IPB (International Peace Bureau) NEWSLETTER, December 14, 2012
The date for GDAMS 2013 is set: April 15.
DISARMAMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT
Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN Development Agenda
The IPB launched its most recent position paper during a lunchtime event at the UN. The paper Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN Development Agenda makes the case for the importance of the inclusion of security and peace related issues in the post-2015 UN development framework that will replace the Millennium Development Goals.
From War To Peace, Seasonal peace gifts
The Japan Times, Asian defence spending doubles
November 13, 2012 – Defense spending has doubled in Asia over the past decade, according to a new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a bipartisan, nonprofit U.S. think tank. The spending increased rapidly, especially during the last five years, to reach a total in the region of $224 billion in 2011. China, Japan, India, South Korea and Taiwan accounted for 87 percent of all expenditures, with China the top defense spender since 2005 when it overtook Japan.
Nick Hopkins, Defence officials at ease over savings
Christopher Drew, Defense Spending: Costliest Jet, Years in Making, Sees the Enemy: Budget Cuts
Andrea Shalal-Esa, Pentagon says “lot of money” to be made in arms business
November 28, 2012 – The Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer that there was still “a lot of money” to be made in the defense business, despite mounting budget pressures that will limit spending on new arms programs. Frank Kendall, defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the budget outlook had clearly changed after a decade of continuous increases in U.S. military spending. But he said the Pentagon’s annual budget remained quite large – and even a worst case scenario that would cut defense spending by an additional $50 billion or around 10 percent in fiscal year 2013 – was “not the end of the world.” “We’re going to work our way through this,” Kendall told an investor conference hosted by Credit Suisse. “There’s a lot of money still to be made.”
IMPACTS OF WEAPONS ON DEVELOPMENT
December 3, 2012 – Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams, International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and landmine survivors from nearly 40 countries are calling on governments to commit to eradicating antipersonnel landmines in years, not decades. The call came at the opening of the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties (12MSP) to the Mine Ban Treaty, taking place from 3-7 December in Geneva. More than 100 governments were expected to participate. The 12MSP began 15 years to the day after the Mine Ban Treaty was opened for signature in Ottawa in 1997 where it was signed by 122 states.
Small Arms Survey, New Research Note: Urban Armed Violence
December 5, 2012 – With the majority of the world’s population now living in cities, and with levels of violence very often higher in urban than rural areas, urban armed violence has become increasingly critical to securing human security and safety. Urban Armed Violence, a new Research Note by the Small Arms Survey and the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, surveys the state of research into urban armed violence, and explores some of the main debates on this subject. Urban Armed Violence briefly introduces the research findings on sub-national and city-level armed violence, with a particular focus on lethal violence and the use of firearms. The Research Note concludes with a set of recommendations for further research and policy development.
December 3, 2012 – Every year, several hundred individuals die or are injured as a result of unplanned explosions involving poorly maintained and badly managed ammunition stockpiles. Costs and Consequences: Unplanned Explosions and Demilitarization in South-east Europe is a new report which follows on from a series of five workshops held for regional and international physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) stakeholders, to discuss unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) and their impacts. The report, published as part of the Regional Approach to Stockpile Reduction (RASR) initiative, provides a concise overview of the risks posed by poorly maintained, improperly stored, abandoned, damaged, and unstable ammunition stockpiles.
November 13, 2012 – Two resolutions (first resolution and the voting results of it; second resolution and the voting results of it) adopted by the First Committee of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) create an opening to put the world on a fast track to nuclear disarmament. Whether this opening will be fully exploited depends in no small part on civil society recognizing it and acting on it. Taken together with the 35-country Statement concerning the Catastrophic Consequences of Nuclear Weapon Use – a virtual declaration of war on nuclear weapons – the 67th UNGA may come to be seen as the moment the world finally shook off the legacy of the Cold War and returned to the UNGA’s original mission: “the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.” (From the first resolution adopted by the UNGA in January 1946.)
December 2012 – If Congress and the White House are serious about reducing the growing federal deficit, they must seize the opportunity to scale back costly schemes for building a new generation of strategic nuclear delivery systems and rebuilding tactical nuclear bombs. More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, the United States still maintains a strategic nuclear triad that is sized to launch far more nuclear weapons than necessary to deter nuclear attack. Today, the United States deploys 1,722 warheads on 806 strategic missiles and bombers, while Russia deploys 1,499 warheads on 491 strategic missiles and bombers. Each side has thousands more warheads in reserve. The direct cost of the U.S. arsenal and its support infrastructure exceeds $31 billion annually, according to independent estimates.
December 2012 – A Defense Department review has found that the program to extend the service life of the B61 nuclear bomb, many of which are currently deployed in Europe, may cost billions of dollars more and take years longer than previously estimated. The projected cost growth and schedule delay raise new questions about the viability of the program in the face of increasing pressures on the federal budget and the bomb’s uncertain future in Europe, congressional staff and former administration officials said. The United States currently keeps about 180 B61s for tactical use on short-range aircraft in Europe to support NATO. These weapons have become a major symbol of U.S. military commitment to the alliance. But pressure from some NATO allies, such as Germany, to remove the weapons raises the possibility that the bombs might not be needed a decade from now, when the proposed rebuilding program would be complete.
Human Rights Watch, The campaign to ban killer robots is here
November 19, 2012 – Human Rights Watch today fired the first salvo in its bid to establish an international ban on autonomous “killer robots”. The NGO argues that the rapid push to field armed and autonomous robot planes, boats, and ground vehicles will place civilian lives at risk and make it easier for countries possessing such weapons to go to war, while eroding the ability to punish war crimes. “We believe these systems would not be able to comply with international humanitarian law standards and would pose unacceptable dangers to civilians during armed conflict,” says Stephen Goose, executive director of arms programs at HRW “Human Rights Watch is calling for a preemptive ban for the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons.”
Dominic Rushe, Pentagon to Double Size of Worldwide Spy Network
December 2, 2012 – The US military plans to send hundreds more spies overseas as part of a plan that will more than double the size of its espionage network. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon’s military intelligence unit, is aiming to recruit 1,600 intelligence “collectors” – up from the several hundred overseas agents it has employed in recent years. Combined with the enormous growth in the CIA since 9/11 attacks, the recruitment drive will create an unprecedented spy network.
Jakob Staberg, Soon to be released film: “The Man Who Saved The World“
December 7, 2012 – A new film tells the incredible story of Stanislav Petrov and his courageous decision to disobey the chain of nuclear launch commands, thus changing the fate of the world as we know it. Few people know of him, but it is conceivable that hundreds of millions of people are alive because of him. Currently, a crowd funding campaign on kickstarter.com is being run to release the film this winter. Contact the producer at firstname.lastname@example.org or ‘like’ the project on facebook.
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, “Sunflower Newsletter” December 2012“
December 4, 2012 – The Sunflower is a monthly newsletter providing educational information on nuclear weapons abolition and other issues relating to global security. The December issue features Perspectives (e.g. “Outlawing Nuclear Weapons: Time for a New International Treaty? by David Krieger”), US Nuclear Weapons Policy, Nuclear Disarmament, Nuclear Insanity (e.g. “U.K. May Base Nuclear Submarines at U.S. Port“), Missile Defense, the Military-Industrial Complex, Resources and Foundation Activities.
International Peace Bureau