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|Thursday, June 21, 2001, updated at 08:10(GMT+8)|
US Government Urged to Abandon Nuclear War PlanA US environmental organization has called on the Bush administration to get ride of its nuclear war plan aimed at Russian, China and other potential rivalries, and drastically whittle down its nuclear arsenal, presumably with more than 8,000 warheads at present, to a few hundred.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), in a study released on Tuesday, also called for shifting nuclear war planning to a civilian-military command under the oversight of U.S. Congress.
Under its nuclear attack plan, which was codified into a Single Integrated Operation Plan (SIOP) in 1960, the United States has directed thousands of nuclear warheads against numerous targets in Russia, China and some other Cold War "enemies," including factories, command bunkers and military bases.
According to the latest issue of Times magazine, 10 years after the Cold War came to an end, the United States now still possesses 5,400 warheads loaded on intercontinental ballistic missiles on land and at sea, an additional 1,750 nuclear bombs and cruise missiles ready to be launched from B-2 and B-52 bombers, a further 1,670 nuclear weapons classified as "tactical."
Under the latest SIOP, approved by President Bill Clinton in 1997, more than 2,000 warheads remain on constant alert on land- and-sea-based missiles, which can take off within 30 minutes once Russia, Chian or some other nations launch a surprise nuclear attack against the United States.
The NRDC's two-year study shows that a U.S. strike at Russian missile silos and other nuclear forces would kill 8 million to 12 million Russians. Another study concludes that a single U.S. Trident missile submarine, which carries 192 nuclear warheads, could inflict more than 50 million casualties if the missiles hit Russian cities.
In its latest study report, the NRDC complains that the U.S. nuclear weaponry stockpile is too large and should be cut off sharply. "At this stage in the disarmament process, a U.S. stockpile numbering in the hundreds is more than adequate to achieve the single purpose of deterrence," the NRDC said in the report.
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