Trade Resource Center of the World Policy Institute
Update: Part 1
Nuclear Posture Review:
Reading Between The Lines
In the past year and a half, we've heard George W. Bush
talk about the need to move beyond the Cold War paradigm
of U.S. security policy. Specifically, Bush repeatedly
discussed reducing the number of nuclear weapons in
the U.S. arsenal to "the lowest possible number
consistent with our national security" and taking
these weapons off hair-trigger alert. In mid-November,
Bush reiterated that position in meetings with Russian
President Vladimir Putin saying, "We are talking
about reducing and destroying the number of warheads
to get down to specific levels."
The congressionally mandated Nuclear Posture Review
(NPR), released last week, was an opportunity for President
Bush and his team to do just that. The NPR is suppose
to provide a framework for formulating a U.S. nuclear
strategy for the post-Cold War world; something the
Clinton administration failed to do with its own nuclear
review in 1994.
However, much like the Defense Department's Quadrennial
Defense Review, which was described by Senator Carl
Levin as "full of decisions deferred," ambiguity
Assistant Defense Secretary J.D. Crouch held a special
briefing with reporters on Wednesday, January 9, 2002
to highlight portions of the classified review delivered
to Congress that same day. How does this new approach change U.S.
In short, the review's recommendations could
push the U.S. into a more dangerous security environment
than at the height of the Soviet/American rivalry.
As predicted last year, much of the Bush administration's
nuclear review echoes an earlier report released by
the National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP). The
NIPP report was directed by Dr. Keith Payne, whose main
claim to fame is co-authoring a 1980s essay on nuclear
war entitled "Victory Is Possible." Bush National
Security Council staffers Robert Joseph and Stephen
Hadley were involved in the production of the NIPP study,
as was William Schneider, an informal advisor and ideological
soul mate of Donald Rumsfeld. (See Bill Hartung's "Bush's
Nuclear Doctrine: >From MAD to NUTS?" http://www.fpif.org/commentary/0012nuclear_body.html)
In general, the NIPP report calls future security threats
to the U.S. unknown and unpredictable. Therefore, the
report concludes that the U.S. must maintain its nuclear
arsenal, and the ability to design, build and test new
The report asserts that conventional weapons
are inadequate replacements for nuclear weapons because
they do not have the same "destructive power."
As a solution the report recommends the development
precision-guided nuclear weapons" -- in other words,
a nuclear weapon the U.S. can actually use.
Not surprisingly, the NIPP panel frowns on arms control
treaties because, "U.S. policymakers today cannot
know the strategic environment of 2005, let alone 2010
or 2020. There is no basis for expecting that the conditions
that may permit deep nuclear reductions today will continue
in the future."
While the Nuclear Posture Review doesn't repeat verbatim
the NIPP report findings, there are many similarities. On the "bright" side the review recommends reducing
the number of operationally deployed nuclear weapons
in the U.S. from 6,000 to between 1,700 and 2,200. However,
"reducing and destroying" may not be the same
thing. The number of warheads that would be dismantled
and the number that would become part of the active
reserve stockpile has not been disclosed. This discrepancy
drew immediate criticism from Russia, and threatens
to further delay nuclear reductions that have been stalled
for almost a decade.
Demonstrating yet again the Bush administration's distaste
for negotiated arms controls, Assistant Defense Secretary
Crouch stated, "We are trying to achieve these
reductions without having to wait for Cold War arms-control
treaties." But, as William Hartung points out,
"The proposed reductions in U.S. and Russian forces
are intended to occur over a ten year period. That's
a long time to rely on trust. Without a formal agreement,
it will be far easier for one side or the other to bail
out as soon as the political going gets tough."
In a short but pointed statement, Aleksandr Yakovenko,
the spokesman for Russia's Foreign Ministry, said, "We
hold that Russian American agreements on further reductions
of the nuclear arsenals must be, first, radical -- down
to 1,5002,200 warheads; second, verifiable; and third,
irreversible so that strategic defensive arms will be
reduced not only 'on paper.' "
The NPR further suggests transitioning U.S. strategic
forces from the Cold War triad of ICBMs, bombers and
submarine launched ballistic missiles to a triad of
forces that includes non-nuclear and nuclear strike
capabilities. Any force structure that relies less on
nuclear weapons and more on conventional weapons should
be a step in the right direction, but the Bush administration
is envisioning an increased reliance on a costly and
unproven missile defense system that is likely to provoke
While the review doesn't come right out and say the
U.S. needs new nuclear weapons, Crouch states, "We
are trying to look at a number of initiatives. One would
be to modify an existing weapon, to give it greater
capability against hard targets and deeply-buried targets."
Clearly, new weapons means resumed testing. However,
Crouch cautioned, "I point to one item on there:
No change in the administration's policy at this point
on nuclear testing. We continue to oppose the Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty."
That was made clear last November when the Bush administration
boycotted the UN conference to encourage support for
the CTBT. As Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association
noted, the boycott "fits a pattern of unilateralist
nonengagement that is becoming the hallmark of the Bush
administration's arms control policy."
"I think one of the things that came out of the
NPR is that there is not a single solution to the problem
of weapons of mass destruction. It is not entirely a
military problem; it also is a diplomatic problem. It
is also a problem that will involve other aspects of
national power," Crouch said. Though, by and large,
the Bush administration's has chosen to deal with weapons
of mass destruction militarily - not politically.
The Nuclear Posture Review is the road map to a unilateralist
U.S. nuclear policy. The review makes no mention of
the U.S. commitment under Article VI of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty to take concrete steps toward
eliminating its nuclear arsenal, a commitment that was
reaffirmed at the 2000 NPT review conference. The U.S.
and 186 other countries came to a global consensus on
nuclear disarmament, declaring it the "only absolute
guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear
weapons." The U.S. must lead the way toward this
An Alternative Nuclear Posture Review
Union of Concerned Scientists released its' own review,
"Toward True Security: A US Nuclear Posture for
the Next Decade." Some of its recommendations are
that the United States should:
that the sole purpose of US nuclear weapons is to deter
and, if necessary, respond to the use of nuclear weapons
by another country.
rapid-launch options, and change its deployment practices
to provide for the launch of US nuclear forces in hours
or days rather than minutes.
its commitment to further reductions in the number of
nuclear weapons, on a negotiated and verified multilateral
reduce its nuclear arsenal to a total of 1,000 warheads,
including deployed, spare, and reserve warheads. The
United States would declare all warheads above this
level to be in excess of its military needs, move them
into storage, and begin dismantling them in a manner
transparent to the international community. To encourage
Russia to reciprocate, the United States could make
the endpoint of its dismantlement process dependent
on Russia's response. The deployed US warheads should
consist largely of a survivable force of submarine-based
* Commit to not resume nuclear testing and to ratify
the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
its commitment to pursue nuclear disarmament and present
a specific plan for moving toward this goal, in recognition
that the universal and verifiable prohibition of nuclear
weapons would be in the US national security interest.
* Recognize that deployment of a US missile defense
system that Russia or China believed could intercept
a significant portion of its survivable long-range missile
forces would trigger reactions by these countries that
could result in a net decrease in US security. The United
States should therefore commit to not deploy any missile
defense system that would decrease its overall security
in this way.
the full report on the web at: (http://www.ucsusa.org/security/NPR_exec.html)
Behaving Badly: The Ten Worst Corporations of 2001
Our friends Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman at
MULTINATIONAL MONITOR have once against compiled their
top ten list of the worst corporations of 2001. No doubt
they suffered from an overabundance rather than a scarcity
of choices, but they were able to winnow it down to
ten, including some of our favorite big bad corporations.
Unfortunately you won't find any weapons manufacturers
here, but plenty of scum bags like Coca Cola and ExxonMobil.
and Weissman's January 6th article on Common Dreams
Progressive Wire adds the Chicago based weapons manufacturer
Boeing to the list. Read their "Boeing Boondoggle"
for an inside look at how Boeing swindled BILLIONS out
of the American people in the aftermath of September
weapons corporations we needed a list of 13 (a baker's
dozen), not 10. Check out the Arms Trade Resource Centers
"Dirty Dozen: Partners in Mass Destruction"
profiles of 13 nuclear weapons corporations online at
Off The Press
William Hartung had an article in the most recent issue
of THE NATION (cover date January 28, 2002) entitled
"Making Money on Terror." Read it online at
or better yet buy the whole magazine and get the added
bonus of John Nichols' article about Huey Freeman, America's
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