News Release

Global Military Issues: * Russia, China and ABM * UN Small Arms Conference

ROBERT WEIL
Author of Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of “Market Socialism,” Weil said today: “The new Sino-Soviet Friendship Treaty signed today, though largely economic in focus, is also a response to the strategic goals of the Bush administration, and especially its anti-missile program. Despite its supposed ‘rogue nation’ rationale, the effort to erect a shield against intercontinental ballistic missiles is clearly directed against Russia and in particular China, in an effort to maintain U.S. global dominance, give it a free hand in its military actions, and attempt once again to force these two ‘unfriendly’ nuclear powers to bankrupt themselves trying to protect their defensive capabilities.”

KARL GROSSMAN
Author of the just-released Weapons in Space, Grossman said today: “By signaling that it will be violating the ABM treaty in a matter of months, the Bush administration is about to shatter an array of arms control agreements and bring the world to a time of instability and nuclear danger. The Russians have already responded that they will put multiple warheads on their missiles. This weekend’s ABM test is an opening salvo in the U.S. move to militarize space in violation of the intent of the Outer Space Treaty, which sets space aside for peaceful purposes.”
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MERESO AGINA
Agina is national secretary of the Kenyan women’s association Maendeleo Ya Wanawawake. She is in New York until Friday, participating in the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. Agina said today: “In the Horn of Africa, guns that pour in from neighboring countries are purchased by paramilitary groups and criminals. These weapons are used to threaten, maim and kill thousands of innocents each year…. The UN has the opportunity to make a real difference in preventing these injustices but, unfortunately, the U.S. government and a few other key governments do not appear ready to take reasonable steps to help stop this.”
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CONMANY WESSEH
Wesseh, also participating in the UN conference, is director of the Liberian Center for Democratic Empowerment. He said today: “Gun-running sustains bloody combat and repression the world over, but the proliferation of small arms has been particularly devastating in Africa. Thousands of people are being killed in West Africa, in a senseless cycle of violence, by small arms made principally in the U.S., China, Russia and Eastern Europe. Gun-producing countries know a large slice of their sales are going into criminal hands.”

LORA LUMPE
Editor of Running Guns: The Global Black Market in Small Arms, Lumpe is working with Amnesty International to organize a protest rally against the small arms trade tomorrow. She said today: “By asserting the need to protect the right of U.S. citizens to bear grenade launchers and assault weapons — despite the legal ban on civilian possession of such weapons — the U.S. ‘negotiating’ team is helping to ensure that butchers like the RUF in Sierra Leone are able to get such weapons as well. The U.S. has gutted the outcome of this historic conference…. Rather than high global standard-setting, the result will be a weak political document that will not require states — most of all the United States — to do anything to stop gun-running and save lives.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167