December 5, 1965 – A U.S. naval aircraft, a 4E Skyhawk fighter jet rolled off an elevator on board the U.S.S. Ticonderoga and fell into the Pacific Ocean 70-80 miles east of the Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa, Japan drowning the pilot.  The aircraft carried a Mark 43 hydrogen bomb which was lost in the three mile deep ocean waters of the Pacific.  When the U.S. Defense Department first admitted this accident in 1981 it claimed the accident happened “more than 500 miles off the coast of Japan.”  Comments:  There are dozens of lost nuclear warheads and nuclear reactors on the ocean floor from sunken naval vessels and crashed aircraft.   Some of these are leaking highly radioactive toxins affecting not only the flora and fauna of the deep, but the health and well-being of millions of people.   This is but one of the many deadly legacies of the ongoing seventy year-long nuclear arms race.  (Source:  Michael W. Maggelet and James C. Oskins.  “Broken Arrow:  The Declassified History of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Accidents.”  Raleigh, NC:  Lulu Publishing.  2007, p. 217 and William Arkin and Joshua Handler.  “Neptune Papers III:  Naval Nuclear Accidents at Sea.” Greenpeace International, 1990.  accessed November 18, 2015.)

December 5, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) conducted its 27th subcritical nuclear test, designated Pollux, in which chemical high explosives were detonated next to samples of weapons-grade plutonium (plutonium-239), at the Nevada Test Site.  The NNSA says the test was performed in order to “test the ongoing safety and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons.” However, this test was conducted without significant commentary or criticism by the mainstream news media despite the fact that many arms control experts and critics of U.S. nuclear deterrence policies see such tests as violating the spirit of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which was signed by President Bill Clinton on September 24, 1996 but rejected by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 51-48 on October 13, 1999 (and not ratified thereafter despite the Russian Duma’s approval of the treaty on April 21, 2000 by a vote of 298-74).  Since the CTBT was not ratified by the U.S., supporters of a robust U.S. nuclear arsenal claim that these subcritical tests are being conducted legally.  However, the Iranian Foreign Ministry, as well as the mayor of the city of Hiroshima, Japan, both condemned the test.  Mayor Kazumi Matsui noted that, “the test proves that the U.S. could use nuclear weapons anytime.”  Comments:  Six and a half years after President Barack Obama’s April 2009 Prague speech on eliminating nuclear weapons, the Administration has done little to act on the President’s promise to “aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the CTBT,” or to work toward accelerated nuclear arms reductions.  In fact, the President has given his blessing to spending a trillion dollars over the next 30 years to modernize and expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal!  Even military hawk President Ronald Reagan, in a December 19, 1985 letter to Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, noted that, “A comprehensive test ban…is a long-term objective of the United States…”  (Sources:  Jack Mendelsohn and David Grahame, editors.  “Arms Control Chronology.”  Washington, DC:  Center for Defense Information, 2002, pp. 9, 13, 19, 22 and William Broadman. “U.S. Nuke Test Draws Few Protests.” December 10, 2012. and “U.S. Nuclear Test Condemned by Iran, Japan.” both accessed on November 18, 2015.)

December 8, 1953 – Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the concept of Atoms for Peace, which called for the creation of an international atomic energy agency that would receive contributions from nations holding stocks of nuclear materials and utilize such contributions for peaceful purposes.   Although this plan led to the July 29, 1957 creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which later became an important component of the international nonproliferation regime as actualized in the July 11, 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Atoms for Peace and Project Ploughshares, another program to use nuclear weapons for “peaceful purposes,” spawned some incredibly naïve and reckless Soviet and U.S. proposals to build nuclear-powered aircraft and locomotives, to create artificial harbors by using nuclear demolitions, even to use small nuclear power plants to heat and cool residences, as well as many other irrational health-threatening schemes.  According to nuclear historian Spencer Weart, the U.S. alone spent over a billion dollars on Atoms for Peace before President John Kennedy ended the program in 1961.  (Sources:  Jack Mendelsohn and David Grahame, editors.  “Arms Control Chronology.”  Washington, DC:  Center for Defense Information, 2002, p. 61 and Spencer R. Weart. “Nuclear Fear:  A History of Images.”  Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press, 1988, p. 173.)

December 12, 1991 – President George H. W. Bush signed the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act (the Nunn-Lugar legislation) which approved U.S. monetary and technical assistance to aid the Commonwealth of Independent States (the former Soviet Union) with the storage, transportation, dismantlement, and destruction of nuclear and chemical weapons.  It also provided spending to promote defense conversion and U.S.-C.I.S. military-to-military exchanges.  Over the next two decades over $4 billion was budgeted by the U.S. for these nonproliferation activities sponsored by Senators Sam Nunn (D-GA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN).  As a result of this and related programs, the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan became nuclear-weapon-free nations.  Over 500 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and nearly that many ICBMs silos were destroyed along with thousands of other missiles and weapons platforms including 27 nuclear submarines.  In addition, approximately 58,000 former weapons scientists from C.I.S. countries were reemployed in peaceful R&D programs organized with the assistance of U.S.-funded International Science and Technical Centers.  However in January 2015, as a result of tensions relating to the Crimea-Ukraine Crisis and a rejuvenated Cold War II, Russian Federation representatives informed their U.S. counterparts that Russia would no longer accept U.S. Nunn-Lugar assistance and that they would continue the program on their own.  (Sources:  Jack Mendelsohn and David Grahame, editors.  “Arms Control Chronology.”  Washington, DC:  Center for Defense Information, 2002, p. 3 and Bryan Bender.  “Russia Ends U.S. Nuclear Security Alliance.”  The Boston Globe.  January 19, 2015. accessed on November 18, 2015.)

December 15, 1995 – Ten Southeast Asian nations signed the Bangkok Treaty establishing the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone (SEANWFZ).  The treaty has a protocol that allows nuclear weapons states to participate in the regime, however, so far no member of the Nuclear Club has signed onto the treaty.  Nevertheless, the treaty entered into force on March 28, 1997.  The agreement obliges its members not to develop, manufacture, or otherwise acquire, possess, or have control over nuclear weapons.  Other NWFZs include the December 1, 1959 Antarctic Treaty, the February 14, 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco covering Latin America, the August 6, 1985 Raratonga Treaty creating a South Pacific Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone, the April 11, 1996 Pelindaba Treaty covering Africa and NWFZs covering a large number of the world’s metropolitan areas including some U.S. cities.   Comments:  One goal of the growing Global Zero movement is to expand these existing NWFZs to include the entire planet, with the proviso that Nuclear Club Members and recalcitrant non-NPT participants like Israel must all embrace, without caveat, a Worldwide Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone. (Source:  Jack Mendelsohn and David Grahame, editors.  “Arms Control Chronology.”  Washington, DC:  Center for Defense Information, 2002, pp. 3, 62, 65, 75-76 and “Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone.”  Monterey Institute of International Studies.  accessed November 18, 2015.)

December 22, 1975 – During the Gerald Ford presidential administration, at a National Security Council meeting held on this date, U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) director Fred Ikle agreed with the thesis of a new Rand Corporation study that concluded that, “launching the ICBM force on attack assessment (launch-on-warning policy) is the most simple and cost-effective way to frustrate a Soviet nuclear counterforce attack on the U.S. – but as a declared policy, we believe it would be vigorously opposed as both dangerous and unstable (i.e., that an accident could theoretically precipitate a nuclear war).”  But Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft disagreed.  Scowcroft argued that, “It is not to our disadvantage if we appear irrational to the Soviets in this regard.”  Comments:  The “rationality” of pressing a button to commit unprecedented, irreversible nuclear genocide has still not been sufficiently discredited and relegated to the scrap heap of human history.  Strategic calculations based on irrationality are extremely unwise, tremendously destabilizing, and clearly counterproductive to the long-term sustainability of the human species.  (Sources:  Eric Schlosser.  “Command and Control:  Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety.”  New York:  Penguin Press, 2013.)

December 23, 1983 – A seminal scientific study on the previously unknown but most critical global climate consequences of even a so-called “limited” nuclear war, titled “Nuclear Winter and Global Consequences of Multiple Nuclear Explosions,” was published on pages 1283-1300 in the journal Science by a group of scientists identified by the acronym TTAPS (R.P. Turco, O.B. Toon, T.P. Ackerman, J.B. Pollack, and Carl Sagan).  Using data from studies of the climatic cooling impacts of volcanic eruptions throughout recorded history, the authors concluded that the explosion of hundreds or thousands of nuclear weapons within a short period of time (hours, days) would result in the injection of very large amounts of debris into the upper atmosphere which would block the sun’s rays and cool the planet, particularly the northern hemisphere if a U.S.-Soviet nuclear exchange occurred.  The global impact of this event would be the drastic reduction of agricultural yields resulting in the starvation of a large proportion of the world’s population, particularly in the Third World.   The worst-case scenario of a large nuclear exchange could be the extinction of the human species.  The threshold for the triggering of this “nuclear winter,” the authors concluded, could be very low, possibly as little as 100 megatons of nuclear weapons yield.   Many subsequent studies have verified the TTAPS’ conclusions including work by Professor Alan Robock of Rutgers University.   Comments:  Nonetheless, the nuclear doomsday machine, maintained and expanded in future military budgets by members of the Nuclear Club, has a life of its own, unfortunately.   A paradigm shift that would discredit the flawed doctrine of deterrence and force the drastic reduction of global nuclear arsenals may be the most critical evolutionary advance in the history of the human species.   Otherwise, omnicide is a likely scenario.  (Source:  “Climatic Consequences of Nuclear Conflict: Nuclear Winter Is Still A Danger.”  Professor Alan Robock, Rutgers University, 2014. accessed on November 18, 2015.)

December 31, 1948 – By the end of 1948, the U.S. Strategic Air Command possessed 56 atomic bombs as disassembled cores and component parts that could be reconfigured to explode within a day or so.  In these days, before the first Soviet atomic bomb was tested on August 29, 1949, a number of U.S. military leaders such as SAC’s commander General Curtis E. LeMay, were counseling President Truman to launch a preemptive nuclear first strike bomber attack on the Soviet Union particularly before they could develop their own nuclear weapons.  Comments:  As a plethora of historians, commentators, scholars, activists, and political leaders have concluded, the human race is lucky to be alive during this ongoing seventy year-long nuclear arms race.  (Source:  Eric Schlosser.  “Command and Control:  Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety.”  New York:  Penguin Press, 2013.)