Dr Strangebush builds Nukes

HOW DO you make the world a safer place to live in? You build more nuclear bombs! So say top US defence officials and military scientists meeting recently in Nebraska to discuss building a new generation of bunker-busting nuclear weapons known as “mini-nukes”.

This sickly reprise of Dr Strangelove even alarmed former Democrat vice-president Al Gore, who described mini-nukes as “madness”.

The meeting coincided with the anniversaries of the dropping of US atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945 which killed 110,000 people.

The US military has not tested a nuclear device since 1992 and the White House says it has no plans to conduct new tests. In May 2002 US president Bush and Russia’s president Putin agreed to slash their active nuclear arsenals by two-thirds. (This would still leave enough bombs to destroy the world many times over.)

However, Bush’s administration opposes the nuclear Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which has not been ratified by Congress. And Congress has overturned its 1993 ban on developing “low yield” nuclear weapons of up to five kilotons i.e. greater destructive power than the bombs dropped on Japan.

Secretary of state Colin Powell hasn’t ruled out testing forever and the administration has allocated $700 million for feasibility studies on testing programmes.

Last year. Bush’s administration spent more in real terms on nuclear ‘defence’ activities than any time since 1962 – the year of the Cuba missile crisis.

In its December 2001 Nuclear Posture Review the White House identified Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and North Korea as countries where contingency plans for “nuclear strike capabilities” are being drawn up. (‘Friendly’ nuclear states ie Israel, India and Pakistan are not part of the ‘axis of evil’.)

By ratcheting up its military capabilities and by demonstrating with the war on Iraq its willingness to attack other countries, the US ruling class is embarking on a new imperialist arms race which threatens the world.