December 5, 1996
We, military professionals, who have devoted our lives to the national security of our countries and our peoples, are convinced that the continuing existence of nuclear weapons in the armories of nuclear powers, and the ever present threat of acquisition of these weapons by others, constitute a peril to global peace and security and to the safety and survival of the people we are dedicated to protect.
Through our variety of responsibilities and experiences with weapons and wars in the armed forces of any nations, we have acquired an intimate and perhaps unique knowledge of the present security and insecurity of our countries and peoples.
We know that nuclear weapons, though never used since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, represent a clear and present danger to the very existence of humanity.
There was an immense risk of a superpower holocaust during the Cold War. At least once, civilization was on the very brink of catastrophic tragedy. That threat has now receded, but not forever -- unless nuclear weapons are eliminated.
The end of the Cold War created conditions favorable to nuclear disarmament. Termination of military confrontation between the Soviet Union and the Unite States made it possible to reduce strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, and to eliminate intermediate range missiles.
It was a significant milestone on the path to nuclear disarmament when Belarus, Kazakhastan and Ukraine relinquished their nuclear weapons.
Indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995 and approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by the UN General Assembly in 1996 are also important steps towards a nuclear-free world. We commend the work that has been done to achieve these results.
Unfortunately, in spite of these positive steps, true nuclear disarmament has not been achieved. Treaties provide that only delivery systems, not nuclear warheads, will be destroyed. This permits the United States and Russia to keep their warheads in reserve storage, thus creating a "reversible nuclear potential."
However, in the post-Cold War security environment, the most commonly postulated nuclear threats are not susceptible to deterrence or are simply not credible. We believe, therefore, that business as usual is not an acceptable way for the world to proceed in nuclear matters.
It is our deep conviction that the following is urgently needed and must be undertaken now:
- First, present and planned stockpiles of nuclear weapons are exceedingly large and should now be greatly cut back;
- Second, remaining nuclear weapons should be gradually and transparently taken off alert, and their readiness substantially reduced both in nuclear weapons states and in de facto nuclear weapons states;
- Third, long-term international nuclear policy must be based on the declared principle of continuous, complete and irrevocable elimination of nuclear weapons.
The United States and Russia should -- without any reduction in their military security -- carry forward the reduction process already launched by START -- they should cut down to 1000 to 1500 warheads each and possibly lower.
The other three nuclear states and the thee threshold states should be drawn into the reduction process as still deeper reductions are negotiated down to the level of hundreds. There is nothing incompatible between defense by individual countries of their territorial integrity and progress toward nuclear abolition.
The exact circumstances and conditions that will make it possible to proceed, finally, to abolition cannot now be foreseen or prescribed.
One obvious prerequisite would be a worldwide program or surveillance and inspection, including measures to account for and control inventories of nuclear weapons materials. This will ensure that no rogues or terrorists could undertake a surreptitious effort to acquire nuclear capacities without detection at an early stage.
An agreed procedure for forcible international intervention and interruption of covert efforts in a certain and timely fashion is essential.
The creation of nuclear-free zones in different parts of the world, confidence-building and transparency measures in the general field of defense, strict implementation of all treaties in the area of disarmament and arms control, and mutual assistance in the process of disarmament are also important in helping to bring about a nuclear-free world.
The development of regional systems of collective security, including practical measures for cooperation, partnership, interaction and communication are essential for local stability and security.
The extent to which the existence of nuclear weapons and fear of their use may have deterred war -- in a world that in this year alone has seen 30 military conflicts raging -- cannot be determined.
It is clear, however, that nations now possessing nuclear weapons will not relinquish them until they are convinced that more reliable and less dangerous means of providing for their security are in place.
It is also clear, as a consequence, that the nuclear powers will not now agree to a fixed timetable for the achievement of abolition.
It is similarly clear that, among the nations not now possessing nuclear weapons, there are some that will not forever forswear their acquisition and deployment unless they, too, are provided means of security. Nor will they forego acquisition it the present nuclear powers seek to retain everlastingly their nuclear monopoly.
Movement toward abolition must be a responsibility shared primarily by the declared nuclear weapons states -- China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, by the de facto nuclear states, India, Israel and Pakistan; and by major non-nuclear powers such as Germany and Japan. All nations should move in concert toward the same goal.
We have been presented with a challenge of the highest possible historic importance: the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free world. The end of the Cold War makes it possible.
The dangers of proliferation, terrorism, and new nuclear arms race render it necessary. We must not fail to seize our opportunity. There is no alternative.
Johnson, Major General Leonard V., (Ret.)CANADA
Commandant, National Defense CollegeKristensen, Lt. General Gunnar (Ret.)DENMARK
former Chief of Defense StaffSanguinetti, Admiral Antoine (Ret.)FRANCE
former Chief of Staff, French FleetErskine, General Emmanuel (Ret.)GHANA
former Commander in Chief and former Chief of Staff, UNTSO (Middle East),
Commander UMFI (Lebanon)Capellos, Lt. General Richard (Ret.)GREECE
former Corps Commander Konstantinides, Major General Kostas (Ret.) former Chief of Staff, Army SignalsRikhye, Major General Indar Jit (Ret.)INDIA
former military advisor to UN Secretary Generals
Dag Hammerskjold and U Thant Surt, Air Marshal N. C. (Ret.)Sakoijo, Vice Admiral Naotoshi (Ret.)JAPAN
Sr. Advisor, Research Institute for Peace and Security Shikata, Lt. General Toshiyuki (Ret.)
Sr. Advisor Research Institue for Peace and SecurityAjelilat, Major General Sahfiq (Ret.)JORDAN
Vice President Military Affairs, Muta University Shiyyab, Major General Mohammed K. (Ret.)
former Deputy Commander, Royal Jordanian Air forcevan der Graaf, Henry J. (Ret.)NETHERLANDS
Director Centre Arms Control & Verification,
Member, United National Advisory Board for Disarmament MattersBreivik, Roy, Vice Admiral Roy (Ret.)NORWAY
former Representative to NATO,
Supreme Allied Commander, AtlanticMalik, Major General Ihusun ul Haq (Ret.)PAKISTAN
Commandant Joint Services CommitteeGomes, Marshal Francisco da Costa (Ret.)PORTUGAL
former Commander in Chief, Army,
former President of PortugalBelous, General Vladimir (Ret.)RUSSIA
Department Chief, Dzerzhinsky Militay Academy Garecy, Army General Makhmut (Ret.)
former Deputy Chief, USSR Armed Forces General Staff Gromov, General Boris, (Ret.)
Vice Chair, Duma International Affairs Committee,
former Commander of 40th Soviet Army in Afghanistan
former Deputy Minister, Foreign Ministry, Russia Koltounov, Major General Victor (Ret.)
former Deputy Chief, Department of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces Larinov, Major General Valentin (Ret.)
Professor, General Staff Academy Lebed, Major General Alexander (Ret.)
former Secretary of the Security Coucil Lebedev, Major General Youri V. (Ret.)
former Deputy Chief Department of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces Makarevsky, Major General Vadim (Ret.)
Deputy Chief, Komibyshev Engineering Academy Medvedev, Lt. General Vladimir (Ret.)
Chief, Center of Nuclear Threat Reduction Mikhailov, Colonel General Gregory (Ret.)
former Deputy Chief, Deparment of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces Nozhin, Major General Eugeny (Ret.)
former Deputy Chief, Department of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces Rokhlin, Lt. General Lev, (Ret.)
Chair, Duma Defense Committee,
former Commander Russian 4th Army Corps Sleport, Lt. General Ivn (Ret.)
former Chief, Department of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces Simonyan, Major General Rair (Ret.)
Head of Chair, General Staff Academy Surikov, General Boris T.,(Ret.)
former Chief Specialist, Defense Ministry Teherov, Colonel General Nikolay (Ret.)
former Chief, Department of General Staff, USSR Armed Forces Vinogradov, Lt. General Michael S. (Ret.)
former Deputy Chief, Operational Strategic Center, USSR General Staff Zoubkov, Rear Admiral Radiy (Ret.)
Chief, Navigation, USSR NavyKarumaratne, Major General Upali A. (Ret.)SRI LANKA
Silva, Major General C.A.M.M. (Ret.)
USF, U.S.A. WC (Sri Lanka)Lupogo, Major General H.C. (Ret.)TANZANIA
former Chief Inspector General, Tanzania Armed ForcesBeach, General Sir Hugh (Ret.)UNITED KINGDOM
Member U.K. Security Commission Carver, Field Marshal Lord Michael (Ret.)
Commander in Chief of East British Army (1967-1969),
Chief of General Staff (1971-1973),
Chief of Defense Staff (1973-1976) Harbottle, Brigadier Michael (Ret.)
former Chief of Staff, UN Peacekeeping Force, Cyprus Mackie, Air Commodore Alistair (Ret.)
former Director, Air Staff BriefingBecton, Lt. General Julius (USA) (Ret.)UNITED STATES
Burns, Maj. General William F. (USA) (Ret.)
JCS Representative, INF Negotiations (1981-88)
Special Envoy to Russia for Nuclear Dismantlmement (1992-93) Carroll, Jr., Rear Admiral Eugene J. (USN) (Ret.)
Deputy Director, Center for Defense Information Cushman, Lt. General John H. (USA) (Ret.)
Commander, I Corps (ROK/US) Group (Korea) (1976-78) Galvin, General John R.,
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (1987-1992) Gayler, Admiral Noel (USN) (Ret.)
former Commander, Pacific Horner, General Charles A. (USAF) (Ret.)
Commander, Coalition Air Forces, Desert Storm (1991)
former Commander, U.S. Space Command James, Rear Admiral Robert G. (USNR) (Ret.)
O'Meara, General Andrew (USA) (Ret.),
former Commander U.S. Army , Europe Pursley, Lt. General Robert E. USAF (Ret.)
Read, Vice Admiral William L. (USN) (Ret.)
former Commander, U.S. Navy Surface Force, Atlantic Command Rogers, General Bernard W. (USA) (Ret.)
former Chief of Staff, U.S. Army;
former NATO Supreme Allied Commander (1979-1987) Seignious, II, Lt. General George M. (USA) (Ret.)
fomer Director Army Control and Disarmament Agency Shanahan, Vice Admiral John J. (USN) (Ret.)
Director, Center for Defense Information Smith, General William Y., (USAF) (Ret.)
former Deputy Commander, U.S. Command, Europe Wilson, Vice Admiral James B. (USN) (Ret.)
former Polaris Submarine Captain
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