Reading Room

for release after 8 am Pacific Time, Tuesday, May 28, 2002

for further information, contact:
Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs, (925) 443-7148
Dr. Robert Civiak, (603) 448-5327

Despite Pomp and Treaty, Bush Nuclear Posture Puts U.S. at Greater Risk Says New Report

"More Work for the Weapons Labs, Less Security for the Nation"
Analyzes New Roles for the Energy Dept.'s Nuclear Weapons Complex;
Illuminates Bush-Putin Treaty's "Phantom Disarmament"

Download a copy of the Report in PDF format    Download the report cover (6MB PDF file)

LIVERMORE, CA -- Even as President Bush returns from a ceremonial treaty-signing with Russian President Putin, his administration's nuclear posture propels the U.S. away from controlling nuclear arms. Instead, Bush Administration policies are leading the nation down the dangerous path of developing new and modified nuclear weapons for use in a wide range of circumstances, says a newly-released analysis by Dr. Robert Civiak, a physicist and former White House Budget official.

Released today, "More Work for the Weapons Labs, Less Security for the Nation: An Analysis of the Bush Administration's Nuclear Weapons Policy," offers a comprehensive look at the changing role of nuclear weapons in the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and other key Bush Administration documents. The report is also the first to focus on the newly-enhanced part played by the Department of Energy's (DOE) nuclear weapon design laboratories and production plants in the NPR.

"President Bush claims he is de-emphasizing the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. security. However, by placing nuclear weapons at the center of U.S. war-fighting capabilities and expressly reducing the threshold for their use in combat, the President's new posture review does exactly the opposite," explained Dr. Civiak.

"More Work for the Weapons Labs..." documents how the Bush Administration has set out a plan for:

  • Developing new and modified nuclear weapons, including so-called bunker-busters;
  • Preparing for a return to full-scale nuclear testing;
  • Making phantom reductions in the nuclear weapons stockpile;
  • Assigning a larger role to nuclear weapons; and,
  • Expanding the infrastructure of the nuclear weapons complex.
  • New Weapons:

    According to the report, the pursuit of new nuclear weapons capabilities is a misguided attempt to use nuclear weapons against terrorists or to use them to achieve limited war fighting objectives. Moreover, the report outlines how the "driving force for developing these new weapons is not coming from military commanders. The DoD has not defined a requirement for any new nuclear weapons to perform its missions. Rather, scientists at the [DOE] weapons development laboratories are leading the call for new nuclear weapons. Those scientists are driven by a need to justify ever increasing funding for their work..."

    "While formulating Bush Administration nuclear policy, weaponeers at Livermore and Los Alamos Lab appear to have confused individual job security with national security," said Marylia Kelley, Executive Director of the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs, the DOE watchdog organization that commissioned the new report.

    Kelley continued, "As this report shows, the $5.9 billion nuclear weapons research and development budget proposed for 2003 is more than twice that of 1995. The budget is where the Bush Administration nuclear posture's 'rubber meets the road'."

    Phantom Disarmament:

    "While the Nuclear Posture Review discusses the administration's plan to reduce the number of 'operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads' to 2,200 by 2012 (the level to which President Bush commit.ted the U.S. by signing the treaty with Putin on May 24), a closer look reveals that the commitment is a hollow one," Dr. Civiak charged.

    The treaty does not require either nation to destroy a single warhead -- they need only be removed from deployment. And, to comply with the treaty, the warheads only have to be removed from deployment for a single day, December 30, 2012, the day before the treaty ends.

    "As 'More Work for the Weapons Labs...' points out, this constitutes phantom disarmament," stated Dr. Civiak.

    "The report documents how the Bush Administration's nuclear policy undercuts the U.S. and world security enshrined in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," commented Kelley. "The Nuclear Posture Review's call for new, earth-penetrating nuclear weapons and steps leading to resumption of full-scale nuclear testing could deliver a death blow to the Non-Proliferation Treaty -- and may lead to new arms races," she cautioned.

    "Therefore, Tri-Valley CAREs believes that it is imperative to reject the Nuclear Posture Review, cut congressional funding for its objectives, and reorient U.S. nuclear weapons policy to serve the goals of global nuclear disarmament and the rule of law. These are the steps that will ensure U.S. security. Bush's unrestrained nuclear power-projection threatens that security," Kelley concluded.

    The new 33-page report, "More Work for the Weapons Labs..." documents the increasing budget for nuclear weapons research and production; contains chapters on new and modified weapons and their role in the Nuclear Posture Review; analyzes the expanded role the NPR assigns to nuclear weapons and the labs and factories that produce them; includes document references and the complete text of the recently-signed Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, and more.

    About the Author:

    The report's author, Robert Civiak, served for more than a decade, until July 1999, in the White House Office of Management and Budget as Program Examiner for DOE's national security programs. Prior to that time, he received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Pittsburgh, was a Section Head in the Science Policy Research Division of the Congressional Research Service and completed a stint as a Visiting Scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    After 8 am Pacific Time on May 28, a full text of the new report will be available on Tri-Valley CAREs' web site in PDF Format.

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