It has emerged that Prince Philip opposed the arms race during the Cold War and favoured a nuclear detente. Documents reveal that the prince, who was the ceremonial head of the Royal Marines for 60 years, had responded to a letter by a prominent nuclear arms activist, Lord Brockway in 1981. In it contained a copy of a speech by the Duke of Edinburgh's uncle, Lord Mountbatten, which he gave in 1979 and said that the nuclear arms race has no military purpose and that "their existence only adds to our perils". The Times reported that Prince Philip had replied: "Dear Lord Brockway. Thank you for the copy of Lord Mountbatten's Speech. I agree with everything he said. I agree that the arms race is ridiculous". The duke also said he had been misrepresented in a speech he gave to the Cambridge Union in 1981 after which it was reported how he thought it was possible for a "successful defensive nuclear war". However in his letter to Brockway, he wrote: "I said I was in favour of multilateral … [Read more...] about Prince Philip opposed the ‘ridiculous’ Cold War arms race and wanted to see nuclear disarmament
Nuclear disarmament treaty
Prince Philip privately supported nuclear disarmament during the Cold War despite his key role in the military. Newly declassified documents have revealed the Duke of Edinburgh, who retired from public life earlier this year, believed the Cold War arms race was "ridiculous". Like other members of the royal family Prince Philip is expected to stay out of politics. Letters between Prince Phillip and Lord Brockway an outspoken Labour MP and an anti-nuclear activist revealed by the Times, show that the Queen's consort backed multilateral disarmament. The revelations may come as a surpise to many because of Prince Philip's ardent support for the armed forces. He saw active service in the Second World War and served as the ceremonial head of the Royal Marines for more than 60 years. On February 12, 1981, Lord Brockway wrote to Prince Philip enclosing a copy of a speech by Earl Mountbatten, the duke's uncle, which he had given to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in May … [Read more...] about Prince Philip supported nuclear disarmament during the Cold War private letters reveal
A large number of national representatives currently attending the General Assembly in New York have already signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. They seek a world free from "doomsday weapons," as secretary-general Antonio Guterres put it. Yet the nuclear powers themselves have so far refused to sign on. Who has nuclear weapons and how many do they have? It is assumed that nine countries possess nuclear weapons: The United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. A report published earlier this year by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) says that these countries possess a total of roughly 15,000 nuclear warheads. These, however, are very unevenly distributed among the nine nuclear powers. The US and Russia possess some 93 percent of those warheads. Which countries are officially nuclear powers? Those countries that are signatories of the original 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation … [Read more...] about Nuclear weapons: Who are the world’s haves and have nots?
US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev sat side by side in the Prague Castle on Thursday and put their signatures to an agreement to reduce both countries' nuclear arsenals. It was during a visit to the Czech capital last year that Obama presented his ambitions for a world without nuclear weapons. The US and Russia possess about 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons. The agreement they plan to sign today would reduce each country's count of strategic nuclear weapons by one-third to 1,550. It would also slash the number of launching facilities, such as submarines and heavy bombers, by half, leaving about 800 for each country. Milestones and first steps Obama called the treaty "an extraordinary event" but said it was also "one step on a longer journey… this treaty will set the stage for further cuts." Medvedev hailed it as something that "enables us to rise to a higher level of cooperation between Russia and the United States." … [Read more...] about US, Russian presidents sign historic disarmament treaty
Germany has voiced strong support for US President Barack Obama's call to eventually rid the world of nuclear weapons. On the sidelines of a European Union-United States summit in Prague on Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that she saw the announcement as an important signal. "This is not just a long-term goal," Merkel said. "President Obama has also proposed practical measures such as negotiations with Russia on a new START treaty which could lead to disarmament steps in the short term." In a speech at Prague Castle, Obama pledged to lead the quest for a world without nuclear weapons. He denounced fatalism over nuclear proliferation and called for an immediate end to nuclear testing. Serious talks on arms control Steinmeier thinks the US can negotiate a new START treaty Last Wednesday the US president discussed missile reduction with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, on the sidelines of a Group of 20 economic summit. The two leaders pledged to pursue … [Read more...] about German leaders back Obama’s call for nuclear disarmament
At a joint news conference at the US embassy in Rome, negotiators described the one-day preliminary talks as a "productive beginning." US Assistant Secretary of State for verification and compliance Rose Gottemoeller said that Friday's meeting "got off to a fast start." The talks focused largely on procedural issues and paved the way for the start of formal negotiations next month. Talks will be held in Washington and Moscow in May and June ahead of US President Barack Obama's first visit to Russia in July. Anatoly Antonov, the chief of security and disarmament issues at the Russian Foreign Ministry, said the two sides hoped they would meet the December deadline for a new treaty. "We are sure that this new treaty will help to improve relations between the US and the Russian Federation," added Antonov. A new START under Obama? The first START arms control treaty, signed in 1991, committed both Russia and the US to cutting their nuclear arsenals, including reducing missile numbers to a … [Read more...] about US and Russia start nuclear disarmament talks
The Security Council resolution commits member nations to work toward a world without nuclear weapons and endorses a comprehensive framework of actions to reduce global nuclear dangers. US President Barack Obama called for the vote immediately after opening the 15-nation council's meeting on Thursday. It was the first time a U.S. president has chaired a Security Council summit. The world must avert a nuclear nightmare, the US president said: “Just one nuclear weapon exploded in a city, be it New York or Moscow, Tokyo or Beijing, London or Paris, could kill hundreds of thousands of people." All five permanent Security Council members - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - have nuclear bombs. Obama pledges to bring the US up to date with test ban treaty A unanimous vote at an unprecedented Security Council summit The U.S.-drafted resolution also supports and strengthens the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors nuclear … [Read more...] about UN Security Council urges nuclear disarmament
The US Senate looks set to ratify the new START treaty later on Wednesday after lawmakers paved the way for a final vote. This comes after 11 Republicans broke rank with their party, giving President Obama the two-thirds Senate majority he would need for ratification. However this has been anything but plain sailing for the president. Earlier this year, Mitt Romney, generally considered to be a leading Republican contender for the 2012 US presidential election, chose an op-ed in the Washington Post to pour scorn on the so-called new START arms reduction treaty negotiated by the Obama administration with Russia. Under the headline "Obama's worst foreign policy mistake," Romney, who lost the Republican nomination for the 2008 presidential election to John McCain, didn't mince words. Arguing that the treaty was badly negotiated by the Obama administration and that it puts US security at stake, he called it a non-starter that must not be ratified. Sico van der Meer, an arms control … [Read more...] about US Senate looks set to ratify START treaty
The Indo-Japanese nuclear deal has been six years in the making, and was officially signed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Tokyo on Friday. The deal marks Japan's first nuclear cooperation agreement with a country that is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). The NPT is an international treaty meant to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and arms technologies, while promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy. India refuses to sign it, saying it is discriminatory because it defines nuclear-weapons states as those that tested nuclear devices before 1967. The nuclear deal between Asia's second and third largest economies has been described by the two countries as "a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership for the cause of a peaceful and secure world." Mutual benefits Supporters of the impending deal say it is a win-win situation for both Tokyo and New Delhi. India will be able … [Read more...] about India and Japan sign nuclear deal – A risky business?
Over the past year, the number of nuclear weapons has decreased but investment in modernizing arsenals has risen, according to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday. As of 2017, nine states are in possession of approximately 14,935 nuclear weapons, a slight reduction compared 15,395 last year. The decrease in nuclear arms is notably due to efforts by the US and Russia, which possess 93 percent of all nuclear weapons in the world. However, the nine nuclear weapon-possessing states - the US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea - have all developed or deployed new nuclear weapon delivery systems, or announced their intention to do so. "Despite the recent progress in international talks on a treaty banning nuclear weapons, long-term modernizations programs are under way in all nine states," said Shannon Kile, a senior researcher at SIPRI. "This suggests that none of these states will be prepared to … [Read more...] about SIPRI: Nuclear arms decline amid modernization efforts