ACTION ALERT: An Urgent Plea to Pursue Nuclear Disarmament

September 3rd, 2022 - by CODEPINK, NuclearBan.US, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-US

ACTION ALERT: A Call for Global Ratification of the
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

CODEPINK, NuclearBan.US, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-US

(September 1, 2022) — CODEPINK, NuclearBan.US, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-US view the failure of the 10th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as an opportunity to elevate and support a far more powerful and definitive United Nations agreement.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) outlaws the development, testing, production, acquisition, stockpiling, use and threatened use of nuclear weapons. This treaty was entered into force in 2021 and initially ratified by 50 non-nuclear countries. Since then, sixteen other nations have ratified it. Eighty-six nations are signatories.

As international and domestic organizations with hundreds of thousands of supporters, we call on the United States and all nations of the world to become signatories to this landmark treaty to declare nuclear weapons illegal.

The month-long August NPT Review Conference, set against the backdrop of Russia’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine, saw the five most heavily armed nuclear weapons states — Russia, US, UK, China and France-refuse to implement the treaty’s Article I and VI obligations to decrease and eventually eliminate nuclear arsenals.

To the conference’s parties, the US State Department professed the “NPT will remain a fundamental and irreplaceable cornerstone of the rules-based order.” One wonders to which rules-based order the State Department refers; certainly not the rules in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which both the US and Russia signed in 1968 only to abandon the principle rules to pursue nuclear disarmament.

The State Department’s words referencing “rules” and “order” ring hollow in the face of a near two-trillion dollar decades-long plan for US nuclear “modernization.” This term, “modernization,” is a euphemism for nuclear rearmament. It references the development of nuclear warheads many times more powerful than the atomic bombs the US dropped on Hiroshima and Nagaski, annihilating over 200,000 people in three hellish days in 1945.

US nuclear rearmament includes the production of new nuclear weapons — 600 land-based Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles on hair-trigger alert in the midwest; a new nuclear cruise missile; a long range strike bomber, a new gravity bomber, new F-35’s and a Sea-Launched Cruise Missile. These last two weapons systems are capable of carrying conventional and nuclear weapons that might confuse an adversary.

China, the United Kingdom, and Russia are among other nuclear-armed states increasing their arsenals, with China reportedly developing 100 new missile silos in the east; the UK redesigning military bunkers to house US nuclear weapons for the first time in 14 years; Russia slated to deploy in Siberia new intercontinental Sarmat missiles, each with up to 15 nuclear warheads capable of reaching a target 11,000 miles away.

Alaska is only 3,000 miles from Siberia.

As the war in Ukraine drags on, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

The US government cannot call for peace in Ukraine while simultaneously supplying that country with advanced rocket systems and missiles that could lead to a direct war between the US and Russia, the world’s most heavily armed nuclear nations.

We need negotiations, not escalation.

A new study published in Nature Food estimates that even a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan would kill two billion people, with 27 million burning up in the immediate aftermath, the rest dying from starvation during subsequent dark subzero winters. A nuclear war between the US and Russia would, according to the study, kill 5 billion people, over 60% of the human population.

Researchers predict such a nuclear nightmare would reduce global calorie consumption by 90%.

We must challenge NATO’s opposition to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as an impediment to global security.

We must step back from the brink.

Nuclear nations need to recognize the folly in maintaining their arsenals and in their pursuit of new nuclear weapons — be they short or long range. Any use of these weapons would be catastrophic, not just for the target but for the entire human race. Radiation poisoning and black carbon winters respect no geographic boundaries.

We issue this urgent plea to the governments of the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and all nuclear-armed nations, as well as non-nuclear nations, to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We must eliminate all nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.

ACTION ALERT: Statement to States Parties
at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference

CODEPINK and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US

(August 1, 2022) — As the UN conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) gets underway this August, CODEPINK and WILPF-US call on the US government, one of 191 signatories to the Treaty, to remove its nuclear weapons from NATO countries and its anti-ballistic missiles from Romania and Poland, to dismantle its land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM’s), to take all nuclear armed missiles off hair trigger alert and reverse course on nuclear rearmament.

CODEPINK and WILPF US object to US violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as our government pursues nuclear rearmament with 600 new ICBMS, a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile, a B-21 strategic bomber and other new nuclear weapons. Our government labels this program nuclear “modernization” — a euphemism designed to disguise violations of Article 6 of the NPT, which prohibits the pursuit of new nuclear weapons.

We object to the deployment of US nuclear weapons in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey, as well as reinstallation of nuclear weapons after a 14 years hiatus in the United Kingdom.

We object to the placement of anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s border in Romania and nearby Poland because these weapons escalate the arms race, sending a message that the US and its NATO allies could launch a first strike on Russia protected from retaliation.

Meanwhile, all nuclear-armed states are spending tens of millions of dollars each year to replace and upgrade their deadly arsenals. Russia is threatening to deploy new strategic systems, including a nuclear-armed torpedo. President Putin recently suggested he might put nuclear weapons-capable missiles and aircraft in Belarus.

Contravening Articles 1 and 2 of the NPT, the United States put nuclear weapons-capable missiles in several NATO nations and Poland is now asking for them. China and the United Kingdom, among other nuclear-armed states, are also increasing the quantity and capabilities of their nuclear arsenals.

At this tenuous time, the US government is engaged in a protracted proxy war with Russia, sending long range rockets to Ukraine, intent on training Ukrainian pilots, our Secretary of State never once meeting with Russia’s foreign minister, our President never publicly supporting diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Ukraine.

We at CODEPINK and WILPF US raise our voices
in thunderous protest at this warmongering and say
steps must be taken to de-escalate the crisis

Much as we condemn Russia’s horrific invasion and brutal occupation of Ukraine, we acknowledge our part in this — with US and NATO provocations — and we protest our government’s decision to escalate the war with billions of dollars in weapons and military training rather than efforts to reach a negotiated settlement to build a new security architecture for Europe that will guarantee security to all in the region.

CODEPINK and WILPF US urge the nations of the world to join us in saying “Come to your senses!” to President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, and every member of Congress who recently voted for the 2023 $840 billion military budget, which includes $30 billion for a nuclear rearmament program expected to total nearly $2 trillion dollars over the next decades.

Instead of pursuing world peace and climate preservation for our children and their children, leaders of the US are chasing a reckless and provocative foreign policy that pits the two most heavily armed nuclear nations, the US and Russia, against each other, in an existential threat to humankind.

There are some who believe we can survive such a nuclear war. In fact, the City of New York, home of the United Nations, recently released a so-called Public Service Announcement on how to survive a nuclear attack — referring to it as “the big one” as though it were an earthquake. No mention was made of blinding flashes of light or widespread radiation that blisters the skin or immediate incineration. Instead, New Yorkers were instructed to get inside, stay inside and stay tuned. Tuned to what? Our fading heartbeats?

A nuclear war between the US and Russia would, according to ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), lead to human annihilation — over 34-million dead, 57 million injured in the first few hours — and several dark subzero winters of famine as soot blocks the sun for those who survived.

No mention is made of this nightmare scenario, however, in the 2019 Joint Chiefs Nuclear Operations Publication (3-72), a Strangelovian document briefly released then deleted from the website of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The vanishing unclassified document, preserved by the Federation of American Scientists, reflects the Pentagon’s delusional thinking that a nuclear war can, in fact, be limited and won.

Mark Milley, then Secretary of the Army, now Chair of the Joint Chiefs, signed off on the chilling statement below:
“A nuclear weapon could be brought into the campaign as a result of perceived failure in a conventional campaign, potential loss of control or regime, or to escalate the conflict to sue for peace on more-favorable terms.”

We at CODEPINK and WILPF US ask the signatories to the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, civil society delegates and all peace-loving people to join us in demanding President Biden declassify his Nuclear Posture Review because the people of the United States, of the world, deserve to know what’s in it — whether President Biden abides by the Joint Statement he signed with Putin in 2021 and the Joint Agreement he signed with five nuclear weapons states, including Russia and China, in January, 2022, to commit the US to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty because “a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought.”

To date, Biden’s Nuclear Posture Review remains a secret.


This is wrong.

We issue this urgent plea to our government in the United States to not only declassify the new Nuclear Posture Review, but to forsake escalation for negotiation in Ukraine, to stop sending weapons to Ukraine to fan the flames of war and risk nuclear catastrophe, to reverse course on nuclear rearmament, to remove all land based intercontinental ballistic missiles on high alert, and to once and for all embrace the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.”

Take Action: Email the White House to demand President Biden’s Nuclear Posture Review be made public. Call your US Senators (202) 224-3121 to urge them to vote NO on the 2023 military budget or National Defense Authorization Act)