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WMD Commission recommendations attempt to revive disarmament but fails to say how

WMD Commission recommendations attempt to revive disarmament but fails to say how
06-07-2006

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The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC) released a 231-page report published today that presents recommendations for how to move the nonproliferation and disarmament agenda forward. If implemented, the recommendations would have significant effect on the pace of nuclear disarmament and the efforts to curtail proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Yet the nuclear weapons states do not agree. They argue that proliferation justifies the continued existence of their own nuclear weapons and requires that new plans be drawn up for potential use of nuclear weapons against the proliferators. Proliferators, in turn, use the aggressive military posture of the nuclear weapon states as an incentive to seek nuclear weapons.

The report is strongly at odds with the policies of several of the major nuclear weapon states, particularly the United States. The Commission is unlikely to have many supporters in the current White House, which will almost certainly reject many of its most important recommendations. To that end, the participation of former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry in the Commission must represent a major political shift for him personally, since he was responsible for some of the policies the report criticizes.

Unfortunately, the WMDC report does not present ideas for how to break the current deadlock but instead acknowledges that implementation of its commendations may have to wait till "there is a greater general readiness to return to a cooperative multilateral system in the sphere of arms control and disarmament."

Surprisingly, the report does not recommend that Israel, India and Pakistan join the non-proliferation treaty, although their absence is said to hurt the regime. Instead, the countries are urged to join a number of other initiatives such as the Comprehensive test Ban Treaty.

The Commission's report uses the World Nuclear Forces overview co-produced by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) for the SIPRI Yearbook to describe the status of existing nuclear arsenals .

The WMDC report is located at http://www.wmdcommission.org/files/Weapons_of_Terror.pdf.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC) was established in 2003 by the Swedish Government acting on a proposal by then United Nations Under-Secretary-General Jayantha Dhanapala to present realistic proposals aimed at the greatest possible reduction of the dangers of weapons of mass destruction. The Commission is chaired by Hans Blix, the former Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), and includes among others William J. Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Jayantha Dhanapala, the former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, and Alexei G. Arbatov of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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