In the Trump era, the threat of nuclear war is the highest it’s been in decades. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved its famed doomsday clock from three minutes to two and a half minutes to midnight, midnight representing nuclear catastrophe. They cited President Trump’s reckless and ignorant comments on nuclear weapons as one of the main reasons for the change, and rightly so. Trump has asked “if we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?” He’s called for greatly expanding our nuclear arsenal, and when questioned on the dangers of that proposal, he said “let it be an arms race.”
No one should have the power to unilaterally start a nuclear war, but Trump’s finger on the proverbial red button makes the need to change our nuclear command and control structure all the more urgent. As it stands, president Trump could launch a nuclear first strike unilaterally, with zero input from Congress. That’s why we’re working to build support for legislation from Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) that would require a declaration of war from Congress in order for the president to launch a nuclear first strike. You can click here to take action now by urging your members of Congress to support this important legislation.
We’re also advocating for the U.S. to take our nuclear weapons off of hair-trigger alert, a status that allows for their launch within a matter of minutes. Keeping our nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert increases the risk of accidental nuclear war. Since nuclear weapons were created, multiple close calls have occurred, for example when a flock of Canadian geese was once misinterpreted as an incoming Soviet nuclear bomber attack.
We’re working to stem the expansion of our nuclear arsenal that began under President Obama, but is escalating under Trump. This so-called “modernization” program is really a euphemism for rebuilding our nuclear arsenal from head to toe, at an estimated cost of $1.2 trillion (that’s $1,200,000,000,000) over the next three decades. Not only can our nation not afford this absurd price tag, this escalation is also contributing to a new nuclear arms race between virtually all the nuclear weapons states, but particularly the U.S. and Russia, making the whole world less safe.
To address this threat, we’re working to raise public and congressional opposition to this ill-advised escalation, and working to cut funding for the most destabilizing aspects of the expansion. In that vein, we’re supporting legislation known as the SANE Act, introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and named after Peace Action’s earlier name, the Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy, which would cut a modest but critical $100 billion from this nuclear weapons spending spree over the next ten years.
From the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to the New Start Treaty to the Iran nuclear agreement and others, we’re working to ensure that the U.S. lives up to its commitments under treaties and agreements we’ve already signed onto.
We’re also encouraging the U.S. to participate in further nuclear diplomacy with Russia and other nuclear-armed nations to accelerate the reduction of the world’s nuclear arsenals, and take steps to decrease the threat of nuclear war. Unfortunately, the U.S. and other nuclear-armed states boycotted the successful United Nations effort to negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons, but that didn’t stop Peace Action, and 122 of the world’s nations, from supporting and passing it through the U.N. General Assembly.
In the current geopolitical climate, one of the most pressing issues in need of nuclear diplomacy is the growing threat of war with North Korea. The U.S. must drop its preconditions and come to the table to see if we can first negotiate a freeze on North Korea’s nuclear weapons development.
Washington, D.C. — November 20, 2017 — In response to President Trump’s designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement: “North Korea has sponsored and committed terrible acts, but the critical question right now is how do we resolve this nuclear crisis […]
WASHINGTON — November 6, 2017 — Today, hundreds of national civil society organizations from Japan, South Korea and the United States issued a joint statement calling for a diplomatic resolution of the crisis of belligerent rhetoric between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Based in countries whose populations could […]
This article was originally published in The Hill. Days before President Trump’s first presidential trip to Asia, where the crisis with North Korea will be high on the agenda in meetings with leaders in Japan, South Korea, and China, members of Congress are reasserting their constitutional role as gatekeepers of American military action, a critical […]
Washington, D.C. — October 31, 2017 — In response to the new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the projected costs ($1.2 trillion) of U.S. nuclear forces from 2017-2046, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement: “It’s truly fitting that the CBO’s new projections are […]
Joint statement by Beyond the Bomb, CREDO, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Indivisible, J Street, MoveOn.org Civic Action, NIAC Action, Peace Action, VoteVets, Win Without War, and Women’s Action for New Directions on Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear agreement. Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear agreement — also known as […]
Washington, D.C. — October 13, 2017 — President Trump gave a speech today outlining a new strategy on Iran that includes, among other things, decertifying the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Under legislation passed ahead of the signing of the agreement, the president is required to certify or decertify the agreement every 90 days. Trump’s speech took […]
This week, the Iran Nuclear Agreement – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – is under very real threat. Under legislation passed before the agreement was signed, the president has to certify Iran’s compliance, or lack thereof, with the agreement every 90 days. The next deadline is on October 15. While President […]
Washington, D.C. — October 11, 2017 — In response to reports that President Trump wanted a tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement: “Already, the estimated $1.5 trillion cost of rebuilding U.S. nuclear warheads and their delivery systems […]
Washington, D.C. — October 6, 2017 — On the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize award to ICAN, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement: “The Nobel Committee wisely awarded ICAN the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in showing the horrible humanitarian affects of nuclear weapons […]
This article was originally published on CommonDreams.org. Under legislation passed ahead of the Iran Deal, the president has to certify Iran’s compliance with the agreement every 90 days. So far Trump has certified Iran’s compliance twice, but the second time, reports surfaced that Trump’s advisors had to talk him out of decertifying. Since then, Trump has said […]