Christian anti-nuclear campaigners may 'take matters into their own hands' - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
February 10, 2005

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Christian anti-nuclear campaigners may 'take matters into their own hands'

-10/03/05

Christian campaigners in the UK have reacted with shock to the news that US scientists have been commissioned to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons, and said that matters may have to be taken 'into their own hands' with regard to disarmament.

Pointing to US double standards and the country's failure to honour its nuclear commitments, campaigners have hinted that campaigning efforts towards disarmament, including acts of civil disobedience, will be stepped up.

A report in the New York Times earlier this week said 9 million dollars and up to 100 people had been allocated for the new nuclear project.

Design of the new arms is underway at the nation's three heavily-guarded nuclear weapons laboratories, at Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia.

Critics have argued the new weapons will have to be tested which would breach a 1996 test-ban treaty. Others say it will be hard for the Bush administration to persuade other countries to give up weapons programs as it moves to expand and upgrade its own arsenal.

With the US turning its sights on Iran, accusing that country of pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program. US nuclear weapons spending has quietly grown by 84 percent since 1995 - several years after the Cold War ended.

This year the U.S. will spend nearly 7 billion US dollars to maintain and modernize nuclear warheads, usable for decades to come, and many billions more to operate and modernize its delivery and command and control systems.

Altogether, the United States is spending about 40 billion US dollars annually on nuclear forces. Ten thousand nuclear

warheads, with some 2,000 on hair-trigger alert, remain in the US arsenal, each one many times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped 60 years ago at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The US has more than 100 nuclear weapons at its Lakenheath base in Suffolk, three times the number previously thought, a respected US research agency also said this week.

Christian campaigners in the UK have previously been involved in nonviolent acts of civil disobedience where they have disarmed weapons at military bases in the UK.

In 1970 the United States joined with Russia, Britain, China, and France, in signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to stop the spread of nuclear arms and to work towards their destruction.

The UN has scheduled a review of the treaty in May this year.

Chris Cole from the Christian peace group Fellowship of Reconciliation said; "This news, coming just weeks before the review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is shocking. It should be remembered that the US and the other declared nuclear weapons states, gave 'an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals'."

"Instead we find them developing bigger and better weapons. Such a gaping divide between what is promised and what is actual done demands that we hold the nuclear weapon states to account and if they fail to live up to their obligations, it suggests that we have to take disarmament into our own hands", Cole said.

Find books now:

Christian anti-nuclear campaigners may 'take matters into their own hands'

-10/03/05

Christian campaigners in the UK have reacted with shock to the news that US scientists have been commissioned to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons, and said that matters may have to be taken 'into their own hands' with regard to disarmament.

Pointing to US double standards and the country's failure to honour its nuclear commitments, campaigners have hinted that campaigning efforts towards disarmament, including acts of civil disobedience, will be stepped up.

A report in the New York Times earlier this week said 9 million dollars and up to 100 people had been allocated for the new nuclear project.

Design of the new arms is underway at the nation's three heavily-guarded nuclear weapons laboratories, at Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia.

Critics have argued the new weapons will have to be tested which would breach a 1996 test-ban treaty. Others say it will be hard for the Bush administration to persuade other countries to give up weapons programs as it moves to expand and upgrade its own arsenal.

With the US turning its sights on Iran, accusing that country of pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program. US nuclear weapons spending has quietly grown by 84 percent since 1995 - several years after the Cold War ended.

This year the U.S. will spend nearly 7 billion US dollars to maintain and modernize nuclear warheads, usable for decades to come, and many billions more to operate and modernize its delivery and command and control systems.

Altogether, the United States is spending about 40 billion US dollars annually on nuclear forces. Ten thousand nuclear

warheads, with some 2,000 on hair-trigger alert, remain in the US arsenal, each one many times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped 60 years ago at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The US has more than 100 nuclear weapons at its Lakenheath base in Suffolk, three times the number previously thought, a respected US research agency also said this week.

Christian campaigners in the UK have previously been involved in nonviolent acts of civil disobedience where they have disarmed weapons at military bases in the UK.

In 1970 the United States joined with Russia, Britain, China, and France, in signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to stop the spread of nuclear arms and to work towards their destruction.

The UN has scheduled a review of the treaty in May this year.

Chris Cole from the Christian peace group Fellowship of Reconciliation said; "This news, coming just weeks before the review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is shocking. It should be remembered that the US and the other declared nuclear weapons states, gave 'an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals'."

"Instead we find them developing bigger and better weapons. Such a gaping divide between what is promised and what is actual done demands that we hold the nuclear weapon states to account and if they fail to live up to their obligations, it suggests that we have to take disarmament into our own hands", Cole said.

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