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Project: History of US Interventions

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Oct 1999

       The US Senate decides not to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (designed to prevent testing of nuclear weapons and hence reduce the chance of an arms race), drawing widespread criticism. [Article]

Dec 2001

       The Nuclear Posture Review is submitted to Congress, a comprehensive review laying out the direction for American nuclear forces over the next five to ten years. It looks at making America's atomic arsenal more 'usable' (rather than just as weapons of deterrence), talking about the development of new nuclear bunker-busting bombs and speculating that adhering to the Comprehensive Test Ban 'may not be possible for the indefinite future'. It also puts into question recent steps made by US and Russia towards reducing their nuclear arsenals. [Nuclear Posture review; Article; Article; Article; Article; Article]

Feb 19, 2003

       Documents leaked revealing that the Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including "mini-nukes", "bunker-busters" and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document. The meeting would also decide whether to restart nuclear testing and how to convince the American public that the new weapons are necessary. [Guardian article]

Mar 7, 2003

       The Pentagon asks the US Congress to lift a 10-year ban on developing small nuclear warheads, or "mini-nukes". [Guardian article; Article]

Apr 24, 2003

       The US regains the capability to make nuclear weapons for the first time in 14 years and resumes production of plutonium parts for bombs. [LA Times article; Article; Article; Article; Article; Article]

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