Memorandum from the Campaign for Nuclear
1.1 The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
campaigns non-violently to rid the world of nuclear weapons and
other weapons of mass destruction and to create genuine security
for future generations. British security is inextricably linked
to the security of all nations and is, therefore, dependent on
global stability. Our relationship with the United States must
be one of mutual interest and the Committee's Inquiry is timely.
It is to be hoped that the Inquiry will lead to UK-US relations
being generally more open to parliamentary scrutiny.
1.2 While it is clearly appropriate to concentrate
on the impact of the new US administration, the trend in US foreign
policy has been developing for over a decade into a more unilateralist
approach. The tragic events of 11 September has prompted the US
to seek almost universal co-operation in its response to the terrorist
attacks. But how far that will translate into a change of direction
and the development of a foreign policy based on multilateral
treaties and the search for global stability built on justice
and human rights remains to be seen.
1.3 It is to be hoped that post 11 September
not just the US but all militarily and/or economically powerful
states consider in depth their responsibilities in the maintenance
of an insecure and unjust world and the roles they could play
in the development of an alternative for the future. British-US
relations should not be judged solely in terms of the present
crisis but in the wider context of foreign and security policy.
1.4 Recommendations for immediate action:
the UK government should be far
more outspoken and public in its criticism of the US attitude
to international treaties and international law,
the UK government should refuse
the US the use of military bases in the UK for its missile defence
the UK government should not support
the usurping of the authority and the role of the United Nations
by NATO and/or the US,
the UK government should support
the extension of the influence, resources and funding of the Organisation
for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE),
the UK government should act openly
to restrain the excesses of US foreign policy and uphold the authority
of the UN.
2. ARMS CONTROL
2.1 The US policy with regard to arms control
is the perfect example of its move away from the multilateral
approach and its developing differences with British policy and
interests. While these differences have been publicly obvious
any criticism of the US by the UK has been private and muted.
2.2 The UK as a nuclear weapon state (NWS)
is rightly open to international criticism for retaining a nuclear
weapons based security policy. However its efforts in international
forums dealing with the control of weapons of mass destruction,
while being far less adventurous and productive than CND would
wish, have been thwarted at many a turn by the lack of US support
and in some cases by outright opposition by the US.
2.3 Double standards with regard to inspection
and verification regimes seem to be at the heart of the US objections
to the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
and acceptance of the additional protocols to the Biological and
Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC). The US demands that other states,
e.g. Iraq, are subject to rigorous inspection and verification
procedures but that the US should be exempt since it perceives
such regimes as against its national interest. This is apparent
also in that US legislation has been passed which allows the President
to limit the inspections for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
2.4 The UK has been in the forefront of
the negotiations for these treaties and protocols and clearly
believes it would be in Britain's security interests if they entered
into force. The US does not appear to understand or accept the
interconnectedness of national and international interests and
2.5 The Conference on Disarmament in Geneva
is stalled in major part because the US refuses to negotiate a
treaty which would prevent an arms race in outer space (PAROS).
All the other states are willing to do so, albeit reluctantly
on the part of some.
2.6 In the field of international law the
US refusal to support the establishment of the International Criminal
Court (ICC) for fear of possible legal action against its own
military and legislation in Congress to enable US military action
to release any US personnel held for trial by the ICC in the Hague
shows myopic and highly dangerous self-interest. This problem
and the divergence of UK and US policy has been demonstrated yet
again in the environmental field over the Kyoto Treaty.
2.7 The fact that the so-called British
"independent nuclear deterrent" is actually mostly serviced
and controlled by the US is not only an economic and strategic
millstone around our necks it is also a leash which the US can
use to create poodles of UK Prime Ministers.
2.8 Recommendation for immediate action:
the UK government should be far more outspoken and public in its
criticism of the US attitude to international treaties and international
2.9 Fundamental Recommendation: the UK
itself should be more radical in its pursuit of global security,
e.g. cancel the Trident programme and work for negotiations leading
swiftly to the rapid, time-tabled abolition of nuclear forces
3. MISSILE DEFENCE
3.1 While CND believes we should move away
from Cold War processes and strategy the direction chosen by the
US is not in the interest of the UK or global stability. The ABM
Treaty should not just be scrapped or amended into uselessness
but rather become irrelevant through the abolition of nuclear
weapons. Although it came into existence to maintain the strategy
of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) it led directly to the SALT
and START processes on the limitation and reduction of strategic
3.2 The development of missile defence will
re-define and consolidate deterrence. If the US and Russia and/or
the US and China "do a deal" over missile defence it
will mean the maintenance of nuclear weapons as part of the their
security framework. That is at variance with their Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT) obligations and the commitment they and the other
NWS made at the NPT Review Conference 2000 to abolish their nuclear
arsenals. Missile defence will also feed the proliferation of
nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic
missiles. As such it can not be seen as supplementing non-proliferation
3.3 Theatre Missile Defence (TMD) could
well be as destabilising as National Missile Defence (NMD). Deployment
of TMD to cover Taiwan, for instance, would lead to a new arms
race and the proliferation of WMD in Asia. The TMD systems already
deployed are one of the major obstacles to progress towards a
peaceful resolution in the Middle East. Further, post 11th September,
TMD systems are likely to be viewed by the US as even more essential
to their security framework.
3.4 The US intends to deploy a "multi-layered"
missile defence with systems under both the headings of TMD and
NMD. In addition it is developing other delivery systems for nuclear
weapons, such as the sub-orbital bomber, and other types of weapons,
such as space-based lasers. Add also "mini-nukes" which
will blur the boundary between conventional and nuclear weapons.
The US is, by all means possible, including weapons in space:
the full "Star Wars", pursuing a policy of "long
reach" global military domination. This policy threatens
the NPT and the Outer Space Treaty as well as the ABM Treaty.
3.5 Clearly the British government should
not be supporting the US against the security interests of the
UK. There is no security benefit to the UK in missile defence.
In fact the reverse is the case. Missile defence will create international
instability, make nuclear conflict more likely and because of
Fylingdales and Menwith Hill make Britain even more of a target
in the event of conflict. Britain would also incur a financial
cost which would put an extra strain on an already over-stretched
UK Defence Budget.
3.6 Menwith Hill is used by the US to gather
commercial intelligence even more than military intelligence.
This is not shared with Britain but is used to promote the interests
of the US and US companies around the world, in many cases to
the detriment of Britain and British companies.
3.7 Recommendation for immediate action:
the UK government should refuse the US the use of military bases
in the UK for its missile defence programmes.
3.8 Fundamental Recommendation: the UK
should support the global abandonment of all missile defence programmes,
promote a Ballistic Missile Convention (BMC) and work for the
peaceful use of Outer Space.
4.1 The UK Government is entrenched in the
concept of security through nuclear weapons since its nuclear
forces are assigned to NATO. But NATO is a nuclear Cold War alliance
reborn to project US foreign policy around the world. Even the
NATO General Secretary George Robertson is reported as complaining
that "he just works as an American lackey all the time"
(The Independent, 31/10/00).
4.2 NATO continues to maintain that "Nuclear
weapons. . .remain essential to preserve peace". This is
clearly at variance with reality as the numerous wars over the
years and the present crisis testify. It also ignores the 1996
World Court Advisory Opinion on the threat or use of nuclear weapons.
Even if the survival of a state is at stake no weapon can be used
if it violates humanitarian law. Further, NATO is not a state.
The insistence that nuclear weapons are "essential"
is also at variance with the statement that the NATO states are
"committed to the full implementation" of the NPT. In
fact the maintenance of the nuclear alliance is clearly one of
the main causes of the present disarray in the international nuclear
4.3 This policy also ignores public opinion
in NATO states. There have been numerous polls in recent years
which indicate clearly that people wish their governments to pursue
the global abolition of nuclear weapons seriously and urgently.
The growing support by governments, including those of NATO states,
for the New Agenda Coalition (NAC) is further evidence of an overwhelming
desire for change.
4.4 That the 1999 Strategic Concept which
states that "The fundamental purpose of the nuclear forces
of the Allies is political: to preserve peace and prevent coercion
and any kind of war" was agreed by the NATO member states
when they were at war with Yugoslavia shows vividly the gap between
reality and nuclear policy.
4.5 The supposed development of NATO as
a peace-making/peace-keeping alliance is hardly in line with its
maintenance of a firm nuclear policy. A first-use policy in Britain's
case and a first-strike policy in the case of the US. The development
is also further evidence of the US policy of usurping the authority
and the role of the United Nations.
4.6 The expansion of NATO will further destabilise
European security and put even greater financial pressure on Central
and Eastern European states and Russia. It is clearly aimed at
increasing US political, economic and military influence but will
not be of benefit to Britain or Europe in the long term.
4.7 Recommendation for immediate action:
the UK government should not support the usurping of the authority
and the role of the United Nations by NATO and/or the US.
4.8 Fundamental Recommendation: Britain
should withdraw from NATO and all foreign military bases on British
soil should be closed.
5. EUROPEAN UNION
5.1 Although CND clearly has major reservations
concerning relations between the UK and the US we do not see the
development of a European Superstate or Superpower based on the
EU as an alternative which will enhance European or global security.
The commercial arguments we will leave to others as they are not
of direct concern to CND. A significant loosening of the foreign
policy ties between the UK and the US and the development of an
alternative view of European security would be welcome. However
the emerging process of militarising the EU is another dangerous
blind alley which could in years to come deliver a new Cold War.
5.2 The EU should not become the new US
with the same self-serving and globally destabilising foreign
and security policy. The joint European Union/European Space Agency
(EU/ESA) Strategy published last year indicates a desire to follow
the US lead in Space. The Strategy aims to militarise the European
Space Programme and make the EU second only to the US in Space
and deny other states access to Space.
5.3 With this as an example how long will
it be before there is a call for a nuclear dimension to joint
EU security? There needs to be a radical alternative to US dominated
European security which does not ape and compete with the US but
rather uses international law, multilateral treaties and conflict
prevention with regional solutions to regional problems in the
context of a reformed UN.
5.4 The Organisation for Security and Co-operation
in Europe (OSCE) is the regional UN agency, not NATO nor the EU.
As such it should form the basis of European security, with in
addition, if necessary, military actions taken under the auspices
of the UN.
5.5 Recommendation for immediate action:
the UK government should support the extension of the influence,
resources and funding of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation
in Europe (OSCE).
5.6 Fundamental Recommendation: Britain
should work for no military nuclearisation of the European Union
and for formal Nuclear Weapons Free Zones in Europe to be established.
6. UNITED NATIONS
6.1 The different attitudes which the UK
and the US have towards the UN are often masked in actions taken
by the desire of the UK government to follow US foreign policy
even when it is against UK fundamental beliefs and security interests.
6.2 The UK clearly supports the basic tenets
of the UN even if critical of some of its work and agencies. Whereas
the US appears at odds with the basic principle of formal international
co-operation based on the rights of the peoples of the world.
It is recalcitrant in paying its dues and seems intent on using
the UN for its own ends where possible and ignoring it where not.
6.3 Unfortunately too often the UK follows
the US lead and undermines the authority and the role of the UN
by supporting the use of NATO action or even supporting the US
when no other state will. The continued sanctions against and
bombing of Iraq is a case in point. There is a greater chance
of denying weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein if weapons
inspections could take place as has been shown in the past. The
support being given by the UK to the US in this matter is counter-productive
with regard to anti-proliferation and global security and therefore
against UK interests.
6.4 The support the UK government has shown
the US post 11th September also indicates a willingness to usurp
the authority and role of the UN. Clearly the UN resolution to
bring the perpetrators to justice should be pursued by the UN
and an ICC. The US as victims of the horrific crime should not
be acting as the police, judge and jury in the matter. The UK
support not only undermines the UN it also helps maintain a "them
and us" culture around the world which feeds international
terrorism and is against Britain's long-term security interests.
6.5 Recommendation for immediate action:
the UK government should act openly to restrain the excesses of
US foreign policy and uphold the authority of the UN.
6.6 Fundamental Recommendation: Britain
should pursue more keenly global security based on international
law, multilateral treaties, conflict prevention and regional solutions
to regional problems in the context of a reformed UN.
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)