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2005-02-21 16:09:28 (UTC)

Bombs Away

Check out this article from Lynda Hurst of the Toronto Star…
Thanking Matthew Good for this one.

“In 1992, in the warm glow of the Cold War's end, the United
States stopped making and testing nuclear arms, halting its
arsenal at 10,000 warheads and pledging to cut back further
still.

Four years later, it was the first country to sign the
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban treaty. But though committed
to it in principle — certainly in regard to other nations —
the U.S. wanted to keep its options open and, in 1999, to
universal dismay, refused to ratify the treaty.

What happened on 9/11 could mean America never will ratify —
or not, at least, while President George W. Bush holds
office and the Republicans hold Congress.

Since the war on terror began, the headlines and
billion-dollar budget allocations have focused on the
missile-defence system and ever-smarter conventional bombs.
But many security analysts say the Bush administration is
quietly planning — in violation of the global
non-proliferation treaty, which was ratified by the U.S. —
to create and test new nuclear weapons.

If it proceeds, they say, a host of other nations are sure
to follow suit, just as China did in signing but not
ratifying the test ban treaty. The law of unintended
consequences could then trigger a new arms race, even an
atomic war.

"The public is just starting to become aware of all this,
but other governments know and, in security circles, it's
already out of the closet," says Daryl Kimball, executive
director of the Arms Control Association, the major
anti-nuclear lobby in the United States.

Kimball is referring to two nuclear-linked programs that
analysts say are not what the administration claims them to be.

The first is the Reliable Replacement Warhead Program. A
budget of $9 million (all figures U.S.) was approved by
Congress in November after it was cast by the White House as
a research project on the "problem" of the aging nuclear
arsenal.

Only there isn't a problem, says Kimball, not according to
the bulk of scientific opinion, including that of the
National Academy of Sciences, which advises the federal
government.

"It's a misconception that the stockpile is decaying. That's
deliberately being put out there by those who want to get
rid of the testing ban."

THIS IS YOUR LIFE
NC


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