A World Free From Nuclear Weapons
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 minutes to midnight since Trump took office, 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 Red Button
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.
Stop a New Nuclear Arms Race
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 $1.7 trillion (that’s $1,700,000,000,000) 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.
Protect and Promote Nuclear Diplomacy
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.
Related Blog Posts
Washington, D.C. — February 28, 2019 — In response to the Hanoi summit meeting between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un ending without an agreement, Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action and Coordinator of the Korea Peace Network, released the following statement: “It’s unfortunate that the Hanoi Summit did not lead to an agreement, however, […]
Washington, D.C. — February 26, 2019 — In response to Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) introducing legislation to support diplomacy and the pursuit of peace on the Korean Peninsula, Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action and Coordinator of the Korea Peace Network, released the following statement: “This legislation offers a common sense vision for achieving peace […]
Washington, D.C. — January 31, 2019 — Ahead of the Trump administration’s expected suspension of U.S. obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and formal announcement of its intention to withdraw from the treaty, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement: “The INF Treaty put the kibosh on a class […]
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: […]
Washington, D.C. — January 29, 2019 — In response to Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) re-introducing the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act (H.R. 669 / S. 200), legislation to prevent the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a congressional declaration of war, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director […]
Washington, D.C. — January 18, 2019 — In response to the administration’s announcement that President Trump and Kim Jong-un will hold a second summit meeting near the end of February, Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action and Coordinator of the Korea Peace Network, released the following statement: “After months of scant visible progress in negotiations […]
Washington, D.C. — December 4, 2018 — In response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the U.S. will formally announce its intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 60 days if Russia does not come into compliance with the treaty by then, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy […]
(Photo: Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service / Jeon Han) This article was originally published on Common Dreams. Today is the International Day of Peace, an unfortunately lightly observed day, especially in the perpetually-at-war United States. However, Campaign Nonviolence, spurred by the group Pace e Bene, is helping coordinate various peace actions in the U.S. and worldwide. […]
Washington, D.C. — September 18, 2018 — In response to Reps. Adam Smith (D-WA) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) John Garamendi (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introducing bicameral legislation to prohibit research, development, production and deployment of a “low-yield” nuclear warhead for the Trident D-5 missile, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for […]
Pictured above, the Licorne test, 1971, French Polynesia. Photo: The Official CTBTO Photostream On 2 December 2009, United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35. The resolution calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions […]