Washington, D.C. — January 30, 2019 — In response to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introducing legislation to establish a policy that the U.S. will not use nuclear weapons first, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement:
“Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are wisely prioritizing a smarter approach to nuclear weapons in the new Congress with legislation to let the world know we won’t use them first. Declaring a policy that the U.S. will not use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack would bolster nonproliferation efforts and reduce the risk of nuclear war. Conversely, maintaining the right to use nuclear weapons first incentivizes other nations to pursue nuclear weapons to deter a potential U.S. first strike. Alongside U.S. plans to spend upwards of $1.7 trillion on nuclear weapons in the next three decades, and the Trump administration’s penchant for withdrawing from nuclear arms control agreements, we are charting a course for catastrophe. This legislation would walk us one step back from the precarious brink of nuclear war. With the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock still resting at two minutes to midnight, legislation that moves the clock back deserves bipartisan support.”
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at www.PeaceAction.org.