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Nuclear Armed Bullies and NPT Review - Nuclear Armed Bullies and NPT Review

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Nuclear Armed Bullies and NPT Review
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The solitary atomic bombs victim Japan proclaims "three non-nuclear principles", ie non-production, non-possession and non-introduction into Japan and has a "peace constitution". But the core of its defense are nuclear weapons, never mind they are American, assuring "that any enemy attacking or threatening it with nuclear weapons would be devastated by American nuclear counter-attack." But it is also in the process of becoming a nuclear superpower, as it has both enrichment and reprocessing facilities, and is developing a fast-breeder reactor. ”Its stocks of plutonium amount to more than 40 tons, the equivalent of 5,000 Nagasaki-type weapons. Its determined pursuit of a nuclear cycle, giving it the wherewithal to be able quickly to go nuclear should that Rubicon ever be reached, is in defiance of the February 2005 appeal from the IAEA director general for a five-year freeze on all enrichment and reprocessing works." 

How will Japan react, a country totally opposed to nuclear weapons but with technical capability to produce nuclear weapons with delivery vehicles within a short time! Without any satisfactory agreed law and regime on the nuclear question, the situation might get out of hand.  With their expertise on miniaturization from trees to music systems, who knows what the Japanese might come up with!. 

The previous US administration, under president George W. Bush, was unenthusiastic about arms control talks. Bush even decided that UN was irrelevant and invaded Iraq against the UN Charter. A sobered up Washington under president Obama, after being caught in quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan left behind by his predecessors, has steered the US back onto a negotiating track, and a new US-Russian agreement to reduce their thousands of long-range nuclear arms was signed just last month. China, a major provider to Pakistan of nuclear material, know-how and blueprints, is now planning to sell nuclear reactors to Pakistan, disregarding the views of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, while the US puppets in India trumpeted US kindness in the US-Vardan reward.  

“In most communities it is illegal to cry "fire" in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims?” Dwight D. Eisenhower. Extending Eisenhower’s statement it should be declared that the threat and use of nuclear weapons is a crime against humanity. US, Israel and Pakistan keep threatening their neighbors and beyond. Western media rarely condemns such nuclear weapons use policies, postures and actual preparation to load bombs to blackmail non-nuclear weapons states.  

Last review in 2005 was an unmitigated disaster

The 2005 review proved that on the point of disarmament and reduction of arsenals of nuclear weapons, the gang of five stick together, aggressively led by USA. No concessions. Period. 

While the 5 NWP s could be jointly held responsible for the ignominious end of the review, USA, especially under the Bush administration, was staunchly opposed to arms control and nuclear-arms reduction. Indeed it went on from the commitments made in 2000, where by they had agreed to 13 "Practical Steps ”which would put some flesh on their "unequivocal undertaking" to fulfill their obligation towards complete nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT. 

Instead “USA argued in 2005 that the problem with the NPT regime lies not in the nuclear weapons-states”  inaction over disarmament, but in the lack of compliance with it by states such as North Korea and Iran. The other four NWS’s also colluded with the US in trying to shift attention away from their failure to begin negotiations on nuclear weapons reduction and ultimate abolition”. 

The US has been developing "usable low yield ”mini-nukes, redesigning earlier bombs for bunker-busting of targets buried deep underground. Both US and UK are into further research on hydrogen bombs and to place nukes and other new lethal weapons in space. In 1998 a Commission under Donald Rumsfeld produced the pro-"Star Wars" (Missile Defence) Report of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States. 

After Bush's election in 2000, ”Washington walked out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and 'unsigned' the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The 2001 "Nuclear Posture Review ”recommended the revitalization of US nuclear forces, and all the elements that support them, within a new triad of conventional and nuclear capabilities.” 

In 2006 USA adopted a production schedule of 250 nuclear warheads per year and promised to extend its nuclear hegemony over the earth and into space. Under the cover of USA's neverending so-called war on terror, all kinds of lethal weapons are being developed and tested.  The UK has modernized its nuclear forces and assigned tactical missions to its trident. Paris said that its security "is now and will be guaranteed above all by our nuclear deterrent."  

So Russia and China responded. President Putin said Russia was "carrying out research and missile tests of state-of-the-art nuclear missile systems ”and that Moscow would "continue to build up firmly and insistently our armed forces, including the nuclear components". Moscow is also reportedly developing unique new-generation nuclear weapons "not possessed by any country in the world," while China has diluted its no-first-use policy and is "upgrading" and modernizing its missiles.

And after September 11, 2001, all of the 5 NWP have become even more addicted to nuclear weapons for 'security'. "It is but an excuse. US uses the excuse of its ‘war on terror’ to arm Pakistan with F-16s and other heavy arms and naval hardware which can be used only against India”. El Baradei warned, "In recent years, three phenomena—the emergence of a nuclear black market, the determined efforts by additional countries to acquire the technology to produce the fissile material useable to nuclear weapons, and the clearly expressed desire of terrorists to acquire weapons of mass destruction—have radically altered the security landscape."  

Obligations and responsibilities of Nuclear Weapons States 

Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons “which came into force on March 5, 1970 says:

"Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."

The NPT signed in 1968, based on a covenant between News and non-News, is now subscribed to by 187 states, the four very notable exceptions being Israel, India and Pakistan (North Korea left NPT in 2003), which possess nuclear weapons, and Cuba, which does not. India has always criticized NPT as discriminatory and unequal. In 1995, NPT 's initial validity of 25 years was extended indefinitely, with a review conference to be held every five years.  

"It is nonetheless the case that states not endowed with nuclear weapons and signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) have always had a basis for considering that the international cooperation provided for in that treaty to develop civilian applications for the atom has stayed a dead letter, as has the compensation promised in exchange for their renunciation of nuclear weapons."  

International legal position; NWPs Remain Defiant

The non NWPs have tried all forums to make NWPs implement their obligations under NPT. 

International Court of Justice; Its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, July 8, 1996: 

"There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control. ”Para. 105(2)(F). "The legal import of [the NPT Article VI] obligation goes beyond that of a mere obligation of conduct; the obligation involved here is an obligation to achieve a precise result — nuclear disarmament in all its aspects — by adopting a particular course of conduct, namely, the pursuit of negotiations on the matter in good faith. ”Para. 99. "States must never make civilians the object of attack and must consequently never use weapons that are incapable of distinguishing between civilian and military targets". Para. 78 (emphasis added). This "cardinal" rule of humanitarian law is "fundamental" and "intransgressible". Paras. 78, 79. "[T]he threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law. However, in view of the current state of international law, and of the elements of fact at its disposal, the Court cannot conclude definitely whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake. ”Para. 105(2)(E). 

After the ICJ 1996 opinion, the obligation to negotiate elimination of nuclear arsenals applies to all states, especially those with massive arsenals.  

The "Principles and Objectives" after the 1995 review reaffirmed the NPT disarmament obligations and provided a road map. It called for negotiation of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by 1996, "immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiation" of a ban on production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons use, and "the determined pursuit by the nuclear-weapon States of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate goals of eliminating those weapons, and by all States of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." Since 1995, support for compliance with the NPT disarmament obligation has been expressed in forums of every kind and at every level, from organizations to professional associations to towns to cities to national parliaments to the European Parliament to the United Nations. 

UN General Assembly resolutions

Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court Justice, UNGA’s res. 54/54 Q (1 December 1999, yes 114, no 28, abstain 22): "2. Calls once again upon all States to immediately fulfill [the nuclear disarmament obligation affirmed by the ICJ] by commencing multilateral negotiations in 2000 leading to an early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination." 

”Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: the need for a new agenda, res. 54/54 G (1 December 1999, yes 111, no 13, abstain 39): "1. Calls upon the Nuclear-Weapon States to make an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the speedy and total elimination of their nuclear arsenals and to engage without delay in an accelerated process of negotiations, thus achieving nuclear disarmament, to which they are committed under article VI of the NPT." 

”Declaration on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear and Thermonuclear Weapons, res. 1653 (1961, yes 55, no 20, abstain 26): Use of nuclear weapons is "contrary to the spirit, letter and aims of the United Nations and, as such, a direct violation of the Charter of the United Nations," "contrary to the rules of international law and to the laws of humanity,” and "a crime against mankind and civilization". 

Pakistan’s Dr. Khan’s nuke material and know how ‘Walmart’

When it comes to nuclear proliferation, Pakistan is a favourite of both China and USA, with Beijing flouting the NPT and US acquiescing in Islamabad, selling nuclear know how and material openly.  
It was the Bhopal (India)-born Pakistan national and German trained metallurgist, nuclear scientist and a globalize in nuclear weapons technology, Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan, who brought into world focus in 2004, Timbuktu, now known for its remoteness but formerly a great commercial and Islamic cultural centre in medieval times. Khan invested in a Timbuktu Hotel, La Colombe (named after his Dutch wife) so he could travel from Pakistan to Timbuktu and back and even supervise transfer of yellow cake to Pakistan and elsewhere.  One can easily fly east from Timbuktu, a town in Mali on river Niger at the southern edge of the Sahara desert to Niger, east of Mali, with its uranium mines, or go by road or river. He went around openly, flying around to Morocco, Mali, Chad, Sudan, everywhere that the maker of the Islamic bomb was a welcome hero.  

In 2004 the media accused Khan about his proliferation activities, accusing him of even using Pakistan military aircrafts to transport furniture for his Timbuktu hotel project from Pakistan. Whatever came in on return journeys,(yellow cake!), from neighboring Niger (George Bush had been falsely accused of getting yellow cake from Niger). Not even the gullible would believe that such top secret transfers were not known to the all powerful ISI, the Intelligence Services of Pakistan or the western intelligence services.  

A former Dutch Prime Minister revealed that he was stopped from moving against Khan by USA’s Central Intelligence Agency. 

AQ Khan’s contribution to globalization of nuclear weapons technology

Khan, while employed in the early 1970s by Physics Dynamic Research Laboratory, based in Amsterdam, a subcontractor to the URENCO consortium specializing in the manufacture of nuclear equipment, was persuaded in 1975 to take over Pakistan’s uranium enrichment plant by Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who after India’s 1974 nuclear implosion had vowed that Pakistan would have its Islamic bomb even if  ”we eat grass”  Khan took over in 1976 bringing with him stolen secret URENCO blueprints for uranium centrifuge and the suppliers list. 

Convicted in 1983 in abstentia by a court in the Netherlands for stealing the designs, his conviction would be later overturned on a technicality. At that time, the US-supported and financed (along with Saudi Arabia and others) Pakistan-based jihad against USSR in Afghanistan was in full swing. The purloined material used for enrichment of uranium was used in Pakistan's first nuclear device on 28 May 1998. There are credible allegations that the Pakistan’s nuclear weapons closely mirror Chinese designs from the late 1960s. 

In March 2001, when Al Qaeda showed its hand and bombed US embassies in Africa, the close collaboration with Pakistan’s ISI and military with the Taleban and Osama bin Laden was well known.  Khan, by now a Pakistan national hero, was quietly retired but remained an adviser to the new President General Pervez Musharraf.  Khan’s proliferation activities could become mushroom clouds over the western horizon. Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage  in an article in Financial Times of 1 June 2001, expressed concern that, "people who were employed by the nuclear agency and have retired ”may be assisting North Korea with its nuclear program. Unsaid were fears about Taleban, Al Qaeda and nuclear secrets passed on to Muslim countries like Libya and Iran among others.  In October 2003, Richard Armitage reportedly briefed president Gen. Musharraf, and so did Gen. Abizaid, then head of US Central Command. But the nuclear genie was already out of the bottle. With the international inspections of Iran's nuclear operations and the October 2003 interception of a ship headed for Libya and carrying centrifuge parts, Pakistan’s game was out in the open, when United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), weighed in in November 2003. In late January 2004 Pakistani officials ‘concluded’ that Khan and Mohammed Farooq were doing black market deals, but acting on their own, in the sale of sensitive technology to Iran and Libya, perhaps for their own personal gain. But Musharraf, a smoother liar than former British PM Tony Blair, first denied any government involvement. Khan’s so called harsh punishment amounted to house arrest, which only meant no one could meet or interview him.

Like Pakistan’s popular TV family melodramas, Khan admitted selling nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea between 1989 and 2000  and asked for clemency, which was promptly granted by Gen Musharraf. Any international investigation, not including US and Chinese experts, would have also shown the truth of western acquiescence.  

The network used to supply these activities was global in scope, stretching from Germany to Dubai and from China to South and South East Asia, and involved numerous middlemen and suppliers. Khan Research Laboratories' sales brochure promoted the sale of components derived from Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, critical to the making of centrifuges.

Khan traveled openly during late 1990s to many countries around Niger, with Pakistani missions in Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya, Malaysia etc providing him all help. This information is available in media and books. In Cleric Turaibi’s Sudan, where Osama was guest for some time before  returning to Afghanistan, Khan was welcomed by the Sudanese President and the minister of education. Khan was often accompanied by senior serving scientists of Pakistan's nuclear establishment, responsible for Pakistan's military nuclear development. These included Dr. Fakhrul Hasan Hashmi, Chief Scientific Adviser to Khan, Brig. Tajwar, Director-General Security Khan’s Research Laboratory, Dr.Nazir Ahmed, Director-General S&TC Division KRL, among others.  Khan and his aids visited at least 10 African countries in February, 2000 alone.  

An investigation into Khans’  activities revealed transfer of nuclear weapons-related technology, centrifuge parts, and blueprints to Iran and Libya through a Malaysian middleman, Buhary Syed Abu Tahir. The network comprised of European middlemen from Germany, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland, and helped Khan in illicit trafficking and proliferation of nuclear technology through countries ranging from the United Arab Emirates, to South Korea, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. The Times of India, in early 2004, reported that Khan sold nuke know-how to Syria and Turkey. Damascus later denied the report.

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