Showing posts with label Nuclear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nuclear. Show all posts

Saturday, December 18, 2010

U.S Army and North Korea Globar Warning Nuclear Program

Conservative politicians in Japan have started calling for the country to arm itself with nuclear weapons,
which Japan has resisted since World War II. Japanese citizens remember the death and destruction from atomic bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and have vowed to keep Japan free from nuclear weapons. But with neighboring North Korea rattling its nuclear sword, will Japanese conservatives gain the political leverage they need to change this long-standing policy? If Japan develops nuclear weapons, will South Korea, which has relied greatly upon the United States for its defense, go nuclear? Such a chain reaction could extend to Taiwan, further exacerbating tensions with China.

A nuclear arms race in Asia is the last thing the world needs, and the United States has an opportunity to
demonstrate new leadership in arms control that could change the course of nuclear proliferation. However, perhaps due to the war in Iraq and the preoccupation with terrorism, the United States has not devoted the kind of effort it did in the past to arms control.

As Max Kampelman, President Ronald Reagan’s chief arms control negotiator, recently put it, “Unfortunately, the goal of globally eliminating all weapons of mass destruction nuclear, chemical and biological arms is today not an integral part of American foreign policy; it needs to be put back at the top of our agenda.” To complicate matters further, the United States has been pursuing new nuclear weapons initiatives and funding a program that may resume nuclear testing in 18 months, to address future concerns over the dependability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. If the United States decides to resume nuclear testing, it would violate the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed in New York a decade ago but still not ratified by the U.S. Congress.

The new nuclear weapons initiatives have included the development of new “Reliable Replacement Warheads” that provide better performance for the existing U.S. nuclearstockpile, revitalizing the U.S. nuclear
weapons manufacturing complex and a program to develop a new nuclear earth-penetrating weapon to
attack underground enemy facilities. While there are legitimate arguments for each of these programs, in the absence of balancing a high-level effort toward arms control by the United States, these initiatives can be viewed by other nations as dangerous and provocative.

One of the foremost experts on nuclear weapons in Congress, Rep. David Hobson, R-Ohio, summarized
the situation in remarks to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences two years ago. “I view the Advanced
(nuclear weapons) Concepts research proposal, the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator study, and the effort to reduce the nuclear test readiness posture to 18 months as very provocative and overly aggressive policies that
undermine our moral authority to argue that other nations should forgo nuclear weapons. We cannot advocate
for nuclear nonproliferation around the globe and pursue more usable nuclear weapon options here at home.

That inconsistency is not lost on anyone in the international community.” In effect, the United States is saying
to North Korea and Iran, “Do as I say, not as I do.” This doesn’t wash with countries that feel threatened by
the United States, especially when the United States is not taking a more active role in arms control. Increasingly, the special rights and privileges accorded to the five original nuclear weapons states the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are being challenged by other states. These same five nuclear weapons states are also the fivepermanent members of the UN Security Council, each of which has veto power over any UN resolution. Thus, by failing to lead in arms control, the United States is jeopardizing its role in the international community and in the United Nations.

Considering the upcoming U.S. presidential elections in 2008, Putin’s call deserves a vigorous U.S. response.
It will be unlikely that START-1 can be extended or renegotiated before it expires if we wait until after the
2008 presidential elections, no matter who wins. The first year of every U.S. presidency is consumed with filling cabinet positions, new federal budget formulations and reorganization. Considering how long arms control agreements can take to be renegotiated, if START-1 is to be saved, we must begin now.

The U.S Army Emerging Nuclear Weapons Policies Programe

The World Security Institute hosted a conference on the future of U.S. and other countries’ nuclear arsenals.
“Emerging Nuclear Weapons Policies: An Opportunity to Increase Dialogue,” held Oct. 12-13, 2006, allowed for a free and honest discussion about the state of U.S. nuclear weapons programs and ways in which it could proceed in the future. Among the conference’s nearly 40 participants were representatives from the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and former heads of the laboratories in charge of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

 Presentations took a broad look at the major issues facing U.S. and other nuclear powers’ programs. Participants discussed new and traditional security threats to Russia and the United States; perspectives on new arrangements for nuclear weapons and missile defense; U.S. concepts for nuclear weapons modernization; reform of military nuclear industries in the United States; challenges of nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and the maintenance of arsenals in major nuclear powers in the absence of nuclear testing.

Particularly controversial were discussions on what exactly the United States intends to do with its proposed Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program. While the program is ostensibly being promoted as a way to ensure the dependability of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, there are many experts who fear that it may lead to a whole new series of nuclear weapons and even prompt the return by the United States to nuclear testing something which hasn’t happened since 1992.

Along those lines, many of the participants were concerned about how the nuclear laboratories should respond to the challenge of keeping their work forces interested and fully engaged despite the lack of nuclear
testing. Much of the debate also centered on North Korea’s nuclear test, held just three days prior to the conference. North Korea’s likely entry to the nuclear club raised concerns that U.S. policy is on the wrong path and prompted debate on what this means for international accords that attempt to prevent nuclear proliferation.

The keynote speaker was Thomas Graham, special assistant to President George W. Bush and senior director for Russian Affairs at the National Security Council. His speech focused on U.S.-Russian relations. While admitting that they had seen better times, he optimistically predicted that there were many ways for future cooperative efforts to prevent the further spread of nuclear materials. Overall, it was a captivating
discussion between some of the top minds shaping the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. It even included
some Russian and Chinese observers who were able to add their views to the dialogue. Many of the presentations are posted on CDI’s website with the hopes of sharing the expertise that was brought to the table and continuing the discussion.