Perspectives

  • Hacking Nuclear Weapons Is a Global Threat by David Krieger
  • California Is Complicit in the Buildup of Nuclear Weapons by Beatrice Fihn
  • A New Nuclear Arms Race Has Begun by Mikhail Gorbachev

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy

  • U.S. to Resume Prosecuting Protestors at Nevada Test Site

Nuclear Disarmament

  • Ireland Played Key Role in Non-Proliferation Treaty and Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
  • 122 Nations Reiterate Support for Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

War and Peace

  • North and South Korea Move to De-Escalate Border Tensions

Nuclear Insanity

  • Trump Says U.S. Will Build Up Nuclear Arsenal
  • Pence Leaves Open Possibility of Nuclear Weapons in Space
  • P5 Nations Unite to Maintain Their Nuclear Weapons

Resources

  • Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor
  • Foreign Affairs Issue on Nuclear Weapons

Foundation Activities

  • Evening for Peace Honors Beatrice Fihn and ICAN
  • Women Waging Peace
  • Ugandan Rotary Peace Fellow Training in Peace Literacy at NAPF

Take Action

  • Stop a New “Low-Yield” Nuclear Weapon

Quotes

Perspectives

Hacking Nuclear Weapons Is a Global Threat

There are many ways a nuclear attack could be initiated. These include the four “m’s” of malice, madness, mistake and miscalculation. Of these ways of initiating a nuclear attack, only malice could possibly be inhibited by nuclear deterrence (fear of nuclear retaliation).

A new, and possibly even greater, concern is coming over the horizon. That concern, related to cyberattacks on an enemy’s nuclear systems, could be labelled as “manipulation.” It is emerging due to the growing sophistication of hackers penetrating cyber-security walls in general. It would be disastrous if hackers were able to penetrate the walls protecting nuclear arsenals.

To read the full article in The Hill, click here.

California Is Complicit in the Buildup of Nuclear Weapons

A new nuclear arms race is underway, with California at the center, though it’s not clear its citizens realize it.

The new nuclear arms race is bringing in a flood of cash to laboratories run by the University of California, where scientists, engineers and technicians have had a hand in designing every single nuclear weapon the U.S. has ever built. And yet the state Legislature and the Los Angeles City Council have resolved that America should support the U.N.’s 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. California is complicit in the arms race, and if nuclear weapons were ever launched, it would be one of the prime attack targets. Its citizens need to speak up to safeguard their future and end the state’s participation in the weapons industry.

To read the full article in the Los Angeles Times, click here.

A New Nuclear Arms Race Has Begun

A new arms race has been announced. The INF Treaty is not the first victim of the militarization of world affairs. In 2002, the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; this year, from the Iran nuclear deal. Military expenditures have soared to astronomical levels and keep rising.

Is it too late to return to dialogue and negotiations? I don’t want to lose hope. I hope that Russia will take a firm but balanced stand. I hope that America’s allies will, upon sober reflection, refuse to be launchpads for new American missiles. I hope the United Nations, and particularly members of its Security Council, vested by the United Nations Charter with primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, will take responsible action.

Faced with this dire threat to peace, we are not helpless. We must not resign, we must not surrender.

To read the full article in The New York Times, click here.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy

U.S. to Resume Prosecuting Protestors at Nevada Test Site

For the first time since 1987, the U.S. government will prosecute a protestor for trespassing at the Nevada National Security Site, formerly known as the Nevada Test Site. The U.S. seized a vast area of land from the Western Shoshone after World War II and used it to test over 1,000 nuclear bombs between 1951 and 1992.

In 1987, facing hundreds of potential prosecutions for protests at the test site, the District Attorney announced that Nye County would continue to issue citations for crossing the line onto the test site, but would not prosecute those cases.

On October 8, Marc Page-Collogne, along with two others, crossed the line onto the test site. Page-Collogne was taken to jail and was subsequently released pending trial on December 3.

Jack Cohen-Joppa, “After Three Decades, Trespass Prosecutions Resume at Nevada Nuclear Test Site,” The Nuclear Resister, October 29, 2018.

Nuclear Disarmament

Ireland Played Key Role in Non-Proliferation Treaty and Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Newly declassified documents show Ireland’s important role in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons in the 1960s. The documents detail the strong opposition of U.S. diplomats to the efforts of Frank Aiken, Ireland’s Minister of External Affairs, to negotiate what would become the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT is now nearly universally viewed as an indispensable tool to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

U.S. diplomats have also strongly opposed the efforts of Ireland and other like-minded nations that have led the effort to achieve the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Ray Acheson, Director of Reaching Critical Will, highlighted that the declassified documents show “how relentless pursuit of a principled approach to nuclear disarmament, as from Ireland and others, is how change gets made.”

Cormac McQuinn, “How Ireland Helped Avoid Nuclear War,” The Irish Independent, October 31, 2018.

122 Nations Reiterate Support for Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

At the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, 122 nations voted in favor of a resolution that welcomes last year’s adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

North Korea abstained from the vote, while the other eight nuclear-armed nations (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan) voted against it. Joining the nuclear-armed nations in opposing the resolution were numerous nations that rely on U.S. or NATO nuclear weapons, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, and Canada.

War and Peace

North and South Korea Move to De-Escalate Border Tensions

North and South Korea agreed to work together to de-escalate potential border tensions by implementing a no-fly zone and a ban on military drills near the border.

The measures, which went into effect on November 1, were agreed to at the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in September.

Hyonhee Shin, “No-Fly Zone, Military Drill Ban Near Korea Border Take Effect,” Reuters, October 31, 2018.

Nuclear Insanity

Trump Says U.S. Will Build Up Nuclear Arsenal

After announcing that the U.S. will unilaterally withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, President Trump stated that he plans on building up the U.S. nuclear arsenal even more as a “threat” to China, Russia, and “anybody else that wants to play that game.”

Trump said that the U.S. would continue this behavior “until people come to their senses.”

Donald Trump: US Will Build Up Nuclear Arsenal,” BBC News, October 22, 2018.

Pence Leaves Open Possibility of Nuclear Weapons in Space

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence refused to rule out placing nuclear weapons in space, despite a 50-year-old treaty prohibiting such actions. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty outlawed weapons of mass destruction in space.

Pence said, “What we need to do is make sure that we provide for the common defense of the people of the United States of America, and that’s the president’s determination here.” He continued, “What we want to do is continue to advance the principle that peace comes through strength.”

Robert Costa, “Pence Leaves Open the Possibility of Nuclear Weapons in Space,” Washington Post, October 23, 2018.

P5 Nations Unite to Maintain Their Nuclear Weapons

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council (P5) – United
States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, and China – issued a joint
statement at the UN General Assembly’s First Committee. The five
nuclear-armed nations opened the statement by claiming a commitment to
the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has been in effect for nearly 50
years.

The P5 devotes multiple paragraphs to criticizing the
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which was adopted
last year at the UN by 122 nations. The P5 wrote, “We will not support,
sign or ratify this Treaty. The TPNW will not be
binding on our countries, and we do not accept any claim that it
contributes to the development of customary international law; nor does
it set any new standards or norms. We call on all countries that are
considering supporting the TPNW to reflect seriously on its implications
for international peace and security.”

The TPNW prohibits the use, threat of use, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons.

P5 Joint Statement on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” Gov.uk, October 24, 2018.

Resources

Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor

On October 29, Norwegian People’s Aid and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons launched the Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor, the first report of a newly established watchdog for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor measures progress related to signature, adherence, entry into force, and universalization of the TPNW. It also evaluates the extent to which the policies and practices of all states comply with the core obligations in the Treaty. The term compliance is used in a broad sense, to refer to the compatibility of each state’s behavior with the prohibitions of the TPNW, regardless of whether the state in question has adhered to the Treaty or not. A key purpose of the report is to highlight specific activities that will need to be discontinued if the international community is to achieve its goal of creating a world without nuclear weapons.

To read the first issue of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor, click here.

Foreign Affairs Issue on Nuclear Weapons

The magazine Foreign Affairs published numerous articles on nuclear weapons in its latest edition. Titles include: “Do Nuclear Weapons Matter?”; “If You Want Peace, Prepare for Nuclear War”; and “What Is Russia’s Nuclear Stockpile Really For?”

The articles can be accessed on the Foreign Affairs website.

Foundation Activities

Evening for Peace Honors Beatrice Fihn and ICAN

On October 21, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation presented Beatrice Fihn and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons with the Foundation’s Distinguished Peace Leadership Award. Over 200 people, including 50 students, attended the event.

To see photos of the event and to download an audio version of Beatrice Fihn’s acceptance speech, click here.

Women Waging Peace

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s online campaign Women Waging Peace highlights the outstanding work of women for peace and nuclear disarmament. Though progress is made every day, women’s voices are still often ignored, their efforts stonewalled and their wisdom overlooked regarding issues of peace and security, national defense, and nuclear disarmament.

Our third profile features Makoma Lekalakalai, a South African activist who spearheaded a women-led effort to challenge government corruption and nuclear energy policy.

Click here to read our interview with Makoma Lekalakalai.

Ugandan Rotary Peace Fellow Training in Peace Literacy at NAPF

In March 2014, Paul K. Chappell, Peace Literacy Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, gave a four-day workshop on Peace Leadership in Gulu, Uganda. One of the participants was Emily Nabakooza, who was working in peace and development programs at both the strategic and operational levels, with a focus on peace initiatives and youth.

Several years later she applied to become a Rotary Peace Fellow, winning a place at the Rotary Peace Center at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. For her applied field experience for Fall 2018, Emily Nabakooza has chosen to work with NAPF to practice her learning in peacebuilding and to be trained in Peace Literacy.

Emily Nabakooza brings more than seventeen years of practical experience in global peace and development. To get to know her better, we’ve asked her a few questions about her background, her goals, and her interest in Peace Literacy.

To read more, click here.

Take Action

Stop a New “Low-Yield” Nuclear Weapon

A new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 6840, seeks to stop the U.S. from developing a dangerous and destabilizing new low-yield nuclear warhead to be carried on U.S. submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

The “Hold the Low-Yield Nuclear Explosive (Hold the LYNE) Act” was introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu and already has a number of co-sponsors. A new “low-yield” nuclear weapon risks dangerously lowering the threshold for nuclear use by adding emphasis on low-yield options and increases the risk of miscalculation in a crisis.

Click here to ask your representative to co-sponsor this important new bill.

Quotes

 

“The love of country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?”

Pablo Casals, Catalan cellist and conductor. This quote appears in the book Speaking of Peace: Quotations to Inspire Action, which is available to purchase in the NAPF Peace Store.

 

“What are we doing to change the human condition that is at the core of global instability and needless conflict? War is neither a human condition nor imperative. We can change things. We can end war and turn weapons into ploughshares. Let us start with the man and the woman in the mirror!”

H.E. Mr. Lazarous Kapambwe, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations, speaking at the United Nations.

 

“I actually think the chance of a terrible miscalculation involving nuclear weapons is greater today than 10 or 20 years ago, and possibly even worse than during the height of the Cold War.”

Sam Nunn, former U.S. senator and co-chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Editorial Team

 

David Krieger
Louisa Kwon
Carol Warner
Rick Wayman