Cowlix Wearing my mind on my sleeve

Arms Control Archives
Wednesday, May 15, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Bolton speech

Beyond the Axis of Evil: Additional Threats from Weapons of Mass Destruction: the full text of John Bolton's speech where the AoE was expanded to include Cuba, Syria, and Libya.

America is determined to prevent the next wave of terror. States that sponsor terror and pursue WMD must stop. States that renounce terror and abandon WMD can become part of our effort. But those that do not can expect to become our targets. This means directing firm international condemnation toward states that shelter--and in some cases directly sponsor--terrorists within their borders. It means uncovering their activities that may be in violation of international treaties. It means having a direct dialogue with the rest of the world about what is at stake. It means taking action against proliferators, middlemen, and weapons brokers by exposing them, sanctioning their behavior, and working with other countries to prosecute them or otherwise bring a halt to their activities. It means taking law-enforcement action against suspect shipments, front companies, and financial institutions that launder proliferators' funds. And it requires, above all, effective use, improvement, and enforcement of the multilateral tools at our disposal--both arms control and nonproliferation treaties and export control regimes.

Multilateral agreements are important to our nonproliferation arsenal. This Administration strongly supports treaties such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Biological Weapons Convention. But in order to be effective and provide the assurances they are designed to bring, they must be carefully and universally adhered to by all signatories. Therefore, strict compliance with existing treaties remains a major goal of our arms control policy.

See also:

December 17: The U.S. Army has disclosed that officials at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah have been producing weapons-grade anthrax - virtually identical to that found in the letters mailed to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy - for nearly a decade. This is the first such admission since the U.S. offensive biowarfare program was cancelled in 1969. A spokesperson for Dugway has stated that all of the facility's anthrax is well protected and accounted for. Officials claim that the small amounts of anthrax produced at Dugway are used for defensive research and that the research complies with all current treaty obligations.

Friday, April 05, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Power and security

Rule of Power or Rule of Law? the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research reports on the U.S. disregard for international security and human rights treaties. [via Follow Me Here]

Monday, March 11, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Intent is not everything, though

Demons in the night: on the reports that Britain ran biological weapons tests in the 60s by releasing bacteria in London trains and the distinction between good people and evildoers when it comes to possessing weapons of mass destruction.

So is there a moral equivalence between "our" willingness to use lethal weapons and "theirs", whether "they" be Soviet Russia or Iraq? Surely not. Christopher Hitchens, Martin Amis and others are right to argue that regimes which arbitrarily imprison, murder and torture their own people on a large scale are likely to be just as ruthless towards the nationals of other countries. Nor is it wrong to pose the question: under which regime would you rather live? People try to get out of tyrannies but to get into democracies; and even those who said "better red than dead" during the cold war implicitly accepted that this was not much of a choice. The possession of weapons, in other words, cannot sensibly be separated from the aims they are intended to support.

Sunday, February 17, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Restricting science

U.S. Tightening Rules on Keeping Scientific Secrets: Britain isn't the only country limiting scientific publication as part of the WoT.

The Bush administration is taking wide measures to tighten scientific secrecy in the hope of keeping weapons of mass destruction out of unfriendly hands.

Last month, it began quietly withdrawing from public release more than 6,600 technical documents that deal mainly with the production of germ and chemical weapons. It is also drafting a new information security policy, to be released in the next few weeks, that officials say will result in more documents' being withdrawn. It is asking scientific societies to limit what they publish in research reports.

Tuesday, February 12, 2002 Permanent link to this day
U.K. Export Control Bill

A British computer scientist, Ross Anderson, is warning that the new Export Control Bill under consideration in the U.K. goes too far in the effort to extend munition export controls to electronic transmission by giving government prepublication review and suppression powers over scientists' work and requiring licenses to be acquired for research into controlled areas when it involves foreigners.

See also:

[via zem]

Friday, February 01, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Axis of Evil

Know thine enemy: The Economist profiles the Axis of Evil and other WMD proliferaters.

Just a ruse to justify settling old scores with Iraq, which has long defied United Nations efforts to strip it of its illicit weapons of mass destruction? Or a ploy to help justify Mr Bush's decision to scrap the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia and build new missile defences? To many a seasoned anti-proliferation warrior, the president was simply stating the obvious: in a world of terrorism without constraint, tackling the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is just as urgent as ripping up the terrorist networks that might seek to make use of them.

As in any war, it helps to know the enemy. There are more than three of them. In a report published just before the Bush administration came into office, America's then secretary of defence, William Cohen, picked out "at least 25" countries that either possess, or are trying to develop, weapons of mass destruction or the means to deliver them. Since chemical and biological weapons are outlawed, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allows for only five official nuclear powers--the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France--plenty of governments are clearly up to no good.

CIA report on WMD proliferation

The CIA has released a report on countries acquiring and distributing weapons of mass destruction technology during the first half of last year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 Permanent link to this day
ABM Withdrawal

Bush has announced his intention to give notice to Russia that the United States is withdrawing from the 1972 ABM Treaty:

The attacks on our nation made it even more clear that we need to build limited and effective defenses against a missile attack. Our enemies seek every chance and every means to do harm to our country, our forces, and our friends. And we will not permit it.

Suppose the Taliban and the terrorists had been able to strike America or important allies with a ballistic missile. Our coalition would have become fragile, the stakes in our war much, much higher. We must protect Americans and our friends against all forms of terror, including the terror that could arrive on a missile.

Last week we conducted another promising test of our missile defense technology. For the good of peace, we're moving forward with an active program to determine what works and what does not work. In order to do so, we must move beyond the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a treaty that was written in a different era, for a different enemy.
- (Bush, December 11, Citadel)

The treaty allows either side to withdraw on six months notice under Article XV:

  1. This Treaty shall be of unlimited duration.
  2. Each Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests. It shall give notice of its decision to the other Party six months prior to withdrawal from the Treaty. Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events the notifying Party regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.

I truly have to wonder about the wisdom of spending billions of dollars to build an effective defense (if such a thing is possible) against what is, in my opinion, the miniscule chance that a leader will choose to have his country turned into glass by launching a ballistic missile, or allowing one to be launched from his country's soil, at the U.S.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright © 2001-2002 by Wes Cowley