EVERYTHING SHOULD BE UNDER THE SUN...
NO New Nuclear Weapons... NO New Nuclear Targets... NO New Pretexts For Nuclear War... NO Nuclear Testing...
NO Star Wars... NO Weapons In Space...
NO All Types Of Weapons, War & War Culture...
We have only one WORLD yet! If we destroy it, where else will we go?
The Arms Trade Resource Center (ATRC)
World Policy Institute

by Frida BERRIGAN


The Arms Trade Resource Center (ATRC) was founded in March 1993 to conduct research, public education, and policy advocacy on the problem of global arms proliferation.  In its first nine years in existence, the project has established itself as a major source of independent analysis and information for the press, members of Congress, executive branch policymakers, and non-governmental organizations. The project consists of four full-time staff members, including Project Director William D. Hartung, who also serves as the President’s Fellow at the World Policy Institute; Deputy Director for Outreach Frida Berrigan; Senior Research Associate Michelle Ciarrocca; and Research Associate Dena Montague.

Ferrida Berrigan, Research Associate at the World Policy Institute

The World Policy Institute, where the ATRC is based, is a research think tank based at the New School University in Manhattan. Primarily, the Institute seeks to offer innovative policy proposals for public debate with the goal of developing an internationalist consensus on the measures needed for the management of a world market economy, the development of a workable system of collective security, and creation of an active transnational civil society. Second, it seeks to promote greater public understanding of the relationship between domestic and international policy and to train journalists, policymakers, business and civic leaders to be capable of understanding emerging world problems and of reconciling the often competing demands of globalization and national policy. Finally, it seeks to nurture a new generation of writers and public intellectuals committed to internationalist thinking and to provide students in the New School community with an opportunity to gain practical experience in policy research and advocacy on global issues.

The Arms Trade Resource Center's 2001/2002 work is organized around the theme of Alternatives to War Without End: Promoting a More Balanced Approach to Preventing Terrorism. We are asking questions like: How much of the $150 billion in new spending on international and domestic security that has been authorized or requested since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center is relevant to fighting terrorism? What systematic, multilateral efforts are being undertaken to limit the spread of materials needed to produce chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons? How has the new "business of war" -- the relatively unregulated trade in arms and illicit resources and the ease of moving money and goods in an open global trading system -- facilitated the activities of terror networks like Al Qaeda?  What are the long-term risks that may result from a narrow military focus on fighting terrorism that involves expanding the U.S. military presence in dozens of countries and supplying U.S. arms and training to regimes that have serious records of human rights abuses?   

Due to intense interest in foreign policy issues sparked by the September 11th attacks and the subsequent U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan, the project had its most successful year ever in terms of media outreach.  Project staff appeared on 120 television and radio programs, and articles by members of the project team or about project research appeared in over 140 newspapers, magazines, and web-based publications.  Articles, op-eds, or letters-to-the-editor concerning the project's work appeared in major national outlets such as the Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today and Business Week, as well as on major news wires like the Associated Press, Reuters, and the Knight-Ridder news service; in regional and local papers such as Newsday, the Dallas Morning News, the Boston Globe, the Baltimore Sun, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Tallahassee Democrat, and the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Alabama); and in specialized magazines and journals such as The SAIS Review, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, The Nation, and the Brown Journal of International Affairs. The project continued to expand its presence on the internet by publishing commentaries on widely utilized sites such as the MOJOwire (the web outlet of Mother Jones magazine), CommonDreams.org, the Global Beat Syndicate, AlterNet, and BlackElectorate.com. 

Major television appearances by project staff included interviews on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Fox News Network, and on nationally televised news programs in Brazil, South Korea, and Canada.  Radio interviews with project staff appeared on "Newsweek on the Air" (nationally syndicated), the BBC, Australian National Radio, National Public Radio affiliates in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Santa Rosa, California, and Wisconsin (statewide), as well as on AM talk radio programs in Buffalo, New York, Columbia, Missouri, Columbus, Georgia, Des Moines, Iowa, Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Ferrida Berrigan (right), Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,
Peace Women Panel at the UN on April 12, 2002


The Bush Nuclear Policy: Making the World Safe for Nuclear Weapons

The project's most important contribution in 2001/2002 was its ability to provide independent analysis and stimulate informed public discussion of the conduct of the war on terrorism. Our May 2002 report, "About Face," which deals with the role of the arms lobby in shaping the Bush administration's nuclear policy, received major national news coverage, and has served as an important resource for citizen's organizations and members of Congress in the ongoing debates on the future of nuclear arms control and disarmament.  The report has particular relevance to discussions about whether it makes sense to move full speed ahead with a multi-billion dollar missile defense system and develop a new generation of nuclear weapons at a time when the greatest threats to U.S. security are posed by low-tech, highly destructive terror attacks.   It also questions the wisdom of a policy based on undermining multilateral treaties designed to stem the spread of weapons of mass destruction while pursuing military-technical solutions to the problem of nuclear proliferation that will provide little if any effective protection against these deadly weapons.

In the report, Project Director William D. Hartung tries to respond to questions like: How did it happen that within less than a year of taking office, the Bush administration reversed the nuclear arms policy of the preceding three Presidents? How did United States policy abruptly shift from seeking to reduce U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons to making the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons a central component of U.S. strategy? How did nuclear "war-fighting" doctrine, rejected by Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton, become the centerpiece of the new administration's official nuclear weapons policy?

The answer, he found, lies with the undue influence exercised upon the Bush administration by former defense industry executives, many of whom are now in policy-making positions at the White House and the Pentagon, the defense contracting companies they once ran, and a small circle of conservative ideologues at think tanks funded by those companies. The Bush nuclear doctrine makes no sense as a defense policy, but it is a perfect match for the material and ideological "needs" of major administration supporters.

More than any administration in recent memory, the Bush administration has relied upon individuals with close professional and financial connections to the arms industry to fill top foreign policy and national security positions. Just as Vice President Dick Cheney's reliance on energy industry executives to draft a national energy policy has drawn widespread criticism, the role of the arms lobby in shaping the Bush administration's nuclear plans demands far greater public scrutiny. This time, the stakes are far higher.

To learn more about the work of the World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Center visit the website www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms

World Policy Institute
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This issue dedicated to such distinguished author Karen ARMSTRONG &
The Arms Trade Resource Center for its essential role and mission.
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