By Willis Jacobson for the Santa Maria Times. An operational test launch of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III missile is scheduled to take place from Vandenberg Air Force Base between 11:03 p.m. Tuesday and 5:03 a.m. Wednesday. The purpose of launching the intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command. Col. Chris Moss, the 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority. “Team Vandenberg is poised to provide safe launch operations in support of Air Force Global Strike Command’s important demonstration of our nation’s secure and effective combat-ready ICBM force,” he said.
By Joy First for National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance. We have a madman in the White House. Yet, unlikely acts of resistance are popping up all over the country from the large “Resist” banner hanging from a construction crane near the White House, to the National Park Rangers in the Badlands creating an alternative Twitter account, to mother’s groups who are putting aside talk of their children while they write letters to Congress, to the 60 programmers and scientists who were gathered at the Department of Information Studies building at the University of California-Los Angeles, harvesting important government data before Trump has a chance to disappear it. There is so much going on and so many ways we can get involved. This is the time we have been waiting for to see real change in the world. What kind of world will we leave for our children and grandchildren? The only way we will bring change is to keep the hope and rise up, rise up together and resist. The time has come and we will prevail in our struggle for peace and justice for all.
Pepe Escobar for Sputnik News. Putin already cut to the chase – when he spoke at the defense ministry’s HQ in Moscow before the holiday season; “We can say with certainty: we are stronger now than any potential aggressor.” And he added; “Anyone.” This after Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stressed Russia “for the first time in its history” has fully protected the extensive Russian borders with early warning anti-missile systems. The Pentagon must be processing the information with extreme seriousness. That means, essentially, that before the S-500s were fully rolled out, Moscow could not but exercise extreme prudence. Now Russian air space seems to be effectively sealed. Putin could not actually admit on the record that Russia is the strongest military power in the world until the rollout of the S-500s is complete. All US offensive missiles and stealth aircraft as it stands are rendered useless. And that does no even take into account nuclear weaponized Russian silent submarines.
By Jonathan Marshall for Consortium News. “My bottom line is that the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War,” declares former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry. A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953. A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953. If a new Trump administration wants to peacefully reset relations with Russia, there’s no better way to start than by canceling the deployment of costly new ballistic missile defense systems in Eastern Europe. One such system went live in Romania this May; another is slated to go live in Poland in 2018. Few U.S. actions have riled President Putin as much as this threat to erode Russia’s nuclear deterrent. Only last month, at a meeting in Sochi with Russian military leaders to discuss advanced new weapons technology, Putin vowed, “We will continue to do all we need to ensure the strategic balance of forces.”
By Gail DeGeorge for Global Sisters Report – In observance of the World Day of Peace January 1, we at Global Sisters Report join in prayer for peace in all regions, for all victims of war and for women religious around the world who dedicate their lives to helping them and to build peace. Sr. Megan Rice, a member of the Holy Child Jesus sisters, was released in May 2015 after serving more than two years in prison for trespassing on a Tennessee uranium enrichment facility. In December 2015, GSR had an interview with Rice about her peacemaking work. Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, a Sister of the Incarnate Word, has researched pockets of tolerance in hostile parts of the Middle East.
By Stephen Dinan for The Washington Times – President-elect Donald Trump called for the U.S. to expand its nuclear capabilities, in a surprising Twitter post Thursday that raised questions about what he intends to do. “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” he said. It was not clear what prompted the message, though the statement came soon after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his own nuclear forces needed to be strengthened. It’s not clear exactly what capabilities either man had in mind.
By Joe Cirincione for The Huffington Post – History was made at the United Nations today. For the first time in its 71 years, the global body voted to begin negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Eight nations with nuclear arms (the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, and Israel) opposed or abstained from the resolution, while North Korea voted yes. However, with a vote of 123 for, 38 against and 16 abstaining
By Donald Bradley for The Kansas City Star – When the judge called the defendant’s name for the last hearing of the day, a gruff and hearty “Here!” came from the back of the courtroom. The Rev. Carl Kabat, a Catholic priest, rose and walked to the front of Courtroom G. He’s 83, used a cane and wore white sneakers. He wasn’t looking to beat the rap. He was looking for a fight.
By Felice Cohen-Joppa for the Nuclear Resister. On Sunday, October 9, 120 people from 17 U.S. states plus Mexico, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands concluded a Catholic Worker gathering in Las Vegas with protests at the nearby Nevada National Security Site (NNSS, formerly known as the Nevada nuclear test site) and Creech Air Force Base. A morning liturgy was held in the desert just outside of the main entrance to the nuclear test site. An activist marching band then led the group as they carried signs, banners and colorful butterflies down the road to the gate. Thirty-one of the activists crossed onto NNSS property and were arrested for trespass.
By David Hall and Leonard Eiger for The Seattle Times – HAVE you seen the Seattle bus ads? They read: “20 miles west of Seattle is the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S.” In light of recent media attention on who should have their finger on the nuclear button, this statement seems to beg the question: With so many nuclear weapons, what would happen should the president order their use?
By Dmitry Orlov. A whiff of World War III hangs in the air. In the US, Cold War 2.0 is on, and the anti-Russian rhetoric emanating from the Clinton campaign, echoed by the mass media, hearkens back to McCarthyism and the red scare. In response, many people are starting to think that Armageddon might be nigh—an all-out nuclear exchange, followed by nuclear winter and human extinction. It seems that many people in the US like to think that way. Goodness gracious! But, you know, this is hardly unreasonable of them. The US is spiraling down into financial, economic and political collapse, losing its standing in the world and turning into a continent-sized ghetto full of drug abuse, violence and decaying infrastructure, its population vice-ridden, poisoned with genetically modified food, morbidly obese, exploited by predatory police departments and city halls, plus a wide assortment of rackets, from medicine to education to real estate… That we know.
By Janice Sevre-Duszynska and Max Obuszewski for NCR – Rice: Mainly, I think it’s important to wake people up. They’ve gone to sleep for 70 years by the intent of the government from the beginning. People weren’t consulted in the building or use of these horrific weapons. It was all very secret and very contained. Even during the production of nuclear weapons, one worker didn’t know what the other was doing.… What happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not in the textbooks. It was unspeakable to have any discussion of the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Moreover, the decision-makers were in denial.
By Editor of Corporate Crime Report – A lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. claims that United States aid to Israel is illegal under a law passed in the 1970s that prohibits aid to nuclear powers that don’t sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The lawsuit was filed by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRMEP). The lawsuit comes as the Obama administration is pushing to finalize a ten-year memorandum of understanding which will reportedly boost aid to Israel to $4 billion per year.
By Leonard Eiger for GZ Center – Silverdale, Washington: Local peace activists staged a water-based nonviolent protest and witness for peace in Hood Canal at the Trident nuclear submarine base on August 9th marking the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. The activists travelled along the Bangor waterfront where nuclear warheads and Trident missiles are loaded onto submarines and where submarines are resupplied for ballistic missile patrols in the Pacific Ocean. On August 8th activists staged a vigil and nonviolent direct action in which some activists blocked the entrance gate to the same Naval base.
By Martha Baskin for Counterpunch. The ad pierces your consciousness and catches you by surprise. Plastered on the side of Seattle’s King County Metro it hurls you momentarily back in time, to a time when nuclear weapons were an imminent threat to our survival. Or did the era never end? The ad — sponsored by local Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action — reads: “20 miles west of Seattle is the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S.” Behind this text is a map, depicting the proximity of Seattle to Naval Base Kitsap, located on the eastern shore of Hood Canal, one of the four main basins in Washington state’s Puget Sound. The base is home port for eight of the US Navy’s 14 Trident ballistic missile submarines as well as an underground nuclear weapons storage complex. Together they’re believed to store more than 1,300 nuclear warheads.