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Norwegian Organizations Against U.S. Radar

8.11.2008 - Stine Rødmyr, Bent Natvig, Tordis Høifødt
The following letter was sent on 19th of August 2008 to Czech and Polish ambassadors in Oslo by three peace organizations including the Norwegian subdivision of renowned international Pugwash Conference awarded by the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.

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To the Honorable Ambassadors of the Czech Republic and the Republic of Poland,

Regarding Nuclear Weapons and Missile Defenses

Your Excellencies,

We, the three signatory organizations, work for the elimination of nuclear weapons. We are opposed to missile defenses because they threaten the process of nuclear disarmament. Missile defenses are ineffective, spur nuclear arms races, and impede cooperation to reduce the nuclear threat. The net effect is a loss of security.


Missile defenses counteract the positive trend. Although presented as a purely defensive weapon, the missile defenses do stand the risk of upsetting the geopolitical balance and spur new arms races – including a race towards weaponisation of space. The 95 US scientists urge the next president of the US not to deploy the missile defenses, because in their view the result may be a net decrease in security.


For the NPT, the missile defenses are a recipe for disaster. Missile defenses could deliver a final blow to the restraint mechanisms of the non-proliferation regime, and a confirmation of indefinite retention of nuclear arms, i.e., a spiral almost certainly ending in catastrophe.


What is the real motivation for Poland and the Czech Republic? During the signing of the deal in Prague on July 8th, both Foreign Ministers Schwarzenberg and Rice insisted that this deal - and the missile defense - is important for the whole region. Though, if regional security were at the heart of the matter, there is no reason why the Czech government should not approach this under the umbrella of either NATO or the EU.

By signing a bilateral treaty with the US, the Czech Republic is taking a geopolitically crucial decision on behalf of the whole of Europe. Such a mandate has never been given to the Czech Republic. This was also pointed out in the debates in the European Parliament. Loss of security would not be limited to the few European countries with US installations, but would be shared by people all over the continent. We believe in the democratic principle that the opinion of all affected people should be heard, both in the countries directly involved and elsewhere.


Oslo August 19, 2008

Stine Rødmyr, No to nuclear weapons
Bent Natvig, Pugwash Norway
Tordis Høifødt, IPPNW Norway

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