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APPEAL TO NATO GOVERNMENTS

Sunday 20 September 2009, by Wayne Hall

This appeal by the Capodistrias-Spinelli-Europe initiative is endorsed
internationally by the Executive Committee of the International Physicians for
the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and by the Action des Citoyens pour le
Desarmament Nucleaire (ACDN)

Last April in a historic speech in Prague, President Obama made a public
declaration in support of the feasibility and desirability of total abolition
of nuclear weapons.

The fate of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and so the outcome of the years-long
struggle against uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons, may well
depend on how far Obama’s Prague declaration of intent can be matched with
deeds.

The possibility of matching words with deeds is now under threat from the
vested interests of a nuclear weapons lobby whose only concern is itself: its
own preservation and expansion.

The Obama Administration now proclaims the necessity for upgrading of the
B61, an aircraft-delivered tactical nuclear bomb that is said to be needed to
defend Europe as part of what the military >calls "extended deterrence". In
effect the US government is claiming that the upgraded B61 is needed for the
sake of America’s NATO partners.

Some US commentators say at this moment that because the political battle
lines are so tightly drawn in Washington, the positions of the Administration,
and of Congress, could be influenced by what Europeans say and do. Indications
of European discontent with actions diametrically opposed to the objectives
proclaimed by Obama in Prague would strengthen the hand of US supporters of
nuclear weapons abolition.

The B61 upgrade could well set the pattern for other parts of the nuclear
weapons establishment. It is said to be a "bellwether issue". Because it is so
controversial, if it is decided that even the B61 has to be upgraded, then
EVERYTHING ELSE does too!!!

We would like to make it clear that we do NOT wish Europe to be "protected"
by any American (or other) "nuclear umbrella". If nuclear weapons are not
going to be used, how effective can they be as a "deterrent"? If they are
going to be used, the "protection" they offer will be indescribably worse than
any threat they might claim to be "deterring".

We support the anti-nuclear objectives declared by President Obama in Prague.
We are therefore opposed to any upgrading of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons
are to be dismantled and destroyed, not upgraded. Those of us who are
Europeans insist particularly on enforcement of this principle on our own
territory, i.e. in Europe, calling upon our governments to make clear, to the
United States government, to NATO, to the European Commission and European
Council their position that NATO’s doctrine of "extended deterrence" does not
help safeguard their national security.

NATO governments should comply with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. NATO
should be required to function in conformity with international treaties and international law.