U.S., Marshall Islands Discuss Kwajalein

With the Compact of Free Association - the agreement which gave the Marshall Islands their independence from the United States - set to expire, US and Marshall Island officials are in discussions about the future of the Kwajalein testing range. Although the US lease for the use of the atoll does not expire for 15 years, the use of the facility for developing ballistic missile defence technology has made the testing range very valuable to the United States. The United States pays the Marshall Islands $13 million annually to lease Kwajalein. According to Jane's Defense Weekly, Imata Kabua, the former president of the Marshall Islands and Kwajalein atoll land owner said he would prefer to give the United States "indefinite" use of the facility in exchange for "money put up front into a trust fund."

Center for Defense Information

Russia Testing Super- quiet Submarine

The Russian newspaper Izvestiya reported on June 5 that the Russian navy has begun testing a super-quiet submarine in the White Sea. The boat will be put on active duty, possibly as early as July, once it passes its trials, the paper said.

Center for Defense Information

Doctor Vanunu

Still imprisoned in Ashqelon, Israel, nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu was created Doctor Honoris Causa at Tromsoe University, the worldNs northern-most university in a ceremony on May 15. The University President, Tove Bull, stated that the doctorate was awarded for VanunuNs effort for world peace. "Some may wish to criticize us for giving this honor to a man convicted for treason. We feel that his loyalty was pulled in two directions - loyalty to his own state and loyalty to mankind. He chose the latter, and we think he did right," said Ms. Bull, adding that the decision also was to underline the freedom of speech and the need to struggle against nuclear weapons.

At the ceremony, with the 1995 Nobel laureate Sir Joseph Rotblat as the main speaker, Meir Vanunu received the honors on behalf of his brother. An appeal by the University to the Israeli authorities that Vanunu was entitled to his freedom and should be released for the ceremony had been refused.

A total number of 18 have now received honorary doctorates in Tromsoe, among them Nobel laureates Mikhail Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, and Rigoberta Menchu. Vanunu has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize every one of the last 12 years.

In 1998 Vanunu was denied normal parole after serving two thirds of his sentence to 18 years in prison, even if the first 12 of those years were served in strict isolation.

Grigoryants Detained

A prominent Russian human rights activist bound for a conference in the United States was detained at Moscow's international airport, then allowed to leave a day later,June 7. Law enforcement officers detained Sergei Grigoryants, who heads the Glasnost Foundation in Moscow and was a dissident during the Soviet era, for five hours on Wednesday and refused to let him board his U.S.-bound flight, The Washington Post reported. Grigoryants said in an interview with the Post that his detention was in response to his criticism of President Putin and "It took just one year of Putin to go back 10 years."

He was allowed to leave on a flight for Chicago after having shown up at Moscow's airport for the second day in a row.

In August, armed and masked commandos stormed the Glasnost Foundation's office in central Moscow and forced Grigoryants and a dozen other people to lie face-down for nearly an hour, until a senior officer arrived. After the commandos, who had identified themselves as police officers, searched through several documents, they left, without stating a reason for the raid, Glasnost officials said at the time.

Eisenhower Pre-delegated Authority

Declassified documents revealed that President Dwight Eisenhower kept secret from allies orders authorizing military commanders to launch retaliatory nuclear attacks from their territories. The documents were published on 18 May by the National Security Archive.*Beginning in May 1957, Mr. Eisenhower authorized nuclear strikes to repel invasion by conventional force in US-occupied territories.* Should such an invasion have occurred, a theater war in Europe could have become a nuclear conflict.

Eisenhower was the first US president to "pre-delegate" authority to launch a nuclear attack to senior US military commanders in cases where he could not be contacted in time to make such a decision.* Presidents Kennedy and Johnson also maintained the practice.* Among those authorized to issue the command were commanders of naval forces in Europe, the Caribbean, the Atlantic, the Pacific, the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean.*

Evidently Eisenhower and his staff were extremely secretive about "pre-delegating" authority.

The Sunflower No. 49

Peace Magazine Jul-Sep 2001

Peace Magazine Jul-Sep 2001, page 31. Some rights reserved.

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