The U.S. and Russia spent decades and billions of dollars building arsenals and fighting proxy wars to become THE hegemonic power of the world during the “Cold War”. Finding Russia’s old and in many cases missing nuclear material is a top priority for our Representatives but it seems some in the Senate are still unsure what to do with our nuclear weapons.
If you read this blog you’ve heard of the reliable replacement warhead (RRW). You know that Congress zeroed out funding. That the Senate still needs to vote and there are some shaky suckers on the Senate who need a reality check. Bush is touting RRW as a ‘security measure’ (like his friend Regan) saying we cannot have old nuclear weapons sitting around our country. Bennett Ramberg, who served in the State Dept under George H. W. Bush, disagrees.
In an article in the Baltimore Sin Bennett deconstructs Bush’s argument while outlining the hazardous consequences of this program. Here’s a sampling.
- Myth: stockpiles from the Cold War are aging and hazardous.
- Both are true, nuclear weapons are hazardous and these particular weapons are aged but still deadly. In 1993 the Clinton administration put forth the stockpile stewardship program to “ensure the preservation of the core intellectual competencies of the U.S. in nuclear weapons, including weapons design, system integration, manufacturing, security, use control reliability assessment in certification.” Part of this program includes a lab that virtually replicates tests on the current stockpile and suggests fixes in the event problems emerge.
- Myth: These weapons are ‘unreliable’
- “In 2006, government scientists concluded that the stockpile’s plutonium cores will last at least 100 years.” Those found to be deteriorating were found and replaced.
- Myth: These RRW is based on weapons from the 1980’s so will not need to be tested. The U.S. will remain in compliance with the Test Ban Treaty.
- The RRW is not an exact replica of this older weapon therefore it WILL need to be tested somewhere. We discovered back in the 1950’s how hazardous nuclear testing is to our planet. Ask anyone from the Marshall Islands how they feel about nuclear testing and you’ll get a full idea of the human cost.
Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced S.1914, a bill which stops funding the RRW until a new nuclear policy and posture review are completed. This is the more sensible way to proceed than RRW. Tell your Senator TODAY!