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US Defense Experts Call For World Without Nuclear Weapons January 4, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Military News, US News.
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WASHINGTON (AP)–Four prominent U.S. defense experts said Thursday the United States could make a “vital contribution” toward ending a growing nuclear proliferation threat by working with other countries toward creating “a world without nuclear weapons.”

Reliance on nuclear weapons as a deterrent “is becoming increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective,” the bi-partisan group said in a commentary.

The essay was written by former secretaries of state Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz, former Defense Secretary William Perry and former U.S. Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Sam Nunn.

“North Korea’s recent nuclear test and Iran’s refusal to stop its program to enrich uranium – potentially to weapons grade – highlight the fact that the world is now on the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era,” they said.

They also expressed alarm at the likelihood that non-state terrorists will get their hands on nuclear weaponry.

If nuclear weapons states banded together to end reliance on nuclear weapons, the commentary said, it “would lend additional weight to efforts already under way to avoid the emergence of a nuclear-armed North Korea and Iran.”

Iran and many other non-nuclear countries have long complained about the “double standard” of nuclear powers in possessing atomic weapons while demanding that others refrain from having them.

The essay noted that the concept of a nuclear-free world is not revolutionary, pointing out that the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) envisions that nuclear weapons states divest themselves of such armaments over time.

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