Mushroom Cloud Cancelled
DTRA encountered firm resistance to its Divine Strake mission, designed to test the capabilities of a high-yield conventional bunker-busting bomb. Opposition centered on rumors that the payload would in fact be low-yield nuclear, or that it would release older radioactive materials deposited in the soil from tests in the 1950’s. On March 30, 2006, Director Tegnelia commented that, “It is the first time in Nevada that you'll see a mushroom cloud ... since we stopped testing nuclear weapons.” After attempted backtracking and assertions that no nuclear testing or mushroom clouds would be involved, the test, scheduled for June 2006, was delayed and ultimately cancelled on February 22, 2007.
Eliminating WMD by Deploying Them
Although the DTRA’s entire purpose is the elimination of WMD to ensure greater safety and stability, somewhat ironically the DTRA supports a strong, credible, quickly deployable U.S. nuclear arsenal as an essential deterrence measure.
Foreign policy has often run in direct contrast to the agency’s mission, posing the question of its relevance. Acting Assistant Secretary of State Stephen Rademaker’s remarks
at the 2006 UN Conference of Disarmament called for a simple multilateral disarmament treaty without verification measures. He argued that achieving consensus on a verification method would be impossible, and that any compromise verification measure would be subject to cheating. This speech coincides with a general movement on the part of the U.S. away from strict verification for non-proliferation treaties, as can also be seen in the most recent SORT
treaty with Russia which has proven less binding than its START
Paving the Way to Invade Iraq
A War Against the Peacemaker
(by George Monbiot, The Guardian)