Richard Moore

Date: Fri, 27 May 2005 08:13:11 -0400
From: The Wisdom Fund <•••@••.•••>
To: Richard Moore  <•••@••.•••>

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May 26, 2005
Haaretz (Israel)

By Reuven Pedatzur

Under the cloak of secrecy imparted by use of military code
names, the American administration has been taking a big - and
dangerous - step that will lead to the transformation of the
nuclear bomb into a legitimate weapon for waging war.

Ever since the terror attack of September 11, 2001, the Bush
administration has gradually done away with all the nuclear
brakes that characterized American policy during the Cold War.
No longer are nuclear bombs considered "the weapon of last
resort." No longer is the nuclear bomb the ultimate means of
deterrence against nuclear powers, which the United States
would never be the first to employ.

In the era of a single, ruthless superpower, whose leadership
intends to shape the world according to its own forceful world
view, nuclear weapons have become a attractive instrument for
waging wars, even against enemies that do not possess nuclear

Remember the code name "CONPLAN 8022." Last week, the
Washington Post reported that this unintelligible nickname
masks a military program whose implementation could drag the
world into nuclear war.

CONPLAN 8022 is a series of operational plans prepared by
Startcom, the U.S. Army's Strategic Command, which calls for
preemptive nuclear strikes against Iran and North Korea. One
of the plan's major components is the use of nuclear weapons
to destroy the underground facilities where North Korea and
Iran are developing their nuclear weapons. The standard
ordnance deployed by the Americans is not capable of
destroying these facilities.

After the war in Afghanistan, it became clear that despite the
widespread use of huge conventional bombs, "bunker-busters,"
some of the bunkers dug by Al-Qaida remained untouched. This
discovery soon led to a decision to develop nuclear weapons
that would be able to penetrate and destroy the underground
shelters in which the two member states of the "axis of evil"
are developing weapons of mass destruction.

The explanation given by administration experts calls these
"small" bombs, which would have a moderate effect on the
environment. The effect of the bomb would not be discernible
above ground, the radioactive fallout would be negligible, and
the "collateral damage" caused to civilians would be minimal.

Accordingly, America's deterrent credibility against the
"rogue states" would grow, because it is clear that the U.S.
would allow itself to make use of these "small bombs" - as
they would destroy the weapon sites but not cause the death of
many civilians.

The war in Iraq, whose purpose was the destruction of Saddam
Hussein's development facilities and stockpiles of weapons of
mass destruction, but which led to America's miring in the
Iraqi swamp, has increased the attraction of nuclear weapons.
After all, it would have been much simpler and more logical to
destroy Saddam's facilities with a few "small bombs," which
would not have caused any real damage to the civilian
population, than to become entangled in a ground war that has
resulted in 150,000 American soldiers treading water in the
Iraqi swamp.

The problem with this argument is that it is hopeless. To
understand this, one may analyze the effect of a nuclear
attack of the sort posited by American military strategists in
CONPLAN 8022. Obviously, the U.S. would not use less than five
to ten "small bombs" were it to attack Iran or North Korea,
since, considering the number of relevant targets in the two
countries, anything less would fail to achieve the goal of
deterrence and prevention. According to the plan, each bomb
would have a 10-kiloton yield - about two-thirds of that of
the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Each detonation of a bomb a few meters underground would
destroy most of the buildings on the surface to a range of two
kilometers. After the explosion, there would be a need to
quickly evacuate civilians from an area of 100 square
kilometers, to avoid the deadly effects of the radioactive
fallout; buildings, agricultural crops and livestock would be
affected in an area of thousands of square kilometers, and
depending on wind direction and velocity, there could be a
need to evacuate more people from thousands of additional
square kilometers.

None of this takes into account the political and
psychological repercussions of using nuclear weapons for the
first time in more than 60 years. The Bush administration
regards all this as "limited collateral damage."

The nuclear policy that the Bush administration continues to
formulate, including plans for a preemptive nuclear strike
against states that do not possess such weapons and the
development of new nuclear weapons - is a recipe for disaster.
It is a policy that blurs the line between conventional and
nuclear war. This blurring could undermine the relative
strategic stability that has set in since the Cold War.

In addition, the Bush administration's approach contains a
message that is liable to encourage Iran and North Korea to
reassess the contribution such a weapon would make to their
own nuclear policies, possibly providing the incentive that
would accelerate such development.

Herein lies an inherent contradiction in the American approach
that on the one hand acts with commendable determination to
prevent the proliferation of nuclear arms, but on the other
hand, contributes toward it by adopting an irresponsible
nuclear policy.

--- In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this
material is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the included
information for research and educational purposes.

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Richard Moore (rkm)
Wexford, Ireland

"Escaping The Matrix - 
Global Transformation: 
    "...the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the
      suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the
      Reichstag fire."  
      - Srdja Trifkovic

    There is not a problem with the system.
    The system is the problem.

    Faith in ourselves - not gods, ideologies, leaders, or programs.
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