Proposition One


This paper is in the formative stage. As we obtain further published or otherwise verifiable information, we'll share it. Our plan is to relay facts which have been published in mainstream and peace press. Please send us photocopies of any significant articles you think we should quote.


On March 29, 1992, a significant editorial appeared in the Washington Post by Arjun Makhijani (Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Takoma Park) and Katherine Yih (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Cambridge, MA), entitled: "What to Do at Doomsday's End - How the World Can Step Back from Nuclear Brinkmanship":

"The end of the Cold War has brought an abrupt end to the logic of nuclear deterrence in which the nuclear superpowers built vast strategic arsenals to deter their adversaries from risking total destruction by launching a first strike.

"Today, possessing 'deterrent' weapons when there is no threat only encourages other governments to seek their own 'deterrent' capability in turn.

"Such proliferation increases the danger of nuclear war--and leads to the inevitable conclusion that in the post-Cold War world, achieving stable, long-term nuclear nonproliferation requires a commitment to universal nuclear disarmament.

"Up to now, much of the international effort to combat the spread of nuclear weapons has centered on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), signed by most nuclear or nuclear-capable nations. But some are non-signatories because they regard the NPT as inequitable, and three of them--Israel, India and Pakistan--are today de facto nuclear weapons states.

"The NPT has proven inadequate--even among the countries that have signed it--because, among other things, the treaty ENCOURAGES the transfer of civilian nuclear technology. This has enabled numerous countries, including Iraq, to acquire expertise for making nuclear weapons....

"We cannot make plutonium and other nuclear weapons materials disappear overnight. They are long-lived and dangerous to process. Yet in the near future we can eliminate the risk of accidental nuclear war, demonstrate a commitment to nuclear disarmament and make genuine progress towards nonproliferation....

"We propose that the next step in the process started by mutual U.S.-Soviet unilateral weapons reductions be THE REMOVAL OF ALL NUCLEAR WARHEADS from all countries' delivery systems. Warheads would be removed from missiles, ships and airplanes, stored in containers designed to prevent an accidental nuclear criticality and shielded from stray electrical signals.

"Warhead repositories, under international safeguards and inspection, would become a key element in ushering in the new nonnuclear age. Once in storage, it would take weeks to put the weapons back into their delivery vehicles--perhaps even months for some submarine-based weapons. Such a delay would have been considered unacceptable when deterrence was the principal objective.

"While it would be physically possible to rearm, it would become politically more and more difficult to do so....

"Putting all nuclear weapons into continuously monitored facilities would virtually eliminate the risks of accidental nuclear war and radioactive contamination, reduce the risks of covert sale of fissile materials and attendant proliferation risks. Finally, removing weapons from worldwide patrol would reduce the threat that near-nuclear weapons states feel from the nuclear weapons powers, which they use as justification for pursuing their own nuclear weapons programs....

"The heart of our proposal is that it be multilateral and implemented by all nuclear weapons states...."