Archive for category Depleted uranium

Israeli depleted uranium weapons, escalation

In September, 2007, Israel bombed a Syrian military facility it claimed was producing a nuclear weapon of some sort. Syria, which is a signatory of the nuclear proliferation treaty (Israel is not) denied the claim. The site was investigated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which found traces of uranium, but declined to suggest that indicated a nuclear weapons program. Another possibility raised was that the uranium present was introduced by the weapons used by the Israelis to bomb the facility. (Recent news)

According to the BBC, Israel is known to have depleted uranium weapons, but Israel claims that it doesn’t use them. Others disagree. In 2005/2006 Israel acquired depleted uranium  GBU-28 ‘bunker busting’ bombs from the US (the first sale of these outside the USwhich were used against Hezbollah in Lebanon. It has been stated that the original purpose of the sale was to give the Israelis the means to attack Iran’s nuclear fuel processing facilities. (reference) In September, 2008, the Bush administration approved the sale of 1,000 more ‘bunker buster’s’ to Israel. Some argue that this was a precondition for Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear fuel processing facility.

Since Canadian depleted uranium is intermingled with uranium from other sources in the US, it is a certainty that some Canadian depleted uranium has been used in the Israeli weapons.

General reference

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Canada’s role in the arms trade

There are myriad ways that Canada and Canadian companies contribute to the arms trade. Few modern technologically based weapons are made exclusively from the resources and technology of one country. Rather they are assembled from the parts, expertise, and resources of many countries. While Canada is a relatively small arms exporter compared to other countries, the amounts are not insubstantial. Furthermore, because the NAFTA free trade agreement with the US reduces the reporting of exports, some arms trade exports are not well recorded, and a great deal of material exported from Canada probably ends up in weapons manufactured and exported from the US.

I believe that the majority of the arms trade originating in Canada probably falls into the following categories:

  1. Depleted uranium fuel exported to the US and subsequently used in DU weapons.
  2. Direct exports (of which the biggest categories are small arms ammunitions, and armoured vehicles)
  3. Other material used in weapons that is exported to other countries, possibly without the exporter being aware of the intended ultimate use.

This article is a ‘stub’ that will be expanded, with references.

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