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NATO, arms control, Vatican

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March 25, 2010
Overhaul NATO – study
A study by two of Canada’s leading defence, foreign affairs and security institutes is calling for a major overhaul of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO). Their report, Security in an Uncertain World: A Canadian Perspective on NATO’s New Strategic Concept, lays out 10 recommendations that would significantly reform the organization. SFU political scientist Alexander Moens was involved in the study and can provide comment. For study details see: www.natoconcept.ca

Alexander Moens, 778.782.3461; 604.858.0917; moens@sfu.ca

Zero nukes could be ‘dangerous’
The nuclear arms-control agreement reached this week between the U.S. and Russia “is long-awaited good news,” says SFU political scientist Doug Ross, who specializes in national and global security issues. But Ross says the central issue NATO governments have not yet addressed is whether heading very close to zero nukes is a constructive – or dangerous – idea. “When do the numbers on each side become so small that incentives for, and the feasibility of, disarming first strikes become unduly risky?” says Ross.  He says both Russia and China are vulnerable to non-nuclear counterforce attacks that could severely compromise their ability to retaliate against a further American nuclear first-strike. “How will the future treaty process begin to address this current vulnerability? It’s something that is only likely to get worse, given the immense disparity in spending on advanced missiles, anti-ballistic missile defences, space-based sensors, and evolving anti-satellite capabilities.”

Doug Ross, political science, 778.782.4782; douglasr@sfu.ca

Widening pedophilia scandal looms over Vatican
Yesterday, an Irish bishop resigned over failing to report cases of sex abuse by priests in his diocese to the police. Today, the New York Times published a front-page story today on how Vatican officials—including the future Pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger—declined to defrock a U.S. priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys between 1950 and 1974. SFU historian Hilmar Pabel and communication lecturer Michael Markwick can comment on the widening scandal, which is leaving North Americans with a sickening sense of déjà vu over similar scandals on this continent in recent decades.

Hilmar Pabel, 778.782.5816, hilmar_pabel@sfu.ca
Michael Markwick, 778.782.2864 (h); 604.710.9300 (cell), mrm@sfu.ca

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