelligence.

Taking up posts at the Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council are a cadre of experts who collectively have their sights on a renaissance in nuclear restraint, after President Donald Trump withdrew from three arms control pacts, threatened a nuclear war with North Korea and expanded the role of nuclear weapons in war planning.

Biden has already agreed to extend the last remaining nuclear agreement with Russia, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and called for further negotiations with Moscow to place new limits on their arsenals, the world’s largest. And the group of arms control experts he is enlisting to carry out his agenda represents the vanguard of a decades-long progressive push to pull back from the nuclear brink and seek the elimination of atomic weapons.
“The stars are aligned,” said Joe Cirincione, a veteran nonproliferation advocate who mentored a number of Biden’s picks. “Extending New START for five years is just the opening gambit. This is going to be quite a show.”
Read more

Suggestion Box: Compulsory Dispute Resolution to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

James Ranney has posted this proposal in the suggestion box:
“The missing link? Compulsory international dispute resolution. Check out my new book, World Peace Through Law.”

Great idea, James. Would you care to elaborate on it with another comment here? You may need to propose ways of making it happen!

Sure. The argument is as follows: 1) We must abolish war (or war will abolish us, JFK); 2) we therefore need ALTERNATIVES TO WAR; 3) this means we need INTERNATIONAL ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION; and 4) this means, in order to be workable, we need COMPULSORY INTERNATIONAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION (compulsory negotiation, which would probably have prevented WWI, according to two historians); compulsory mediation (which would probably prevent 95% of all int’l conflict); compulsory arbitration (as argued by President Theodore Roosevelt, but was rejected by the Republicans in the Senate); and compulsory adjudication in the World Court (proposed by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 & discussed for a couple years before being forgotten). This proposal was accepted by representatives of the U.S. and the USSR in the famous McCloy-Zorin Agreement in 1961, but has been totally forgotten since then.

Suggestion Box: Compulsory Dispute Resolution to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

James Ranney has posted this proposal in the suggestion box:
“The missing link? Compulsory international dispute resolution. Check out my new book, World Peace Through Law.”

Great idea, James. Would you care to elaborate on it with another comment here? You may need to propose ways of making it happen!

Sure. The argument is as follows: 1) We must abolish war (or war will abolish us, JFK); 2) we therefore need ALTERNATIVES TO WAR; 3) this means we need INTERNATIONAL ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION; and 4) this means, in order to be workable, we need COMPULSORY INTERNATIONAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION (compulsory negotiation, which would probably have prevented WWI, according to two historians); compulsory mediation (which would probably prevent 95% of all int’l conflict); compulsory arbitration (as argued by President Theodore Roosevelt, but was rejected by the Republicans in the Senate); and compulsory adjudication in the World Court (proposed by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 & discussed for a couple years before being forgotten). This proposal was accepted by representatives of the U.S. and the USSR in the famous McCloy-Zorin Agreement in 1961, but has been totally forgotten since then.

Suggestion Box: Petition Canada to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons!

Nancy Covington has posted this suggestion:
“Until closing Feb 6, 2021 petition to call on the Canadian Government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is open. Sign here:https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-3028
Yes! This is important, folks. Let’s get behind this campaign!

Suggestion Box: Petition Canada to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons!

Nancy Covington has posted this suggestion:
“Until closing Feb 6, 2021 petition to call on the Canadian Government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is open. Sign here:https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-3028
Yes! This is important, folks. Let’s get behind this campaign!

Suggestion Box: Build New Global Peace Movement by Women for Children

Andre Sheldon has posted this idea in the suggestion box:
” I have networked with women leaders from around the world, planting seeds, in preparation for this moment….Global Strategy of Nonviolence, For the Children Facilitator, CALL to WOMEN, a World-Wide Unity Campaign +1-617-964-5267 Email: Andre@GlobalStrategyofNonviolence.org Website: http://www.GlobalStrategyofNonviolence.org Facebook: Global Movement of Nonviolence”

Suggestion Box: Build New Global Peace Movement by Women for Children

Andre Sheldon has posted this idea in the suggestion box:
” I have networked with women leaders from around the world, planting seeds, in preparation for this moment….Global Strategy of Nonviolence, For the Children Facilitator, CALL to WOMEN, a World-Wide Unity Campaign +1-617-964-5267 Email: Andre@GlobalStrategyofNonviolence.org Website: http://www.GlobalStrategyofNonviolence.org Facebook: Global Movement of Nonviolence”

Suggestion Box: Conventional Wars Count Too!

Alberto Portugheis posted this idea in the suggestion box: “It should be the other way round: “Weapons & War” and NEVER “especially nuclear.” 1,000s die daily from conventional warfare. Alberto, President HUFUD.”
Of course it’s true. The people being killed in wars now are all hit by regular bullets and bombs, not nuclear ones. Would you like to come back to this comments column and elaborate on this idea, Alberto? You can also tell us about HUFUD, or post events if you have anything planned. Thanks for your sensible comment.

Suggestion Box: Conventional Wars Count Too!

Alberto Portugheis posted this idea in the suggestion box: “It should be the other way round: “Weapons & War” and NEVER “especially nuclear.” 1,000s die daily from conventional warfare. Alberto, President HUFUD.”
Of course it’s true. The people being killed in wars now are all hit by regular bullets and bombs, not nuclear ones. Would you like to come back to this comments column and elaborate on this idea, Alberto? You can also tell us about HUFUD, or post events if you have anything planned. Thanks for your sensible comment.

Will America Help Britain Build A New Nuclear Warhead?

Matthew Harries | War on the Rocks | 22 October 2020

“The future of the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent depends, in part, on decisions being made right now in the U.S. Congress. At stake are Britain’s plans to build a replacement for its current nuclear warhead. According to the U.K. defense secretary and senior U.S. officials, the United Kingdom’s program is reliant on the United States pursuing its own new warhead program of record, the W93. But the Donald Trump administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 request for funds for the W93 was first nixed by House appropriators and then excluded from the stopgap continuing resolution. It is neither clear whether the W93 program will eventually make it into the budget proper, nor whether it would be taken up immediately by a potential incoming Joe Biden administration.”

Read more

Read More: https://warontherocks.com/2020/10/will-america-help-britain-build-a-new-nuclear-warhead/

Will America Help Britain Build A New Nuclear Warhead?

Matthew Harries | War on the Rocks | 22 October 2020

“The future of the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent depends, in part, on decisions being made right now in the U.S. Congress. At stake are Britain’s plans to build a replacement for its current nuclear warhead. According to the U.K. defense secretary and senior U.S. officials, the United Kingdom’s program is reliant on the United States pursuing its own new warhead program of record, the W93. But the Donald Trump administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 request for funds for the W93 was first nixed by House appropriators and then excluded from the stopgap continuing resolution. It is neither clear whether the W93 program will eventually make it into the budget proper, nor whether it would be taken up immediately by a potential incoming Joe Biden administration.”

Read more

Read More: https://warontherocks.com/2020/10/will-america-help-britain-build-a-new-nuclear-warhead/

Until closing Feb 6, 2021 petition to call on the Canadian Government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is open.

Sign here: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-3028

Until closing Feb 6, 2021 petition to call on the Canadian Government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is open.

Sign here: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-3028

Vatican’s Foreign Minister Reaffirms Church’s Shift Away From Accepting Nuclear Deterrence

Joshua J. McElwee | National Catholic Reporter | 16 December 2020

ROME — The Vatican’s foreign minister reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s recent shift away from accepting the Cold War-era global system of nuclear deterrence Dec. 16, telling a webinar featuring arms control activists that nuclear weapons only give “a false sense of security.”

“International peace and security cannot be founded on the threat of mutual destruction or total annihilation, or maintaining a balance of power,” Archbishop Paul Gallagher told the webinar, which was co-hosted by the Vatican and several institutes at Georgetown University and the University of Notre Dame.

“Peace and security must be built on justice, integral human development, [and] respect for fundamental human rights,” said Gallagher. “From this perspective, it is necessary to go beyond nuclear deterrence.”

Read more

Link: https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/vaticans-foreign-minister-reaffirms-churchs-shift-away-accepting-nuclear-deterrence

Vatican’s Foreign Minister Reaffirms Church’s Shift Away From Accepting Nuclear Deterrence

Joshua J. McElwee | National Catholic Reporter | 16 December 2020

ROME — The Vatican’s foreign minister reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s recent shift away from accepting the Cold War-era global system of nuclear deterrence Dec. 16, telling a webinar featuring arms control activists that nuclear weapons only give “a false sense of security.”

“International peace and security cannot be founded on the threat of mutual destruction or total annihilation, or maintaining a balance of power,” Archbishop Paul Gallagher told the webinar, which was co-hosted by the Vatican and several institutes at Georgetown University and the University of Notre Dame.

“Peace and security must be built on justice, integral human development, [and] respect for fundamental human rights,” said Gallagher. “From this perspective, it is necessary to go beyond nuclear deterrence.”

Read more

Link: https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/vaticans-foreign-minister-reaffirms-churchs-shift-away-accepting-nuclear-deterrence

The missing link? Compulsory international dispute resolution. Check out my new book, World Peace Through Law.

The missing link? Compulsory international dispute resolution. Check out my new book, World Peace Through Law.

The missing link? Compulsory international dispute resolution. Check out my new book, World Peace Through Law.

The missing link? Compulsory international dispute resolution. Check out my new book, World Peace Through Law.

Google Earth Reveals Suspected Nuclear Weapons Facility in Pakistan

Adam Vaughan | NewScientist | 27 November 2020

Sleuthing with satellite images on Google Earth has revealed a substantial and undocumented expansion to a suspected nuclear processing plant in Pakistan. Researchers say it is a possible sign of the country boosting the capacity of its nuclear weapons programme.

Pakistan has possessed nuclear weapons since 1998, but isn’t a signatory to key international treaties on nuclear proliferation and tests. The country’s secretive nuclear weapons programme is closely watched due to tensions with neighbouring India, which also has a nuclear arsenal.

Full article available here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2261031-google-earth-reveals-suspected-nuclear-weapons-facility-in-pakistan

Google Earth Reveals Suspected Nuclear Weapons Facility in Pakistan

Adam Vaughan | NewScientist | 27 November 2020

Sleuthing with satellite images on Google Earth has revealed a substantial and undocumented expansion to a suspected nuclear processing plant in Pakistan. Researchers say it is a possible sign of the country boosting the capacity of its nuclear weapons programme.

Pakistan has possessed nuclear weapons since 1998, but isn’t a signatory to key international treaties on nuclear proliferation and tests. The country’s secretive nuclear weapons programme is closely watched due to tensions with neighbouring India, which also has a nuclear arsenal.

Full article available here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2261031-google-earth-reveals-suspected-nuclear-weapons-facility-in-pakistan

Time to Ban the Bomb: A Path Forward:

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons



Beatrice Fihn | Ploughshares Fund | 2020

“The risk of use of nuclear weapons is higher today than it has been for years. With developments in cyber warfare, autonomous weapons and an increasingly uncertain global security situation, that risk will only increase over time. A security policy based on plans to fight — and “win” — a nuclear war is morally bankrupt and unsustainable. The United States must begin developing a policy for a non-nuclear future, or risk becoming an outlier without moral authority.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a global coalition of over 530 organizations, is leading a movement to achieve this non-nuclear future. Over 10 years, together with countless partners in governments, international organizations and civil society groups around the world, we helped incubate and amplify a previously-ignored conversation about nuclear weapons. We placed civilians and the harm caused to them by nuclear weapons at the center of debate. This movement ultimately led to the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and to ICAN being awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in promoting nuclear disarmament.

The Treaty emerged through something new and different in the disarmament debate within the nuclear community — the Humanitarian Initiative. This initiative reframed the discourse around nuclear weapons to make the horrific humanitarian consequences caused by their use the center of discussion, rather than a secondary issue. In seeking the negotiation and adoption of the treaty, we followed the path set by other global weapons prohibitions, including conventions related to biological weapons, chemical weapons, antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions. The premise, based in international law, is founded on the total abnegation of possession and use of weapons with unspeakable consequences.”

Read more

The full article is available here: https://ploughshares.org/issues-analysis/article/time-ban-bomb

Time to Ban the Bomb: A Path Forward:

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons



Beatrice Fihn | Ploughshares Fund | 2020

“The risk of use of nuclear weapons is higher today than it has been for years. With developments in cyber warfare, autonomous weapons and an increasingly uncertain global security situation, that risk will only increase over time. A security policy based on plans to fight — and “win” — a nuclear war is morally bankrupt and unsustainable. The United States must begin developing a policy for a non-nuclear future, or risk becoming an outlier without moral authority.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a global coalition of over 530 organizations, is leading a movement to achieve this non-nuclear future. Over 10 years, together with countless partners in governments, international organizations and civil society groups around the world, we helped incubate and amplify a previously-ignored conversation about nuclear weapons. We placed civilians and the harm caused to them by nuclear weapons at the center of debate. This movement ultimately led to the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and to ICAN being awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in promoting nuclear disarmament.

The Treaty emerged through something new and different in the disarmament debate within the nuclear community — the Humanitarian Initiative. This initiative reframed the discourse around nuclear weapons to make the horrific humanitarian consequences caused by their use the center of discussion, rather than a secondary issue. In seeking the negotiation and adoption of the treaty, we followed the path set by other global weapons prohibitions, including conventions related to biological weapons, chemical weapons, antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions. The premise, based in international law, is founded on the total abnegation of possession and use of weapons with unspeakable consequences.”

Read more

The full article is available here: https://ploughshares.org/issues-analysis/article/time-ban-bomb

Talking Tough and Carrying a Radioactive Stick:

The Nuclearization of American Diplomacy



Michael T. Klare | Moyers on Democracy | 20 October 2020

“States have long engaged in military operations to intimidate other powers. Once upon a distant time, this would have been called “gunboat diplomacy” and naval vessels would have been the instruments of choice for such missions. The arrival of nuclear arms made such operations far more dangerous. This didn’t, however, stop the US from using weaponry of this sort as tools of intimidation throughout the Cold War. In time, however, even nuclear strategists began condemning acts of “nuclear coercion,” arguing that such weaponry was inappropriate for any purpose other than “deterrence” — that is, using the threat of “massive retaliation” to prevent another country from attacking you. In fact, a deterrence-only posture eventually became Washington’s official policy, even if the temptation to employ nukes as political cudgels never entirely disappeared from its strategic thinking.”

Read the full article here: https://billmoyers.com/story/talking-tough-and-carrying-a-radioactive-stick

Talking Tough and Carrying a Radioactive Stick:

The Nuclearization of American Diplomacy



Michael T. Klare | Moyers on Democracy | 20 October 2020

“States have long engaged in military operations to intimidate other powers. Once upon a distant time, this would have been called “gunboat diplomacy” and naval vessels would have been the instruments of choice for such missions. The arrival of nuclear arms made such operations far more dangerous. This didn’t, however, stop the US from using weaponry of this sort as tools of intimidation throughout the Cold War. In time, however, even nuclear strategists began condemning acts of “nuclear coercion,” arguing that such weaponry was inappropriate for any purpose other than “deterrence” — that is, using the threat of “massive retaliation” to prevent another country from attacking you. In fact, a deterrence-only posture eventually became Washington’s official policy, even if the temptation to employ nukes as political cudgels never entirely disappeared from its strategic thinking.”

Read the full article here: https://billmoyers.com/story/talking-tough-and-carrying-a-radioactive-stick

US urges countries to withdraw from UN nuke ban treaty

Edith M. Lederer | The Associated Press | 21 October 2020
Link: https://apnews.com/article/nuclear-weapons-disarmament-latin-america-united-nations-gun-politics-4f109626a1cdd6db10560550aa1bb491

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States is urging countries that have ratified a U.N. treaty to ban nuclear weapons to withdraw their support as the pact nears the 50 ratifications needed to trigger its entry into force, which supporters say could happen this week.

The U.S. letter to signatories, obtained by The Associated Press, says the five original nuclear powers — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France — and America’s NATO allies “stand unified in our opposition to the potential repercussions” of the treaty.

It says the treaty “turns back the clock on verification and disarmament and is dangerous” to the half-century-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, considered the cornerstone of global nonproliferation efforts.
“Although we recognize your sovereign right to ratify or accede to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), we believe that you have made a strategic error and should withdraw your instrument of ratification or accession,” the letter says.

The treaty requires that all ratifying countries “never under any circumstances … develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” It also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices — and the threat to use such weapons — and requires parties to promote the treaty to other countries.

Read more

US urges countries to withdraw from UN nuke ban treaty

Edith M. Lederer | The Associated Press | 21 October 2020
Link: https://apnews.com/article/nuclear-weapons-disarmament-latin-america-united-nations-gun-politics-4f109626a1cdd6db10560550aa1bb491

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States is urging countries that have ratified a U.N. treaty to ban nuclear weapons to withdraw their support as the pact nears the 50 ratifications needed to trigger its entry into force, which supporters say could happen this week.

The U.S. letter to signatories, obtained by The Associated Press, says the five original nuclear powers — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France — and America’s NATO allies “stand unified in our opposition to the potential repercussions” of the treaty.

It says the treaty “turns back the clock on verification and disarmament and is dangerous” to the half-century-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, considered the cornerstone of global nonproliferation efforts.
“Although we recognize your sovereign right to ratify or accede to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), we believe that you have made a strategic error and should withdraw your instrument of ratification or accession,” the letter says.

The treaty requires that all ratifying countries “never under any circumstances … develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” It also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices — and the threat to use such weapons — and requires parties to promote the treaty to other countries.

Read more

Historic Milestone: UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Reaches 50 Ratifications Needed for Entry Into Force

ICAN | 24 October 2020

On October 24, 2020, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons reached the required 50 states parties for its entry into force, after Honduras ratified just one day after Jamaica and Nauru submitted their ratifications. In 90 days, the treaty will enter into force, cementing a categorical ban on nuclear weapons, 75 years after their first use.

This is a historic milestone for this landmark treaty. Prior to the TPNW’s adoption, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not banned under international law, despite their catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Now, with the treaty’s entry into force, we can call nuclear weapons what they are: prohibited weapons of mass destruction, just like chemical weapons and biological weapons.
ICAN’s Executive Director Beatrice Fihn welcomed the historic moment. “This is a new chapter for nuclear disarmament. Decades of activism have achieved what many said was impossible: nuclear weapons are banned,” she said.

Setsuko Thurlow, survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, said “I have committed my life to the abolition of nuclear weapons. I have nothing but gratitude for all who have worked for the success of our treaty.” As a long-time and iconic ICAN activist who has spent decades sharing the story of the horrors she faced to raise awareness on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons this moment held particular significance: “This is the first time in international law that we have been so recognized. We share this recognition with other hibakusha across the world, those who have suffered radioactive harm from nuclear testing, from uranium mining, from secret experimentation.” Survivors of atomic use and testing all over the world have joined Setsuko in celebrating this milestone.

The three latest states to ratify were proud to be part of such a historic moment. All 50 states have shown true leadership to achieve a world without nuclear weapons, all while facing unprecedented levels of pressure from the nuclear armed states not to do so. A recent letter, obtained by AP only days before the ceremony, demonstrates that the Trump administration has been directly pressuring states that have ratified the treaty to withdraw from it and abstain from encouraging others to join it, in direct contradiction to their obligations under the treaty. Beatrice Fihn said: “Real leadership has been shown by the countries that have joined this historical instrument to bring it to full legal effect. Desperate attempts to weaken these leaders’ commitment to nuclear disarmament demonstrate only the fear of nuclear armed states of the change this treaty will bring.”

This is just the beginning. Once the treaty is in force, all states parties will need to implement all of their positive obligations under the treaty and abide by its prohibitions. States that haven’t joined the treaty will feel its power too – we can expect companies to stop producing nuclear weapons and financial institutions to stop investing in nuclear weapon producing companies.
How do we know? Because we have nearly 600 partner organisations in over 100 countries committed to advancing this treaty and the norm against nuclear weapons. People, companies, universities and governments everywhere will know this weapon has been prohibited and that now is the moment for them to stand on the right side of history.”

https://www.icanw.org/historic_milestone_un_treaty_on_the_prohibition_of_nuclear_weapons_reaches_50_ratifications_needed_for_entry_into_force

Historic Milestone: UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Reaches 50 Ratifications Needed for Entry Into Force

ICAN | 24 October 2020

On October 24, 2020, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons reached the required 50 states parties for its entry into force, after Honduras ratified just one day after Jamaica and Nauru submitted their ratifications. In 90 days, the treaty will enter into force, cementing a categorical ban on nuclear weapons, 75 years after their first use.

This is a historic milestone for this landmark treaty. Prior to the TPNW’s adoption, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not banned under international law, despite their catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Now, with the treaty’s entry into force, we can call nuclear weapons what they are: prohibited weapons of mass destruction, just like chemical weapons and biological weapons.
ICAN’s Executive Director Beatrice Fihn welcomed the historic moment. “This is a new chapter for nuclear disarmament. Decades of activism have achieved what many said was impossible: nuclear weapons are banned,” she said.

Setsuko Thurlow, survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, said “I have committed my life to the abolition of nuclear weapons. I have nothing but gratitude for all who have worked for the success of our treaty.” As a long-time and iconic ICAN activist who has spent decades sharing the story of the horrors she faced to raise awareness on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons this moment held particular significance: “This is the first time in international law that we have been so recognized. We share this recognition with other hibakusha across the world, those who have suffered radioactive harm from nuclear testing, from uranium mining, from secret experimentation.” Survivors of atomic use and testing all over the world have joined Setsuko in celebrating this milestone.

The three latest states to ratify were proud to be part of such a historic moment. All 50 states have shown true leadership to achieve a world without nuclear weapons, all while facing unprecedented levels of pressure from the nuclear armed states not to do so. A recent letter, obtained by AP only days before the ceremony, demonstrates that the Trump administration has been directly pressuring states that have ratified the treaty to withdraw from it and abstain from encouraging others to join it, in direct contradiction to their obligations under the treaty. Beatrice Fihn said: “Real leadership has been shown by the countries that have joined this historical instrument to bring it to full legal effect. Desperate attempts to weaken these leaders’ commitment to nuclear disarmament demonstrate only the fear of nuclear armed states of the change this treaty will bring.”

This is just the beginning. Once the treaty is in force, all states parties will need to implement all of their positive obligations under the treaty and abide by its prohibitions. States that haven’t joined the treaty will feel its power too – we can expect companies to stop producing nuclear weapons and financial institutions to stop investing in nuclear weapon producing companies.
How do we know? Because we have nearly 600 partner organisations in over 100 countries committed to advancing this treaty and the norm against nuclear weapons. People, companies, universities and governments everywhere will know this weapon has been prohibited and that now is the moment for them to stand on the right side of history.”

https://www.icanw.org/historic_milestone_un_treaty_on_the_prohibition_of_nuclear_weapons_reaches_50_ratifications_needed_for_entry_into_force

Program ABM systems to shoot down intrusions, without regard to their source

Unlike Ronald Reagan’s 1980s Strategic defence initiative, a.k.a. Star Wars, the anti-missile defence shield, into which Canada currently seems to be placing some serious stock, is quite realistic and technologically sound. In fact, over two decades ago the tech had impressively (at least to me) proved itself to be on solid ground, though I feel that it could’ve already been by now solidly established as a fully functional defense shield.
Though there still are skeptics, I can recall the successful interceptions by Patriot missiles launched from batteries stationed around Israel during Desert Storm.
If I recall correctly, the Patriot missiles had been barely developed with no practical testing, thus they had to be field tested during actual warfare. Only one scud made it through the defence shield intact and another after being severely damaged, though both did not result in death, injury nor even notable damage. Had the system been shy of competent, let alone a failure, there’s no reason to believe that the nuclear-armed nation of Israel was bluffing when it promised to retaliate against Iraq if the Patriots failed to deliver and Israeli casualties were incurred.
Unfortunately, whatever small degree to which the U.S. has thus far developed its shield technology in actual hardware would only serve to intercept ballistic missiles targeting nations that are U.S. friendly or their protection is in U.S. interests.

Read more

Program ABM systems to shoot down intrusions, without regard to their source

Unlike Ronald Reagan’s 1980s Strategic defence initiative, a.k.a. Star Wars, the anti-missile defence shield, into which Canada currently seems to be placing s