ACTION ALERT: A Critical Month for Nuclear Disarmament

August 6th, 2013 - by admin

David Culp / Friends Committee on National Legislation – 2013-08-06 00:59:51

ACTION ALERT: Ask Congress to Support Cuts to US Nuclear Weapons
Friends Committee on National Legislation

(August 5, 2013) — Leading up to a September summit between President Obama and Russian President Putin in Moscow, where nuclear weapons reductions will be discussed, members of Congress need to hear from you. Back in June, it was announced that military leaders had agreed to reduce the nuclear arsenal by one-third, a commonsense reduction that cuts the Cold War-style stockpile to better reflect the security needs of today.

This August, when we spend two days remembering the first use of nuclear weapons 68 years ago in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, support this first step towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

Please contact your members of Congress today. Click here to take action.

A Critical Month for Nuclear Disarmament
David Culp / Friends Committee on National Legislation

(August 5, 2013) — August is going to be a critical month for nuclear disarmament.

Following the advice of the Pentagon and the State Department, President Obama has proposed cutting the number of strategic nuclear weapons by another one-third and reducing the stockpile of weapons by up to half. He’s planning to discuss this proposal with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting in early September in Moscow.

But these proposals have received little public support in the United States and are not that popular in Russia. We can’t do much about Russia. But here in the United States we can use the month of August to persuade senators to offer public support for these common sense proposals to reduce the number of deployed nuclear weapons in both countries. Will you write to your senators today?

When President Obama announced in June, during a speech in Berlin, that he was following the advice of his military advisors who recommended cutting the US stockpile of nuclear weapons, his announcement received the public support of only one member of Congress.

Twelve members of Congress immediately attacked the proposal, and 24 senators said the president should not move ahead without the support of the Senate.

Congressional support for the proposed reductions is essential. If the president goes to Russia without much public support, it will be easier for opponents of this policy in Russia to argue against cooperation with the United States.

Here in the United States, without Congressional cooperation and assistance, it will be much more difficult to implement any proposal or agreement that may come out of the summit between Presidents Obama and Putin. Right now, there is resistance from Congress concerning reductions and decreasing nuclear weapons spending.

Your senators need to hear from you. They need to know that you support nuclear weapons reductions. They need to have public backing from their constituents so that they can then support this proposal.

August is critical to nuclear disarmament not only because of the Obama-Putin summit. It is also a time when nuclear weapons are more prominently featured in the news, often surrounding Hiroshima Day on August 6, the anniversary of the first time a nuclear weapon was used.

As we mark these grim anniversaries, let’s also work to make sure the world never faces this same kind of war again. August is a great time to send an op-ed about nuclear weapons to your local paper, or to submit a Letter to the Editor.

Mention your senators specifically by name. During the August recess, most members travel back home and meet with constituents.

Try to schedule a lobby visit with them or a staffer while they’re back in the district. Continued public pressure in support of further reductions is the best way to get members of Congress to support the reductions proposal.

You, our constituents, are the reason why we can be successful in our goal to get rid of nuclear weapons. We have eliminated 85 percent of US nuclear weapons in the last 25 years — but we are not done yet. Your involvement, dedication, smarts and willingness to speak out for what you think is right makes us unique. It gives us a presence in Washington. When I have meetings with Hill staffers, they know FCNL’s name because people have called or emailed and mentioned FCNL when they did.

This month is critical if we want progress to be made. Going into September and the summit, we need all the public support we can get. I hope you will take a few moments to write to your senators, and encourage them to support nuclear reductions.

And, once you’ve done that, ask your friends, family and community to do the same. We need your help. A world free of nuclear weapons won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen without people like you. Please call or email your senators today.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the B61 Nuclear Bomb

The Energy Department is planning to spend $10 billion to refurbish the B61 nuclear bomb, the oldest weapon in the nuclear arsenal that serves little military purpose. Please ask your representative and senator within the next few weeks to oppose funding for the B61 nuclear bomb.

The planned refurbishment is ambitious and unnecessary. With around 400 bombs undergoing refurbishment, each individual bomb would cost around $25 million, making it the most expensive nuclear warhead in the arsenal. Approximately 200 nuclear bombs are stored at NATO bases in Europe, and opposition to their expense and presence is growing.

Congress will be deciding whether to fund this bomb or not over the next few months. Now is the time to contact your representative! Click Here.

Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet

Daniel Ellsberg recently related a conversation from his days as a Pentagon nuclear war strategist. Ellsberg recalled a meeting with Herb York, the first director of the Lawrence Livermore National Labs. The meeting involved a discussion of arms reduction options.

Asked for an estimate of the smallest number of nuclear weapons the US would need to deploy to establish “deterrence,” York referenced a comment by McGeorge Bundy (National Security Advisor to presidents Kennedy and Johnson). Bundy replied pragmatically that effective deterrence would required “only one nuclear bomb.”

That’s still one bomb too many. As we used to say: “One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.”

It’s time to save billions of dollars and remove the risk of an atomic apocalypse by — finally — retiring the world’s tens of thousands of “doomsday” weapons.