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US Weapons

Clinton lost nuclear biscuit

President Clinton lost the "biscuit" containing the code for launching nuclear armageddon and it was several months before it was discovered, ABC News revealed.  One version of the story is that the biscuit went missing on the day the story about his affair with Monica Lewinsky first surfaced.

Gates bid to restart RRW

ImageElaine Grossman has reported that US Defence Secretary Robert Gates attempted to revive the Reliable Replacement Warhead project at a meeting in June.  Her sources said that the move was supported by Hilary Clinton, General Cartwright (Joint Chief of Staff) and others but was blocked by Vice President Jo Biden (pictured).  The issue of modernising the US nuclear arsenal is unlikely to go away.

US patrols near Cold War tempo

The US Navy is continuing to keep nuclear-armed submarines on patrol at a tempo similar to that maintained during the Cold War.  This has been revealed in a new report from Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists.

Papers released under the Freedom of Information Act show that in 2008 the US Trident fleet conducted 31 nuclear deterrent patrols.  The 1,000 patrol by a Trident submarine was completed on 11 February 2009.

Federation of American Scientist Blog

Letter From America

In our very first Letter from America 2 years ago we asserted that petrol in the US was “heading toward $4 a US gallon” – a price that was reached in the UK about 10 years ago, and triple what prices were in the US just 6 years ago.

US Empire or Multi-Polar World

“We’re an empire now and
when we act, we create our own
reality and while you’re studying
that reality – judiciously, as
you will – we’ll act again, creating
other new realities, which
you will study too, and that’s
how things will sort out,” said a
cheer leader for the Project for
a New American Century.

US takes over Aldermaston

and plans a new bomb assembly factory and plans a new bomb assembly factory

Image

On Friday 19 December, the day after the House of Commons closed for Christmas, it was announced that US companies now control two thirds of AWE Management Ltd, the company that runs the Atomic Weapons Establishment. One third of the company had been in the hands of Government-controlled BNFL. However this share has just been sold to the US company Jacobs Engineering.

Letter from America

We had planned to write the obligatory column about the departure of George W. Bush from the White House, but you've heard all the shoe jokes by now. And we'll wait and see whether Barack Obama carries through on his promises to close Guantanamo, end the practices of warrantless wiretapping, torture and rendition, and begin the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama on nuclear weapons

In his inauguration speech on 20 January President Barack Obama said:

 

"With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat"

 

Scottish CND Chair Alan Mackinnon has written two articles on the impact the new administration could have on nuclear disarmament.

Call to Obama to commit to global disarmamnet

leftDemocrat Senator Dianne Feinstein has called on Barack Obama
to take the lead and commit himself to working for the global
elimination of nuclear weapons.

Commission on US strategic posture

left The interim report from a new commission into US nuclear weapons policy, chaired by former Defence Secretary William Perry, was published on 15 December 

Overall the report is mixed and cautious.  It reaffirms the importance of Russia in determining the size of US nuclear forces, although it states that there is no nuclear threat from Russia or China.  It advocates bilateral negotiations with Russia. Ratification of the CTBT could be considered if there were assurances from the nuclear laboratories.  Nuclear terrorism is seen as a growing threat, particularly if the dangers of proliferation are not tackled.

A paper was sent to the Commission on the relationship between US and British nuclear weapons programmes.