Sean Howard

The Lost Art of Nuclear Arms Control

The Lost Art of Nuclear Arms Control

November 29, 2017 at 1:40 pm

On 8 December 1987, US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty eliminating all ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometers. As the leaders shook hands in Washington, 2,692 such missiles were deployed across Europe, each armed withRead More

Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN, with the signed UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, 7 July 2017.
(Photo: Clare Conboy)

Will Canada Follow Where ICAN Leads?

November 8, 2017 at 12:08 pm

As was noted in Fast and Curious on October 6, the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), recognized for its “work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts toRead More

The USS Bainbridge shown conducting a missile exercise. (US Navy photo, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Canada and the Great Missile Defense Temptation

October 4, 2017 at 1:40 pm

The recent dramatic spike in tensions on the Korean Peninsula has sparked fresh calls for Canada to join the American Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system. Proponents of the system claim it can either intercept and destroy a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of striking North America – a dreadRead More

Kim Jong-un briefed by generals. (Image released by North Korean state news agency)

High Noon on the Korean Peninsula?

September 13, 2017 at 11:40 am

At noon local time, September 3, North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test, an estimated 100-120 kiloton detonation – seven or eight times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima – of what it claimed was a two-stage (fission-fusion) thermonuclear hydrogen warhead small enough to fit in the coneRead More

North Korea and the Bankruptcy of Brinksmanship

North Korea and the Bankruptcy of Brinksmanship

September 6, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Editor’s Note: In light of fast-moving developments, notably North Korea’s apparent hydrogen-bomb test on September 3, an update to this analysis will be provided shortly.   On Nagasaki Day 2017, hours after the city’s mayor, Tomihasa Taue, stated that “a strong sense of anxiety is spreading across the globe thatRead More

Mushroom cloud above Nagasaki after atomic bombing on August 9, 1945. Taken from the north west. Charles Levy from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack. (Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Heeding the Message of Nagasaki

August 9, 2017 at 12:03 pm

At 11:02 A.M. on 9 August 1945, an American B-29 bomber dropped a single bomb on the Japanese port city of Nagasaki. The bomb, nicknamed ‘Fat Man,’ contained a baseball of plutonium surrounded by 64 packs of high-explosive, timed to compress the warhead to a critical mass. As Susan SouthardRead More

Ambasssador Elayne Whyte Gómez, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) and President of the Conference. (Source: United Nations)

United Nations Bans the Bomb

July 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm

At nearly the eleventh hour – 10:47:53 A.M. – on Friday 7 July,  122 states, two thirds of the UN General Assembly, voted to adopt a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a dramatic step which may prove instrumental in determining the fate of the planet. The Netherlands, theRead More

Portrait of Siegfried Sassoon by By Glyn Warren Philpot, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Siegfried Sassoon’s Great Refusal

July 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm

On July 28, 1917, the left-wing British newspaper Workers’ Dreadnought (founded as Woman’s Dreadnought by the suffragette leader Sylvia Pankhurst) published an Open Letter from an unlikely source: the highly-decorated, reputedly-fearless Infantry Officer Siegfried ‘Mad Jack’ Sassoon. Recuperating from a throat wound, and nursing secret doubts about the nearly three-year-oldRead More

Joined-Up-Thinking: A Connected Approach to Disarmament

Joined-Up-Thinking: A Connected Approach to Disarmament

June 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Author’s Note: This article is dedicated to the memory of Celia Lorway (1944-2017), a member of Peace Quest Cape Breton and for many years a dedicated, articulate champion of human health, social justice, nuclear disarmament, and a world free of the scourge of war. At UN Headquarters in August 2002,Read More

Participants at UN Conference on Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, March 2017 (UN Photo)

To Ban or Not to Ban: A Canadian Dilemma

May 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm

On May 22, Ambassador Elayne White of Costa Rica, president of a UN disarmament panel, released a ‘Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.’ The draft treaty, while certain to be subject to scrutiny and revision, faithfully reflects the determination of the 130 states attending the panel’s March sessionRead More