Saving The World From Nuclear War

These are dark days for both our nation and the world. Climate change is wreaking havoc everywhere, a global pandemic continues its onslaught, our nation’s experiment in democracy is threatened by a slow-motion insurrection and, to top it all off, our nation has taken the lead in pushing Russia toward a war over Ukraine that is capable of going off the rails into a full-scale nuclear war (and that is not hyperbole!).

At least four or five U.S. OHIO Class “Trident” ballistic missile submarines are currently at sea on “hard alert” in their designated patrol areas—ready to launch any or all of their 20 Trident II D5 ballistic missiles, bristling with thermonuclear warheads, at the command of the President. 

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Veterans For Peace Releases Nuclear Posture Review

The U.S.-based international organization Veterans For Peace has released its own assessment of the current global threat of nuclear war, ahead of the anticipated release of the Biden Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review. The Veterans For Peace Nuclear Posture Review warns that the danger of nuclear war is greater than ever and that nuclear disarmament must be vigorously pursued.  Veterans For Peace plans to deliver their Nuclear Posture Review to the President and Vice President, to every member of Congress, and to the Pentagon.

With the first anniversary of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on January 22, the Veterans For Peace Nuclear Posture Review calls on the U.S. government to sign the treaty and to work with other nuclear-armed states to eliminate all the world’s nuclear weapons. 

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The Treaty On The Prohibition Of Nuclear Weapons And The Future

Late January of this year will mark the first anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This momentous international agreement, the result of a lengthy struggle by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and by many non-nuclear nations, bans developing, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, and threatening to use nuclear weapons. Adopted by an overwhelming vote of the official representatives of the world’s nations at a UN conference in July 2017, the treaty was subsequently signed by 86 nations. It received the required 50 national ratifications by late October 2020, and, on January 22, 2021, became international law.

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Peru Ratifies UN Treaty On The Prohibition Of Nuclear Weapons

Addressing the UN General Assembly this September, the minister of foreign affairs of Peru, Óscar Maúrtua, hailed the TPNW’s entry into force as a “great achievement” and “a legal and moral starting point on a long road to achieve nuclear disarmament”.

Peru is the 14th country in Latin America to ratify the TPNW, following Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Uruguay, El Salvador, Panama, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, and Chile. An additional four countries in the region have signed but not yet ratified the treaty: Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala.

Gisela Luján Andrade, Peruvian member of the Human Security Network for Latin America and the Caribbean (SEHLAC), an ICAN partner organisation, warmly welcomed Peru’s ratification.

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Biden Keeps Crushing Sanctions Yet Blames Iran For Nuclear Impasse

At the Vienna talks on restoring the Iran nuclear deal, the US and EU are accusing Iran of refusing to compromise. Mohammad Marandi, a University of Tehran professor advising the Iran delegation in Vienna, says that the compromise was the nuclear deal itself, and the problem is the US refusal to abide by its own commitments and lift the sanctions that target Iranian civilians.

Guest: Mohammad Marandi. Professor at the University of Tehran and adviser to the Iran delegation at talks on restoring the JCPOA in Vienna.

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NATO Parliamentarians Send Letter To Biden For No-First-Use Policies

34 current and former legislators from NATO countries sent a joint letter yesterday to United States President Biden encouraging him to adopt a policy of no-first-use (or sole purpose) of nuclear weapons in the current U.S. nuclear posture review, and to use the occasion of the 10th Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference in January 2022 to universalise this policy.

The call by the legislators contradicts recent reports that United States allies want the US government to retain the option of initiating nuclear war (first-use options).

“Let us state clearly that we do not believe that a first-use option is in the security interests of our countries or in the interests of NATO as a whole,” say the endorsers of the letter. “We encourage you to take leadership on this issue and we pledge our support.”

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Impact Of Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty On Nuclear Weapons Business

A new report released by ICAN and PAX today, has found that the number of banks, pension funds, asset managers and insurance companies investing in the production of nuclear weapons has gone down in 2021, and shows significant drops in the shareholder values of investments in the 25 companies involved in nuclear weapon production around the world. There is also an early but visible impact of the entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), with many institutions citing the treaty’s entry into force and the risk of a negative public perception as reasons for the change in their investment policies.

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The Time To Prohibit Nuclear Weapons Is Now

Dr. Helen Caldicott, who has spent decades working for a nuclear weapons-free world, recently wrote a blunt op-ed with an unforgettable headline: “With All Its Wisdom, the Human Race Is Killing Itself.”

Decrying the arms industry and the nine countries that now own nuclear weapons, Caldicott points to the one trillion dollars per year that the U.S. spends on “national defense,” and states that if we can’t learn to live in peace, we are doomed.

At least 56 nations (“state parties”) have come to the same conclusion and have now signed the new UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which came into force in January 2021. Even though the Trudeau government claims it is committed to disarmament, it refuses to sign the treaty, citing its NATO membership (NATO opposes the treaty).

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AUKUS – Australia, Stop Militarizing Our Home And Our Ocean

The United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia have come together to sign an agreement  called AUKUS. According to the creators of this agreement, it is a pact to counter China’s  influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Through the unveiling last week of the new Australia-UK U.S. trilateral military alliance, Australia will enter into an undefined arrangement with the USA  and the United Kingdom for “regional security” in the Indo-Pacific Region. The pact binds  Australia decisively to the United States and Great Britain for generations.

It involves Australia purchasing nuclear-powered submarines, the “basing” of American troops,  and storing “ordnance” in Australia. It has provoked fury from the French, sharp criticism from  China, concern from several nations in the Indo-Pacific and confusion in Australia.

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Support For Nuclear Ban Treaty Is Rising

Nuclear tensions and nuclear spending are on the rise, but the elevated danger of nuclear weapons is overshadowed as other urgent global threats from the COVID pandemic, climate and environmental emergencies, and other urgent crises dominate news headlines. The United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which entered into force in January, receives scant media attention, even as the United Nations prepares to mark September 26 as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Unlike other nuclear treaties and agreements, the TPNW, or nuclear ban treaty as it is also known, prohibits all activity including development, testing, production, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, and the use or threat to use nuclear weapons.

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AUKUS – Catalyst For A Nuclear Arms Race In The Indo-Pacific Region

The new pact between the Australian, British and US governments is the latest escalation in a new cold war on China, and the developing world.  The “enhanced trilateral security partnership called AUKUS”(1) does not name China, but every single serious commentator has interpreted it as being aimed against the People’s Republic of China.

Coming exactly one month after the fall of Kabul, the announcement was a blessed relief for both Joe Biden and Boris Johnson.  Biden reasserts US pre-eminence, weeks after it was humiliated by a foe without an air force.  Johnson resumes the ‘Global Britain’ adventure, weeks after British power more closely resembled a globule.

For both of them, a policy shift has been made without reckoning with the past, or a messy national debate. 

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Veterans To President Biden: Just Say No To Nuclear War!

To mark the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, September 26, Veterans For Peace is publishing an Open Letter to President Biden: Just Say NO to Nuclear War! The letter calls on President Biden to step back from the brink of nuclear war by declaring and implementing a policy of No First Use and by taking nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert.

VFP also urges President Biden to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to provide global leadership for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

The full letter will be published on the VFP website and offered to mainstream newspapers and alternative news sites. A shorter version is being shared with VFP chapters and members who may wish to publish it in local newspapers, possibly as a letter-to-the-editor.

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Why The Nuclear Sub Deal Will End Badly For The Australians

Until we see a text, if any, of the executive agreement for the AUKUS thing-a-ma-gig, the only real meat of it seems to be the Australian purchase of nuclear US or UK subs rather than the “conventionally” (not really) powered French design.  The more I look over the submarine alternatives for the Australians, the less sense their decision to go nuclear makes.

Australia has no nuclear power infrastructure; they will be dependent on the US or UK to provide same for any nuclear powered Australian attack subs.  For Australia to develop same on their homeland just to support these subs would be cost-insane.

The cost of the 12 French subs has been variously described as $40, $60 and $90 billion with the $90 being the most likely but it is not at all clear what beyond just the hulls is accounted for (weapons, services, R&D, and more). 

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Australia, UK, And US Nuclear Submarine Announcement

On September 15, US President Joe Biden, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison launched a new major strategic partnership to meet the “imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term.” Named AUKUS, the partnership was announced together with a bombshell decision: The United States and UK will transfer naval nuclear-propulsion technology to Australia. Such a decision is a fundamental policy reversal for the United States, which has in the past spared no effort to thwart the transfer of naval reactor technology by other countries, except for its World War II partner, the United Kingdom. Even France—whose “contract of the century” to sell 12 conventional submarines to Australia was shot down by PM Morrison during the AUKUS announcement—had been repeatedly refused US naval reactor technology during the Cold War.

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Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson: What Are The Prospects For Peace?

Events are unfolding at a quickening pace. Facing an alarming escalation in tensions around the world, we are looking to our most respected and renowned thought leaders for an honest assessment of both U.S. foreign and military policy to offer their most current thoughts and insights. We know they have some ideas for improving the prospects for peace.

Larry Wilkerson is a renowned defense analyst and a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government & Public policy at the College of William and Mary. He is a retired United States Army colonel and was the former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. We are extremely honored that he took the time to talk to us and share his views. His responses below are exactly as he provided.

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