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29.11.2011: INES 20th Anniversary

"What's new in INES" - February 1, 2010

Contents

APPEALS

Statement of INES on the occasion of the Afghanistan Conference in London on 28.1.2010:
Afghanistan: War is not the Answer – More Troops Mean More War


REPORTS FROM RECENT EVENTS

Successful conference in Nagpur/India on the role of scientists and engineers for social responsibility in developing countries

The recordings of the speeches of Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran on "Climate change and conflicts" and of Prof. Dr. Claus Montonen on "Environmental impact of military activities" at the Klimaforum 09 can now be found on the INES website: www.inesglobal.com/events-2009.phtml
Klimaforum 09, December 13, 2009

ACTIVITIES OF INES MEMBERS

Please support the Anglican University College of Technology, Ghana

India: Scientists against the nuclear bomb
By Dhirendra Sharma



APPEALS

Statement of INES on the occasion of the Afghanistan Conference in London on 28.1.2010: Afghanistan: War is not the Answer – More Troops Mean More War

President Obama’s recent decision to send 30,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan is part of a larger trend of escalating violence in a country renowned for being a graveyard of empires. Additional NATO troops are also being sent. The pressure on “not yet willing” NATO states has increased dramatically – especially on Germany which is supposed to increase its troops by 50 percent.

The president’s decision to add nearly 50 percent more US troops to the occupation of Afghanistan will, together with troops from other NATO countries, bring total troop levels to around 150,000 – approximately the same number of troops deployed by the Soviet Union in their failed war in the 1980s. The US invasion and occupation of Iraq and the NATO war in Afghanistan have shown that true stability and democracy cannot be imposed through violence. Instead the war will be expanded to neighbouring countries, above all Pakistan.

Sending more US and NATO troops to Afghanistan will lead to more US/NATO casualties. The war in Afghanistan has already claimed the lives of nearly 1,000 US troops and more than 500 soldiers from other NATO countries and has severely impacted the lives of countless others through repeated deployments, serious injuries and post traumatic stress disorder.

Sending more US/NATO troops to Afghanistan will create more casualties among the Afghan people. Civilian deaths in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion are estimated at between 12,000 and 32,000. More than 200,000 Afghan people have been displaced. Increased US troop numbers in Afghanistan are likely to result in increased civilian deaths, injuries and displacements.

Sending more US troops to Afghanistan will breed more extremists. A US intelligence report in early 2009 showed that only one-tenth of enemy fighters in Afghanistan are ideologically-motivated Taliban; the vast majority are fighting against foreign occupiers or for personal economic gain. The continued war in Afghanistan will perpetuate conditions conducive to recruiting by al Qaeda and other extremist groups. Civilian casualties, indefinite detentions and destruction of property only create more extremists. The continuation of the war and especially the drastically increasing numbers of civilian victims will lead to more hate and violence.

Sending more US/NATO troops to Afghanistan will lead to increased financial burden. It is estimated that it will cost an additional $1 million per year for each individual troop sent to Afghanistan. According to the National Priorities Project, total US costs for the war in Afghanistan in 2010 are estimated at $325 billion. Especially at a time of high unemployment, economic hardship and a massive federal budget deficit in the US, this spending is not responsible. Europe is also struggling with the economic crisis; financial resources are desperately needed for securing jobs and economic growth.

Sending more US/NATO troops to Afghanistan means an increase of militarization of society, a decrease of democracy in the participating countries, and a strengthening of authoritarian potential in many countries.


Conclusion and Recommendations
War does not solve any problem. Only the withdrawal of NATO and US troops will bring peace closer. Foreign troops are a part of the problem – not part of the solution. They do not bring peace, but exacerbate problems. The military is the wrong tool for solving the problems in Afghanistan. It is akin to using a chainsaw for surgery rather than a scalpel. The most effective ways to deal with extremist groups, such as al Qaeda, are through international cooperation in intelligence gathering and law enforcement. Only the overcoming of hunger, poverty, and exploitation, along with the creation of just structures, will deprive the terrorists of their societal support. A recent study by the RAND Corporation shows that only seven percent of terrorist groups were defeated by military force in the past 40 years.

For the reasons set forth above, we urge Congress of the US and the parliaments of all NATO countries not to fund additional troops in Afghanistan.

The conference in London should decide on a withdrawal of all foreign troops.

Instead of investing in war, the US Congress and European parliaments should help in funding the rebuilding of Afghanistan’s infrastructure and support the Afghan people in building institutions of social justice such as schools, courts and health care clinics. Respect for the US and NATO governments in Afghanistan and around the world would increase significantly by providing 50 percent of the resources currently being spent on the war in Afghanistan for these constructive purposes. The money should be given to decentralised and regional democratically legitimated structures and should be given only after new elections bring a government that recognizes its responsibility to the people and not to the warlords. Non-governmental organizations should support this process.

We request that the United Nations agree on a new and peaceful mandate under Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter.

The Afghanistan Conference is a turning point – either toward a Vietnam-like escalation for the US and NATO, or toward peace after 30 years of war in Afghanistan.

Therefore, INES appeals to every peaceful person in the world and to all peace and social justice movements: Let us raise our voices for peace in Afghanistan, saying Yes to more civilian aid, and No to more troops. Continued war will not solve the problems of poverty, injustice and poor governance in Afghanistan.


REPORTS FROM RECENT EVENTS

Scientists for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World
Role of scientists and engineers for social responsibility in developing countries
2nd national conference, 17. January 2010, Nagpur/India

Successful conference organised by INES, the Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament & Environmental Protection, the Indian Campaign to Ban Landmines & Cluster Munitions and IPPNW.

82 participants from all the parts of India attended the conference. Participants included various high ranking scientists, engineers, researchers, policy makers, intellectuals, legal experts, scientists, social workers and young scientists.

Keynote speakers were:

Admiral Ramdas (Retd.), former Chief of the Indian Navy

Mr. M.D Date, Chairman, Institution of Engineers of India

Mr G.S.Saini, Director, National Civil Defence College, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India

Dr. Tapan Chakarabarty, Director, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India

Dr. Ramesh Thakre, Vice-Chairman Bharat Krishak Samaj, Former World Bank/ADBEx. World Bank/ADB/USAID-Project advisor in Africa

Dr. S. M.Taley, Professor of Agriculture Engineering and Director of the Agro-ecology and Environmental Center, A.D.Agriculture University

Read report: 2nd_INES_conference.pdf (218K)

Contact: Dr. Balkrishna Kurvey: iipdep_ngpsancharnetin


ACTIVITIES OF INES MEMBERS

Please support the Anglican University College of Technology, Ghana
By Prof. Marian Ewurama Addy

A new University College of Technology has been established in Ghana, the Anglican University College of Technology (ANGUTECH), www.angutech.edu.gh

I am writing to request the members of INES to consider assisting this University College in terms of staffing and equipment. Currently, I am the President of ANG.U.TECH, a highly focussed tertiary institution which is to offer programmes in engineering and the sciences only, at least, at its inception. This is because of a felt need in this area for the development of the country. We have not admitted students yet because we intend to establish the institution properly, with the requisite resources in terms of staff and equipment, before opening our doors to students.

There are only a limited number of engineers and scientists in the country and that is the reason why ANG.U.TECH decided to focus on engineering and science programs. There are even fewer engineers in the country who are able and willing to teach at a university level.
I am therefore looking for such engineers from INES to help us. There could be such people in Europe who may not necessarily look for a permanent appointment in a country such as Ghana, but would want to spend some time, six months or a year abroad, to help us out by teaching a course or two during that period. Because the programmes are modular, one could teach a module or two in a specified period of time and leave. Of course, those who will be able to stay on a more permanent basis would be most welcome.

We plan to have blended system of teaching and learning. We are therefore preparing to install dedicated telecommunication system, including satellite, so that we can have web- or computer-based teaching and learning in addition to the traditional face-to-face mode. The lecturers may therefore choose to stay in Europe and teach our students, coming here only for a short while to interact with our students. If some organisations/institutions can also help us with the infrastructure for the communication system, we would be most grateful. This is because we planned our university college as a multi-campus institution and the locations where the campuses that we are likely to start from are outside the large metropolitan cities, where communication via satellite is the most reliable for the time being.

Most of the people who have applied to be lecturers are young and inexperienced. The experienced members of INES could help us by mentoring our young lecturers and helping them and the institution to grow. The mentoring can take various forms.

I hope that a number of INES members would be interested and thus help us to grow and be part of the world so that our young ones do not feel left out, one of the reasons why some tend to be so wayward.
Best regards

Marian Ewurama Addy
Contact: presidentangutechedugh

Prof. Ewurama Addy, a retired professor of Biochemistry, was on the 29th of March, 2008 appointed the First President/Vice Chancellor of the Anglican University College of Technology(ANGUTECH), making her the first female Vice Chancellor in Ghana.


India: Scientists against the nuclear bomb
By Dhirendra Sharma

The recent visit of the Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Yukio Hatoyama offered an opportunity for India to lead the United Nations towards a Nuclear weapons free world order. Japan and India can respond to challenges of the 21st century. It is an historical irony that the Japanese premier, asking New Delhi to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to accept the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Now, the next review Conference of the Nuclear-Non-Proliferation Treaty is due in May 2010, in New York. Today, liberal leadership is at the helm of world affairs including Japan, Australia, Germany, Britain, and the United States. Germany and most European Union states had urged the United States to remove all the nuclear warheads from Europe. The Italian parliament called for a European Union to be Nuclear Free Zone.
At this historical juncture, the Japanese premier’s personal appeal to India particularly as the Obama presidency is actively working towards strengthening the NPT is significant. In 2006, the UN General Assembly had called for negotiations leading to an early conclusion of a Nuclear Weapon Convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, deployment stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination.
The campaign against nuclear weapons, in fact, was initiated by our young Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. In January 1986, he met Michail Gorbachev with a Five Continent Peace Initiative “to stop the development, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons, to freeze nuclear arsenals and embark on their reduction, to prevent the arms race from spreading to space, and to conclude a treaty banning all nuclear tests.” In November that year, Gorbachev came to India and with the Russian leader and Rajiv they jointly issued the Delhi Peace Declaration, declaring that In the nuclear age, mankind must develop a new political thinking… which provides sound guarantees for the survival of mankind. The Delhi Declaration emphasized urgency to give priority to universal human values, and to replace the balance of fear with a global system of international security free from the weapons of mutual assured destruction.

In the next NPT Review Conference in New York (March 2010) India can reaffirm the Delhi Peace Declaration for making the nuclear free world.
The problem is not so much technical rather than political and psychological. If the New Delhi government allowed public debate and the people know the eco-logical consequences of nuclear wars they would force the leaders to move to peaceful co - existence policy.
The War - science systems are now so advanced to the levels of unprecedented destructive force that a nuclear war would be the final tragedy for entire human race. No more nuclear weapons are considered ‘the currency of power’ and it is misleading to believe that the N-weapons helped keep the world peace. The political leaders should rise above the narrow sectarian divides and find ways for coexistence in the conflicting world order. In the present level of nuclear capability between India and Pakistan, there is absolutely no necessity for us to continue with the stockpiled nuclear arsenals. Any single nuclear radiation release either by accident or intention would be sufficient to make the (Indian sub-continent unfit for human civilisation.
Particularly now during the Obama Effect, the world’s concerned scientists are demanding total and comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons and the production of fissile material. India cannot ignore the historic call against the nuclear weapons. India must accept the hand of Japan in leading the Peace Initiative at the forthcoming NPT Review Conference in New York.

Dhirendra Sharma
Centre for Science Policy/Concerned Scientists & Philosophers,
"Nirmal-Nilay", Dehradun 248009 (India).
+(0135) 2735 627.Mob. 989788 3741
Mo. 989788 3741.
dhirensharma32gmailcom
www.psaindia.org