Study Demands Commitment to Nuclear Disarmament

A new disarmament study has criticized leaders from the United Kingdom and other nations for insincerely pursuing the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, the British Press Association reported yesterday (see GSN, Feb. 26).

“Representatives of nuclear-weapons states pay lip service to the principle of nuclear disarmament, but none of these states has an employee, let alone an interagency group, tasked full-time with figuring out what would be required to verifiably decommission all its nuclear weapons,” says Abolishing Nuclear Weapons, a report released yesterday by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The report was authored by George Perkovich, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and James Acton, of King’s College London.

The two urge a greater commitment from the nuclear powers, which agreed in the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to pursue total nuclear disarmament.

“An international consortium of think tanks should convene a high-level unofficial panel to allow experts from civil society and officials from both nuclear-armed states and non-nuclear-weapons states to explore solutions to the myriad challenges of verifiably and security eliminating nuclear weapons,” the report says.

“Governments could assist these explorations by facilitating the participation of their nuclear weapons laboratories and militaries,” it adds.

The report singles out the British decision to modernize its ballistic missile submarine fleet as particularly troublesome (see GSN, March 15, 2007).

“Contributing to nuclear proliferation by pursuing Trident replacement … is incompatible with the goal of zero nuclear weapons,” it says (Ben Padley, Press Association, Sept. 17).

December 6, 2008
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A new disarmament study has criticized leaders from the United Kingdom and other nations for insincerely pursuing the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, the British Press Association reported yesterday (see GSN, Feb. 26).