Weapons of Mass Destruction found!

Zoom on Doom: Easy-to-find nuclear weapons map

Feature story - 30 April, 2003
Since the US and the UK are having such a hard time finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we thought we'd lend a hand by providing this easy guide to the nukes we know about.

February, 2003: Greenpeace 'weapons inspector' outside the U.S. embassy in Spain.

UN Weapons Inspectors and citizen weapons inspectors are welcome to use our map to check up on just where those elusive Weapons of Mass Destruction have been hiding.

All information about these locations has been drawn from public sources, so we didn't have to worry about invading any countries, incurring civilian casualties, paying costly bounties for inside information or mess around with torture or illegal detention.

And here's the best part: if the US and the UK want to dismantle some WMDs, they don't need to go on costly excursions to foreign countries. We found plenty in their own backyards.



For the next two weeks, the parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will be meeting in Geneva. Under the terms of that 1970 accord, the world's non-nuclear weapons states agreed to stay that way. In exchange, the countries that fessed up to owning nuclear weapons at the time agreed to get rid of them.

We hope the delegates to the NPT will have a quick look at the map to easily identify the "bad guys" who haven't been disarming as they promised. (Clue: there are a lot of little radiation symbols in France, the US, China, Russia, and the UK.)

After a careful review of available data, you too can confirm the blindingly obvious: none of the NPT's Nuclear Five have done very well in scaling back their nuclear arsenals. They've failed utterly to eliminate them. If the nuclear powers are seriously concerned about the WMDs of India, Pakistan, Israel, and Korea, they ought to look to the example they set.

Now call us old fashioned, but we believe that a key lesson of the Iraq crisis is that international laws and treaties to prevent proliferation must be strengthened, not weakened. All of us who marched against the Iraq war want to see the North Korean crisis and future proliferation problems solved by negotiation, not pre-emptive military strikes. "In the long run, the most effective means to halt proliferation is the rule of law applied universally and even-handedly to all states, not unilateral gunboat diplomacy," says William Peden, of Greenpeace International's disarmament campaign.

The NPT declares disarmament the international norm - 182 of its 187 members have pledged never to acquire nuclear weapons. But some of those states, such as Brazil, are becoming increasingly aggravated with the failure of the Nuclear Five to live up to their part of the bargain. North Korea recently left the treaty regime and has declared itself to be a nuclear power.

Greenpeace activists dressed as missiles appeared at the missions of the nuclear weapons states in Geneva as the meeting began to demand "inspectors" symbolically dismantle the cardboard arsenals. Greenpeace also issued a deck of cards with the pictures of the known nuclear "bad guys" to provide guidance to the NPT delegates about who needed to disarm.

Here's what we want to see out of this round of the NPT:

  • North Korea should abandon the pursuit of nuclear weapons and rejoin the NPT.
  • States should reject the use of military force to resolve proliferation concerns, and uphold the value of multilateral legal mechanisms.
  • States should reject the "first strike" use of nuclear weapons, and agree legally binding security assurances.
  • All nuclear weapon states should commit to the goal of eliminating their illegal nuclear arsenals and halting the development of new nuclear weapons or the "refurbishment" of existing ones.
  • States should agree an emergency mechanism to deal more swiftly and effectively with future crises such as North Korea's withdrawal from the NPT.
  • The promotion of "dual use" nuclear technology, particularly reprocessing and enrichment technologies, which is permitted under the NPT, should be stopped and a comprehensive ban on the production and use of all fissile material agreed.
If there are nuclear weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we hope the right people find them. But we're not exactly sure who the right people would be, given their mission ought to be something the US and UK are not very good at: dismantling them.

For more information about the NPT prepatory meeting, you can read a detailed briefing here.

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Map Sources include: Deadly Arsenals: tracking weapons of mass destruction, Joseph Cirincione with Jon B Wolfsthal and Miriam Rajkumar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/index.html
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/index.html
http://www.thebulletin.org/issues/nukenotes/nukenote.html

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