I am honored to share with you the work of the Global Security Institute, the organization I am proud to serve as its President since 2000. The following link will bring you to our most recent eNewsletter, which reports on some of the remarkable activities of our dynamic programs, which work with leaders and influencers at the United Nations, in Congress, in key foreign ministries and parliaments around the world. I am including my introduction to our summer eNewsletter, “Building a Common Purpose,” below.
The impact of our work to build a secure world without nuclear weapons is demonstrable. As our effectiveness grows, our partnerships with key players strengthen, and our capacity to impact policy expands. With this growth and efficacy comes an increase in responsibility. We take our duties very seriously and the task we have set for ourselves to advance a more secure future is not a light one. We cannot accomplish it alone.
We are at a critical moment, both politically and organizationally. If you find the work of the Global Security Institute valuable to the creation of a safer, saner planet, I ask that you make a secure donation online today. Your moral support for our work is important too; find us on Facebook and share our links with your networks and together, I am sure that we can secure the support we need to survive.
I hope you enjoy reading the message below, and find the accompanying eNewsletter useful. On behalf of the entire GSI team, I thank you for your support.
Building a Common Purpose
Jonathan Granoff, President
The work of the programs described in this newsletter are designed to fulfill the aspirations of President Obama to obtain “the security of a world without nuclear weapons” which United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon characterized as “a global public good of the highest order.”
Our analysis guides our work. It is based on the sober recognition that despite a clear “ought”— a nuclear weapons free world— we are dealing with a challenging “is”: nuclear weapons states either modernizing their arsenals or committing to do so at enormous political, military and economic costs. (1)
These expenditures are taking place despite recent successes in arms control, such as the achievement of the new START between the US and Russia and the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, at which governments made over 60 commitments to action on non-proliferation and disarmament. In the United States alone, modernization efforts could top $200 billion.
Worldwide, these hundreds of billions of dollars could be spent on addressing real human security needs such as ending poverty, and protecting the climate, the rainforests and the oceans. These dollars are instead wasted on counterproductive endeavors that serve to perpetuate institutions that, in effect, endanger our security. Our work is to help change how security is pursued.
A simple example of how equations need to be changed can be seen in the 2012 US Department of Energy’s budget for Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. $1.2 billion dollars are requested. But look at the devilish details: 89% of that is for nuclear weapons, 7% for non-proliferation efforts, 3% for core science research and the remainder for renewable energy efforts. Yet, the public relations efforts highlight by a factor of nearly 9 to 1 the science and renewable energy work over the nuclear weapons work. This is not only a distortion of fact, but a distortion of values. T o obtain real security, the laboratory and other such institutions the world over should be spending ten times as much on advancing needed progress on renewable energy and ten times less on weapons. (2)
In the near future, will we see progress in obtaining a cut off on fissile materials, obtaining entry into force of the test ban treaty, bringing into effect additional safeguards in IAEA inspections and other nonproliferation threat reducing steps? Will we see progress on a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East? We believe that the speed of obtaining these valuable policies will be dramatically increased if there is an activated common purpose to obtain a nuclear weapons free world and engagement in the process to get there as soon as possible. Then non-proliferation and disarmament efforts become integrated processes that, step by step, make our purposes clearer and institute policies that make us safer.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Five Point Proposal on Nuclear Disarmament helps clarify and build that common purpose. It begins by calling for progress on a framework of instruments or nuclear weapons convention. States must begin now on a process, even if their efforts are preliminary and preparatory, to realize a verifiable, enforceable and universal ban on nuclear weapons. The programs described herein are designed to advance this process.
For those of you who help make this happen by working on these issues or supporting those who work on them, we express our deep appreciation.
(1) See: “Nuclear Weapons Threat Not Decreasing, Study Says,” Agence France-Presse, June 6, 2011.
(2) See: Kelley, Marylia, “Livermore Lab: Perception Versus Reality,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 28, 2011.