June 11, 2016 - No. 24
Government Is a Matter of Principle
Say No to Canadian
U.S. Missile Defence
on U.S. Ballistic Missile Defence Program
and Preemptive Strike
• Oppose Canada's
War Preparations in Europe
• Unacceptable Government
Policy Review and Consultation
Competition over the
Monopoly of Nuclear Weapons,
Material and Technology
• Dangerous U.S. Seizure of Gendarme
Role over Nuclear
Monopoly and Canadian Acquiescence
• Disposal of Uranium and
of U.S. Monopoly
• Canadian Government's
Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty
• Concern over Nuclear Re-Armament
• Washington Nuclear Security
• U.S. Government's $1
Nuclear Modernization Programs
- Arms Control Association -
Anniversary of the Publication of Modern
Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) by Hardial Bains
• The Study and Discussion of Modern Communism
Are Part of
the Historic Initiative to Turn Things Around in Canada
Establishing an Anti-War Government Is a
Say No to Canadian Participation in
U.S. Missile Defence
Windsor protest at National Day of Action Against Ballistic
October 2, 2004.
The Trudeau government is working to destroy the public
opinion of Canadians against participation in the U.S. ballistic
missile defence program. This public opinion was created in the
course of Canadians' concerted actions against joining the
program in 2004 and 2005 as well as their opposition to the U.S.
wars against Afghanistan and Iraq and most recently Libya and
Syria. It must not pass!
This opposition has been consistently voiced going back
U.S. genocide against Vietnam and Indochina, to U.S. missile
testing in Canada during the Pierre Trudeau Liberal government in
the early 1980s and Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" program among other
things. Canadians oppose
the country's annexation into Fortress
North America and the placing of Canadian resources and territory
under the control of the U.S. imperialists for the purpose of war
The new push to integrate Canada into U.S. missile
comes on the heels of U.S. President Obama's final "Nuclear
Security Summit" held in Washington, DC from March 31 to April 2.
There the U.S. put the finishing touches on its self-serving
concepts of non-proliferation and "ridding the world of nuclear
weapons," which have come to mean the U.S. strengthening its
monopoly on nuclear weapons, materials and technology. The U.S.
is claiming successes in this "non-proliferation" at a time when
it is expanding its missile shield program and preemptive strike
capacity in North America, the Asia-Pacific and Europe.
This is another indication that the Liberals' program
"real change in Canada-U.S. relations" aims to rapidly accelerate
Canada's annexation into Fortress North America under the hoax of
"joint command," "defence of North America" and shameless
fearmongering about alleged threats from "rogue states." Far from
defending the security of the peoples of Canada, the U.S. and the
world, the Liberal war government is pushing for further integration
the U.S. war machine precisely at a time when the U.S. ruling
elite is organizing for a Clinton presidency that threatens
preemptive strikes against Iran and Syria and an expansion of the
U.S. aggressive "pivot to Asia."
To this end the Liberals and U.S. imperialist academics
experts have been for several years laying the groundwork to
revive a dangerous debate which Canadians considered to be closed
in 2005. The latest push comes as part of the government's
Defence Policy Review launched on April 6, which asks whether,
"given changing technologies and threats," Canada should revisit
its decision to not participate in the U.S. ballistic missile
At the same time, the government has appointed a
Ministerial Advisory Panel on the defence policy review including
Bill Graham, Minister of Defence under the Paul Martin Liberal
government. Graham was the biggest proponent of missile defence
at the time and has been trotted out more recently to express
regret at the government opting out of the program in the face of
Canadians' public opinion. Graham cynically told a Senate
committee in 2014 that it was the negative opinion Canadians held
about George W. Bush that forced the government to stay out. "If
it had been President Obama asking with his approach, you never
know, we might have said yes," Graham said.
The Liberals are eager to destroy Canadians' unity in
against war and annexation by fearmongering and claiming that
Canada's non-participation in U.S. missile defence actually
threatens Canadian sovereignty. Questions posed by Liberal MPs to
Canadian armed forces figures at meetings of the House Committee
on National Defence in March and April envision nightmare
scenarios of missiles hurtling from some unknown source towards
Canadian cities, and ask what Canada could do in such a
situation. According to the Liberals and these military figures,
once a missile is identified the decision would be solely up to
the U.S. as to whether its missile defence system would attempt
to intercept it.
Such ideas do not do justice to any modern conception
of security and insult the intelligence of Canadians. When it comes to
integration into the U.S. military apparatus, it is well known who
calls the shots. More importantly, Canadians must keep in mind that
these crude scenarios are designed to sow confusion and smash their
opposition to warmongering and have no basis in fact. Asserting the
"right" to conduct preemptive strikes and the actual bombardment of
cities are features of both the Bush and Obama doctrines. They have
been a feature of U.S. warfare going back to unprecedented murder of
more than one million Japanese by the U.S. nuclear attacks on Hiroshima
and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945.
Canadians answer the government's watchwords
"defence of North America" and "shared security" -- designed
war preparations -- with a slogan that
belongs to them: Our
Lies in Our Fight for the Rights of All! Our security and our
become one in the defence of rights, including standing as one with the
world's peoples in
defence of their right to be against U.S. imperialist preparations for
another world war. TML Weekly is providing information
the U.S. ballistic missile
defence program and preemptive strike doctrine, Canada's participation
war preparations in Europe as well as the Liberal government's ongoing
Canada Needs an Anti-War
No to Canadian Participation in U.S. Missile Defence!
Security Lies in Our Fight for the Rights of All!
Information on U.S. Ballistic Missile Defence Program
Preemptive Strike Doctrine
The U.S. ballistic missile defence program is a key
the nuclear blackmail the U.S. imperialists have imposed on the
world's peoples since the infamies committed at Hiroshima and
Nagasaki in August 1945. The U.S. drive to build up its missile
defence systems in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific is
part of increasing its capacity to conduct preemptive strikes and
protect itself from retaliation.
Preemptive Strike Doctrine
The George W. Bush regime articulated its doctrine of
preemptive strikes in a June 1, 2002 declaration. Bush said that
"If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited
too long." He called for a military "ready to strike at a
moment's notice" and for Americans to be "ready for preemptive
action when necessary."
This was also reflected in the 2002 U.S. Nuclear
Review, a "legislatively-mandated review that establishes U.S.
nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture" for a
five-year period. At that time the Washington Post noted,
"The review makes clear a turn by the Bush team to a strategy of
preemption, including by nuclear weapons if necessary." This was
allegedly to protect against "rogue states," and listed Russia,
China, Iraq, Iran, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea,
Libya and Syria as potential targets.
The Obama regime never repudiated this doctrine and its
Nuclear Posture Review maintained the status quo. The preemptive
strike policy went unchanged and was given explicit justification
in the case of "the evolution and proliferation of the
biological weapons threat and U.S. capacities to counter that
threat." The legal justification for preemptive strikes was
rearticulated most recently in an April 1 speech by Brian Egan,
the top lawyer at Obama's State Department. Egan elaborated the
concept of "imminence" to explain the circumstances in which the
U.S. would legally justify preemptive strikes under the hoax of
"The absence of specific evidence of where an attack
take place or of the precise nature of an attack does not
preclude a conclusion that an armed attack is imminent for
purposes of the exercise of the right of self-defense, provided
that there is a reasonable and objective basis for concluding
that an armed attack is imminent," Egan said.
The Associated Press reported on June 4, 2015 that the
administration has drawn up plans for "counterforce" attacks
using conventional missiles in preemptive attacks against Russian
nuclear weapons, and "countervailing strike capabilities" for
nuclear attacks on Russian military targets.
Development of U.S. Missile Defence
U.S. ballistic missile defence system in Europe (click image to
Since the end of the Cold War the creation of ballistic
missile defence systems has become a major preoccupation of U.S.
imperialism. Previously, the size and scope of ballistic missile
defence systems were limited by a U.S.-Soviet treaty signed in
1972. The U.S. withdrew from this treaty in 2002 and has since
been rapidly increasing the scope of its program.
Current and planned U.S. missile defence systems
There are currently four GMD interceptors located at
Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and 26 at Fort Geely,
Alaska. The GMD system is designed to destroy intercontinental
ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere. It relies on radar
stations in Alaska, California, the United Kingdom and Greenland
and is connected directly to NORAD, the U.S. Northern Command
Command, other bases in the U.S. and the Shariki U.S.
airbase in Japan. The system has been in testing since 1997 and
has cost roughly $40 billion to date. Intercept tests to date
have counted more failures than successes. The primary
contractors are Boeing, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.
Aegis Ballistic Missile
Defense System (Aegis BMD)
Polish and U.S. leaders at Aegis Ashore missile defence system
groundbreaking ceremony in Redzikowo, Poland, May 13, 2016. (U.S. Dept. of Defense)
This is a ship-based missile defence system designed to
intercept "short-to-intermediate-range, unitary and separating,
midcourse-phase" ballistic missiles. There are currently
approximately 33 Aegis BMD vessels, with 16 assigned to the
Pacific Fleet and 17 to the Atlantic Fleet. There are expected to
be 43 Aegis ships by the end of 2019, and a total of between 80 and 97
by 2043. The ships use the Lockheed Martin Aegis Weapon
System and Raytheon missiles. Out of 37 intercept tests between
1997 and 2015, 31 have been successful.
The Aegis system has also been deployed on land,
as "Aegis Ashore." In May 2016 the U.S. Navy and U.S. Missile
Defence Agency declared operational an Aegis missile defence site
in Deveselu, Romania. It will be joined by an Aegis site in
Poland to be completed by April 2018, both under U.S./NATO
U.S. ships with Aegis BMD systems include the
USS Monterey, which was deployed in the Mediterranean and
then the Black Sea in 2011. The U.S. again deployed the Monterey
at the beginning of
along with two aircraft carriers and another Aegis ship,
the San Jacinto.
Terminal High Altitude Area
THAAD has been in development since 1992 and first
in 2008. It is designed to shoot down short, medium, and
intermediate ballistic missiles in their terminal phase. It is
said to be capable of hitting targets in the upper part of the
atmosphere and outside the atmosphere. The system can be
vehicle-mounted and has been deployed in Hawaii, Guam and Wake
Island. It is designed and built by Lockheed Martin. The
commanding general of Army Space and Missile Defense Command
announced in March 2016 that the THAAD system is being considered
for deployment in Europe and the Middle East through U.S.
European Command (EUCOM) and Central Command (CENTCOM), as well
as in south Korea. The THAAD system was successful in most tests
conducted between 2005 and 2012.
Along with the placement of nuclear weaponry in eastern
Europe, the U.S. is building up its missile defence capacity and
hence its capacity for preemptive strikes in the Baltic Sea
through ship-based systems.
The MIM-104 Patriot missile "has been the [U.S. military's] cornerstone
air-and-missile defense system for 40 years," writes DefenseNews. It is
the U.S. army's primary "High to Medium Air Defense" system, and is
expected to be widely used until 2040. There are more than one thousand
launchers in U.S. service and nearly 200 have been sold to U.S.
"allies." U.S./NATO controlled Patriot systems are deployed in Poland
and Turkey. The system was developed by Raytheon, and each missile
costs roughly $2-3 million.
Oppose Canada's Participation in
War Preparations in
News reports on June 10 revealed that the Trudeau
government is considering permanently deploying up to 1,000
Canadian soldiers in eastern Europe. An article in the Ottawa
Citizen reported that NATO has been pressing for Canada to do
so after the U.S., Britain and Germany each pledged similar
NATO wants to establish "a new force in Europe"
targeting Russia, and has also requested Canada conduct a
permanent patrol in European waters, contribute CF-18 fighter
jets to a "Baltic Air Policing" mission and possibly send an
armoured reconnaissance unit to eastern Europe. A "senior NATO
diplomat" was cited as saying, "other European allies are
stretched thin because of operations in Africa, Afghanistan or at
home, which is why Canada is being singled out."
A spokesperson for Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan
media, "As a committed NATO ally, Canada is actively considering
options to effectively contribute to NATO's strengthened
posture." According to The Citizen, Canada will make its
decision before NATO's 2016 Warsaw Summit in Poland from July 8
to 9. Prime Minister Trudeau will attend the summit along with
other leaders of NATO member states. The summit is expected to
announce the stepping up of NATO war preparations and its
military buildup in eastern Europe with this new land force.
After a meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau in Ottawa
10, Polish President Andrzej Duda was quoted saying, "Trudeau
confirmed he would present a statement at the summit, with a
focus on the need to strengthen the eastern flank of NATO, that
NATO should act jointly in this regard, that it is necessary to
stress the importance of the unity of the Alliance in Warsaw to
make all allies respond together to the new threat from the
Anakonda-2016 Military Exercise in Poland
NATO's largest war games since the end of the Cold War,
the "Anakonda-2016" exercise, is being held from June 7 to 17,
involving 31,000 ground troops from 19 NATO members and six "partner"
states in NATO's "Partnership for Peace," including Ukraine. At least
220 Canadian troops are participating along with armed forces from the
U.S., UK and Germany as well as Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech
Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia,
Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain,
Sweden and Turkey. The war games are said to simulate "defence" against
a "Russian incursion from the east."
Commanding General of the U.S. Army Europe Ben Hodges
that Anakonda is "the major exercise" of 2016. Hodges says that
the "key point in deterring Russia" is "rapid response" and
"accumulation of military equipment in strategic locations."
Polish General Slawomir Wojciechowski said it is "the first
exercise since 1989 involving U.S.-allied troops on such a
large-scale." The ground exercises are comprised of four distinct
but overlapping areas: live fire, command post, field training
and cyber and electronic warfare exercises.
Nearly half of the participating soldiers are from the
and 1,000 are from the UK. One hundred and five NATO aircraft and
49 warships are conducting simultaneous exercises in the Baltic
Sea. Special forces and intelligence units are also taking part.
The U.S. Army in Europe informs that its training events during
Anakonda-2016 include "multinational air assault and airborne
operations, air defense operations, bridging operations and
numerous other training activities." Participating U.S. units
come from various bases in Germany, Italy and the U.S. The
exercises are being called "Polish-led" to cover up the main role
of the U.S. in the military buildup and war preparations on Russia's
frontiers. The Guardian noted that "For
time since the Nazi invasion of [Poland] began 22 June 1941,
German tanks will cross the country from west to east."
Participation of Ukraine
Ukrainian media reported in April that Poland
Ukraine should be included but that Germany was "strongly
opposed." According to reports citing Polish generals, Germany
was also opposed to the use of its roadways for the movement of
U.S. troops to the exercises. The U.S. Embassy in Poland issued a
statement on April 29 stating that "German authorities have not
denied U.S. Army transportation requests regarding the movement
of U.S. troops and equipment through Germany to Poland for the
Anakonda 16 exercises." The U.S. and Germany "continue to
coordinate the movement of U.S. troops along German highways in
accordance with the U.S.-German Status of Forces Agreement," the
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence announced on April 29
its soldiers would take part in the Anakonda exercise as well as
nine other major military exercises with NATO countries this
year. These include the U.S.-Ukrainian Rapid Trident 2016 and
Maple Arch 2016 hosted by the "International Peacekeeping and
Security Center" (IPSC) in western Ukraine and the U.S.-Ukraine
Sea Breeze 2016 exercise involving more than 12,500 Ukrainian
troops. The U.S. Department of Defense announced in February 2016
that it will maintain a permanent military presence at the IPSC
until 2020. More than 200 Canadian armed forces personnel taking
part in the U.S. mission to train Ukrainian militias are likewise
based at the IPSC.
Click to enlarge.
Largest U.S. Transfer of Ammunition to Europe in Ten
The U.S. military announced in February that it has
"transported over 5,000 tons of ammunition from the port of
Nordenham to the Theater Logistics Support Center Europe's
ammunition depot in Miesau." This is the "largest single
European-bound U.S. shipment of ammunition in 10 years," the
military said. Transportation took place in 415 shipping
containers and will be made available for the Anakonda exercise.
The U.S. military said that increasing ammunition reserves in
Europe "means that U.S. and NATO forces can quickly draw
ammunition in support of short notice NATO operations and other
multinational efforts aimed at maintaining a strong
Urgent Need to Get Canada Out of NATO
The Trudeau Liberals' support for U.S. imperialist war
preparations in Europe takes Canada further along the dangerous course
of the U.S. ruling circles and their NATO alliance. It is the path of
militarization, preemptive strikes, wars of aggression and occupation
abroad, and fascism on the home front. The method of the U.S.
imperialists is to create "facts on the ground," be it about "weapons
of mass destruction" or the new buzz phrase of "Russian aggression,"
and use this to justify aggression and bring humanity closer to the
brink of another world war.
The increasing aggressiveness of NATO's "eastern
the upcoming Warsaw Summit in July and the expectation for Canada
to "step up" and significantly increase its military presence in Europe
pose serious dangers to the Canadian and world's peoples. They
show that getting Canada out of NATO and establishing an anti-war
government is not a matter of policy but one of principle and an
urgent necessity to safeguard the peoples' lives and future.
Canada must not participate in U.S. imperialist war
preparations and must also defend its sovereignty in a meaningful way.
This means not permitting the U.S. imperialists to exercise command and
control over Canada's air, land, water and government and military
assets. It means to remove all Canadian soldiers, ships and equipment
from foreign territory. Most importantly, it means that the Canadian
working class and people must prepare to establish an anti-war
government for Canadians to uphold their peace-loving stand
internationally and prevent tragedies and crimes from taking place in
Unacceptable Government Defence Policy
The Department of National Defence initiated a Defence
Policy Review on April 6 with consultations that will continue
until July 31. A four-member Ministerial Advisory Panel has been
created for the review, comprised of former Supreme Court Justice
Louise Arbour, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham,
former NATO Military Committee Chairman Raymond Henault and former
Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Security and Intelligence)
The Department of National Defence says it is
review because "the strategic context in which the [Canadian
armed forces] operates has shifted in the last decade, in some
ways significantly. Canada is facing a range of new challenges,
from the rise of terrorism in ungoverned spaces, to the expanded
use of hybrid tactics in conflict, to new opportunities and
vulnerabilities associated with the space and cyber domains."
The Trudeau Liberal government is continuing the
with the review of Canadian foreign policy by the Chrétien
Liberals in 1994/95 that fundamental issues are not up for
review. A document was released at the launch of the review with
an introduction by Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan setting out
the "themes that should underpin the review." These are "renewing
Canada's commitment to United Nations peace operations,
maintaining strong commitments to NORAD and NATO, renewing focus
on the surveillance and control of Canadian territory and
approaches, particularly the Arctic, ensuring our men and women
in uniform have the equipment and support they need, and ensuring
a strong link between defence policy, foreign policy, and
Six total "stakeholder" roundtables are being held with
"defence, security and other experts." Four have been held to
date, in Vancouver (April 27), Toronto (May 20), Yellowknife (May
24) and Edmonton (June 4). The next roundtables will be held in
Montreal and Halifax. The "stakeholders" in question have so far
been primarily former diplomats, representatives of armaments
monopolies, academics, former military figures and members of
The U.S. and other countries will be part of the review
through bilateral and multilateral meetings. In this regard, the
Department of National Defence reported on May 13 that a visit by
Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan to Washington, DC for
meetings "with senior government officials on Capitol Hill"
"focused on a wide range of issues currently being examined as
part of Canada's ongoing Defence Policy Review, including
Canada's long standing defence partnership with the U.S. through
NORAD, as a NATO Ally, and as a partner in the Global Coalition
to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)."
Sajjan was quoted in an official press release as
meetings in Washington were highly informative as Canada examines
a number of issues important to our ongoing Defence Policy
Review. These include continuing to work with our most important
defence partner to strengthen continental defence and working
together to address broader security challenges as they emerge
around the globe."
Canadians are invited to visit the National Defence
consultation website and complete one of six "E-Workbooks," each
of which has its own Discussion Forum. The website is called
"Have Your Say: Defence Policy Review 2016" and advertises the
hashtag #DefenceConsults. The online consultation is privately
managed by the French market research company Ipsos through its
Users can register an account on the forum to post
and replies to predefined topics, which can then be given a
"thumbs up" or "thumbs down." The E-Workbooks consist of
multiple-choice questions and in some cases, comment forms.
According to numbers published on the discussion forums, the most
popular topic has, as of June 11, fewer than 3,000 views and
around 400 comments. Others have far less engagement.
The online consultation and public consultation
divided into five areas: Canadian Approach to Defence; The
Security Environment; Defending Canada and North America;
Contributing to Global Peace and Security; Defence Capabilities
and the Future Force.
The Defence Policy Review website also invites
host their own local consultation events, using the government's
Consultation Tool Kit, consisting of a PDF of the review booklet,
a "Defence 101" powerpoint presentation, a moderator's guide and
news release template. These events can be submitted to National
Defence and may be included on its website but the government
does not say what are the criteria for consultation events to be
acceptable or published on the website.
There have been eight consultation events since
review was launched in April. Four have been hosted by
Members of Parliament; one private event has been held by the
Conference of Defence Associations Institute; one event has been
held by the Royal United Services Institute, a British
defence and security think-tank; one private event was held
by the Western Canadian Defence Industries Association; one was
held by the École nationale d'administration publique in
Montreal; and one event appears to have been organized by a
member of the public in Vancouver.
Competition over the Monopoly of Nuclear
Weapons, Material and Technology
Dangerous U.S. Seizure of Gendarme Role over Nuclear
and Canadian Acquiescence
One of the self-proclaimed successes of the eight years
the Obama war presidency in the U.S. is the advance in nuclear
At the close of the U.S.-sponsored Nuclear
Security Summit 2016 held in Washington from March 31 to April 2,
Obama stated, "As terrorists and criminal gangs and arms
merchants look around for deadly ingredients for a nuclear
device, vast regions of the world are now off-limits, and that is
a remarkable achievement."
Four "Nuclear Security Summits" were held between 2010
2016 under Obama's direct leadership, creating an alternative
forum in the imperialist system of states for deal-making on
nuclear issues outside established United Nations bodies and
without the participation of the majority of sovereign states.
This has led to the creation of an even narrower "Nuclear
Security Contact Group" which is tasked with continuing the
efforts of the Summits and meeting annually on the sidelines of
the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency
Through the Nuclear Security Summits and other
the U.S. imperialists have seized a gendarme role in the monopoly
over nuclear weapons, materials and technology worldwide. Most
worryingly, the Obama presidency has entrenched a conception of
"nuclear non-proliferation" synonymous with consolidation of the
U.S. nuclear monopoly. This is the basis for its claimed
To declare "vast regions of the world" to be
the U.S. has organized the dismantling of nuclear facilities
overseas and the physical relocation of huge quantities of
nuclear material, including from Canada, to the U.S. for
permanent storage or conversion. This is described as keeping
nuclear materials "out of the hands of terrorists" while the
U.S., the only entity to ever use nuclear weapons against human
beings, embarks upon a $1 trillion "nuclear modernization"
program, deploys new nuclear weaponry in Europe and violates
existing nuclear disarmament agreements.
The Trudeau Liberal government in Canada is playing a
dangerous role in support of U.S. nuclear intrigues and creating
the new international police powers to ensure its nuclear
domination. Among other things, Canada has been given the role of
leading the push to conclude a global fissile material cut-off
treaty (FMCT), an agreement between states to prohibit the
production of highly-enriched uranium and reprocessed plutonium
for use in weapons.
Visiting Hiroshima, Japan with counterparts from G7
on April 11, Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion said
Canada should focus, "very strongly" on an FMCT, and that it is
the measure which is "the least difficult to reach." The fraud of
the FMCT and Canada's claim that this would be a significant step
in disarmament and non-proliferation is that all but a handful of
countries worldwide are acknowledged to have ended production of
these materials for weapons purposes in the 1990s or before.
Canada sells huge quantities of raw uranium to at least one of
those countries. Perhaps more importantly, the FMCT would have no
effect on existing stocks of such materials, 99 per cent of which
are held by existing nuclear powers. The materials held by the
five biggest nuclear powers alone are the equivalent of roughly
80,000 nuclear devices.
During the 1990s, Canada was similarly given an "honest
broker" role to conclude an FMCT through the United Nations
Conference on Disarmament (UNCD). At that time many non-nuclear
powers pointed out this hypocrisy and voiced principled
opposition to any such treaty that did not promote genuine
disarmament, and so the treaty stalled.
Canada is now leading the blackmail against these
threatening that unless the UNCD agrees to the FMCT its members
will be excluded from any say on future nuclear agreements.
In a tirade at the High-Level Segment of the UNCD in
Geneva on March 2 Foreign Affairs Minister
Dion stated that in the past 20 years the UNCD "has not made a
single concrete contribution to international peace and
security." Dion then pointed to recent agreements which had been
negotiated outside the UN and threatened that if the UNCD does
not "make a serious effort to resume its substantive work, ad hoc
non-proliferation and disarmament efforts in other forums will
become the norm." Dion claimed that the failure of the UNCD to
support such initiatives is a "damning indictment of our
inability to overcome our narrow national interests."
Dion spoke out against efforts towards disarmament of
existing nuclear powers or including such measures in future
treaties and attempted to paint these as calls for "an immediate
outright ban on nuclear weapons." He called for "realistic
objectives, taking contemporary strategic realities into
Dion clarified that a key aspect of an FMCT would be
establishment of new international police powers for verification
and enforcement of the nuclear monopoly of recognized powers led
by the U.S. The FMCT would "be instrumental in helping to advance
important verification mechanisms necessary for broader
disarmament efforts," Dion said. Dion likewise made clear that
these "important verification mechanisms" are to be established
outside of recognized international institutions, praising an
organization called the "International Partnership for Nuclear
Disarmament Verification" for "addressing important technical
aspects of verification that currently pose a significant
obstacle to the development of long-lasting disarmament
The "International Partnership" is a private-public
partnership between the U.S. State Department and the "Nuclear
Threat Initiative," (NTI) an organization founded in 2001 by
former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and billionaire Ted Turner. The NTI
is also the coordinating body, along with Stanford University's
Hoover Institute, of the "Nuclear Security Project," formed in
2007 by former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, former
Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, former Secretary of State
Henry A. Kissinger and Nunn.
In other words, Canada's apparent leadership on nuclear
disarmament is based on diplomatic support for the international
gendarme role of the U.S. imperialists, the elimination of
international institutions based on the equality of sovereign
states and the creation of new, privatized mechanisms in the
imperialist system of states. While the U.S. continues its
nuclear blackmail against the world's peoples, Canada insists
that the people drop their opposition to double standards lest they be
excluded from any say whatsoever.
In this issue, TML Weekly is providing for your
information materials on the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, how
the U.S. is consolidating its monopoly over nuclear materials,
the Canadian government's efforts to conclude an FMCT, U.S. plans
for deployment of new nuclear weapons in Europe, as well as the
U.S. government's nuclear modernization program.
Canada's activities on the issue of nuclear disarmament
proof positive that its role in the imperialist system of states
is dirty indeed. The alternative is for Canadians to prepare the
conditions for an anti-war government and bring it into being.
It can be done! It must be done!
1. The Obama administration's
initiatives in this field began
following a speech in Prague on April 5, 2009, marking ten years
of the Czech Republic's membership in NATO. Obama stated that
"Our efforts to contain [nuclear] dangers are centered on a
global non-proliferation regime, but as more people and nations
break the rules, we could reach the point where the center cannot
hold." He used the occasion to "state clearly and with conviction
America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world
without nuclear weapons."
Lofty goals included reducing the role of nuclear
U.S. national security strategy, strengthening multilateral
treaties and concluding a fissile material cut-off treaty. "Some
countries will break the rules," Obama said, "That's why we need
a structure in place that ensures when any nation does, they will
Disposal of Uranium and Plutonium and Consolidation of
The U.S. says the main achievement of the four Nuclear
Security Summits (NSS) has been the removal of existing nuclear
materials from various countries and regions. According to a
White House press release, "wide swaths of Central and Eastern
Europe and all of South America can be considered free of [highly
enriched uranium (HEU)]."
The U.S. says it has "successfully completed removals or
confirmed the downblending of highly enriched uranium [HEU] and
plutonium from more than 50 facilities in 30 countries -- in
total, enough material for 130 nuclear weapons." As well,
security at nuclear facilities and borders is said to have
improved, and some countries are reported to have harmonized
their security practices.
HEU is disposed of through down-blending, that converts
low enriched uranium (LEU) which can be used as reactor fuel but
not for nuclear weapons. Plutonium is disposed of through
transportation to the U.S. and storage in facilities such as the Waste
Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP),
a deep geological repository in New Mexico. Some excess plutonium is
then converted into a mixed oxide fuel for use in nuclear reactors.
Statements issued at the NSS noted the key role of the U.S. in
assisting countries to dispose of uranium and plutonium stocks -- which
it calls non-proliferation -- and ensure that countries are "no longer
targets for those seeking nuclear materials." However, the WIPP in New
Mexico has been shuttered for two years for safety reasons and plans
for a facility to convert to mixed oxide fuel have now been cancelled.
The U.S. currently has no "disposal" plan for plutonium in that regard.
On the first day of the 2016 NSS, the U.S. announced
had declassified and released information about its national
inventory of HEU as of September 30, 2013. The data states that
"from 1996 to 2013, U.S. HEU inventories decreased from 740.7
metric tons to 585.6 metric tons." Since September 2013 the U.S.
Department of Energy says it has down-blended 7.1 metric tons of
HEU. The U.S. says 499.4 metric tons of remaining HEU stock is
for "national security or non-national security programs
including nuclear weapons, naval propulsion, nuclear energy, and
science" while, of the remaining 86.2 metric tons, "41.6 metric
tons was available for potential down-blend to low enriched
uranium or, if not possible, disposal as low-level waste, and
44.6 metric tons was in spent reactor fuel."
At the current U.S. rate of disposal, it would take
17 years to dispose of the 41.6 metric tons "available for
potential down-blend." Approximately 500 tons of Russian HEU was
down-blended by the U.S. from 1993 to 2013, the fuel from which
powered around half of U.S. nuclear power plants during that
period. Most of the remaining world's HEU stockpiles are held by the
U.S. and Russia. The International Panel on Fissile Materials
estimates that global separated plutonium reserves were around
495 tons in 2012, half of which was for military purposes and the other
civilian purposes, with roughly 98 per cent stored in nuclear
weapons-possessing countries. The U.S. has committed to disposing
of 34 metric tons of its own "excess" weapons-grade
Highlighted at the 2016 NSS were the removal of HEU and
plutonium from Japan's Fast Critical Assembly following a 2014
U.S.-Japan Joint Pledge; the removal of "excess" plutonium from
Germany; and the elimination of all HEU from Argentina and
Indonesia. It was further announced that the U.S. will work with
Japan to transfer HEU fuel from the Kyoto University Critical
Assembly to the United States for down-blending.
British-flagged ships carrying approximately 331 kilograms of
plutonium from Japan's Fast Critical Assembly arrived in
Charleston, South Carolina on June 4 designated for the Savannah
At the same time, the demand for medical isotopes,
produced using HEU, is rising for use in various fields, from
health to agriculture. Countries such as India are working to set
up facilities to produce molybdenum-99 "by irradiating low
enriched uranium targets in India's research reactor," India's
Department of Atomic Energy informed.
The government of Canada has committed to eliminate the
of HEU in medical isotope production and announced at the 2014
NSS that it would do so by October 2016. However the Natural
Research Universal (NRU) reactor at the Atomic Energy of Canada
Limited (AECL) Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario produces
around one-third of the world's medical isotopes (molybdenum-99)
on the basis of HEU and there is currently no feasible
replacement source. As a result, the deadline for the shutdown of
the NRU reactor has been extended to March 2018. There are
efforts in Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere to develop techniques
to produce molybdenum-99 without HEU, for instance through
accelerators or neutron capture but there is, as of yet, no
facility which could take over from the Chalk River labs.
Canada agreed at the 2010 NSS that all spent HEU of
origin from the Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario would be
repatriated to the U.S., the stated purpose of which is
"increased security of this inventory and in cost savings over
long-term management in Canada." The repatriation is funded by
the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program established by the
Canadian government in 2006. Six shipments have been made, one in
2010, one in 2012 and four in 2015 and the repatriation is
expected to be completed in May 2019.
In 2012 this initiative was expanded to include the
of all "excess" HEU material stored at the Chalk River
Laboratories, as well as heavy water byproducts of isotope
production. These shipments are expected to begin in mid-2016 and
also finish by May 2019. The University of Alberta is reportedly
taking steps to shut down its SLOWPOKE Nuclear Reactor Facility
which also runs on HEU fuel, and plans to repatriate this fuel to
the U.S. also by May 2019. This would leave the SLOWPOKE reactor
operated by the Saskatchewan Research Council as the only
remaining HEU-utilizing research reactor in Canada. Canada's
total HEU holdings are not disclosed publicly but are estimated
at approximately 1,035 kg.
The transport of HEU to the U.S. was described by
Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear
Responsibility as "hundreds of truckloads of liquid radioactive
waste containing weapons-grade radioactive uranium [being sent]
down to the [U.S. government's] Savannah River Site in South
Canada has around 213 tons of irradiated plutonium in
form of spent fuel. In its progress report to the 2016 NSS the
government announced that three-quarters of its stocks are ready
to be removed and discussions are taking place with the U.S.,
requesting that they accept the material for long-term
management. The remainder is said to be stored for use in future
research and development.
U.S. Violations of Plutonium Management and Disposal
An agreement signed between the U.S. and Russia in 2000
and further amended in 2010 affirms the intention of both
countries to remove 34 metric tons of plutonium from their
nuclear weapons programs and to convert this plutonium into forms
unusable for nuclear weapons. Each agreed that 25 metric tons of
plutonium in or from weapon components and nine metric tons of
metal or metal alloy and plutonium dioxide would be disposed of
through irradiation, meaning through conversion into mixed oxide
In the U.S. this was to be done at what would be the
MOX fuel manufacturing plant in the United States, which began
construction at the Savannah River Site nuclear zone in 2007. The
2017 U.S. federal budget proposed by the Obama administration
called for an end to construction of the plant, citing cost
overruns. The alternative proposed to dispose of the 34 tons of
plutonium is through burial at the WIPP in
Carlsbad, New Mexico after being blended with other materials, a
process which would take place at the Los Alamos National
The final funding decisions will be made by the U.S.
but the decision means the U.S. government plans to violate the
plutonium disposal agreement at a time when more and more
plutonium is being brought from Japan, Germany, Canada and other
countries to the U.S. for permanent storage. Plutonium stored at
the Savannah River Site has no "disposition path" at this
Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear corporation,
September 2015 that it has begun disposing of the plutonium
through production of MOX fuel. Russia constructed a MOX fuel
facility in Zheleznogorsk for the express purpose of fulfilling
the agreement, and invested in reactors which will use the fuel
instead of weapons-grade plutonium.
Commenting on the violation of the agreement Russian
President Vladimir Putin said on April 7, "This means that they
preserve what is known as the breakout potential, in other words
[the plutonium] can be retrieved, reprocessed and converted into
weapons-grade plutonium again. This is not what we agreed on...
We signed this agreement and settled on the procedures for the
material's destruction, agreed that this would be done on an
industrial basis, which required the construction of special
facilities," Putin said. "Russia fulfilled its obligations in
this regard and built these facilities, but our American partners
1. The WIPP is the sole deep geological
repository in the U.S. after
plans for a Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository were
cancelled in 2011. It is managed by a private firm called
the Nuclear Waste Partnership and holds more than 171,000 waste
containers amounting to approximately 4.9 metric tons of
It has been closed since 2014 following serious
February 5, 2014 a truck caught fire, requiring an evacuation,
and temporarily disabled underground air monitoring equipment.
The fire was caused by a buildup of flammable material exposed to high
temperatures, despite management being
repeatedly warned to remove such buildups.
On February 15, 2014, high levels of radiation were
underground and later trace amounts were detected above ground.
Twenty-one workers were exposed during what was later determined
to be a radiation leak beginning the evening of February 14 which
moved through the ventilation system.
The source of the leak was found to be an exploded
May 23, 2014 National Public Radio article entitled "Organic Cat
Litter Chief Suspect in Nuclear Waste Accident" stated:
"In February, a 55-gallon drum of radioactive waste
open inside America's only nuclear dump, the Waste Isolation
Pilot Plant in New Mexico.
"Now investigators believe the cause may have been a
store purchase gone bad.
"'It was the wrong kitty litter,' says James Conca, a
geochemist in Richland, Wash., who has spent decades in the
nuclear waste business.
"It turns out there's more to cat litter than you
can soak up urine, but it's just as good at absorbing radioactive
"'It actually works well both in the home litter box as
as the radiochemistry laboratory,' says Conca, who is not
directly involved in the current investigation.
"Cat litter has been used for years to dispose of
waste. Dump it into a drum of sludge and it will stabilize
volatile radioactive chemicals. The litter prevents it from
reacting with the environment.
"And this is what contractors at Los Alamos National
Laboratory were doing as they packed Cold War-era waste for
shipment to the dump. But at some point, they decided to make a
switch, from clay to organic.
"'Now that might sound nice, you're trying to be green
all that, but the organic kitty litters are organic,' says Conca.
Organic litter is made of plant material, which is full of
chemical compounds that can react with the nuclear waste.
"'They actually are just fuel, and so they're the wrong
to add,' he says. Investigators now believe the litter and waste
caused the drum to slowly heat up 'sort of like a slow burn
charcoal briquette instead of an actual bomb.'
"After it arrived at the dump, it burst."
Canadian Government's Push for
Fissile Material Cut-Off
Media reported in January that according to internal
government documents, Canada plans to "kick-start a long-stalled
international effort aimed at ridding the world of the key
ingredients needed for nuclear weapons" in the form of a Fissile
Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).
Fissile material refers to highly-enriched uranium
plutonium, while a cut-off treaty is meant to limit their
production for offensive purposes. There is actually very little
production of fissile materials for weapons purposes
internationally, on top of which the distinction between HEU and
plutonium for weapons purposes and non-weapons purposes pertains
to their use and oversight and not their physical properties.
Nevertheless, such a treaty is ostensibly aimed at prohibiting
its signatories from producing fissile material for weapons
purposes, without impacting their production for energy, research
or other peaceful purposes.
However, the International Panel on Fissile Materials
notes that nuclear weapon-possessing states "still have enough
fissile materials in their weapon and naval fuel stock-piles for
tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. On the civilian side,
enough plutonium has been separated to make a similarly large
number of weapons." The global stockpile of HEU at the end of
2014 was 1,370 tons, more than 99 per cent of which is held by
nuclear weapons states. Other countries which are accused of
having uranium enrichment capacity such as the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea have a minuscule capacity for
enrichment compared to other countries.
Canada's Fraudulent Role in Nuclear Disarmament
In a National Post article entitled "Canada leads
anti-nuke effort," Rosemary McCarney, Canada's permanent
representative to the United Nations in Geneva told media at that
time that she was beginning a series of meetings at the
Conference on Disarmament, the UN's main arms-control body, with
the aim of re-starting negotiations this year for the creation of
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane
the High-Level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament (UNCD) in
Geneva on March 2 and also cited the need to negotiate such a
treaty. A Global Affairs backgrounder issued on March 3 noted
that the government "believes that the negotiation of a fissile
material cut-off treaty is the best means to return the UNCD to
its mandated role." Dion cited the failure of the UNCD to play a
role "in any of the significant advances in disarmament" and said
this is the reason for "ad hoc non-proliferation and disarmament
efforts in other forums" becoming "the norm" such as the Nuclear
Security Summits and now the Nuclear Security Contact Group
initiated by the U.S. at the March 31 to April 2 Summit.
The government and monopoly media are misleading
give the impression that Canada is making an important effort and
playing a role to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
The treaty would not prohibit new nuclear weapons from
built, nor reduce existing stocks of nuclear materials. The new
push to conclude an FMCT has more to do with the international
verification and policing measures such a treaty could assist in
putting in place as part of the competition between big powers
for a monopoly over nuclear weapons, materials and technology, as
well as to maintain the overwhelming nuclear advantage of the
U.S. and others in terms of stockpiles as well as devices.
Two countries acknowledge continuing production of HEU
weapons purposes: Pakistan and India; and Israel is known to do
so as well. In 2015 Cameco, one of the world's largest private
uranium firms, concluded a $350 million deal with India to
provide 7.1 million pounds of uranium concentrate over five
years, following the 2013 Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation
Agreement signed by the federal government re-legalizing Canadian
Canada was the world's largest raw uranium producer
2009, when it was overtaken by Kazakhstan. Northern Saskatchewan
is currently the only region of Canada in which uranium is being
mined, but accounts for around 20 per cent of the world's
production. Reports say that Canada exports more than 9,000 tons
of uranium annually and 85 per cent of overall production is for
export. Canada is one of the top eight countries in terms of HEU
Author Paul McKay in his book Atomic Accomplice: How
Deals in Deadly Deceit points out that Canadian uranium has
been involved in the production of the nuclear arsenals of the
U.S., UK, Russia, France, India, Israel and Pakistan. Canada's
annual uranium exports create enough spent fuel by-products to
build 5,000 nuclear weapons, McKay says. A 1993
federal-provincial panel on uranium mining in Saskatchewan noted
that "no proven method exists for preventing incorporation of
Canadian uranium into military applications."
Verification Systems and Inclusion of Existing
Anne Schaper, a Senior Research Associate at the Peace
Research Institute Frankfurt notes that many FMCT verification
scenarios are possible, "ranging from just a fence around former
military production facilities to completely new global concepts.
Verification must cover not only non-production but also
non-diversion of (at least) civilian materials produced after
entry into force. No material must be diverted for use in nuclear
weapons, a commitment to be undertaken equally by all signatories
of an FMCT. This is already being verified in non-nuclear-weapon
states (NNWS) under full-scope safeguards. The difference under
an FMCT verification regime would be that NNWS would not be
allowed to possess unsafeguarded materials from earlier
production, while NWS [nuclear weapons states] and SON [states
outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] would be allowed a
'black box' of previously excluded materials."
The main debate that surfaced during discussions at the
Conference on Disarmament in the 1990s involving Canada's
then-Ambassador for Disarmament Gerald Shannon was whether
existing stockpiles of fissile material would be included. The
report produced by Ambassador Shannon (CD/1299) left this issue
of scope to be discussed and bypassed the issue of existing
stocks, which has been a stumbling block for furthering an FMCT
in subsequent years.
In debates at the Conference on Disarmament in 2013 the
opposed the inclusion of existing stockpiles, while a number of
countries including South Africa, Iran and Pakistan insisted that
to be non-discriminatory it would have to address existing
stockpiles. The South African delegate, Michiel Combrink noted
that "the outright rejection of dealing with stocks before even
commencing negotiations" raised questions about the real
commitment to disarmament of those upholding this position. The
Iranian delegation noted that without addressing stockpiles and a
framework aimed at their elimination, an FMCT would be an
"ineffective measure in the field of disarmament" and therefore
meaningless. Delegates from Switzerland and Ireland expressed
The Canadian government's official position in 2013 was
"existing stockpiles of fissile material remain a difficult and
contentious issue." The Canadian Delegation at the Conference on
Disarmament noted that NNWS are "already prohibited from
producing fissile material under the NPT" and thus noted that the
main issue is to implement the International Atomic Energy Agency
verification procedures already used by nuclear weapons states
(NWS). At that time Canada supported "a key role" for the IAEA as
it would be "cost-effective in that it would not require the
creation of a new verification regime."
Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate at the Belfer
Science and International Affairs at Harvard University writes,
"A primary goal of an FMCT will be to attain the signatures of
the five NPT nuclear weapon states and three non-NPT countries --
India, Pakistan, and Israel (hereafter referred to as eight
target states)... While all five NPT nuclear weapon states have
stopped production of nuclear materials for weapons, India,
Pakistan, and Israel are believed still to be producing fissile
material for weapons use. Thus, one focus of any useful FMCT must
be the participation of the three non-NPT countries."
According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Dion at the
High-Level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament, however, the
FMCT would be "instrumental in helping to advance important
verification mechanisms necessary for broader disarmament
efforts." Also on the issue of "verification," Dion noted "the
International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification,
in which Canada is actively participating, is addressing
important technical aspects of verification that currently pose a
significant obstacle to the development of long-lasting
The International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament
Verification website lists one "Partner" organization, the U.S.
State Department. The Partnership is a project of the private
U.S. organization Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), which former
U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and media tycoon Ted Turner founded in
The NTI, with the Hoover Institute at Stanford
the coordinating body of the Nuclear Security Project that was
formed in 2007 by former Secretary of State George P. Shultz,
former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, former Secretary of
State Henry A. Kissinger and Senator Nunn. The NTI's partners
have put forward a concept of "societal verification" entailing
interference in the affairs of sovereign states and eliminating
established international bodies which deal with compliance
through "leverag[ing] new technologies and publicly available
data to supplement national technical means (NTM) and other
traditional verification methods."
The U.S. put forward a draft FMCT to the UNCD in May
which was notable for excluding any explicit verification
procedures. At that time the official U.S. position was that "
effective verification of an FMCT cannot be achieved," and that
"there is no achievable combination of verification and
monitoring means and measures that would enable the United States
and other parties to the agreement to detect noncompliance in
time to convince a violator to reverse its actions, or to take
such steps as may be needed to reduce the threat presented and
deny the violator the benefits of its wrongdoing." Furthermore,
it was argued that non-discriminatory verification systems would
be detrimental to U.S. national security.
Instead the U.S. position was that verification should
done through what is called "national means and methods" (a
synonym for NTM), including monitoring techniques such as
satellite photography and other intelligence work. "Societal
verification" is the latest aspect of this.
The U.S. announced its change in position to support
verification measures in an FMCT with Obama's speech in Prague on
April 5, 2009. He called for "a new treaty that verifiably ends
the production of fissile materials intended for use in state
nuclear weapons." What will these verification measures be? What
are the "important verification mechanisms" which Minister of
Foreign Affairs Dion says are being advanced by private
organizations such as the International Partnership for Nuclear
Disarmament Verification and what role are they to play in a
future FMCT? What is most clear is that Canada's claims of its
leadership and of an FMCT as being critical for disarmament are
dubious at best.
1. Global Affairs, formerly
Foreign Affairs, Trade and
Development Canada says Canada has actively promoted an FMCT
since the mid-1950s. During the period when Canada was allegedly
supporting a cut-off of fissile materials production for weaponry
it was providing materials and technology to countries where they
were used for nuclear weapons programs. As well, Canada permitted
U.S. nuclear weapons to be based in the country until 1984, which
obviously goes against the spirit of arms reduction an FMCT is
meant to embody.
At that time, the bipolar division of the world and
superpower contention was one factor preventing an FMCT from
being concluded. The U.S. came out in support of an FMCT during
the 1950s when its quantities of HEU and plutonium were far
greater than those of the Soviet Union. When it had lost its edge
in the 1960s, the U.S. opposed the cut-off as well as proposals
for mutual dismantling of nuclear arsenals. In 1992 the U.S.
announced that it would no longer produce fissile material for
nuclear weapons and other major nuclear states made similar
announcements around that time.
The FMCT proposal was revived by U.S. President Bill
during his first year in office in September, 1993 with a speech
at the United Nations. The same year, the U.S. and Russia
initiated the "Megatons to Megawatts Program" which saw 500 tons
of Russian HEU converted to low enriched uranium (LEU) and sold
to the U.S. for nuclear fuel ending in 2013. A UN General
Assembly resolution was adopted in December 1993 calling for a
"non-discriminatory, multilateral and international effectively
verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for
nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."
In 1994, Canada's then-Ambassador for Disarmament,
Shannon, was appointed Special Co-ordinator in the world's
permanent forum for the negotiation of disarmament treaties, the
Conference on Disarmament (UNCD) in Geneva. Global Affairs says
Shannon's goal was gaining consensus for a negotiating mandate
for an FMCT. Global Affairs says that these efforts made some
progress but that "the UNCD's inability to agree on a Program of
Work has prevented FMCT negotiations from being resumed after the
end of the 1998 session."
2. Annette Schaper, Verification
3. A July 2014 NTI report, Innovating Verification: New Tools
& New Actors to Reduce Nuclear Risks, Redefining Societal
Verification puts forward a hypothetical scenario:
"A new facility appears in a country that has made
treaty-based commitments regarding its nuclear weapons program. A
blogger popular with nuclear experts posts a commercial satellite
image and asks the community: What is this? Satellite imagery
analysts, regional specialists, technical experts, native
language speakers, and specialists from other disciplines, some
not related to nuclear weapons or their associated technologies,
weigh in. They assemble a compelling circumstantial case that the
activity at the facility is suspicious.
"In parallel, officials from the treaty partners assess
is happening and decide whether the facility is unrelated to
treaty obligations or houses secret, proscribed activities. In
addition to the information the outside experts have generated,
government officials tap classified resources, including spy
satellites, and purchase commercial satellite imagery of areas
where national satellites did not focus or have a clear view.
Open-source intelligence analysts, meanwhile, scour local
native-language media for clues and check chatter. They also comb
social media for references that could indicate the purpose of
the building, and they search photo and video-sharing sites for
images that show activity at the facility. Companies specializing
in crucial, difficult-to-acquire materials are consulted to see
if there have been attempted (or successful) procurements.
Analysts combine all of the information, including from formal
verification tools, to determine whether the country is using the
facility to violate its treaty commitments."
The report says that governments "need to build a
for societal verification within the current arms control policy
leadership. They should develop policies, diplomatic guidance,
and bureaucratic structures to evaluate and integrate societal
verification data in treaty verification."
"Through societal verification, states can leverage new
technologies and publicly available data to supplement NTM and
other traditional verification methods. As information
collection, analysis, and promulgation technologies continue to
evolve and perform increasingly diverse functions, societal
verification can increase the likelihood that violations of
international commitments are detected. Societal verification
might also help strengthen the connection between
non-proliferation and arms control objectives, two currently
distinct realms that will be increasingly interconnected as
states move toward eliminating nuclear weapons while continuing
nuclear power programs."
Concern over Nuclear Re-Armament in Europe
The Foreign Ministry of Russia issued a statement on
15 expressing its concern over U.S. plans to deploy new
nuclear weaponry in Europe. It referred to the B61 Model 12, a
bomb tested in 2015 in Nevada, U.S. and intended to have enhanced
accuracy and a lower yield than previous weapons. In 2014 former
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz spoke at a
conference organized by the U.S. security think-tank the Stimson Center
and confirmed that the lower yield weapons are
intended to broaden the range of targets for U.S. nuclear
Writing on the website of the Federation of American
Scientists, Hans M. Kristensen noted, "Increasing the accuracy
broadens the type of targets that the B61 can be used to attack."
"For NATO, the improved accuracy has particularly
implications because the B61-12 is a more effective weapon that
the B61-3 and B61-4 currently deployed in Europe.
"The United States has never before deployed guided
bombs in Europe but with the increased accuracy of the B61-12 and
combined with the future deployment of the F-35A Lightning II
stealth fighter-bomber to Europe, it is clear that NATO is up for
quite a nuclear facelift."
"It is also unclear how improving the nuclear posture in
Europe fits with NATO's arms control goal to seek reductions in
Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe. Instead, the
increased military capabilities provided by the B61-12 and F-35
would appear to signal to Russia that it is acceptable for it to
enhance its non-strategic nuclear posture in Europe as well."
Within the U.S., a number of former military and
figures have spoken out against the replacement of existing U.S.
nuclear weapons in Europe with the B61 Model 12. Andrew C. Weber,
a former assistant secretary of defence and former director of
the Nuclear Weapons Council argued in an October 2015 editorial
in the Washington Post that the "smaller" and more "precise"
weapons could lead to the U.S. government contemplating "limited
The Russian Foreign Ministry said, "It is a very
project that can considerably lower the nuclear weapons use 'threshold'
when American nuclear bombs are seen as 'battlefield
weapons.' We must not forget that Moscow and Washington abandoned
such an option twenty-five years ago. It looks like the United
States is planning to plunge back into its former irresponsible
practice of walking on the brink of nuclear warfare."
"Washington's approach to the observance of the
the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
is still alarming," the ministry said. "The United States along
with its non-nuclear NATO allies continue exercises to drill
nuclear weapons usage skills as part of the so-called 'nuclear
sharing.' It is a flagrant violation of Articles I and II of the
Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."
"Instead of propaganda statements on the United States'
commitment to further steps in the area of nuclear disarmament,
it would be expedient to pull all U.S. non-strategic nuclear
weapons back to the national territory [as Russia did twenty-five
years ago], to impose a ban on their deployment outside national
territories, to dismantle the entire infrastructure that can be
used to swiftly re-deploy U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe and, of
course, to refrain from any exercises with servicemen of
non-nuclear NATO states on drilling the skills of the use of
nuclear weapons," the ministry said.
"Moreover, the United States and NATO have embarked on
course of 'containing' Russia and tilting the balance of forces
in the European continent in their favour by means of the
Alliance's expansion, moving its military infrastructure
eastwards and now by means of deployment of their forces in
direct proximity to the Russian borders," the ministry said.
It added that the prospects for advancing arms control
Europe are contingent on "NATO's rejection of policy of enhancing
measures of military 'containment' of Russia, resumption of a due
level of trust and normalization of relations with Russia,
including in the sphere of military cooperation."
Washington Nuclear Security Summit
The fourth Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) was held in
Washington, DC from March 31-April 2. The 2016 Summit commenced with
a dinner hosted at the White House for "52 world leaders,"
including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the heads of four
organizations on the evening of March 31.
Two other meetings were held
alongside it, a Nuclear Industry Summit and Solutions for a Secure
Nuclear Future NGO Summit. The first NSS event in 2010 was held
in Washington with a second in Seoul in 2012 and a third in The
Hague in 2014. The summits are described as a "signature
event" of the presidency of Barack Obama, who initiated and
sponsored the meetings.
The 2016 summit is the last regular NSS, as a "Nuclear
Security Contact Group" will take up their mission. Thirty-nine of the
52 participating countries, along with representatives of the
International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the United
Nations issued a joint statement committing to establishing the Contact
Group which will meet annually on the sidelines of the general
conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna
as well as promote and monitor implementation of commitments made
during the four NSS summits. The Contact Group will also be open to
countries which were not part of the Nuclear Security Summit.
Nearly 40 countries operate nuclear reactors for energy
research purposes, while nine countries are said to possess
nuclear weapons, the vast majority of which are held by the U.S.
and Russia with inventories of roughly 7,000 devices each. The
focus of the 2016 meeting was on the threat of nuclear terrorism
and the 2016 NSS Communiqué began by noting that the "threat of
nuclear and radiological terrorism remains one of the greatest
challenges to international security, and the threat is
The NSS was used by the U.S. to cement its leadership
of the participating states on the issue of nuclear security from
outside established international institutions such as the United
Nations and the IAEA. In this regard the conception advanced by the
U.S. of non-proliferation and the successes it claimed revolved around
the removal or disposal of nuclear materials and technology from
various countries by the U.S. and the achievement of commitments that
these materials and technology should be an exclusively U.S. domain.
The NSS also decided on five "action plans"-- for the IAEA, the UN,
INTERPOL, Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT, which
is co-chaired by the U.S. and Russia) and the G-7 "Global Partnership
Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction." The
use of the NSS to set agendas for outside organizations, most of which
include far more member states than were invited to the NSS, was
specifically objected to by Russia and other countries which did not
participate in the 2016 summit (see
Gift Basket Diplomacy
The summits devised what is called "gift
a way around the need for universal consensus for any deliverable
matter. Some 15 informal groups or "gift baskets" were formed on a
"Gift basket diplomacy" refers to "joint pledges by
like-minded countries" signalling agreement on particular issues.
However, these often use ambiguous language that gives
participants an easy way to escape their commitments. The term derives
from "House Gifts"
introduced by the U.S. at the 2010 Washington Nuclear Security
Summit to refer to specific pledges by individual countries.
"Gift baskets" were then introduced at the 2012 Seoul Nuclear
Security Summit to create specific agreements between smaller
groups of countries outside the framework of established
Participating countries also form informal "circles"
specific issues. Around 20 countries, including the U.S. and UK,
are part of the "countering nuclear smuggling" circle, whose job
is said to aim at stopping the illicit trafficking of nuclear and
other radioactive materials through an exchange of information,
as well as "aggressive prosecution through effective domestic
Canada "co-led" two gift baskets, one with Spain and
Korea to assists "efforts in facilitating technical assistance on
the implementation" of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 which
"establishes legally binding obligations on all UN Member States
to have and enforce appropriate and effective measures against
the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons
(WMD), their delivery systems, including by establishing
controls." The second was co-led with the UK on "highlighting the
successes of the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS)
Academy in providing certified training of nuclear security
managers and personnel" and encouraging expansion of the program.
A further 15 gift baskets were co-sponsored by Canada, including
the "Joint Statement on Sustaining Action to Strengthen Global
Nuclear Security" which establishes the Nuclear Security Contact
Group co-sponsored with the U.S.
Prime Minister Trudeau announced at the NSS a
from Canada of $42 million "to improve nuclear and radiological
security worldwide," funded by Canada's Global Partnership
Program. Of the total amount pledged, $26.5 million will go
towards providing "training and equipment" to Mexico, Colombia,
Jordan and Peru as well as INTERPOL; $6.6 million will go to the
IAEA for "the implementation of programs to prevent, detect, and
respond to nuclear terrorism;" $5.7 million will support
refurbishing and upgrading security measures and training
at nuclear facilities in Thailand, Ukraine and Egypt through the
IAEA Nuclear Security Fund. $2.3 million is allocated to "help
remove disused high activity sealed radioactive sources --
primarily in the Americas." $1 million goes to the U.S.
Department of State to "international transportation security"
while $100,000 will be given in in-kind technical expertise to
the IAEA and Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
Non-Participation of Russia and Other Countries
The Russian government informed the U.S. in October
it would not participate in the 2016 NSS. Russia objected to the
fact that the final documents and declarations of the 2016 NSS
would be used to set the agenda for outside organizations such as
the UN, IAEA and INTERPOL outside the formal processes for those
bodies and the participation of their full membership. "We
believe it is unacceptable to create a precedent of such outside
interference into the work of international organizations," the
Russian foreign ministry said. "Washington is trying to assume
the role of the main and privileged 'player' in this field," the
foreign ministry said, adding that Russia would instead focus on
its cooperation with the IAEA.
Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova
in January 2016 that the IAEA must be the main coordinating body
for nuclear security efforts. Zakharova stated that it is
"unacceptable" for the "opinions of a limited group of states"
to be imposed on international bodies. The IAEA has 168 member
states compared to 52 participating in the NSS. Some IAEA member
states such as Iran and Syria were not invited to participate.
Argentina, Chile and Brazil were the only states present from
Latin America; no Caribbean states were invited and neither was
the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Russia also noted that
there was a lack of mutual cooperation in working out the agenda
for the NSS.
Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres and
of Excellence (CoE)
The first NSS in 2010 resulted in commitments from
states to found Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres and
Centres of Excellence (CoE). The CoEs are training, research and
technical support centres for the nuclear industry and
governments, typically run by local atomic energy authorities.
Further CoEs were announced in 2012 and 2014 although many are
still at the design or pre-operation phase.
The CoEs, described as the most tangible outcome of the
process, number more than 12. Last year in June, Laura Holgate,
the US sherpa for
the summit, described CoEs as a "major component of the effort to
carry forward the Summit momentum." A 2014 joint statement
submitted by Italy on behalf of 30 countries said, "With the help
of the [IAEA], the network of
centres aim to promote activities to provide for the "exchange of
information and best practice that would strengthen capacity
building and nuclear security culture, and maintain a
well-trained cadre of technical experts in States."
The gendarme role of the NSS and various agencies was
brought to light by the closing plenary session of the summit
which was "a scenario-based discussion for leaders to get a taste
of the technical complexity on the subject." The scenario on nuclear
security was put to "the leaders," who were asked to give
their views in an interactive way. This is considered a useful
way to get the political leadership to appreciate the
complications which they might otherwise not
The "scenario" put forward was not made public but was
described hypothetically by the CBC in the following
sensationalist manner: "Terrorists have smuggled enough enriched
uranium to fill a five-pound bag of sugar, or stolen a
grapefruit-sized quantity of plutonium. That's all it would take
to build a nuclear bomb. "Were it to detonate in downtown
Washington, or Paris, or Toronto, hundreds of thousands of lives
could be lost.
"Ask yourself, what would you do? More crucially, what
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau do?"
"You're the national leaders. How do you deal with this
problem? The benefits of this kind of exercise is you recognize
very quickly where the seams are," said Carl Robichaud, a nuclear
security expert with the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
"We have this global system of interlapping
and this really reveals the seams that exist at the intersection
of these different jurisdictions," Robichaud said.
1. On the sidelines of the NSS,
Prime Minister Trudeau held
meetings with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
With Cameron, Trudeau discussed "a wide range of
issues including the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic
and Trade Agreement (CETA), international and regional security
issues, as well as upcoming international summits."
meeting with Modi the two prime ministers "undertook to advance
the longstanding relations between the two countries, which are
built on shared traditions of democracy and pluralism as well as
extensive people-to-people ties. They also discussed cooperation
on increasing trade and investment links and addressing climate
Prime Minister Trudeau "commended
Macri's early efforts to implement his economic reform agenda to
promote sustainable economic growth and attract investment," and
discussed "opportunities to strengthen the bilateral
relationship, including in trade and investment, as well as areas
for enhanced collaboration, such as clean technology and
countering drug trafficking," and a "wide range of issues of
shared interest, such as human rights and democracy, hemispheric
security and climate change."
With Prime Minister Abe, Trudeau discussed the agenda
of the G7 Summit, which subsequently took place in Ise-Shima, Japan on
May 26-27 and "a range of other issues of mutual interest, including
trade and investment, infrastructure, science and technology, as well
as regional and international peace and security," the PMO reported.
2. National Security Council
(NSC) Director for Nuclear
Threat Reduction Shawn Gallagher is credited with conceiving and
first proposing gift basket diplomacy while NSC Senior Director
for WMD Terrorism and Threat Reduction Laura Holgate and White
House WMD Czar Gary Samore are credited with first implementing
the "gift basket diplomacy" policy. The "gift basket" concept has
been subsequently used for other nuclear agreements.
3. "Sherpas" refer to "the
senior expert officials in each
Summit country responsible for developing the outcomes of the
Summits and for preparing their respective leaders," a White
House communique states. "These Sherpas cut across multiple
agencies to form a tight-knit community of action."
4. The 2014 "scenario-based
discussion" at The Hague was
produced by Scenarios4summits, a Dutch company which combines
"high-quality tailored film content with key questions to deliver
an engaging and facilitated discussion." Scenarios4summits says,
"We can elevate your crisis management game to a new and more
realistic level. Your objectives are better met when the
participants are engaged. That takes a realistic and challenging
scenario. We can build on the scenarios and images we have or we
can develop something unique for your purpose. Anyhow we can
support you creating something that will not be forgotten... A
corporate strategy meeting or high-level business event can be
transformed into something that truly energises the audience,
whether it be world member states or company employees. This
innovative approach is proven to inspire, motivate and solve
U.S. Government's $1 Trillion
The United States maintains a modern arsenal of about
strategic nuclear warheads deployed on Intercontinental Ballistic
Missiles (ICBMs), Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs),
and Strategic Bombers. The Departments of Defense and Energy
requested approximately $23 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 to
maintain and upgrade these systems, according to the nonpartisan
Congressional Budget Office (CBO). CBO estimates that nuclear
forces will cost $348 billion between FY 2015 and FY
2024. Three independent
estimates put the expected total cost over the next 30 years at
as much as $1 trillion.
The U.S. military is in the process of modernizing all
existing strategic delivery systems and refurbishing the warheads
they carry to last for the next 30-50 years. These systems are in
many cases being replaced with new systems or completely rebuilt
with essentially all new parts. Though the president and his
military advisors have determined that U.S. security can be
maintained while reducing the size of its deployed strategic
nuclear arsenal by up to one-third below the 2010 New Strategic
Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) levels, the proposed spending
is based on maintaining the New START levels in perpetuity.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work testified to
House Armed Services Committee on June 25  that "modernizing and
sustaining" the nuclear arsenal will cost an average of $18
billion per year between 2021 and 2035 in FY 2016 dollars. When
combined with the cost to sustain the current arsenal as the new
systems are built, this will roughly double spending on nuclear
weapons from the current level of approximately 3 percent of the
overall defense budget to about 7 percent, Work said.
Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord stated in November
that the anticipated financial requirement for nuclear
modernization "is the biggest acquisition problem that we don't
know how to solve yet."
For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, President Obama has
billion to fund nuclear weapons activities in the Department of
Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which
oversees the U.S. nuclear stockpile and production complex, a 7.5
percent increase over FY 2015.
This effort includes:
Strategic Delivery Systems: Existing U.S.
delivery systems are undergoing continual modernization,
including complete rebuilds of the Minuteman III ICBM and Trident
II SLBM. The service lives of the Navy's 14
Trident Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines are being
extended. Additionally, a new submarine, the SSBN(X), which will
replace the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, is
undergoing development and is expected to cost about $139 billion
to develop, according to the Defense Department. The B-2
strategic bomber, a relatively new system, is being upgraded, as
is the B-52H bomber. The Air Force is also planning a new
Long-Range Strike Bomber and a new nuclear-capable cruise
missile, known as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO) to
replace the existing Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM).
- Refurbished Nuclear
Warheads: The U.S. stockpile of
warheads and bombs is continually refurbished through NNSA's Life
Extension Program (LEP). Existing warheads are certified annually
to be safe and reliable. The JASON panel of independent
scientists has found "no evidence" that extending the lives of
existing U.S. nuclear warheads would lead to reduced confidence
that the weapons will work. The panel concluded in its September
2009 report that "Lifetimes of today's nuclear warheads could be
extended for decades, with no anticipated loss in
confidence." The United
States does not need to resume nuclear test explosions, nor does
it need to build new "replacement" warhead designs to maintain
the reliability and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.
The NNSA is currently pursuing a controversial and expensive plan
to consolidate the existing number of nuclear warhead types from
10 down to 5. Known as the "3+2" strategy, the five LEPs
associated with this approach are estimated to cost over $65
Production Complex: The nuclear weapons
complex is being modernized as well, with new facilities planned
and funded. For example, the FY 2016 NNSA budget includes $430
million for the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) at Oak Ridge,
Tennessee. The total construction cost for UPF is estimated at
$6.5-7.5 billion, according to an independent study conducted
by the Corps of Engineers, although some estimates put the price
tag at $11 billion.
- Command and Control
Systems: The Defense Department
command, control, communications, and early-warning systems that
allow operators to communicate with nuclear forces, issue
commands that control their use, and detect or rule out incoming
attacks. CBO projects that the amounts budgeted for DoD's nuclear
command, control, communications, and early-warning systems
between FY 2015 and FY 2024 would be $52 billion.
Improvement Program: In the wake of
of professional and ethical lapses and poor morale in the U.S.
nuclear force, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced in
November 2014 steps the department is taking to address the
numerous setbacks. These include changing the conduct of
inspections to reduce the burden on airmen and sailors,
eliminating micromanagement of nuclear personnel seen as
overtaxed by excessive bureaucratic and administrative
requirements, and elevating the head of Air Force Global Strike
Command, which oversees the Air Force's nuclear forces, from a
three- to a four-star rank. Hagel also said the Defense
Department will request a 10 percent annual increase in funding
for nuclear weapons over the next five years. The FY 2016 budget
request included $1.1 billion in proposed new funding pursuant to
this effort. The proposal would support 1,120 additional military
and civilian personnel working on Air Force nuclear issues and
accelerate investments in Navy shipyard infrastructure. The
Pentagon plans to spend $8 billion for these and other force
improvement efforts over the next five years.
The Obama administration has requested huge increases
nuclear weapons programs at the Defense and Energy Departments to
sustain and modernize the arsenal. Indeed, current and proposed
spending levels for many key efforts currently exceed what the
administration originally advertised early in its first term.
For example, the administration's FY 2016 request for
weapons programs at the Energy Department is roughly $3.5 billion
more (or 55%) than the Bush administration's final budget
request. The GOP-led Congress has provided less funding for this
program than requested by the President.
The following is a status update of existing programs
enhance the nuclear stockpile and modernize the delivery systems
that make up each element of the U.S. nuclear triad:
Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)
The United States Air Force currently deploys about 450
Minuteman III ICBMs located at F.E. Warren Air Force Base,
Wyoming; Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana; and Minot Air Force
Base, North Dakota. Under the New START treaty, the United States
will reduce to 400 the number of deployed missiles and maintain
50 extra missile silos in a "warm" reserve status.
Today's Minuteman weapon system is the product of
years of continuous enhancement. The Pentagon has spent roughly
$7 billion to date on life extension efforts to keep the ICBMs
safe, secure and reliable through 2030.
This modernization program has included the
following enhancements to the Minuteman III missiles:
- Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting (REACT) Service
Extension Program: The first REACT system was installed in the
Minuteman III in the 1990s. REACT reduces the time required to
re-target the missiles. In 2006 the Air Force began modernizing
REACT to extend its service life. The Air Force completed the
effort in 2006.
- Safety Enhanced Reentry System Vehicle (SERV): SERV
modifies the reentry vehicles for the W-87 warheads that were
removed from the Peacekeeper missiles and redeployed on the
- Propulsion Replacement Program (PRP): The PRP
propellant in the Minuteman III.
- Guidance Replacement Program (GRP): The GRP extends
improves the reliability of the Minuteman III guidance sets.
- Propulsion System Rocket Engine Program (PSRE): PSRE
designed to replace the post-boost propulsion system components
on the Minuteman III missiles.
- Solid Rocket Motor Warm Line Program: In FY 2009
approved an Air Force program to continue producing the solid
rocket motors for the Minuteman III in order to preserve the
This modernization program has resulted in an
"new" missile, expanded targeting options, and improved accuracy
and survivability. The Air Force is currently assessing how to
replace the Minuteman III missile and its supporting launch
control and command and control infrastructure. In June
2015 Arms Control Today reported that the Air Force has
proposed procurement of 642 follow-on missiles, 400 of which
would be operationally deployed through 2070. The Air Force
currently estimates the development cost of the replacement
program at approximately $62 billion over the next 30 years.
The Air Force is also upgrading the Minuteman's nuclear
warheads by partially replacing older W78 warheads with newer and
more powerful W87 warheads, formerly deployed on the now-retired
MX Peacekeeper ICBMs. The W87 entered the U.S. stockpile in 1986,
making it one of the newest warheads in the arsenal with the most
modern safety and security features, including insensitive high
explosive and a fire-resistant pit design, which can help to
minimize the possibility of plutonium dispersal in the event of
an accident. Under a 2004 LEP, the W87 warhead was refurbished to
extend its service life past 2025.
There is no evidence to suggest that the W87 -- or any
current U.S. nuclear warhead, for that matter -- cannot be refurbished
indefinitely. NNSA has proposed a joint LEP to field a common,
refurbished warhead to replace the W78 and W88 (see SLBMs, below).
However, Congress approved NNSA's 2014 proposal to delay production of
this warhead by five years from 2025 to 2030.
Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) and
The United States Navy currently has the ability to
288 Trident II D5 SLBMs on 12 Ohio-class ballistic missile
submarines (SSBNs) based out of Bangor, Washington (7 boats) and
Kings Bay, Georgia (5 boats). The Ohio-class submarines
have a service life of 42 years; two twenty year cycles with a
two year mid-life nuclear refueling. The total fleet includes 14
boats; due to the refueling process, only 12 SSBNs are available
for deployment at any given time.
The Ohio-class SSBNs were first deployed in
will reach the end of their services at a rate of approximately
one boat per year between 2027 and 2040. The Navy plans to
replace each retiring boat, starting in 2031, with a new class of
ballistic missile submarine, referred to as the SSBN(X) or the Ohio-class
The Navy originally planned to begin using the replacement boats
in 2029, but in 2012 the Pentagon announced a two-year delay to
the SSBNX program. This would push back completion of the first
SSBN(X) to 2031. In its FY 2016 request, the Navy asked for $1.4
billion for the Ohio
replacement under its research and
development budget line.
In its FY 2016 request, the Navy asked
for $1.4 billion for the Ohio replacement under its research and
development budget line.
The Navy ultimately wants 12 boats, and
estimates the cost to develop and buy the submarines to be $139
billion in then-year dollars. The total lifecycle cost of the
SSBNX program is estimated at $347 billion.
Taking into account the delay, the Navy now plans to
the first SSBNX in 2021, the second in 2024, and one per year
between 2026 and 2035. The first boat is scheduled to become
operational in 2031. As a result, the Navy will field 10
ballistic missile submarines between 2030 and 2040.
Each Ohio-class submarine serves as a launch
for up to 24 SLBMs loaded with up to eight warheads each. Under
the New START treaty, by 2018 the Navy plans to deploy 20 SLBMs
on each Ohio class submarine rather than the full 24. This will
result in a total of 240 deployed SLBMs. The SSBN(X) will carry
up to 16 SLBMs, for a maximum of 192 deployed SLBMs when the
fleet is fully converted to the SSBN(X) in 2040.
First deployed in 1990, the force of Trident II D5
has been routinely tested and evaluated. It is currently being
modernized to last until 2042.
The Trident II D5 LEP is underway to
modernize key components, notably the electronics. In 2008, 12
life-extended variants of the D5 were purchased; 24 D5s were
produced each year through 2012 for a total of 108 missiles at a
total cost of $15 billion. The first modified D5s were deployed
in 2013. The Navy's FY 2016 budget request included a proposed
$1.1 billion to fund the Trident II LEP.
The D5 SLBMs are armed with approximately 768 W76 and
warheads. In 2009, NNSA began delivery of the W76-1, a
refurbished version of the W76 that extends its service life for
an additional 30 years. According to NNSA, the W76 LEP is
refurbishing the nuclear explosive package, the arming, firing,
and fusing system, the gas transfer system, and associated
cables, elastomers, valves, pads, cushions, foam supports,
telemetries, and other miscellaneous parts.
NNSA plans to complete the $4
billion production of up to 2,000 W76-1 warheads by 2019. NNSA
requested $244 million for the W76 life extension program for FY
The W88 entered the stockpile in 1989, making it the
warhead in the arsenal. The W88 was the last U.S. warhead
produced before the Rocky Flats Plants -- which made plutonium "pits"
-- was shut down in 1989. NNSA re-established pit
production capacity at Los Alamos National Laboratory with the
first "certifiable" pit in 2003, and new production resumed in
2007. A new plutonium
research and pit production facility, the Chemistry and
Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR), was planned for Los
Alamos, but was put on hold for budget reasons in 2012. NNSA
requested $430 million in FY 2016 for construction of the UPF at
Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
With the rebuilt Trident D5 missile in service to 2042,
W76-1's life extended to 2040-50, the relatively new W88 in
service, and a new class of SSBNs lasting into the 2070s, the
U.S. Navy's Trident Fleet will be kept robust and modern well
into the 21st century.
3. Strategic Bombers
The United States Air Force currently maintains 18 B-2
bombers at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, and 76 B-52H
bombers at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and Barksdale Air
Force Base, Louisiana, that can be equipped for nuclear missions.
The Pentagon announced in 2014 that in order to meet the New
START limits it would retain 42 deployed and 4 nondeployed
nuclear capable B-52 bombers. The remainder of the B-52 bombers
would be converted to carry only conventional weapons. In 2008
the Air Force created a designated bomber squadron at Minot Air
Force Base to focus on the nuclear mission.
The squadron began its
operations in 2010 and is comprised of 22 B-52Hs. The B-52H is
expected to remain in service until 2040.
The Air Force is planning to purchase 80-100 new,
dual-capable long-range penetrating bombers that will replace the
B-1 and B-52 bombers. Known as the LRS-B, the Pentagon estimates
the average procurement unit cost per aircraft will be $511
million in 2010 dollars when procuring 100 aircraft. The Obama
administration asked for $1.2 billion for the program in FY 2016.
The Air Force plans to spend $41.7 billion over the next ten
years on research and development for the new bomber (in
The Air Force continually modernizes the B-2 fleet,
first became operational in 1997 and is expected to last through
2058. In testimony before the House Armed Services Subcommittee
on Strategic Forces, Major General William Chambers stated that
the B-2 is "capable of long-range delivery of direct attack
munitions in an anti-access environment." To enable the B-2 to
continue operating in high threat environments, Chambers
testified that, "we have programs to modernize communication,
offensive, and defensive systems."
Ongoing B-2 modifications include an incremental
program to update the Extremely High Frequency Satellite
Communications and Computer Upgrade program (EHF SATCOM).
Increment 1 will upgrade the B-2's flight management computers.
Increment 2 provides more secure and survivable strategic
communications by integrating the Family of Beyond-Line-of-Sight
Terminals with the low observable antenna. Increment 3 connects
the B-2 with the Global Information Grid. The Air Force also
began procuring components for a Radar Modernization Program
(RMP) in FY 2009. The RMP includes replacing the original radar
antenna and upgrading radar avionics.
The B-2 carries the B61 and B83 strategic gravity
B61 has several mods, 3, 4, 7, 10, and 11. B61-3 and B61-4 are
non-strategic weapons deployed in Europe for NATO aircraft as
part of the U.S.'s extended nuclear commitment. The B61-7 and
B61-11 are strategic weapons deployed on the B-2. An LEP recently
extended the life of the B61-7 for an additional 20 years by
refurbishing the bomb's secondary stage (canned subassembly) and
replacing the associated seals, foam supports, cables and
connectors, washers, o-rings, and limited life components. NNSA
intends to combine these mods into a single bomb, the B61 mod 12.
The LEP will refurbish the warheads with new firing, arming, and
safety components, updated radar components, permissive action
link components and equipment, modified power supplies, thermal
batteries, join test assemblies, weapon trainers, and test and
handling gear. The
LEP will also modify the B61 for compatibility with the new Joint
Strike Fighter. The LEP will extend the life of the B61s for 30
years. According to the NNSA, the First Production Unit will be
completed in FY 2020. Completion of the LEP is scheduled for FY
FY 2025, and will cost an estimated $10 billion
requested $643 million for the LEP in FY 2016.
The B83 was first produced in 1983, making it one of
newer weapons in the stockpile and the only remaining
megaton-class weapon in the stockpile. The B83 has the most
modern safety and security features, including insensitive high
explosive and a fire-resistant pit.
The B-52H fleet, first deployed in 1961, has an
modification program, beginning in 1989, incorporating updates to
the global positioning system, updating the weapons capabilities
to accommodate a full array of advanced weapons developed after
the procurement of the B-52H, and modifying the heavy stores
adapter beams to allow the B-52H to carry up to 2,000 pound
munitions and a total of 70,000 pounds of mixed ordnance
armaments. In FY 2011 the Air Force added to its modernization
efforts for the B-52H, receiving funding for the Combat Network
Communications Technology (CONECT) program, which updates the
B-52 computer infrastructure.
The B-52H carries the air-launched cruise missile
first deployed in 1981. Each ALCM carries a W80-1 warhead, first
produced in 1982. The Air Force currently retains 572
nuclear-capable ALCMs, down from the original production run of
1,715 missiles, which concluded in 1986. Roughly 200 of these
missiles are believed to be deployed at Minot Air Fore Base in
North Dakota with the W80-1 nuclear warhead. New START does not
cap the number of bombs or cruise missiles that can be carried on
treaty-limited strategic bombers.
The Air Force is developing the long-range standoff
missile (or LRSO) to replace the existing ALCM. The new missile
will be compatible with the B-2 and B-52 bombers, as well as the
planned Long-Range Strike bomber. The first missile is slated to
be produced in 2026.
The current Air Force procurement plan for the LRSO
about 1,000 new nuclear-capable missiles, roughly double the size
of the existing fleet of ALCMs. According to the service, the
planned purchase of 1,000 missiles includes far more missiles
than it plans to arm and deploy with nuclear warheads. The Obama
administration's fiscal year 2016 budget request proposed to
increase spending to accelerate by two years the development of
the LRSO and the modified W80-4 warhead that it would carry,
partially reversing the fiscal year 2015 proposal to delay
development of both by three years.
The total cost to build the LRSO and refurbish the
warhead could reach $25 billion (in then-year dollars). CSBA
[Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments] estimates the
development cost of the LRSO at nearly $15 billion.
The Energy Department projects the cost of the life extension
program for the ALCM warhead to be between $7 billion and $9.5
1. Congressional Budget Office,
Costs of U.S.
Nuclear Forces, 2015 to 2024, Jan. 2015.
2. Robert Work, Deputy
Secretary of Defense, Statement
Services, June 25, 2015.
3. National Nuclear Security
Administration, FY2016 Budget
Delivery, February 2, 2015.
4. Lifetime Extension Program
(LEP) Executive Summary,
JSR-09-334E, The MITRE Corp., JASON Program Office, September 9,
2009, p. 2.
5. Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Water and Energy
6. Jason Simpson, "Kehler: Air
Force Investigating Minuteman
III Follow-On System," Inside the
Air Force, October 8, 2009.
7. Kingston Reif, "Air
ICBM," Arms Control Today,
Congressional Budget Office,
Projected Costs of U.S.
Nuclear Forces, 2014 to 2023, Dec. 2013.
9. Ronald O'Rourke, "Navy
SSBN (X) Ballistic Missile
Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress,"
Congressional Research Service, April 22 2011.
10. Sam LaGrone, "Navy
Years," USNI News,
11. Christopher Castelli, "New
Operate," Defense News,
February 16, 2011.
12. Dana J. Johnson,
Christopher J. Bowie, and Robert P.
Haffa, "Triad, Dyad, Monad? Shaping the U.S. Nuclear Force for the
Future," Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies, December
13. National Nuclear Security
Administration (NNSA), "Life
14. Department of Energy,
National Nuclear Security
15. Los Alamos Study Group, "Plutonium Pit
LANL's Pivotal New Mission."
16. Amy F. Woolf, "U.S.
Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background,
Developments, and Issues," Congressional Research Service, March
17. Major General William A.
Chambers, Assistant Chief of
Staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, "Fiscal Year
2012 National Defense Authorization Budget Request for Department
of Energy Atomic Energy Defense Activities and Department of
Defense Nuclear Forces Programs," Statement before the House
Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, April
18. Department of the Air
Force Presentation to the House
Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces,
United States House of Representatives, Subject: Air Force
Programs, Combined Statement of: Lieutenant General Daniel J.
Darnell, Air Force Deputy Chief Of Staff For Air, Space and
Information Operations, Plans And Requirements, Lieutenant
General Mark D. Shackelford, Military Deputy, Office of the
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition , Lieutenant
General Raymond E. Johns, Jr., Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff
for Strategic Plans And Programs, May 20, 2009, pp. 14-15.
19. Department of Energy
Fiscal Year 2012 Congressional
Budget Request, National Nuclear Security Administration,
20. Hearing transcript, Senate
Appropriations Subcommittee on
Water and Energy Development, July 25, 2012.
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