Missile Defence - No solution

27 June 2001

Dave Knight,
Chair, CND (UK)

CND intends to hand in the Statement below during our Action at Chequers (the Prime Ministers country residence) when 'George Blair' is visiting 'Tony Bush' in July on the way to the G8 meeting. We are seeking support for it among politicians, trade unionists, academics and celebrities.

Help us to promote the Statement and the Action by writing to Tony Blair and George Bush using points from the Statement or the whole thing if you wish.

"We, the undersigned, believe that missile defence systems while re-defining deterrence are nevertheless part of a discredited security paradigm and will lead to greater global instability. As the large majority of states agree, the alternative based on treaties, respect for international law, conflict prevention and the United Nations in the context of a multi-polar world should be pursued with vigour.

In particular the attempt by the United States to develop a 'national missile defence' system is a misguided response to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and, indeed, will provoke a new nuclear arms race.

President Bush's determination to deploy a "layered" missile defence system, costing several hundred billion dollars, will contribute significantly to the development of long-reach full spectrum military dominance by the US and the weaponisation of Space. Other states and alliances, such as NATO, which are working with the US on the theatre missile defence "layers" are also contributing to the threat to global security.

Even a limited US missile defence system will result in Russia heightening the alert status of its nuclear arsenal, deploying new multiple warheads and withdrawing from START. China, then India and Pakistan, will accelerate their nuclear weapon programmes. Other countries may well pursue the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Pursuit by the US of missile defence undermines existing international arms control agreements. It signals not only a willingness to abandon the ABM Treaty but also a general rejection of treaties and threatens the Outer Space Treaty and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Missile defence is incompatible with the NPT commitment to achieve the global abolition of nuclear weapons, not only for the US but also for the UK if it gives permission for the use of Fylingdales and Menwith Hill.

In declaring our opposition to missile defence we call on the US and other states to abandon their misguided plans and focus on the abolition of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems through diplomacy, unilateral initiatives and multilateral treaties.

In particular we call on the UK government to take the lead in this by communicating clearly to the US government that it will not be allowed the use of bases in Britain as part of its missile defence system."

Tony Blair
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
United Kingdom
email: tony.blair@geo2.poptel.org.uk

George Bush
The White House
Washington DC 20500
email: president@whitehouse.gov

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