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Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 15:55:04 +1000
To:,, [etc]
From: FoE Sydney - Nuclear Campaign <>

Appeal: The Most Important Issue In The World Between Now And December 31

Fax Yeltsin, Clinton To Take N-Weapons Off Alert Over Y2k Now.

Sign The Nuke Weapons De-Alerting Letter To Yeltsin/Clinton
(TEXT at
to sign, email

Faxes for
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: +1-202-456-2461,

Dear All,

You will be getting many messages of this kind because this is possibly the most important single issue that can ever come your way between now and the next year.

Following this appeal there are two sample letters, one from FOE Australia and one from Bob Tiller of PSR USA.

I urge you to act on them. The fax campaign starts Sept 1, TODAY!

I am writing to urge you to fax Presidents Yeltsin and Clinton from today onwards to take strategic nuclear weapons off alert before December, and to ask that the de- alerting of strategic nuclear weapons be discussed at the coming September 21 meeting of the G8.

Also if you are an organisation or a 'prominent' person, please sign the big sign - on letter to Yeltsin and Clinton. It's already been faxed a few times, and will be faxed again and again as it grows before December. The text is on the website at

To sign email THIS ADRESS. (

This is of absolutely vital importance. Getting 5000 nuclear missiles off alert status before the Y2k bug plays havoc with their command and control systems is just about the most important thing anyone can possibly do.

Arguably there is simply no other issue this important between now and December/January. It might be literally a matter of survival.

Can you get this appeal and the two sample letters out to your networks as fast as you can and ask them to fax it immediately?

If people wish to customise from the two letters that is best.

It's important I think, to get it out as fast as possible.

Please use the fax numbers I have provided. The numbers here work. I've just checked them. If they (especially Yeltsins one) seem not to work be patient. I tries it just now, got busy then weird type telecommunication noises, then a fax tone. Be patient. Keep trying. if they take these numbers out of operation I will supply others but not until I am sure.)

Try and get everyone you know to do it.

If you are a large organisation please try and get all your members to do it.

Many thanks and may the fax gremlins smile on you!

John Hallam.



PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON, +1-202-456-2461,

Dear Presidents Yeltsin, and Clinton,
I am writing to you to convey my extreme concern over the possibility that Y2K -related problems in the computerised command, control, and monitoring systems of nuclear forces and weapon systems, may give rise to an unacceptable risk of accidental nuclear war, as a result of incorrect data and miscalculation. I therefore urge you to solve the problem by taking your nuclear forces off alert, or by standing them down.

I ask that standing down nuclear forces in view of the problems posed by the 'Millennium Bug', be a matter for urgent priority discussions at the G8 Summit in Berlin on Sept 21. As well asY2K considerations, taking nuclear weapons off alert will increase strategic stability and confidence, and eliminate the possibility of accidental nuclear war.

I would remind you that your two countries have some 5000 strategic nuclear weapons that are able to be fired within a time span of 15-30 minutes.

This must never happen. Should it do so, not only would your two countries cease to exist, but it is entirely possible that human life and maybe all life life on the planet, could be terminated.

Any risk of this happening at any time, Y2K or otherwise, no matter how small, is unacceptable.

However, the Y2K problem adds another layer of uncertainty to the risk that already exists.

Taking nuclear forces off alert was strongly recommended by the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in 1996, and a number of resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly have urged that it be done.

Taking nuclear weapons off alert and placing them in a state in which hours to days rather than minutes or seconds would be required to make them launch ready, would effectively eliminate the risk of accidental nuclear war due to the Y2K computer problem. It would also make impossible the many non-Y2K related problems that have many times brought us to within minutes of a possible nuclear exchange.

De-Alerting will cost you nothing, and can be done by a simple executive order to stand down nuclear forces.

The UK has already altered its 'notice to fire' from minutes to days.

We/I urge you to do likewise.

The stakes involved far outweigh any considerations of national pride, national interest, or even national security. Indeed, the immediate stakes are so high, and the potential for global catastrophe so clear that mutually verified de- alerting must now take precedence over all other considerations.


Dear Presidents Yeltsin and Clinton:

The Cold War ended years ago, but the nuclear danger endures, menacing us all. Thousands of nuclear weapons remain on high-alert in the United States and Russia. Although both countries have announced their "de-targeting" of the other, that step is virtually meaningless when both countries keep their weapons on alert and maintain a launch-on-warning posture.

Keeping nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert does not add to the security of either nation; indeed it makes all of us less secure. You are well aware of the various occasions when Russia and the U.S. came close to launching nuclear weapons because of misunderstanding or poor data. Removing the weapons from hair-trigger alert would eliminate the risk of hasty reaction.

Therefore I urge you to lessen the nuclear danger by removing all nuclear weapons from high-alert. This can be accomplished in a matter of weeks without treaty negotiation or ratification.

This approach has worked before. In 1991 President George Bush took the bold step of removing hundreds of U.S. nuclear weapons from high-alert status, and in response Mikhail Gorbachev did the same with hundreds of Soviet weapons. Now we need similar courageous leadership to finish the process that they started.

De-alerting takes on added urgency this year. When January 1, 2000 arrives, no one will know if all of the Y2K computer problems have been fixed. Why court disaster by having nuclear warheads on hair-trigger alert when we do not know how the computers in the nuclear system will function?

Last year the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution which calls on the nuclear weapons states to de-alert their weapons. It is wise counsel. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, please de-alert all nuclear weapons now.


John Hallam
Friends of the Earth Sydney,
17 Lord street, Newtown, NSW, Australia,
Fax(61)(2)9517-3902   ph (61)(2)9517-3903

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