News Release

Weapons in Space and More “Usable” Nukes


Today the New York Times in its lead editorial criticizes plans for U.S. weapons in space. Last Wednesday the paper reported that the Air Force is seeking a presidential directive that could strengthen military uses of space. The following policy analysts are available for interviews:

Wright is a physicist and co-director of the Global Security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He co-wrote a recently-released report published by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences titled “The Physics of Space Security: A Reference Manual.” He said today: “Recent reporting in the New York Times confirms what experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists already knew. There are people in the Air Force and Washington policy circles who see space as the ultimate military high ground, and are pushing hard to develop weapons to exploit it.”
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Vice President of the Center for Defense Information, Hitchens wrote the article “U.S. Space Policy: Time to Stop and Think.” She said today: “Proponents of space weapons argue that they are needed to protect our satellites in space and our homeland, but this claim is patently false. Rather, U.S. deployment of anti-satellite weapons and offensive space-based weapons will place U.S. military and civilian satellites, as well as those of other nations, more at risk by creating incentives for others to develop similar weapons.”
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Kevin Martin is the executive director of Peace Action. He said today: “The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this Wednesday and the Senate will vote soon on funding for Bush’s proposed nuclear ‘bunker buster’ bombs known as the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator. Meanwhile, 160 nations are in the last week of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the UN in New York. Since the conference opened May 2, very little progress has been made, as the U.S. has sought to downplay past disarmament commitments under the treaty and earlier review conferences while focusing criticism on Iran’s nuclear program. It’s the height of hypocrisy that the Bush administration continues its quest for new nuclear weapons while pointing fingers at Iran, North Korea or anyone else. Congress needs to close the door on the development of new, more ‘usable’ nuclear weapons such as the bunker buster.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167