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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Diego Garcia and the Chagossians

Diego Garcia is a remote atoll archipelago in the Indian Ocean – between the Maldives, Mauritius, and the Seychelles. For administrative purposes, it is considered part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

In the 1500s, the Portuguese used the area as a slave depot. Prior to this, the islands were uninhabited. A cultural group – known as the Chagossians – and who have a distinct language – emerged from the slave trade. During the Cold War, the Chagossians were evicted by the American and British military forces who cited the strategic geographic importance of the islands in relation to global and regional security – within the specific context of air and maritime access.

Various tactics were used to remove the population (population: 1500 in the late 1960s – 3000-4000 in the 2010s) – including inviting the population to neighboring Mauritius for a conference during Christmas in 1965 and subsequently prohibiting return to Diego Garcia. Other tactics included forced removal – such as via blockade of food supplies and/or forced (and allegedly violent) deportation. Alleged military documents – cited in books about Diego Garcia and its associated foreign policies – indicate that suppression of rights of the Chagossians were encouraged during the late 1960s due to the geopolitical significance of the region. By 1973, all Chagossians had been expelled from Diego Garcia.
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Would that be good for bad for the economy?

Were they referring to just the military itself – or the number of businesses, industries, etc. which have the military as significant economic partners? What type of extent would reducing the (US?) military that much have on the global economy?

Rank Countries for their Demilitarizing

Good point. Maybe we should assign scores to countries based on how much they have reduced their military spending and converted it to the development of negative emission technologies — e.g. forest planting or carbon capture and conversion to fuel.

Diego Garcia and the Chagossians

Diego Garcia is a remote atoll archipelago in the Indian Ocean – between the Maldives, Mauritius, and the Seychelles. For administrative purposes, it is considered part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

In the 1500s, the Portuguese used the area as a slave depot. Prior to this, the islands were uninhabited. A cultural group – known as the Chagossians – and who have a distinct language – emerged from the slave trade. During the Cold War, the Chagossians were evicted by the American and British military forces who cited the strategic geographic importance of the islands in relation to global and regional security – within the specific context of air and maritime access.

Various tactics were used to remove the population (population: 1500 in the late 1960s – 3000-4000 in the 2010s) – including inviting the population to neighboring Mauritius for a conference during Christmas in 1965 and subsequently prohibiting return to Diego Garcia. Other tactics included forced removal – such as via blockade of food supplies and/or forced (and allegedly violent) deportation. Alleged military documents – cited in books about Diego Garcia and its associated foreign policies – indicate that suppression of rights of the Chagossians were encouraged during the late 1960s due to the geopolitical significance of the region. By 1973, all Chagossians had been expelled from Diego Garcia.
Read more

Would that be good for bad for the economy?

Were they referring to just the military itself – or the number of businesses, industries, etc. which have the military as significant economic partners? What type of extent would reducing the (US?) military that much have on the global economy?

Rank Countries for their Demilitarizing

Good point. Maybe we should assign scores to countries based on how much they have reduced their military spending and converted it to the development of negative emission technologies — e.g. forest planting or carbon capture and conversion to fuel.

What the CANDU reactor has done abroad

This is a CANDU reactor: Darlington

An excerpt:

“Our uranium and nuclear technology launched the UK and USA stockpiles, then the Indian nuclear arsenal, followed by Pakistan and others. We continued to sell our CANDU reactor for ‘peaceful energy use’ which was secretly described as a “military plutonium production reactor” by the insiders ever since the Manhattan Project.”

“Plutonium=forever.” Even if bombs are not made, plutonium goes on and on emitting deadly radiation for centuries.

“… ‘following the atoms’ proves that we are a boy-scout nation with a very dirty secret. It has been underwritten by $30 billion taxpayer dollars, greased with secret bribes to win export deals, and buried in decades of deceit by official Ottawa.”

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/review-atomic-accomplice

What the CANDU reactor has done abroad

This is a CANDU reactor: Darlington

An excerpt:

“Our uranium and nuclear technology launched the UK and USA stockpiles, then the Indian nuclear arsenal, followed by Pakistan and others. We continued to sell our CANDU reactor for ‘peaceful energy use’ which was secretly described as a “military plutonium production reactor” by the insiders ever since the Manhattan Project.”

“Plutonium=forever.” Even if bombs are not made, plutonium goes on and on emitting deadly radiation for centuries.

“… ‘following the atoms’ proves that we are a boy-scout nation with a very dirty secret. It has been underwritten by $30 billion taxpayer dollars, greased with secret bribes to win export deals, and buried in decades of deceit by official Ottawa.”

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/review-atomic-accomplice

Beware the Solar Flares!

Is there a risk that a solar flare or solar store – of sufficient strength, such as one comparable to the 1859 Carrington Event – could trigger the detonation and/or launch of a nuclear warhead? Several media articles indicate a solar flare in 1967 almost started a nuclear exchange due to communication and radio signals being jammed.

However (and fortunately) some space weather scientists identified the cause was a solar flare. There was another incident where sunlight reflecting off the atmosphere almost triggered a nuclear launch – as early computer systems interpreted it as a nuclear flash. This would have been around the 1960s. Alarming to think about!

The 1859 Carrington Event was one of the largest solar storms with extensive records. There were a limited amount of electronic devices in this era – mostly telegraph wires – which were reported to have gone absolutely haywire when the storm hit.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/solar-flares-ballistic-missile-radar-station-cold-war-1.3719177

Beware the Solar Flares!

Is there a risk that a solar flare or solar store – of sufficient strength, such as one comparable to the 1859 Carrington Event – could trigger the detonation and/or launch of a nuclear warhead? Several media articles indicate a solar flare in 1967 almost started a nuclear exchange due to communication and radio signals being jammed.

However (and fortunately) some space weather scientists identified the cause was a solar flare. There was another incident where sunlight reflecting off the atmosphere almost triggered a nuclear launch – as early computer systems interpreted it as a nuclear flash. This would have been around the 1960s. Alarming to think about!

The 1859 Carrington Event was one of the largest solar storms with extensive records. There were a limited amount of electronic devices in this era – mostly telegraph wires – which were reported to have gone absolutely haywire when the storm hit.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/solar-flares-ballistic-missile-radar-station-cold-war-1.3719177

Most clashes are about race or religion

As heartening as it is to read of, for example, communing large multi-racial and -religious groups of people humanely allied against the common enemy of blind hatred, I nonetheless dread that it will sadly resettle to normal everyday life—and politics.

There are no greater differences amongst us humans than race and religion—remove that and left are less obvious differences over which to clash, such as sub-racial identity (i.e. ethnicity), nationality, and so forth down that scale we tumble.

Hypothetically, reduce our species to just a few city blocks of residents who are similar in every way and eventually there may still be some sort of bitter inter-neighbourhood fighting.

Most clashes are about race or religion

As heartening as it is to read of, for example, communing large multi-racial and -religious groups of people humanely allied against the common enemy of blind hatred, I nonetheless dread that it will sadly resettle to normal everyday life—and politics.

There are no greater differences amongst us humans than race and religion—remove that and left are less obvious differences over which to clash, such as sub-racial identity (i.e. ethnicity), nationality, and so forth down that scale we tumble.

Hypothetically, reduce our species to just a few city blocks of residents who are similar in every way and eventually there may still be some sort of bitter inter-neighbourhood fighting.

Will The Arms Merchants Comply?

The Arms Trade Treaty limits what weapons a country can sell to other countries, especially if the weapons are likely to be used to attack others. So is there any evidence so far that it is working? Has any country actually changed its plans and refrained from selling weapons just because it signed the treaty? I’m trying not to be cynical in asking. I’d prefer to hear good news.

Will The Arms Merchants Comply?

The Arms Trade Treaty limits what weapons a country can sell to other countries, especially if the weapons are likely to be used to attack others. So is there any evidence so far that it is working? Has any country actually changed its plans and refrained from selling weapons just because it signed the treaty? I’m trying not to be cynical in asking. I’d prefer to hear good news.

How Much Shall we Cut Military Expenditures?

comment image

Notice that the Platform for Survival does not say how much we are supposed to reduce the size of the military. I was in the audience at the forum when we discussed that and I heard the proposal originally was 80 percent. We were told that such a high number would be considered unreasonable or even laughable. But I think it is a good number. Reduce all the military systems in the world by 80 percent and we’d be on our way to a real solution to other global problems.

And yes, it will be hard to do. But I’d like us to pick a target number, please. Lately Bernie Sanders has proposed a ten percent reduction. Okay, that’s a starting point. Who will raise the bid?

Is there a risk of a similar incident in the American context? I have heard several alarming reports, such as the fact that the production of intermediate missile materials – such as an aerogel foam used within the warhead itself – have fallen out of general production. One such material is “fogbank” which was manufactured in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The material is so classified that finding manufacturing instructions and records have been a significant challenge for the industry, as pre-existing materials age out and need replacing.

Read more

How Much Shall we Cut Military Expenditures?

comment image

Notice that the Platform for Survival does not say how much we are supposed to reduce the size of the military. I was in the audience at the forum when we discussed that and I heard the proposal originally was 80 percent. We were told that such a high number would be considered unreasonable or even laughable. But I think it is a good number. Reduce all the military systems in the world by 80 percent and we’d be on our way to a real solution to other global problems.

And yes, it will be hard to do. But I’d like us to pick a target number, please. Lately Bernie Sanders has proposed a ten percent reduction. Okay, that’s a starting point. Who will raise the bid?

Is there a risk of a similar incident in the American context? I have heard several alarming reports, such as the fact that the production of intermediate missile materials – such as an aerogel foam used within the warhead itself – have fallen out of general production. One such material is “fogbank” which was manufactured in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The material is so classified that finding manufacturing instructions and records have been a significant challenge for the industry, as pre-existing materials age out and need replacing.

Read more

Hooray for the Pope!

Yes, it’s a great interview. I particularly like his statements that it’s a sin merely to own nuclear weapons, and that it’s hypocrisy to say you believe in peace while you’re making money from selling weapons. Right on, Francis!

Hooray for the Pope!

Yes, it’s a great interview. I particularly like his statements that it’s a sin merely to own nuclear weapons, and that it’s hypocrisy to say you believe in peace while you’re making money from selling weapons. Right on, Francis!

This is a related article discussing the issue of cyber weapons and how they might participate on the battlefield.

Read more

This is a related article discussing the issue of cyber weapons and how they might participate on the battlefield.

Read more

An Open Letter to Justin Trudeau

I am commenting by incorporating the whole of a recent letter from the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to the Prime Minister and many other government officials. In an election period, all concerned citizens should make known their views to candidates, and ask questions at all-candidates meetings in their riding.
Adele Buckley
Canadian Pugwash, a member group of CNANW

—————————————-

Nuclear Disarmament: Canadian Leadership Required

Open Letter to PM Justin Trudeau
cc. All Members of Parliament and Senators

Dear Prime Minister,

The risk of nuclear catastrophe is growing and urgent action is required to prevent it.

Recent developments include:

• marked deterioration in East/West relations, most notably between Russia and NATO;
• U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran;
• imminent U.S. and Russian withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty;
• poor prospects for renewal of New START in 2021;
• heightened military tension between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan;
• resurgence of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program;
• the development of ‘tactical nuclear weapons’ and hypersonic missile systems;
• increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks; and
• the real possibility that non-state actors will acquire and use nuclear weapons or fissile material.

All of this is occurring within the context of a new nuclear arms race, precipitated in large part, by the U.S. allocation of $1.5 trillion to ‘modernize’ its nuclear arsenal over the next 30 years.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has set the Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes to midnight, the closest it has been since the height of the Cold War. Humanity, literally, faces the prospect that at any moment, human folly, miscalculation or nuclear accident could end life on earth as we know it, if not completely.

Canada can help to prevent this.
Read more

Does Turkey have ingredients for a Dirty Bomb?

I read online that for a while – in the late 1990s and early 2000s — old radioactive materials from the former USSR countries (Georgia, etc.) were being sent to a site in Turkey for decommissioning. These included items like old RTGs, etc. Is there a risk of the fissile materials in these products being used to construct a “dirty bomb” or other improvised nuclear / radioactive explosive device?

When did Turkey get those Missiles?

Hi Jeremy – do you know when Turkey received the current batch of missiles as part of the NATO Agreement(s)? I thought the presence of “Jupiter’ missiles in Italy and Turkey was a significant negotiating factor in the Cuban Missile Crisis – with these eventually being removed. Have there been missiles continuously in this region since the 1960s?

Sauce for the Goose is Sauce for the Gander

While of course we don’t want Erdogan to get nuclear weapons, he has as much right to them as anyone else, doesn’t he? The nuclear weapons states keep claiming they have a right and nobody else does. No they don’t!

An Open Letter to Justin Trudeau

I am commenting by incorporating the whole of a recent letter from the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to the Prime Minister and many other government officials. In an election period, all concerned citizens should make known their views to candidates, and ask questions at all-candidates meetings in their riding.
Adele Buckley
Canadian Pugwash, a member group of CNANW

—————————————-

Nuclear Disarmament: Canadian Leadership Required

Open Letter to PM Justin Trudeau
cc. All Members of Parliament and Senators

Dear Prime Minister,

The risk of nuclear catastrophe is growing and urgent action is required to prevent it.

Recent developments include:

• marked deterioration in East/West relations, most notably between Russia and NATO;
• U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran;
• imminent U.S. and Russian withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty;
• poor prospects for renewal of New START in 2021;
• heightened military tension between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan;
• resurgence of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program;
• the development of ‘tactical nuclear weapons’ and hypersonic missile systems;
• increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks; and
• the real possibility that non-state actors will acquire and use nuclear weapons or fissile material.

All of this is occurring within the context of a new nuclear arms race, precipitated in large part, by the U.S. allocation of $1.5 trillion to ‘modernize’ its nuclear arsenal over the next 30 years.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has set the Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes to midnight, the closest it has been since the height of the Cold War. Humanity, literally, faces the prospect that at any moment, human folly, miscalculation or nuclear accident could end life on earth as we know it, if not completely.

Canada can help to prevent this.
Read more

Does Turkey have ingredients for a Dirty Bomb?

I read online that for a while – in the late 1990s and early 2000s — old radioactive materials from the former USSR countries (Georgia, etc.) were being sent to a site in Turkey for decommissioning. These included items like old RTGs, etc. Is there a risk of the fissile materials in these products being used to construct a “dirty bomb” or other improvised nuclear / radioactive explosive device?

When did Turkey get those Missiles?

Hi Jeremy – do you know when Turkey received the current batch of missiles as part of the NATO Agreement(s)? I thought the presence of “Jupiter’ missiles in Italy and Turkey was a significant negotiating factor in the Cuban Missile Crisis – with these eventually being removed. Have there been missiles continuously in this region since the 1960s?

Sauce for the Goose is Sauce for the Gander

While of course we don’t want Erdogan to get nuclear weapons, he has as much right to them as anyone else, doesn’t he? The nuclear weapons states keep claiming they have a right and nobody else does. No they don’t!

Laser Broom to Tidy Up Space

In 1978, Donald J. Kessler theorized that kessler syndrome would become a significant issue. This is where debris in orbit collides with other items in orbit, causing a cascading chain reaction. This was a plot in the 2013 movie Gravity – where a satellite that was shot down for decommissioning and started a cascading chain reaction that took out communications and research satellites across the world.

Orbital decay would take decades in some cases and it would be virtually impossible to launch new satellites or repair missions to pre-existing satellite if this was occurring .There is already research into a laser broom in attempts to clear some of the pre-existing debris from the planet’s orbit.

Here is a CBC article about a laser broom from 2000: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/laser-broom-will-sweep-up-space-junk-1.243442

Laser Broom to Tidy Up Space

In 1978, Donald J. Kessler theorized that kessler syndrome would become a significant issue. This is where debris in orbit collides with other items in orbit, causing a cascading chain reaction. This was a plot in the 2013 movie Gravity – where a satellite that was shot down for decommissioning and started a cascading chain reaction that took out communications and research satellites across the world.

Orbital decay would take decades in some cases and it would be virtually impossible to launch new satellites or repair missions to pre-existing satellite if this was occurring .There is already research into a laser broom in attempts to clear some of the pre-existing debris from the planet’s orbit.

Here is a CBC article about a laser broom from 2000: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/laser-broom-will-sweep-up-space-junk-1.243442

We, the People, have to Demand Compliance

There’s a vigorous campaign going on now called “Campaign Against the Arms Trade.” And one of their specific objectives is to “stop arming Saudi Arabia!”

We, the People, have to Demand Compliance

There’s a vigorous campaign going on now called “Campaign Against the Arms Trade.” And one of their specific objectives is to “stop arming Saudi Arabia!”

Nuclear terror

Personally I find the thought of Nuclear War pretty scary and to have heard stories from survivors makes it even more real and terrifying. To think that our world could end in a heartbeat threatens to throw me into despair. Its only the kindness of some humans that gives me hope in addition to a belief in a God Creator who is taking care of us.

When NASA Shot Copper Needles Into space

On October 21, 1961, NASA launched the first batch of West Ford dipoles into space. A day later, this first payload had failed to deploy from the spacecraft, and its ultimate fate was never completely determined.

“U.S.A. Dirties Space” read a headline in the Soviet newspaper *Pravda. *

**Ambassador Adlai Stevenson was forced to make a statement before the UN declaring that the U.S. would consult more closely with international scientists before attempting another launch. Many remained unsatisfied. Cambridge astronomer Fred Hoyle went so far as to accuse the U.S. of undertaking a military project under “a façade of respectability,” referring to West Ford as an “intellectual crime.”

Nuclear terror

Personally I find the thought of Nuclear War pretty scary and to have heard stories from survivors makes it even more real and terrifying. To think that our world could end in a heartbeat threatens to throw me into despair. Its only the kindness of some humans that gives me hope in addition to a belief in a God Creator who is taking care of us.

When NASA Shot Copper Needles Into space

On October 21, 1961, NASA launched the first batch of West Ford dipoles into space. A day later, this first payload had failed to deploy from the spacecraft, and its ultimate fate was never completely determined.

“U.S.A. Dirties Space” read a headline in the Soviet newspaper *Pravda. *

**Ambassador Adlai Stevenson was forced to make a statement before the UN declaring that the U.S. would consult more closely with international scientists before attempting another launch. Many remained unsatisfied. Cambridge astronomer Fred Hoyle went so far as to accuse the U.S. of undertaking a military project under “a façade of respectability,” referring to West Ford as an “intellectual crime.”

Does Turkey want nuclear weapons? This is from Newsweek.

Turkey Has U.S. Nuclear Weapons, Now It Says It Should be Allowed to Have Some of Its Own

by Tom O’Connor | 9/4/19 AT 6:13 PM EDT


The American nuclear weapons are at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, shown here.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has argued that his country should be allowed to develop nuclear weapons as other major powers have.

Addressing the Central Anatolian Economic Forum in the central province of Sivas, Erdogan lauded the expansion of the Turkish defense industry, especially recent conversations with the United States and Russia, while hinting at future talks with China. He then recalled how “some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads” and “not just one or two.”

“But I cannot possess missiles with nuclear warheads? I do not accept that,” Erdogan said. “Right now, nearly all the countries in the developed world have nuclear missiles.”

The U.S. currently has an estimated 50 of its nuclear weapons deployed to Turkey as part of the NATO Western military alliance’s nuclear sharing policy, according to an accidentally-released NATO report published in July by Belgian newspaper De Morgen. The weapons, located at Incirlik Base, are under U.S. control, but some have raised concerns as to their safety there amid regional instability and political differences.

Read more

Does Turkey want nuclear weapons? This is from Newsweek.

Turkey Has U.S. Nuclear Weapons, Now It Says It Should be Allowed to Have Some of Its Own

by Tom O’Connor | 9/4/19 AT 6:13 PM EDT


The American nuclear weapons are at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, shown here.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has argued that his country should be allowed to develop nuclear weapons as other major powers have.

Addressing the Central Anatolian Economic Forum in the central province of Sivas, Erdogan lauded the expansion of the Turkish defense industry, especially recent conversations with the United States and Russia, while hinting at future talks with China. He then recalled how “some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads” and “not just one or two.”

“But I cannot possess missiles with nuclear warheads? I do not accept that,” Erdogan said. “Right now, nearly all the countries in the developed world have nuclear missiles.”

The U.S. currently has an estimated 50 of its nuclear weapons deployed to Turkey as part of the NATO Western military alliance’s nuclear sharing policy, according to an accidentally-released NATO report published in July by Belgian newspaper De Morgen. The weapons, located at Incirlik Base, are under U.S. control, but some have raised concerns as to their safety there amid regional instability and political differences.

Read more

Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots that Can Kill

By Zachary Fryer-Biggs | The Atlantic, Sept 3, 2019.

The U.S. Navy’s ship Sea Hunter patrols the oceans without a crew, looking for submarines that, one day, it may attack directly. And the U.S. Army has a missile system that, without humans, can pick out vehicles to attack. So what do we think of such things? And what can we do about it? Here’s what Zachary Fryer-Biggs wrote in The Atlantic:

Read more

Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots that Can Kill

By Zachary Fryer-Biggs | The Atlantic, Sept 3, 2019.

The U.S. Navy’s ship Sea Hunter patrols the oceans without a crew, looking for submarines that, one day, it may attack directly. And the U.S. Army has a missile system that, without humans, can pick out vehicles to attack. So what do we think of such things? And what can we do about it? Here’s what Zachary Fryer-Biggs wrote in The Atlantic:

Read more

Project West Ford and the Copper Needles

Meet Project West Ford — in the 1950s-1960s – the United States of America launched 480 million copper needles into the upper atmosphere for Cold War radio communication. Some of them are allegedly still up there, orbiting in the lower-gravity.

“The same year that Martin Luther King, Jr. marched on Washington and Beatlemania was born, the United States launched half a billion whisker-thin copper wires into orbit in an attempt to install a ring around the Earth. It was called Project West Ford, and it’s a perfect, if odd, example of the Cold War paranoia and military mentality at work in America’s early space program.
Read more

Canadian Doubletalk

The last time I heard any publicity about it was in April (almost three months ago), when Global Affairs Canada declared that Canada had improved the terms of the light armoured vehicles contract to strengthen the review process for the permits. That is double-talk for “Yes, we are going ahead with the sale.” Yuck.

It’s Not Only the Billionaires’ Fault

Canadian politicians claim they are continuing the sale because the contract with Saudi Arabia had been signed BEFORE Canada signed the Arms Trade Treaty, but that they won’t sign such a thing in the future. Of course, we know the real reason: The deal is worth $15 billion, and Ottawa doesn’t want to lose manufacturing jobs. WE “progressive” types don’t like to talk about this fact: It’s not just billionaires’ interests that are at stake, but the income of people who do the manual labor. I think jobs are as important a political factor as the profits of huge corporations.

Project West Ford and the Copper Needles

Meet Project West Ford — in the 1950s-1960s – the United States of America launched 480 million copper needles into the upper atmosphere for Cold War radio communication. Some of them are allegedly still up there, orbiting in the lower-gravity.

“The same year that Martin Luther King, Jr. marched on Washington and Beatlemania was born, the United States launched half a billion whisker-thin copper wires into orbit in an attempt to install a ring around the Earth. It was called Project West Ford, and it’s a perfect, if odd, example of the Cold War paranoia and military mentality at work in America’s early space program.
Read more

Canadian Doubletalk

The last time I heard any publicity about it was in April (almost three months ago), when Global Affairs Canada declared that Canada had improved the terms of the light armoured vehicles contract to strengthen the review process for the permits. That is double-talk for “Yes, we are going ahead with the sale.” Yuck.

It’s Not Only the Billionaires’ Fault

Canadian politicians claim they are continuing the sale because the contract with Saudi Arabia had been signed BEFORE Canada signed the Arms Trade Treaty, but that they won’t sign such a thing in the future. Of course, we know the real reason: The deal is worth $15 billion, and Ottawa doesn’t want to lose manufacturing jobs. WE “progressive” types don’t like to talk about this fact: It’s not just billionaires’ interests that are at stake, but the income of people who do the manual labor. I think jobs are as important a political factor as the profits of huge corporations.

The Flying Crowbar

An alarming summary of Project Pluto – a Cold War Era program that would use a ramjet engine to create a nuclear-reactor powered nuclear missile. It had the nuclear payload of 15+ hydrogen bombs.

Here’s Project Pluto’s ramjet missile.
“…a locomotive-size missile that would travel at near-treetop level at three times the speed of sound, tossing out hydrogen bombs as it roared overhead. Pluto’s designers calculated that its shock wave alone might kill people on the ground. Then there was the problem of fallout. In addition to gamma and neutron radiation from the unshielded reactor, Pluto’s nuclear ramjet would spew fission fragments out in its exhaust as it flew by. (One enterprising weaponeer had a plan to turn an obvious peace-time liability into a wartime asset: he suggested flying the radioactive rocket back and forth over the Soviet Union after it had dropped its bombs.)

This crazy bastard had so many ways to kill you, it was like a death buffet: should I die in the nuclear blasts of the bombs themselves, or just let the shockwave of the overpassing missile kill me? Maybe I’ll just wait for the radiation sickness as this thing circles endlessly overhead, like a colossal demonic robot vulture. It’s so hard to choose!”

“From an engineering standpoint, Project Pluto was certainly impressive, and pushed the absolute limits of the technology of the time.

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The Flying Crowbar

An alarming summary of Project Pluto – a Cold War Era program that would use a ramjet engine to create a nuclear-reactor powered nuclear missile. It had the nuclear payload of 15+ hydrogen bombs.

Here’s Project Pluto’s ramjet missile.
“…a locomotive-size missile that would travel at near-treetop level at three times the speed of sound, tossing out hydrogen bombs as it roared overhead. Pluto’s designers calculated that its shock wave alone might kill people on the ground. Then there was the problem of fallout. In addition to gamma and neutron radiation from the unshielded reactor, Pluto’s nuclear ramjet would spew fission fragments out in its exhaust as it flew by. (One enterprising weaponeer had a plan to turn an obvious peace-time liability into a wartime asset: he suggested flying the radioactive rocket back and forth over the Soviet Union after it had dropped its bombs.)

This crazy bastard had so many ways to kill you, it was like a death buffet: should I die in the nuclear blasts of the bombs themselves, or just let the shockwave of the overpassing missile kill me? Maybe I’ll just wait for the radiation sickness as this thing circles endlessly overhead, like a colossal demonic robot vulture. It’s so hard to choose!”

“From an engineering standpoint, Project Pluto was certainly impressive, and pushed the absolute limits of the technology of the time.

Read more

They’ve Forgotten How to Make Fogbank

Re the “modernization” of nuclear weapons, several states which own nuclear weapons have indicated desires to upgrade the technology both around and in nuclear missiles, such as intermediate explosives, launch protocols, and yield calculations. A few years ago, several articles were published in relation to “fogbank” — a critical aerosol component within certain models of nuclear warheads. The production of this aerosol component of warheads was extremely classified and thus repair and/or re-manufacturing of it has been difficult, as many of those who worked on it in the Cold War era have passed away or are in retirement. The fogbank manufacturing facilities in Tennessee were additionally dismantled several years ago. Additional research by a weapons physicist at Lawrence-Livermore Laboratories in the USA have indicated that some of the original explosive yield calculations were off by as much as 30% — as initial test data was processed by hand and at very quick rates in the 1950s through 1970s. Quite alarming!

More information about the yield calculations being a inaccurate can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-QVPXBcxLU

They’ve Forgotten How to Make Fogbank

Re the “modernization” of nuclear weapons, several states which own nuclear weapons have indicated desires to upgrade the technology both around and in nuclear missiles, such as intermediate explosives, launch protocols, and yield calculations. A few years ago, several articles were published in relation to “fogbank” — a critical aerosol component within certain models of nuclear warheads. The production of this aerosol component of warheads was extremely classified and thus repair and/or re-manufacturing of it has been difficult, as many of those who worked on it in the Cold War era have passed away or are in retirement. The fogbank manufacturing facilities in Tennessee were additionally dismantled several years ago. Additional research by a weapons physicist at Lawrence-Livermore Laboratories in the USA have indicated that some of the original explosive yield calculations were off by as much as 30% — as initial test data was processed by hand and at very quick rates in the 1950s through 1970s. Quite alarming!

More information about the yield calculations being a inaccurate can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-QVPXBcxLU

And Artificial Intelligence itself is supposed to be a real threat to humanity, according to some theorists. But maybe not quite as soon as killer robots.

And Artificial Intelligence itself is supposed to be a real threat to humanity, according to some theorists. But maybe not quite as soon as killer robots.

Haven’t heard a Peep. Have you?

Has any official in Ottawa said a word within the last six months about really cancelling the sale of those machines to the Saudis? We know what the public wants but it doesn’t seem to bother the government officials in democratic societies. Keep pushing, Cesar Jaramillo!

Have the women changed things?

Have Rotarians always been so wise? I think you started letting women join a few years ago. Has that changed anything about the organization’s culture?

How much weaponry will be allowed?

Ruth, your question is valid but maybe should be put in reverse order. Maybe the better question is, how much weaponry will any UNEPS peacekeepers be allowed to carry and use? This proposal could be applied as an expansion of war-fighting units or the emphasis could be on foreseeing conflicts “upstream” before they become serious and sending in mediators and lawyers to solve the problems before they become real.

Haven’t heard a Peep. Have you?

Has any official in Ottawa said a word within the last six months about really cancelling the sale of those machines to the Saudis? We know what the public wants but it doesn’t seem to bother the government officials in democratic societies. Keep pushing, Cesar Jaramillo!

Have the women changed things?

Have Rotarians always been so wise? I think you started letting women join a few years ago. Has that changed anything about the organization’s culture?

How much weaponry will be allowed?

Ruth, your question is valid but maybe should be put in reverse order. Maybe the better question is, how much weaponry will any UNEPS peacekeepers be allowed to carry and use? This proposal could be applied as an expansion of war-fighting units or the emphasis could be on foreseeing conflicts “upstream” before they become serious and sending in mediators and lawyers to solve the problems before they become real.

(Could This Have Happened if Russia Had Adopted the Ban Treaty? Give us your thoughts.)

Russia Says New Weapon Blew Up in Nuclear Accident

By Jake Rudnitsky and Stepan Kravchenko
August 12, 2019

Blast last week at missile test caused brief radiation spike

The failed missile test that ended in an explosion killing five atomic scientists last week on Russia’s White Sea involved a small nuclear power source, according to a top official at the institute where they worked.

The men “tragically died while testing a new special device,” Alexei Likhachev, the chief executive officer of state nuclear monopoly Rosatom, said at their funeral Monday in Sarov, a high-security city devoted to atomic research less than 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Moscow where the institute is based.

The part of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center that employed them is developing small-scale power sources that use “radioactive materials, including fissile and radioisotope materials” for the Defense Ministry and civilian uses, Vyacheslav Soloviev, scientific director of the institute, said in a video shown by local TV.
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Will They Be Armed?


This plank calls for a UN Emergency Peace Service, but it does not say whether any (or all) of it would be unarmed. Would the people behind this say what they have in mind? Some of us have endorsed it without being clear about how much it will resemble a regular army.

(Could This Have Happened if Russia Had Adopted the Ban Treaty? Give us your thoughts.)

Russia Says New Weapon Blew Up in Nuclear Accident

By Jake Rudnitsky and Stepan Kravchenko
August 12, 2019

Blast last week at missile test caused brief radiation spike

The failed missile test that ended in an explosion killing five atomic scientists last week on Russia’s White Sea involved a small nuclear power source, according to a top official at the institute where they worked.

The men “tragically died while testing a new special device,” Alexei Likhachev, the chief executive officer of state nuclear monopoly Rosatom, said at their funeral Monday in Sarov, a high-security city devoted to atomic research less than 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Moscow where the institute is based.

The part of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center that employed them is developing small-scale power sources that use “radioactive materials, including fissile and radioisotope materials” for the Defense Ministry and civilian uses, Vyacheslav Soloviev, scientific director of the institute, said in a video shown by local TV.
Read more

Will They Be Armed?


This plank calls for a UN Emergency Peace Service, but it does not say whether any (or all) of it would be unarmed. Would the people behind this say what they have in mind? Some of us have endorsed it without being clear about how much it will resemble a regular army.

And on the other hand, there’s Costa Rica!. Wow. One of the world’s happiest countries. Here’s how:

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/sun-sea-and-stable-democracy-what-s-the-secret-to-costa-rica-s-success/

And on the other hand, there’s Costa Rica!. Wow. One of the world’s happiest countries. Here’s how:

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/sun-sea-and-stable-democracy-what-s-the-secret-to-costa-rica-s-success/

U.S.-based experts suspect Russia blast involved nuclear-powered missile

By Jonathan Landay | Reuters, Aug 8

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S.-based nuclear experts said on Friday they suspected an accidental blast and radiation release in northern Russia this week occurred during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile vaunted by President Vladimir Putin last year.

The Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted by state-run news outlets, said that two people died and six were injured on Thursday in an explosion of what it called a liquid propellant rocket engine. No dangerous substances were released, it said. Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom said early on Saturday that five of its staff members died.

A spokeswoman for Severodvinsk, a city of 185,000 near the test site in the Arkhangelsk region, was quoted in a statement on the municipal website as saying that a “short-term” spike in background radiation was recorded at noon Thursday. The statement was not on the site on Friday.

The Russian Embassy did not immediately respond for comment.

Two experts said in separate interviews with Reuters that a liquid rocket propellant explosion would not release radiation.

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U.S.-based experts suspect Russia blast involved nuclear-powered missile

By Jonathan Landay | Reuters, Aug 8

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S.-based nuclear experts said on Friday they suspected an accidental blast and radiation release in northern Russia this week occurred during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile vaunted by President Vladimir Putin last year.

The Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted by state-run news outlets, said that two people died and six were injured on Thursday in an explosion of what it called a liquid propellant rocket engine. No dangerous substances were released, it said. Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom said early on Saturday that five of its staff members died.

A spokeswoman for Severodvinsk, a city of 185,000 near the test site in the Arkhangelsk region, was quoted in a statement on the municipal website as saying that a “short-term” spike in background radiation was recorded at noon Thursday. The statement was not on the site on Friday.

The Russian Embassy did not immediately respond for comment.

Two experts said in separate interviews with Reuters that a liquid rocket propellant explosion would not release radiation.

Read more

Rotarians are Peaceniks!

By Richard Denton
“What are old conservative Rotarian businessmen (and now women), doing at a United Nations (UN) Preparatory talk on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)”, asked a non-Rotarian female peace person.

This is still the concept that many of the public think about Rotary. Some may know us as a service group like Lions and Kiwanis, but that is about it. We need to do a much better job of branding ourselves, of getting our Rotary name out into the public through our community services such as building parks, building youth facilities and Adopting Road clean ups, sponsoring fund-raisers and donating to worthy organizations and other community projects. But we also need to promote our other programs; Rotary student exchanges, but also the work of the Rotary Foundation – Polio Plus, Rotary scholarships that are actually worth more money and can be done in any university, compared to the Rhodes Scholarship that is better known. We need to promote our Peace Fellowships either the yearlong program or the three month program to university students.
We as Rotarians and we need to get the general populace to know about the history of Rotarians being active starting the United Nations and the International Bill of Human Rights.
Read more

Rotarians are Peaceniks!

By Richard Denton
“What are old conservative Rotarian businessmen (and now women), doing at a United Nations (UN) Preparatory talk on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)”, asked a non-Rotarian female peace person.

This is still the concept that many of the public think about Rotary. Some may know us as a service group like Lions and Kiwanis, but that is about it. We need to do a much better job of branding ourselves, of getting our Rotary name out into the public through our community services such as building parks, building youth facilities and Adopting Road clean ups, sponsoring fund-raisers and donating to worthy organizations and other community projects. But we also need to promote our other programs; Rotary student exchanges, but also the work of the Rotary Foundation – Polio Plus, Rotary scholarships that are actually worth more money and can be done in any university, compared to the Rhodes Scholarship that is better known. We need to promote our Peace Fellowships either the yearlong program or the three month program to university students.
We as Rotarians and we need to get the general populace to know about the history of Rotarians being active starting the United Nations and the International Bill of Human Rights.
Read more

What is “EMP”?

A Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is a short, intense pulse of a radio wave that is produced by a nuclear detonation.

Its radius is much greater than the destruction caused by the heat and the blast wave of the nuclear weapon. For example, the pulse of an explosion about 100 km high would cover an area of 4 million km2. An explosion about 350 km high could, for example, cover most of North America, with a voltage of a power that is a million times greater than that of a thunderbolt. That is to say, if the detonation of a nuclear bomb is done from a sufficient height, even when there is not such a great physical destruction, it could affect the life of the inhabitants of a whole country or of several countries.

Who will be the owner of all those new fighter planes——the Netherlands? The 20 nuclear bombs presumably are officially owned by th US, right? The Dutch are just “hosting “ them and can send them home if they want to. But why do they want so many fighter planes?

What is “EMP”?

A Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is a short, intense pulse of a radio wave that is produced by a nuclear detonation.

Its radius is much greater than the destruction caused by the heat and the blast wave of the nuclear weapon. For example, the pulse of an explosion about 100 km high would cover an area of 4 million km2. An explosion about 350 km high could, for example, cover most of North America, with a voltage of a power that is a million times greater than that of a thunderbolt. That is to say, if the detonation of a nuclear bomb is done from a sufficient height, even when there is not such a great physical destruction, it could affect the life of the inhabitants of a whole country or of several countries.

Who will be the owner of all those new fighter planes——the Netherlands? The 20 nuclear bombs presumably are officially owned by th US, right? The Dutch are just “hosting “ them and can send them home if they want to. But why do they want so many fighter planes?

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China: We Won’t Use Nuclear Weapons First in a War


by David Axe . July 24, 2019
China has reaffirmed its policy of never being the first in a conflict to use nuclear weapons. Experts refer to this policy as “no first use,” or NFU.

The NFU policy reaffirmation, contained in Beijing’s July 2019 strategic white paper, surprised some observers who expected a more expansive and aggressive nuclear posture from the rising power.

Notably, the United States does not have a no-first-use policy. “Retaining a degree of ambiguity and refraining from a no first use policy creates uncertainty in the mind of potential adversaries and reinforces deterrence of aggression by ensuring adversaries cannot predict what specific actions will lead to a U.S. nuclear response,” the Pentagon stated….
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/china-we-wont-use-nuclear-weapons-first-war-69007

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China: We Won’t Use Nuclear Weapons First in a War


by David Axe . July 24, 2019
China has reaffirmed its policy of never being the first in a conflict to use nuclear weapons. Experts refer to this policy as “no first use,” or NFU.

The NFU policy reaffirmation, contained in Beijing’s July 2019 strategic white paper, surprised some observers who expected a more expansive and aggressive nuclear posture from the rising power.

Notably, the United States does not have a no-first-use policy. “Retaining a degree of ambiguity and refraining from a no first use policy creates uncertainty in the mind of potential adversaries and reinforces deterrence of aggression by ensuring adversaries cannot predict what specific actions will lead to a U.S. nuclear response,” the Pentagon stated….
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/china-we-wont-use-nuclear-weapons-first-war-69007

Autonomous weapons that kill must be banned, insists UN chief

UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged artificial intelligence (AI) experts meeting in Geneva on Monday to push ahead with their work to restrict the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems, or LAWS, as they are also known.

In a message to the Group of Governmental Experts, the UN chief said that “machines with the power and discretion to take lives without human involvement are politically unacceptable, morally repugnant and should be prohibited by international law”.

No country or armed force is in favour of such “fully autonomous” weapon systems that can take human life, Mr Guterres insisted, before welcoming the panel’s statement last year that “human responsibility for decisions on the use of weapons systems must be retained, since accountability cannot be transferred to machines”. . . .

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Apparently the scientist was still on the tower during the lightning storm. Terrifying!

Autonomous weapons that kill must be banned, insists UN chief

UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged artificial intelligence (AI) experts meeting in Geneva on Monday to push ahead with their work to restrict the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems, or LAWS, as they are also known.

In a message to the Group of Governmental Experts, the UN chief said that “machines with the power and discretion to take lives without human involvement are politically unacceptable, morally repugnant and should be prohibited by international law”.

No country or armed force is in favour of such “fully autonomous” weapon systems that can take human life, Mr Guterres insisted, before welcoming the panel’s statement last year that “human responsibility for decisions on the use of weapons systems must be retained, since accountability cannot be transferred to machines”. . . .

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Apparently the scientist was still on the tower during the lightning storm. Terrifying!

How the League of Nations Came About

The idea of creating a League of Nations had been on the agenda at Versailles from its start in January 1919. President Woodrow Wilson was its chief champion. Then on 28 April, there was a unanimous decision to create it, with Geneva as its headquarters.

Some of the League’s later failings were visible from the start. Defeated Germany and revolutionary USSR were not invited to join, and the US Senate turned down the invitation. Nevertheless, the first decade of the League’s life saw a good deal of international cooperation, including the settlement of a number of conflicts that could have led to war. There was a feeling that a new era in international relations had been born. However, the 1930s began with the conflicts that would finally end the League.

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Did you hear during the initial Trinity test set up Los Alamos had a scientist climb up to the top of this tower (the original, that is) and “guard” the bomb while measurement equipment was installed, etc. Unfortunately, there was subsequently a lightning storm over the desert. It is very likely the bomb would have exploded prematurely if the tower was struck.

Costa Rica’s the Best!

Right. The woman who chaired the Ban Treaty conference is from Costa Rica. So is Oscar Arias, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against the Central American crisis. And there is a peace university located there.

How the League of Nations Came About

The idea of creating a League of Nations had been on the agenda at Versailles from its start in January 1919. President Woodrow Wilson was its chief champion. Then on 28 April, there was a unanimous decision to create it, with Geneva as its headquarters.

Some of the League’s later failings were visible from the start. Defeated Germany and revolutionary USSR were not invited to join, and the US Senate turned down the invitation. Nevertheless, the first decade of the League’s life saw a good deal of international cooperation, including the settlement of a number of conflicts that could have led to war. There was a feeling that a new era in international relations had been born. However, the 1930s began with the conflicts that would finally end the League.

Read more

Did you hear during the initial Trinity test set up Los Alamos had a scientist climb up to the top of this tower (the original, that is) and “guard” the bomb while measurement equipment was installed, etc. Unfortunately, there was subsequently a lightning storm over the desert. It is very likely the bomb would have exploded prematurely if the tower was struck.

Costa Rica’s the Best!

Right. The woman who chaired the Ban Treaty conference is from Costa Rica. So is Oscar Arias, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against the Central American crisis. And there is a peace university located there.

Stop the Arms Trade, Save Yemen

On September 17, Canada formally joined the global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as the 105th state party to do so, nearly five years after this landmark multilateral treaty entered into force. We applaud this welcome step. But there will be no standing ovation.

Not while Canadian arms exports to Saudi Arabia continue, already 11 months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that they would be reviewed. And let’s not forget the backdrop to this review: the brutal assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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Stop the Arms Trade, Save Yemen

On September 17, Canada formally joined the global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as the 105th state party to do so, nearly five years after this landmark multilateral treaty entered into force. We applaud this welcome step. But there will be no standing ovation.

Not while Canadian arms exports to Saudi Arabia continue, already 11 months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that they would be reviewed. And let’s not forget the backdrop to this review: the brutal assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Read more

With thanks to John Hallam. Note: Published on Abolition-list in April.

Russia nuclear warning: Satan 2 missile that can destroy size of ENGLAND close to launch

By WILL STEWART in Moscow

Vladimir Putin is warning the West that the biggest beast in his fearsome military arsenal – known as Satan-2 – is close to deployment. Other deadly new-generation weapons – the Kinzhal hypersonic missile and the Peresvet laser system – have been put on “combat duty” already, he claimed.

The final tests involving the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile have been a success

“The final tests involving the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile have been a success,” he said, according to the Kremlin’s official translation.

The Sarmat –- known in the West as Satan-2 -– is seen as Russia’s most powerful nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile.
Read more

With thanks to John Hallam. Note: Published on Abolition-list in April.

Russia nuclear warning: Satan 2 missile that can destroy size of ENGLAND close to launch

By WILL STEWART in Moscow

Vladimir Putin is warning the West that the biggest beast in his fearsome military arsenal – known as Satan-2 – is close to deployment. Other deadly new-generation weapons – the Kinzhal hypersonic missile and the Peresvet laser system – have been put on “combat duty” already, he claimed.

The final tests involving the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile have been a success

“The final tests involving the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile have been a success,” he said, according to the Kremlin’s official translation.

The Sarmat –- known in the West as Satan-2 -– is seen as Russia’s most powerful nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile.
Read more

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The government also suggested that “in view of the increasing tensions and imminent arms race, identify opportunities together with allies to achieve the withdrawal of all Russian and American sub-strategic nuclear weapons from all over Europe – from the Atlantic to the Urals.”
https://natowatch.org/default/2019/dutch-government-sets-qualified-timeline-end-nuclear-task


Dutch government sets a (qualified) timeline to end the nuclear task


The Dutch seem not to want them!

Susi Snyder, project lead for the PAX No Nukes project, The Netherlands

16 July 2019

This article was first published on the PAX website on 8 July 2019 and is reproduced with the kind permission of the author.

The Dutch government published its response to a report by the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) (31 January 2019), called “Nuclear weapons in a new geopolitical reality.” In the response, the government suggested that when the F-16 is definitely replaced by the F-35 it could be possible to end the nuclear task. The government points out that ending the nuclear task (currently an assignment of a squadron of fighter pilots, allegedly hosting about 20 nuclear bombs, and the related guns, gates and guards to keep them isolated), would not require changes in NATO membership, but would need to be well prepared.

Read more

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The government also suggested that “in view of the increasing tensions and imminent arms race, identify opportunities together with allies to achieve the withdrawal of all Russian and American sub-strategic nuclear weapons from all over Europe – from the Atlantic to the Urals.”
https://natowatch.org/default/2019/dutch-government-sets-qualified-timeline-end-nuclear-task


Dutch government sets a (qualified) timeline to end the nuclear task


The Dutch seem not to want them!

Susi Snyder, project lead for the PAX No Nukes project, The Netherlands

16 July 2019

This article was first published on the PAX website on 8 July 2019 and is reproduced with the kind permission of the author.

The Dutch government published its response to a report by the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) (31 January 2019), called “Nuclear weapons in a new geopolitical reality.” In the response, the government suggested that when the F-16 is definitely replaced by the F-35 it could be possible to end the nuclear task. The government points out that ending the nuclear task (currently an assignment of a squadron of fighter pilots, allegedly hosting about 20 nuclear bombs, and the related guns, gates and guards to keep them isolated), would not require changes in NATO membership, but would need to be well prepared.

Read more


A replica of the “Gadget” and tower in New Mexico.

Saudis vs Houthis = Dead Civilians

“Not known for its humanitarian actions” is quite an understatement. The war in Yemen was the worst humanitarian crisis in the world (at least until the Covid pandemic struck). Three million people have fled from their homes and there have been over 17,500 civilian casualties. Around 80 percent of Yemen’s population required aid. It was Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that led the coalition of states in Yemen against the Houthi forces. Most of the deaths were caused by Saudi air strikes.


A replica of the “Gadget” and tower in New Mexico.

Saudis vs Houthis = Dead Civilians

“Not known for its humanitarian actions” is quite an understatement. The war in Yemen was the worst humanitarian crisis in the world (at least until the Covid pandemic struck). Three million people have fled from their homes and there have been over 17,500 civilian casualties. Around 80 percent of Yemen’s population required aid. It was Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that led the coalition of states in Yemen against the Houthi forces. Most of the deaths were caused by Saudi air strikes.

It May Only Take 3.5% of the Population to Topple a Dictator — With Civil Resistance

(From The Guardian)

Many people across the United States are despondent about [Trump] – and the threat to democracy his rise could represent. But they shouldn’t be. At no time in recorded history have people been more equipped to effectively resist injustice using civil resistance.

Today, those seeking knowledge about the theory and practice of civil resistance can find a wealth of information at their fingertips. In virtually any language, one can find training manuals, strategy-building tools, facilitation guides and documentation about successes and mistakes of past nonviolent campaigns.

Material is available in many formats, including graphic novels, e-classes, films and documentaries, scholarly books, novels, websites, research monographs, research inventories, and children’s books. And of course, the world is full of experienced activists with wisdom to share.

Read more

It May Only Take 3.5% of the Population to Topple a Dictator — With Civil Resistance

(From The Guardian)

Many people across the United States are despondent about [Trump] – and the threat to democracy his rise could represent. But they shouldn’t be. At no time in recorded history have people been more equipped to effectively resist injustice using civil resistance.

Today, those seeking knowledge about the theory and practice of civil resistance can find a wealth of information at their fingertips. In virtually any language, one can find training manuals, strategy-building tools, facilitation guides and documentation about successes and mistakes of past nonviolent campaigns.

Material is available in many formats, including graphic novels, e-classes, films and documentaries, scholarly books, novels, websites, research monographs, research inventories, and children’s books. And of course, the world is full of experienced activists with wisdom to share.

Read more

Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) are aptly called “killer robots,” though they don’t actually look like Arnold Schwartznegger. They decide whom to kill without consulting a person. You’d never want to get into a fight with one.

Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) are aptly called “killer robots,” though they don’t actually look like Arnold Schwartznegger. They decide whom to kill without consulting a person. You’d never want to get into a fight with one.

Wish the ATT Could Stop Mass Shootings

The Arms Trade Treaty would not solve the US problems about mass shootings, since it only regulates the transfer of weapons between countries. But it would prevent such things as the current Canadian sale of armoured personnel carriers to Saudi Arabia, a country not known for its humanitarian actions.

Maybe there are still needles up there

“But not all the needles returned to Earth. Thanks to a design flaw, it’s possible that several hundred, perhaps thousands of clusters of clumped needles still reside in orbit around Earth, along with the spacecraft that carried them.

The copper needles were embedded in a naphthalene gel designed to evaporate quickly once it reached the vacuum of space, dispersing the needles in a thin cloud. But this design allowed metal-on-metal contact, which, in a vacuum, can weld fragments into larger clumps.”

Wish the ATT Could Stop Mass Shootings

The Arms Trade Treaty would not solve the US problems about mass shootings, since it only regulates the transfer of weapons between countries. But it would prevent such things as the current Canadian sale of armoured personnel carriers to Saudi Arabia, a country not known for its humanitarian actions.

Maybe there are still needles up there

“But not all the needles returned to Earth. Thanks to a design flaw, it’s possible that several hundred, perhaps thousands of clusters of clumped needles still reside in orbit around Earth, along with the spacecraft that carried them.

The copper needles were embedded in a naphthalene gel designed to evaporate quickly once it reached the vacuum of space, dispersing the needles in a thin cloud. But this design allowed metal-on-metal contact, which, in a vacuum, can weld fragments into larger clumps.”

It takes all types to keep the peace

A U.N. Emergency Peace Service would probably include armed peacekeepers for the worst situations, as well as maybe “white helmet” peacekeepers (who are almost unarmed) and humanitarian workers, conflict resolution experts, and socio-legal experts.

It takes all types to keep the peace

A U.N. Emergency Peace Service would probably include armed peacekeepers for the worst situations, as well as maybe “white helmet” peacekeepers (who are almost unarmed) and humanitarian workers, conflict resolution experts, and socio-legal experts.

Meet Satan

The “Satan 2” nuclear rocket is aptly named. Maybe the worst weapon ever.

How often are nuclear weapons mentioned in the House of Commons (Canada)? (Correction: this should be a question, not a statement)

Hi Howard – The project is called Project Pluto – which used a ramjet missile design. The missile had an unshielded reactor which super-heated air to generate thrust. The missile could spend months flying relatively low to the ground – causing huge swaths of irradiated land – as well as sounds loud enough to injure and seriously maim animals and humans that it flew over. From my understanding, it used to additionally have the potential for multiple warheads to be affixed to the ramjet itself. Molson Coors – the alcoholic brewing company – provided important ceramic insulation and other components during the development of this missile class. The longest test for the motor was under 5 minutes (Nevada area, I think) – due to the severe damage it caused – and concerns that it would break loose from its tether and be set loose on Western North America.

See some articles and comments around this class of missiles in Plank One section of this website.

That’s an understatement, Richard. It’s about a woman who quit Google last year because of their military project. She says that AI can accidentally start a war.

Meet Satan

The “Satan 2” nuclear rocket is aptly named. Maybe the worst weapon ever.

How often are nuclear weapons mentioned in the House of Commons (Canada)? (Correction: this should be a question, not a statement)

Hi Howard – The project is called Project Pluto – which used a ramjet missile design. The missile had an unshielded reactor which super-heated air to generate thrust. The missile could spend months flying relatively low to the ground – causing huge swaths of irradiated land – as well as sounds loud enough to injure and seriously maim animals and humans that it flew over. From my understanding, it used to additionally have the potential for multiple warheads to be affixed to the ramjet itself. Molson Coors – the alcoholic brewing company – provided important ceramic insulation and other components during the development of this missile class. The longest test for the motor was under 5 minutes (Nevada area, I think) – due to the severe damage it caused – and concerns that it would break loose from its tether and be set loose on Western North America.

See some articles and comments around this class of missiles in Plank One section of this website.

That’s an understatement, Richard. It’s about a woman who quit Google last year because of their military project. She says that AI can accidentally start a war.

Yes! The House of Commons wants this government to ”to take a leadership role within NATO in beginning the work necessary for achieving the NATO goal of creating the conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons.” Why isn’t it happening? (And isn’t it a nice room? Not always so nice during Question period when the members get rowdy, but pretty while they are absent.)

Shhh! We’re Canadian MPs. We don’t talk abut Nuclear Weapons

How often are nuclear weapons mentioned in the House of Commons (Canada)? It would be interesting to see an analysis of this over the years — as well as comparison between the municipal, provincial, and federal level of government. The only municipal example that I can think of re: Toronto would be the commitment to being a nuclear weapons free city. How does Canada’s House of Commons compare to other countries — such as the United Kingdom, United States, etc — in regards to the topics of nuclear weapons coming up in discussions?

Nuclear-powered missiles?

I read someplace that the US had experimented with using a nuclear reactor to power missiles many years ago but had given up the idea as impractical or maybe they even said too risky. Does anyone know any facts about that? Or is it classified information?

Yes! The House of Commons wants this government to ”to take a leadership role within NATO in beginning the work necessary for achieving the NATO goal of creating the conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons.” Why isn’t it happening? (And isn’t it a nice room? Not always so nice during Question period when the members get rowdy, but pretty while they are absent.)

Shhh! We’re Canadian MPs. We don’t talk abut Nuclear Weapons

How often are nuclear weapons mentioned in the House of Commons (Canada)? It would be interesting to see an analysis of this over the years — as well as comparison between the municipal, provincial, and federal level of government. The only municipal example that I can think of re: Toronto would be the commitment to being a nuclear weapons free city. How does Canada’s House of Commons compare to other countries — such as the United Kingdom, United States, etc — in regards to the topics of nuclear weapons coming up in discussions?

Nuclear-powered missiles?

I read someplace that the US had experimented with using a nuclear reactor to power missiles many years ago but had given up the idea as impractical or maybe they even said too risky. Does anyone know any facts about that? Or is it classified information?

They don’t actually look like this

By the way, killer robots don’t look like robots at all. They are just machines that don’t have human operators. One might look like a vacuum cleaner or a street sweeper.
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They don’t actually look like this

By the way, killer robots don’t look like robots at all. They are just machines that don’t have human operators. One might look like a vacuum cleaner or a street sweeper.
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Now there’s still a chance to stop them

Polls show that most of the world’s population opposes killer robots. We need to stop them now.

Now there’s still a chance to stop them

Polls show that most of the world’s population opposes killer robots. We need to stop them now.

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