Rasmussen: Lay Short-Range Nuclear Weapons Thinking to Rest

By Hans M. Kristensen

The next steps in European security should include additional reductions in the number short-range nuclear weapons in Europe, according to a video statement issued by NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen:

“We also have to make progress sooner or later in our efforts to reduce the number of short-range nuclear weapons in Europe. NATO has cut the number of short-range nuclear weapons in Europe by over 90 percent. But there are still thousands of short-range nuclear weapons left over from the Cold War and most of them are in Russia. NATO is not threatening Russia and Russia is not threatening NATO. Time has come to lay this Cold War thinking to rest and focus on the common threats we face from outside: terrorism, extremism, narcotics, proliferation of missiles, weapons of mass destruction, side by side, and piracy. We can make progress of all three tracks – missile defense, conventional forces, and nuclear weapons – and create a secure Europe. It is time to stop spending our time and resources watching each other and look outward at how to reinforce our common security hope.”

That vision appears similar to the “new regional deterrence architecture” that several recent Obama administration reviews concluded would permit a reduction of the role of nuclear weapons. With that in mind, and Rasmussen’s conclusion that “Russia is not threatening NATO” and that the “time has come to lay this Cold War thinking to rest,” it should be relatively straightforward for him to recommend a withdrawal of the remaining U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe.

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Anthrax Outbreak in Bangladesh

Cow in Bangladesh (Credit: AFP)

An anthrax outbreak in Bangladesh has infected more than 500 individuals since August 18th.  The infections were acquired from eating or handling contaminated cattle.   In one instance, a man purchased a cow which became ill a few days later.  He brought the cow to a veterinarian where it was vaccinated against anthrax.  This would have been protective against future infections if the cow survived, but it did not treat the current infection.  The man slaughtered the cow when its condition deteriorated, and unknowingly fed the contaminated meat to over 40 families.  Contaminated meat is also being sold in the market, which has caused cattle and livestock sales to be around 1/10 of the expected levels.  Considering that around three quarters of the population rely at least partially on livestock for their livelihood, this outbreak is sure to take a heavy toll on the health of both the population and the economy. Continue reading

Happy 20th Birthday, Captain Planet!

Twenty years ago, Captain Planet—Earth’s greatest champion—burst from the Earth for the first time on television. When it was broadcast during the 1990s, it inspired millions of kids in about 100 countries to protect the earth, to become more energy efficient, and to understand, respect and cherish cultural diversity.  Many of those children who watched this show during the 1990s are now adults. They are proud to call themselves Planeteers and will become the next generation of leaders who understand the importance and urgency of saving Gaia, the spirit of the Earth. Continue reading

One Click at a Time: Raise Funds for FAS Just By Searching the Web!

I want to share with you a great new way to raise money for the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), and our efforts to create a more secure future.

FAS is excited to release FAS Search, a search engine powered by Google, Bing, and Yahoo. FAS Search provides the same search results you are used to, but now every search raises a few cents for FAS at no cost to you. Net proceeds will go to support the critical work of FAS to educate policy makers, the press, and the public.

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