Nuclear Non-Proliferation News
December 20, 2007
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Welcome to Nuclear Non-Proliferation News, a monthly digest of UK news
on Trident and missile defence.
Opposition to Trident from the commoners to the Lords
In this month's edition, the Government comes under attack
in the House of Lords by five former heads of the military - Lords
Bramall, Craig, Inge, Guthrie and Boyce - over plans to cut the defence
budget, including plans to reduce the number of Astute class submarines
to seven, whilst spending on Trident and two new aircraft carriers goes
ahead. According to the Financial Times the Peers launched
caustic attacks on Gordon Brown, accusing the "unsympathetic" prime minister
of treating troops with "contempt".
Writing in the Telegraph, Major Patrick Cordingley
wrote, "I do question the sums of money that may be necessary to
replace Trident and its missile system. Money in all these areas could
be saved to fund what is clearly needed now."
Similarly in the Times, former Labour Minister Nigel
Griffiths who resigned as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
in March over Trident, argued that "To imagine that Trident will
not lead to a squeeze on funding our frontline troops is naive. The sad
truth is that Trident funding is already diverting nearly 9 per cent of
the MoD budget away from necessities such as hardened troop carriers and
essential equipment such as roadside bomb-jamming devices."
With significant funding going into Trident, the FT and other industry
sources report increased profits for the companies involved,
although one industry commentator lamented that Scottish companies might
be adversely affected by the Scottish Government's continuing
opposition to Trident.
Opposition to Trident continues this month with protests
at nuclear sites north and south of the Border, whilst Scottish
First Minister Alex Salmond set out his vision for an independent
- and nuclear-free - Scotland.
In November, a BBC Newsnight
programme revealed security problems with safeguards to ensure that
Britain's nuclear forces are under political control. The programme described
the security on Britain's recently retired RAF free fall bombs as being
comparable with "bike locks".
It was left to Asia News International to report on a press statement
from the UK Government's Health Protection Agency
concluding that the cancer risk for people exposed
to tritium in both the civil and military nuclear industries may be double
than that was previously assumed. The statement received little or no
coverage in the mainstream British media.
Opposition to Trident continued to feature prominently in the Liberal
Democrat leadership contest as both candidates sought to define the Party
as a real alternative to the political mainstream. Chris
Huhne's outspoken opposition to Trident has garnered significant support
from the Party's grassroots supporters and although perceived as the underdog
throughout the campaign, he came within 500 votes of the winner, Nick
Clegg. Under pressure because of his support for Trident replacement,
Clegg has tried to demonstrate his disarmament credentials
by writing to NATO to oppose the Government's recent announcement that
Menwith Hill (which is not far from Clegg's Yorkshire constituency) will
play a key role in US missile defence plans (see Proliferation
in Parliament, July - August 2007).
Missile Defence under scrutiny
In the House of Commons, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee
(a cross party group of MPs set up to scrutinise government policy) issued
a scathing endictment of the "manner and timing" of
the Government's decision to approve a US request to use the secret base
at Menwith, North Yorkshire in its missile defence programme. The BBC
reported that the Committee accused the government of "sneaking out"
the announcement in a written statement shortly before MPs broke for the
long summer recess. The Foreign Affairs Committee's comments follow earlier
criticism by the Defence Select Committee of similar obstruction of debate
by the government in its handling of the decision to approve participation
of Fylingdales in the missile defence programme in 2003.
Many media outlets in the UK and elsewhere have reported on the deterioriating
relations between NATO and Russia, exacerbated by missile defence.
The Telegraph reported that Russia had threatened to target the
European bases involved in the programme with its intercontinental ballistic
missiles and its threat to redeploy nuclear weapons closer to its borders
with Western Europe. Russia's focus is currently on the interceptor bases
in the Czech Republic and Poland, but the threats raise concerns that
given the UK's rapidly declining relationship with Russia and outspoken
support for missile defence, sites such as Menwith Hill and Fylingdales
in Yorkshire may be next.
On a related topic, this month's international news includes reports
from the UK media on Russia's suspension of participation
in the CFE Treaty. Russia has also test-fired a inter-continental
missile with new equipment able to pierce anti-missile shields. The
Topol has a maximum range of 10,000 km (6,215 miles), and can carry one
550-kiloton nuclear warhead.
In a considerable set back for the Bush administration's nuclear plans,
we also include news from the Washington Post that Congress
has cut all funding for continuing development next year of the Reliable
Many of the British papers covered concerns about the
security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal as political unrest in the
country continues. Meanwhile, mimicking the rhetoric of the US administration,
India has announced its intention to develop a missile
The latest news on Iran includes comments from Britain's
negotiator John Sawers ruling out progress this year because of "wide
differences" on adopting new sanctions against Tehran.
In this month's edition
An archive of press coverage is available on our website at: www.acronym.org.uk/news.
We welcome your comments and feedback. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trident and the Defence Budget
asked to defend £6bn nuclear spend as training cut
IAN BRUCE, Defence Correspondent, The Herald, December 12, 2007
Senior opposition politicians yesterday questioned why Britain is spending
£6.4bn on its strategic nuclear deterrent while basic combat training
for troops is being cancelled on cost grounds... Nick Harvey, the party's
defence spokesman, said: "This is an issue that goes beyond our spending
on the nuclear deterrent. "We need a complete rethink on how the entire
defence budget is spent.
defense: All at sea
Paul Rogers, Open Democracy, December 10, 2007
There is an argument over the size of Britain's military budget. The real
issue is its purpose.
A stark contrast between reality and perception in the discussion of the
United Kingdom's defense policy is becoming increasingly visible. Britain
has one of the world's largest defense budgets, and it has been rising
on an annual basis.
seeks £15 billion cut in defence
Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor, The Telegraph, December 6,
The defence budget could be cut by up to £15 billion over the next
decade under Treasury plans which are said to have split the Cabinet.
Although Gordon Brown recently announced a £2.8 billion rise in defence
spending by 2010, Government pledges to replace the Trident nuclear deterrent
and build two new aircraft carriers mean that cuts must be made elsewhere.
split over £15bn proposed defence cuts
David Hencke, Westminster correspondent, The Guardian, December
Though overall spending on defence is due to rise from £34.1bn next year
to £36.9bn in 2010, sources close to the ministry say that prior commitments
to Trident and two new aircraft carriers mean deep cuts are being drawn
up in other areas between now and 2017. These include: Cutting the number
of new Astute nuclear powered submarines to be built at Barrow from eight
to as few as four...
in £1bn battle to stay within budget
Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, The Telegraph, November 12,
Military chiefs plan to shelve some of the country's costliest military
projects to stave off a financial crisis, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
The Ministry of Defence needs to save about £350 million annually for
the next three years to stay in budget, which is only possible if projects
are shelved or cancelled.
set to reduce its flotilla of nuclear submarines
IAN BRUCE, Defence Correspondent, The Herald, December 6, 2007
The Royal Navy plans to reduce its flotilla of nuclear-powered patrol
submarines to just seven - fewer than half of the number available at
the time of the Falklands War - amid growing speculation over a swingeing
new round of defence budget cuts. The Ministry of Defence confirmed yesterday
that current planning assumptions "envisage an attack fleet of seven submarines
after 2022", but hedged its bets by saying that the figures remained "under
launches counter-offensive after criticism by ex-defence chiefs
MICHAEL SETTLE, Chief UK Political Correspondent, The Herald, December
The attack on the UK Government's treatment of Britain's Armed Forces
by five former defence chiefs was yesterday condemned as "potentially
very dangerous" to the wellbeing of the nation's troops on the frontline.
outburst is fired by frustration
By Stephen Fidler, FT.com, November 24, 2007
Just when the prime minister needed it least, five former heads of the
military stood up in the Lords and attacked the government for failing
to look after the armed forces. Gordon Brown will find it hard to dismiss
his critics as know-nothings. The peers – Lords Bramall, Craig, Inge,
Guthrie and Boyce – represent all three services and headed the military
for a total of 15 years between 1982 and 2003.
under attack over armed forces
Alex Barker, Political Correspondent, FT.com, November 23, 2007
Senior retired military officers launched caustic personal attacks
on Gordon Brown yesterday, accusing the "unsympathetic" prime minister
of treating troops with "contempt". Former admirals, field marshals and
air marshals took turns in a heated Lords chamber to accuse Mr Brown of
breaking the military covenant and taking no interest in the travails
of the armed forces.
sheer futility and huge cost of Trident
Nigel Griffiths, The Times, November 15, 2007
There are no circumstances where we would use a nuclear bomb; the
money would be better spent on combating rising sea levels.
To imagine that Trident will not lead to a squeeze on funding our frontline
troops is naive. The sad truth is that Trident funding is already diverting
nearly 9 per cent of the MoD budget away from necessities such as hardened
troop carriers and essential equipment such as roadside bomb-jamming devices.
Nigel Griffiths, the Labour MP for Edinburgh South, resigned as Deputy
Leader of the House of Commons in March over Trident.
still need our nuclear badge
Oliver Kamm, The Times, November 13, 2007
The rationale for keeping the bomb has changed over the decades.
It is the uncertainty of an anarchic international order that has persuaded
British governments to maintain the deterrent. That is the gut decision
at the heart of this debate. It remains the right one.
is sinking under strain of ship and staff cuts, says chief
Michael Evans, Defence Editor, The Times, November 13, 2007
The head of the Royal Navy gave warning yesterday that the fleet would
lose its flexibility if the Government cut back too far on warships and
manpower. Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval
Staff, said that there was a risk that the Navy would not be able to fulfil
many of its duties.
troops are exposed
Maj Gen Patrick Cordingley, The Telegraph, November 12, 2007
I am not against this country having a nuclear deterrent. But I do question
the sums of money that may be necessary to replace Trident and its missile
system. Money in all these areas could be saved to fund what is clearly
planning massive cuts to plug £2bn gap
Michael Smith, The Sunday Times, November 11, 2007
THE government is planning big cuts in an attempt to plug a £2 billion
black hole in the defence budget... Payments due next year include £1.7
billion for the new Trident nuclear deterrent; £1.2 billion for continuing
payments for Typhoon and £1.2 billion for navy aircraft carriers, destroyers
Trident boosts arms industry profits
in battle of the naval dockyards
The Sunday Times, December 16, 2007
Industry alliances will save money for the government, which will
guarantee a steady flow of work.
The companies involved – Babcock International, BAE Systems and VT Group
– are drawing up, and in some cases have already implemented, agreements
that will see the work shared and the savings split with the Ministry
of Defence. In return for industry cooperation, the government will guarantee
a steady stream of work stretching up to 15 years, long enough, the participants
hope, for the companies to make the investment in equipment and training
needed to keep the fleet afloat.
surge at nuclear services group
Growth Company Investor
Nuclear industry support services star Redhall has energised followers
with the news of a 200 per cent-plus profits surge for the year to September...
Growth reflected management’s strategy of investing in long-term relationships
with nuclear, oil and gas, and food sector clients, with the group recording
margin gains across all three of its divisions. These include nuclear
services, where the group is an esteemed contractor at Sellafield and
Aldermaston, the headquarters of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE),
specialist manufacturing, where growth is based on a huge need for storage
vessels in the nuclear industry...
revival in the manufacturing sector
Andrew Bolger, FT.com, November 26, 2007
Peter Hughes, chief executive of Scottish Engineering, a trade body with
400 member companies, said the industry was pleased both Mr Swinney and
Mr Salmond had attended the conference at Dunblane... Mr Hughes said he
was concerned that the SNP’s hostility to the proposed replacement of
the Trident nuclear missiles that are based on the Clyde could reflect
badly on other Scottish defence manufacturers.
awarded multi-million defence design contract
Construction and Maintenance, November 26, 2007
UK construction giant Amec has been awarded a contract from the Atomic
Weapons Establishment (AWE plc) worth up to £13.5 million for the detailed
design of facilities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston
plant given the go-ahead
icberkshire.co.uk, Nov 15 2007.
PLANS for a new plant at AWE's Burghfield base were passed unanimously
last night (Wednesday) despite opposition from villagers and anti-nuclear
Question marks over UK Nuclear Safety
centre to re-run tests
www.icberkshire.co.uk, Nov 22 2007
ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners claim safety procedures at Aldermaston's
Atomic Weapons Establishment would be useless if an accident happened.
defends nuclear safeguards after BBC report
AFP, Nov 15, 2007
LONDON (AFP) - The British defence ministry on Thursday defended its safeguards
to ensure political control of the country's strategic nuclear deterrent.
The ministry's comments followed a BBC report which said that British
submarine commanders could, theoretically, launch a nuclear strike without
an encrypted code from the prime minister's office.
nukes were protected by bike locks
BBC Newsnight, Nov 15, 2007
Newsnight has discovered that until the early days of the Blair government
the RAF's nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key. There
was no other security on the Bomb itself.
vehicle carrying nuclear warheads got lost on way from Scotland to Reading
Daily Mail, November 14, 2007
A high-security delivery of nuclear warheads to the south of England turned
to farce when vehicles in the MOD convoy got lost on Scotland's roads.
Three military trucks, each of which can carry two of the plutonium and
uranium weapons, left the Royal Navy Armament Depot at Coulport, Argyll,
under cover of darkness on Monday night.
reactor workers at dramatically higher risk of cancer
Asia News International, November 11, 2007
London, Nov 30 (ANI): A report has suggested that cancer risk for people
exposed to radioactive tritium, commonly discharged in large amounts by
civil and military nuclear plants around the world, may be more dangerous
than previously thought. The expert report for the UK government's Health
Protection Agency (HPA) concluded that the cancer risk for people exposed
to tritium may be double than that was assumed earlier.
See: HPA Press Statement, Advice
on risks from tritium, November 29, 2007.
Liberal Democrat debate on Trident intensifies
will serve us
Lib Dems must seize the electoral territory vacated by a bungling, morally
adrift Labour party
Chris Huhne, The Guardian, November 23, 2007
We should long ago have set a date to withdraw from Iraq, and it is
outrageous that we have signed up for "son of Star Wars" in a statement
smuggled out on the last day of the summer session. Ministers have even
failed to reassure me, in parliamentary questions, that we will get information
from Menwith Hill (the US National Security Agency site in Yorkshire)
at the same time as our US sponsors.
After the disaster of Iraq, there is surely a premium on independence,
yet the government has also agreed to replace Trident with one of equivalent
power that will make us dependent on the US for another 50 years. At the
non-proliferation treaty talks in 2010, we should either decide that the
threats are now so different that we should get rid of our nuclear weapons,
or that we should have a minimum deterrent.
hopefuls start firing in nuclear war
Edinburgh Evening News, November 12, 2007
A ROW over nuclear weapons has broken out between the Liberal Democrat
leadership contenders, with favourite Nick Clegg accusing rival Chris
Huhne of backing "unilateral rearmament". Mr Huhne won loud applause from
party members at a hustings in Edinburgh at the weekend when he attacked
plans to spend £20 billion replacing Trident.
Huhne: There are better things to do than replace Trident
Is this relic of the Cold War justified and is the cost an efficient use
of military resources?
Independent, November 5, 2007
It is therefore time for a fresh look at why we continue to possess nuclear
weapons; is this relic of the cold war justified today, and is the cost
an efficient use of military resources? As an economist, I know that there
are opportunity costs associated with any decision: if £20bn is spent
on a Trident replacement, it cannot be used to equip our troops.
to alert Nato to missile fears
BBC News Online, November 27, 2007
Liberal Democrat leadership contender Nick Clegg is to write to Nato over
the government's decision to allow the UK to join the US missile defence
system. Plans to use the RAF base at Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire, as
a listening post were announced in July. Mr Clegg, the MP for Sheffield
Hallam, says the move is "totally unjustified".
Scottish Opposition to Trident continues
divorce... who gets the kids?
BBC News Online, December 6, 2007
But by far the thorniest issue - probably in the whole negotiation
of Scottish independence - would be the future of the British nuclear
deterrent based at Faslane near Glasgow. The SNP has long campaigned to
remove the Trident-equipped submarines from Scotland but "Whitehall would
be deeply alarmed by that prospect," says Oxford University military expert
Hew Strachan, "because there is no immediate place to take the deterrent
Nato figures to meet in Scotland
ROBBIE DINWOODIE, Chief Scottish Political Correspondent, The Herald,
December 5, 2007
Scotland is to play host this month to a gathering of senior ministers
from Nato countries involved in the Afghanistan conflict. While it is
not technically a full Nato summit, the meeting of international ministers
in Edinburgh will come close to that status, with all the security implications
in 2017 - independent and flush with oil, says Salmond
Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent, The Guardian, November
A move to independence would lead to substantial disputes between Edinburgh
and London over issues such as North Sea oil - the SNP believe 90% of
it belongs to Scotland; whether Scotland had to take its share of the
UK's national debt; and over the Trident nuclear submarine base at Faslane,
on the Clyde.
Protests continue against Trident
held after atomic site demo
BBC News Online, November 12, 2007
Nine campaigners have been arrested during a demonstration at an atomic
research base in Berkshire. Activists staged the protest at the Atomic
Weapons Establishment (AWE), where the upgrade to the UK's Trident nuclear
defences is taking place.
make Trident protest
BBC News Online, November 3, 2007
Hundreds of campaigners have marched through Edinburgh to protest about
the Trident nuclear weapons system. The march and rally was intended to
put pressure on the UK Government to remove all nuclear weapons from Scottish
protestor planned arrest
Newbury News, November 14, 2007
THE 77-year-old anti-nuclear protestor arrested on Monday for blockading
the missile assembly plant at Burghfield said he knew he would be arrested.
Pensioner Ray Davies, of Caerphilly, South Wales, was one of 13 protestors
arrested for obstructing roads leading to Atomic Weapons Establishment
(AWE) laboratories at Aldermaston and Burghfield.
are held in weapons protests
Bradford Telegraph and Argus, November 12, 2007
Three Bradford women peace campaigners have been arrested at a protest
at an Atomic Weapons Establishment, near Newbury in Berkshire. About 70
people took part in the protest at the Aldermaston site today and nine
arrests were made by Thames Valley Police working with the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs Committee criticises Government's handling
of Missile Defence
Missile plan sneaked
out, say MPs
BBC News Online, November 25, 2007
Plans to use an RAF base for a US ballistic missile defence system were
sneaked out by ministers and should be debated in Parliament, MPs have
said. The Foreign Affairs Select Committee criticised the way plans were
announced as MPs left Westminster for the summer.
sneaked out missile plan, say MPs
Will Woodward, chief political correspondent, The Guardian, November
The all-party Commons foreign affairs select committee criticised the
"manner and timing" of the announcement of approval of an American request
to use the secret base at Menwith, North Yorkshire.
Long history of UK-US
BBC News Online, November 26, 2007
Defence Secretary Des Browne has been criticised for not discussing in
parliament plans to allow the US military to use RAF Menwith Hill in North
Yorkshire for ballistic missile defence. The Ministry of Defence says
that the Menwith Hill deal "continues the tradition of cooperation in
support of UK, US and allied interests", which dates back to 1941.
Security: Russia, House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, HC 51
of 2007-2008, November 25, 2007.
Defence sours relations with Russia
threatens to target US missile shield
Harry de Quetteville and Isambard Wilkinson, The Telegraph, December
Russia has threatened to target two proposed American bases in Europe
with its nuclear missiles if the Pentagon pressed ahead with its plans
for a missile defence shield.
"I do not exclude the missile-defence shield sites in Poland and the Czech
Republic being chosen as targets for some of our intercontinental ballistic
missiles," said Gen Nikolai Solovtsov.
blocks approval of RF-NATO cooperation program -- Lavrov
Itar-Tass, December 8, 2007
MOSCOW, December 8 (Itar-Tass) - The United States has blocked approval
of the Russia-NATO cooperation programme for 2008, Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov told Russian reporters after returning from Brussels, where
he participated in the Russia-NATO Council meeting.
warns U.S. missile plan to jeopardize NATO-Russia dialogue
Xinhua, December 7, 2007
BRUSSELS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- It would be difficult for Russia to continue
dialogue with NATO if Washington deployed a missile defense system in
Europe in accordance with its own plans, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov said here Friday.
defence plans remain a Bush priority
By Daniel Dombey in Washington, Neil Buckley in Moscow,and Jan Cienski
in Warsaw, FT.com, December 5, 2007
The Bush administration said yesterday it would persevere with efforts
to convince its partners of the merits of placing missile defence bases
in Europe - in spite of this week's revelation that the US no longer believes
Iran has a nuclear weapons programme. Washington has said that the proposed
European bases - missile interceptors in Poland and radar in the Czech
Republic - are needed to guard against a threat from Tehran. But both
Polish public opinion and the new Polish government have yet to be convinced
hosting a missile defence base would benefit the country, while Russia
has suggested that the programme is intended to counteract its own nuclear
deterrent - a charge the US denies.
Base Games Part One
UPI, Washington DC (UPI) Nov 30, 2007
It looks like the U.S. ballistic missile defense base in Poland will never
be built, with key leaders in the U.S. Congress and the new Polish government
both opposed to it. So why are the United States and Russia still tearing
apart what remains of their relationship over it?
piles pressure on EU over missile shield
Adrian Blomfield in Moscow, The Telegraph, November 15, 2007
Russia threatened to site short-range nuclear missiles in a second location
on the European Union's border yesterday if the United States refuses
to abandon plans to erect a missile defence shield.
and even paranoid, but deals can be made with Putin
Bronwen Maddox: World Briefing, The Times, December 4, 2007
Putin's tendency for petulance and overreaction is shown well by Russia's
exit on Friday from the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty — and
then its suggestion, yesterday, that it would opt back in if Western countries
met its demands.
Putin rattles nuclear sabre at Nato
The Times, November 21, 2007
President Putin accused Nato yesterday of threatening Russia’s security
and ordered the military to place the country’s strategic nuclear arsenal
on a higher state of alert... Mr Putin, whose rhetoric has become more
strident as relations with the West have deteriorated, went on: “One of
the most important tasks remains raising the combat readiness of the strategic
nuclear forces. They should be ready to deliver a quick and adequate reply
to any aggressor.”
has rethink on missile plan
The Times, November 20, 2007
WARSAW The new Defence Minister of Poland said that the country should
take another look at whether allowing the United States to base part of
a missile defence system in the country would serve its interests.
Polish prime minister to loosen ties with US
Kate Connolly, The Guardian, November 24, 2007
Poland's newly elected prime minister moved yesterday to distance his
country from America, raising questions about plans to site a US missile
defence system on Polish soil and announcing the withdrawal of Polish
troops from Iraq next year.
Wars, the Sequel
By Dan Froomkin, Special to washingtonpost.com, October 24, 2007
It doesn't work, it's expensive and it's intended for a threat that doesn't
exist -- but by golly, according to President Bush, missile defense is
absolutely essential. Andrew Ward writes in the Financial Times: "George
W. Bush on Tuesday said a missile defence system was urgently needed to
protect the US and Europe from Iran, warning that Tehran could have the
capability to strike the US and Europe with ballistic missiles within
Russia suspends implementation of the CFE Treaty
begins arms treaty freeze
BBC News Online, December 12, 2007
Russia has formally suspended its participation in a key arms control
agreement dating from the Cold War. The Conventional Forces in Europe
(CFE) treaty sets limits on troops and weaponry across Europe.
suspends arms control pact
BBC News Online, November 30, 2007
President Vladimir Putin has signed a law which suspends Russia's participation
in a treaty limiting military forces in Europe. It follows its adoption
earlier this month by the Russian parliament.
pulls out of Nato arms pact
Allegra Stratton and agencies, The Guardian, November 30, 2007
President Vladimir Putin has withdrawn Russia from a key post-cold
war international arms treaty, paving the way for the deployment of Russian
forces closer to Europe. The withdrawal of Russian participation in the
Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty was signed into law today.
treaty freeze a warning to NATO
By Christian Lowe Reuters, December 11, 2007
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will not start a new arms race when it freezes
compliance with a Cold War arms treaty on Wednesday but it does want to
send a clear message it is not happy about NATO's eastward expansion.
anger as Russia pulls out of arms treaty
Financial Times, December 1 2007
President Vladimir Putin signed a law yesterday suspending Russia's participation
in a key post-cold war arms treaty, triggering an angry reaction from
the US, which declared the move a "mistake". In a significant new indication
of the worsening diplomatic relationship between Moscow and Washington,
Mr Putin personally ratified a law that means Moscow will suspend the
Conventional Forces in Europe treaty (CFE) in a little under two weeks.
will not wait forever for its partners to join CFE Treaty - Putin
Interfax, November 20, 2007
MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) - Russia will not "wait forever for our partners
to join the adapted the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty
and fulfill it," Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
abandons European arms pact
The Times, November 17, 2007
MOSCOW The Russian senate voted unanimously to suspend a key Cold War
arms limitation treaty. General Yuri Baluyevsky, Russia’s Chief of the
General Staff, said the moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe
(CFE) treaty was “the correct, logical step from the political and military
point of view”, Itar-Tass news agency reported.
Iran nuclear developments
minister warns NIE 'miscalculation' could lead to war: "something went
www.worldtribune.com, December 17, 2007
TEL AVIV - A senior Israeli official has voiced the first open criticism
of the U.S. intelligence assessment of Iran's nuclear program. Israeli
Public Security Minister Avi Dichter warned that the United States underestimated
Iran's nuclear capabilities and intentions. Dichter said the National
Intelligence Estimate, which asserted that Teheran abandoned its nuclear
weapons program, could lead to a Middle East war.
says U.S. report a "declaration of surrender"
Reuters, December 17, 2007
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's president said on Sunday the publication of
a U.S. intelligence report saying Iran had halted a nuclear weapons programme
in 2003 amounted to a "declaration of surrender" by Washington in its
row with Tehran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also dismissed in an interview
with state television the prospect of new U.N. sanctions against Iran
over its refusal to halt sensitive atomic work.
envoy rules out early progress on Iran nuclear issue
AFP, December 13, 2007
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - Britain's UN envoy John Sawers has ruled out progress
among major powers on the nuclear standoff with Iran this year because
of "wide differences" on adopting new sanctions against Tehran. He told
reporters Wednesday that there are "still wide differences" between Britain,
France, Germany and the United States on the one hand, and Russia and
China on the other, regarding what the sanctions should be in the face
of Iran's persistent refusal to comply with UN demands that it halt uranium
pushes nuclear talks back to beginning
International Herald Tribune, December 1, 2007
PARIS: In a sign that Iran has hardened its position on its nuclear program,
its new nuclear negotiator said in talks in London on Friday that all
proposals made in past negotiations were irrelevant and that further discussion
of a curb on Iran's uranium enrichment was unnecessary, senior officials
briefed on the meeting said.
Other International News
Warhead Cut From Spending Bill
Congress Instead Seeks 'Weapons Strategy'
By Walter Pincus Washington Post Staff Writer, December 18, 2007
Congress has cut all funding for continuing development next year
of a new nuclear warhead from the omnibus domestic spending bill, handing
the Bush administration a significant setback. Instead, the measure, which
Congress expects to vote on this week, directs the administration to develop
and submit to lawmakers a "comprehensive nuclear weapons strategy for
the 21st century," according to the draft report of the appropriations
bill... A spokesman for the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security
Administration, which runs the RRW program, announced disappointment in
the conferees' action...
Gets $15 M in 6.2A Dough
Armscontrolwonk.com, November 27, 2007
If that headline makes sense to you, welcome home. If not, it means that
the Appropriations Conference committee agreed to provide $15 million
in paper studies funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead, according
to a press release from Senator Feinstein's office: The members of the
House and Senate Conference Committee for the FY'08 Defense Appropriations
bill today approved language to limit funding for the development of the
controversial Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program to $15 million,
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced.
ANALYSIS: The 2008 Presidential Primaries and Arms Control
Arms Control Today, December 2007
For more than a year, the 2008 presidential candidates have been traveling
the country, giving speeches, writing articles, participating in debates,
and shaking hands in anticipation of primaries and caucuses that are set
to begin in January. Although health care reform, the state of the national
economy, and the Iraq war have dominated the headlines throughout the
campaign, the contenders have engaged in heated discussions on a number
of arms control and nonproliferation issues.
Martin wins $849 mln missile contract
Reuters, November 26, 2007
WASHINGTON, Nov 26 (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Monday it awarded
No. 1 U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp(LMT.N: Quote, Profile,
Research) a $849 million contract for continued work on the Trident II
(D5) Missile, a submarine-launched ballistic missile armed with nuclear
test-fires ballistic missile: state agency
Reuters, December 8, 2007
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Saturday test-fired a inter-continental missile
with new equipment able to pierce anti-missile shields, state news agency
RIA said, underscoring Moscow's determination to assert its military might.
The RS-12M Topol ballistic missile, called the SS-25 Sickle by NATO, was
successfully launched at 17:43 p.m. (9:43 a.m. EST) from Kapustin Yar
firing range in southern Russia, RIA said, citing a spokesman for rocket
forces... As configured in 1985, the Topol has a maximum range of 10,000
km (6,215 miles), and can carry one 550-kiloton nuclear warhead.
nuclear or conventional?
RIA Novosti Opinion, November 19, 2007
MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Andrei Kislyakov) - The U.S.
government's fiscal year begins on October 1 of the previous calendar
year, and the Senators have already compiled a $459.3 billion draft defense
budget for 2008 and sent it to the president for approval. The Russian
military have not been marking time either - the new Topol-M (NATO reporting
name SS-27) mobile missile division will be deployed in mid-December.
By the way, in line with the three-year defense budget (2008-2010), Russia
is going to spend next year a total of $36.8 billion on defense.
'Star Wars' plan risks new arms race
Randeep Ramesh, South Asia correspondent, The Guardian, December 14,
India aims to have a missile defence system able to track and shoot down
incoming warheads by 2010, scientists in the capital announced yesterday,
in a move that analysts say could spark a new arms race in the region.
Nuclear Security Questioned
Lack of Knowledge About Arsenal May Limit U.S. Options
By Joby Warrick Washington Post Staff Writer, November 11, 2007
Protection for Pakistan's nuclear weapons is considered equal to that
of most Western nuclear powers. But U.S. officials worry that their limited
knowledge about the locations and conditions in which the weapons are
stored gives them few good options for a direct intervention to prevent
the weapons from falling into unauthorized hands.
handed blueprint to seize Pakistan's nuclear arsenal
The Guardian, December 1, 2007
· Architect of Iraq surge draws up takeover options
· US fears army's Islamists might grab weapons
The man who devised the Bush administration's Iraq troop surge has urged
the US to consider sending elite troops to Pakistan to seize its nuclear
weapons if the country descends into chaos. In a series of scenarios drawn
up for Pakistan, Frederick Kagan, a former West Point military historian,
has called for the White House to consider various options for an unstable
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© 2007 The Acronym Institute.