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Home Articles Flashpoints VANDENBERG MISSILE TEST WED 14NOV2012


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On Wednesday 14November, US Pacific time, the United States will carry out at Vandenberg Airforce Base, what is described as a 'routine' test of a Minuteman-III nuclear missile.

A number of local antinuclear groups including the Santa-Barbara-Based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation will protest the test.

According to John Hallam of People for Nuclear Disarmament in Sydney Australia, who coordinated a lobbying effort that has resulted in a series of UN resolutions on accidental nuclear war,

“ The hypocrisy involved in these repeated, thrice- yearly, nuclear weapons tests when measured against the mayhem unleashed by a failed DPRK satellite launch, is utterly mind-boggling.

If it were the DPRK doing this launch, the matter would have been taken already to the security council for condemnation. No matter that it might be described as – and really truly be – a satellite launch. No matter that it will most likely fly for a half second before disintegrating.  

We know the Minuteman-III, just like Russia's TopolM and SS18 and 19, work perfectly well and have only one purpose. The silo-based Minuteman-III missile that is being tested is a potentially destabilizing weapon, whose vulnerability and consequent requirement for prompt launch during a crisis make an accidental apocalypse all too likely. It should be scrapped, not tested.

President Obama should be opening his renewed presidential term with further efforts to get rid of nuclear weapons, not with the testing of a nuclear weapons system that has only one use – as a nuclear weapons system, and that serves to make an accidental end to civilization and much else all too likely.  

President Obama's instincts during his first term were quite correct: Nuclear weapons present, as high level inquiry after high level inquiry has pointed out, an existential threat to all humans. Getting rid of them is not merely a 'nice' idea, but is a survival priority that trumps all other possible priorities.

It is time that the United States provided the leadership the world has a right to expect on this urgent human survival issue.

John Hallam
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Last Updated on Sunday, 08 February 2015 22:24