As the Permanent Five meeting on nuclear security gets under way in Paris, a letter signed by retired senior military, former UN ambassadors, parliamentarians, and many NGOs asking for nuclear weapons to be taken of high alert as a matter of urgency, has been released. The letter was faxed a number of weeks ago to P5 presidents, foreign ministers/secretaries of state and secretaries of defence/defence ministers. The letter points out that even after the successful signing and ratification of new START, thousands of nuclear weapons, notably in the US and Russian arsenals, remain poised to fire at less than two minutes notice. Computer error, mistakes, unusual weather phenomena that look exactly like a launch, weather research rockets, miscalculation, malfunctioning equipment and plain panic have over the decades that these missiles have been kept on alert, led the planet to within minutes or even seconds of an avoidable apocalypse.The actual use of these 2-5000 warheads, most likely as a result of a malfunctioning chip somewhere in Nebraska or Kosvinsky Mountain, can still end not merely civilization, but 95% of complex, land-based, living things, or at least change the climate from global warming to a nuclear winter for a number of decades.
The International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) as well as earlier international commissions, have stressed the urgency of action to lower nuclear risks, especially between the US and Russia. A number of UN resolutions urge action to take nuclear weapons off alert.
The letter has been signed by a total of 98 organizations and distinguished individuals, including Colonel Valery Yarynich (former Soviet Missile Corps Command and Control), Commander Robert D. Green (British navy – Ret) , Former Australian Disarmament Ambassador Richard Butler, Mayors For Peace 2020 Vision Campaign, the Global Security Institute, CND, Gensuikyo, a number of parliamentarians and MEPs, and NGOs from the US, Russia, Canada, the UK, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and around the world.
- John Hallam (Sydney Australia) (main coordinator/author), 61-2-9810-2598 0416-500 793, Johnhallam2001@yahoo.com.au, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dominique Lalanne, Paris, email@example.com
- Manuel Padilla, Washington DC 202-635-2757 ext:118, Manuel@paxchristiusa.org
- Steven Starr, Missouri, (573) 884 1847, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prof. Sergei Kolesnikov, email@example.com
- Colonel Valery Yarynich 7-495-598-3706, cell 965-308-2723