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At the same time that the administration Chickenhawks threated Iraq and Korea for alleged nuclear weapons programs, the USA military is planning to build an entirely new generation of nuclear armaments.

How is that for hypocrisy?
(Source: Guardian, 19.2.02)


Minutes of a Pentagon meeting documenting U.S. plans
to build a new generation of nuclear weapons, were obtained by
the head of the U.S. watchdog organization, the Los Alamos Study
Group, and published in the London {Guardian} of Feb. 19.

According to the article, titled "U.S. Plan for New Nuclear
Arsenal," by Julian Borger, a meeting in the Pentagon had been
called on Jan. 10 by Dr. Dale Klein, assistant to Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to discuss the plans. The minutes
reported that top Pentagon officials plan to hold another
meeting, at U.S. Strategic Command headquarters in Nebraska, the
week of Aug. 4, 2003, to "discuss the construction of a new
generation of nuclear weapons," according to the {Guardian}. It
will also discuss whether or not to start nuclear tests again.

The Pentagon documents were obtained by Greg Mello, who
heads up the Los Alamos Study Group. Mello attributed great
importance to the minutes:

"It is impossible to overstate the
challenge these plans pose to the comprehensive test ban treaty,
the existing nuclear test moratorium, and U.S. compliance with
Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty."

Stephen Schwartz, publisher of the
{Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists},
noted the hypocrisy of the U.S. effort,
in light of current military threats
against such countries as Iraq.

Schwartz asked:

"How can we possibly go to the international community or to
[Iraq and North Korea] and say, 'How dare you develop these
weapons?' when it's exactly what we're doing?"

The Jan. 10 meeting began with consideration of the new
policy enunciated by Rumsfeld last year, the Nuclear Posture
Review, which named Russia, China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran,
Syria, and Libya as possible targets of U.S. nuclear weapons.
According to the minutes, the question to be raised in the
planned August meeting, in a "future arms panel," is: "What are
the warhead characteristics and advanced concepts we will need in
the post-NPR environment?" The panel is to deal with "the
requirements for low-yield weapons, EPWs [earth-penetrating
weapons], enhanced radiation weapons, agent defeat weapons." In
common parlance, these are referred to as "mini-nukes,"
"bunker-busters," and neutron bombs.

According to the {Guardian}, the National Nuclear Security
Administration, which actually has the task of designing,
building and maintaining nuclear weapons, confirmed the
authenticity of the leaked document, but a spokesman said: "We
have no request from the Defense Department for any new nuclear
weapon and we have no plans for nuclear testing."

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