Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War

January 16th, 2019 - by admin

The Back from the Brink Task Force – 2019-01-16 00:03:34

Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War
The Back from the Brink Task Force

“The fate of the world and the future of the human race,
is involved with preventing a nuclear war.”

— John F. Kennedy, Third Nixon-Kennedy Debate, October 13, 1960.

(January 8, 2019) — Thank you and your organization for endorsing Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War earlier this year. Today, this important national initiative is gaining momentum and giving a voice on this issue to a wide range of local, state and national organizations and elected officials around the country.

Over the last year, the cities of Baltimore and Los Angeles passed Back from the Brink resolutions, as did the CA legislature, the US Conference of Mayors and other smaller municipalities.

And the urgency of now is all too stark.

President Trump is taking a wrecking ball to the idea that nations must work together to address global challenges, including the two major threats to humanity: climate change and nuclear weapons. The president has withdrawn the United States from a number of critical international agreements, including the Paris climate accord and the multilateral Iran nuclear deal.

More recently, he announced that the United States is preparing to withdraw from one of President Reagan’s most significant accomplishments — the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which globally eliminated all land-based, medium-range US and Russian missiles (those with ranges between 300 and 3,500 miles).

On top of that, President Trump and his “go it alone” National Security Advisor, John Bolton, have threatened to walk away from the 2010 New START Treaty, which limits US and Russia long-range strategic nuclear weapons.

Walking away from these two critical treaties — combined with the current plans to spend up to $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years to rebuild the entire nuclear arsenal including building new, more usable nuclear weapons — is a disaster in the making that is setting the stage for a new, costly, dangerous global nuclear arms race.

We can’t let this happen and here’s how you can help. When the new Congress convened in January, the US House installed new leadership, including Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), who will assume the chair of the critical House Armed Services Committee. Rep. Smith is an outspoken, well-respected advocate for nuclear reductions and fundamental reform of US nuclear weapons policy, including the adoption of a policy stating the United States will never use nuclear weapons first.

Rep. Smith has pledged to use his position and influence to institute positive policy changes — but he needs our help. Importantly, the letter serves as a pledge that collectively we will work to engage our members of Congress across the country to demand they step up on this issue and do all they can to support Rep. Smith’s efforts and demonstrate their own leadership.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better, safer place.

Back from the Brink Task Force, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Union of Concerned Scientists, et al.

The Honorable Adam Smith
US House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515

Dear Representative Smith,

We want to thank you for your leadership and your pledge to use your new role as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee to work to fundamentally reform US nuclear weapons policy. We offer you our full support.

We are all organizations that have endorsed Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War, an initiative that came together with the goal of fundamentally changing US nuclear weapons policy and leading the United States and the world away from the dangerous path we are on. The statement reads:

We call on the United States government to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:
• renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first;
• ending the sole, unchecked authority of any president to launch a nuclear attack;
• taking US nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert;
• canceling the plan to replace its entire arsenal with enhanced weapons; and
• actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

We are religious groups, peace and security organizations, environmental, public health and social justice organizations all united in the belief that we can and must do better at eliminating the nuclear threat and making the world safer.

We pledge to work with you on these shared goals and do what we can to collectively leverage our assets and engage our supporters to make sure that your congressional colleagues hear a clear message that the public demands their active support and leadership on this critical issue

In that context, we believe that the legislation you introduced in the current Congress, to make it US policy not to use nuclear weapons first, is a sensible first policy step, and we encourage you to renew that effort in the new Congress.

If we can assist your efforts in any way, please do not hesitate to have your staff reach out to either Sean Meyer at the Union of Concerned Scientists — – or Martin Fleck — – at Physicians for Social Responsibility. We look forward to working with you.

Sean Meyer
Union of Concerned Scientists

Martin Fleck
Physicians for Social Responsibility

Lynn Ringenberg, MD
Physicians for Social Responsibility – Florida

Gar Smith
Environmentalists Against War

Danny Hall
Soka Gakkai International-USA (SGI-USA)

Gwen Dubois
Prevent Nuclear War- Maryland

Rick Wayman
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Anna Baker
Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility

Peter Wilk, M.D.
Maine Physicians for Social Responsibility

Denise Duffield
Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles

Jonathan Granoff
Global Security Institute

Rabbi Michael Feinberg
Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition — New York

Tracy W Powell
No More Bombs — Washington

Max Obuszewski & Janice Sevre-Duszynska
Baltimore Nonviolence Center – Maryland

John Hallam
People for Nuclear Disarmament, Sydney Australia

Jim Carpenter
United Nations Assn of Greater Milwaukee – Wisconsin

Lucy Duff
Prince George’s County Peace & Justice Coalition – Maryland

Pamela Richard
Peace Action of Wisconsin

Marylia Kelley
Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) – California

Daryl Denning
Corning Silent Peace Vigil — New York

Rev. Michael Neuroth
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

Nancy Parrish
Women’s Action for New Directions

John Hallam
Abolition 2000 Working Group on Nuclear Risk Reduction
People for Nuclear Disarmament, Sydney Australia, and the Human Survival Project, Sydney, Australia

Lois Durso
Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia – Pennsylvania

Lorraine Krofchok
Grandmothers for Peace International

Arnold Matlin, M.D.
Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace

Dana Colihan
Toxics Action Center – Maine

Sandra Yarne
Seacoast Peace Response- New Hampshire

Lorin Peters
Pax Christi Northern California

Karen D’Andrea
Gaia Consulting — Maine

Rosalie Paul
Greater Brunswick Peace Works- Maine

Connie Jordan
Maine Nurse Practitioners Association

Denise Dreher
Pax Christi Maine

Martha Spiess
Peace Action Maine

Karen Marysdaughter
Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine

Douglas Dransfield
Physicians for Social Responsibility Maine

Kathy Bourgoin
The Church of Universal Fellowship

Lilly Adams
Washington PSR