U.S. Nuclear Policy is Taking the Wrong Road: Plans to Spend $1 Trillion to Modernize its Nuclear Arsenal

Intro: The absurdities of the Nuclear Age

By Jan Oberg

We deny – every day – that we can all be gone today or tomorrow. Project humankind finished. Not by God but by ourselves. We also deny that we could live much more safely without these doomsday weapons.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and its visionary leader, Dr. David Krieger, have devoted their energies since 1982 to tell the world that we must stop denying, stop taking huge risks and stop wasting incomprehensibly large sums so much needed for human welfare instead.

A nuclear-free world is eminently possible. And better. The nuclear states are committed to it through the Non-Proliferation Treaty and countless statements and UN resolutions. But they deny their responsibility.

There’s been enough documented technical and human failures with nuclear weapons. We ought to be scared.

Most media shed light on potential nuclear weapons, those Iran for instance don’t have. That’s the proliferation problem.

But non-existing nukes can’t kill everything we love. Existing nukes can. That’s the problem of possession.

And then there is state terrorism. Remember, until 9/11 nuclear arsenals were part of the ‘balance of terror’?

Terrorism is the deliberate wounding or killing of innocent people to achieve a political purpose and to instill fear.

No nuclear weapon can be used without deliberately killing millions of innocent people. Therefore, every nuclear state and nuclear-based alliance such as NATO subscribes to a philosophy similar to IS or Al-Qaeda. On a much larger scale.

It simply isn’t true that nuclear weapons are only for deterrence and would never be used. If adversaries knew that the other side would never use them, they would not deter. Deterrence means nuclear use under certain circumstances.

Nuclear weapons – weapons of mass terror – should be abolished.

They have no function, no ethical foundation and – like slavery or cannibalism – don’t fit human civilisation.

Isn’t it high time Western politics and our allegedly free media shed light on this issue? Give it priority?

Don’t they have a duty to inform us about the greatest danger of all?

In the pathbreaking article below one of the world’s leading experts on nuclear weapons, Dr. David Krieger who is also a TFF Associate for decades, tells you why we must wake up and why the U.S. should scrap its plan to modernise its nuclear arsenals at “up to a trillion dollars” over the next 30 years.

And here Gunnar Westberg, MD and TFF Board member tells you about Ukraine – once hosting the 3rd largest nuclear arsenals on earth. We should be happy that today’s Ukraine is nuclear-free and recognise that these weapons are useless.

U.S. Nuclear Policy: Taking the Wrong Road

By David Krieger

On September 21, 2014, the International Day of Peace, The New York Times published an article by William Broad and David Sanger, “U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms.” The authors reported that a recent federal study put the price tag for modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal at “up to a trillion dollars” over the next three decades.

It appears that Washington’s military and nuclear hawks have beaten down a president who, early in his first term of office, announced with conviction, “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Many U.S. military leaders, rather than analyzing and questioning the effectiveness of nuclear deterrence to provide security, are acting as cheerleaders for it.  Rear Admiral Joe Tofalo, director of the Navy’s Undersea Warfare Division, recently pontificated, “For the foreseeable future, certainly for our and our children’s and our grandchildren’s lifetimes, the United States will require a safe, secure and effective strategic nuclear deterrent.  The ballistic nuclear submarine forces are and will continue to be a critical part of that deterrent….”  He went on to argue that all legs of the nuclear triad – bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine launched ballistic missiles – would be needed to “provide a strong deterrent against different classes of adversary threat.”

Admiral Tofalo was backed up by Admiral Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, who argued, “In a world where our traditional adversaries are modernizing, emerging adversaries are maturing and non-state actors remain elusive and dangerous, we must get 21st century deterrence right…the reality is that an effective modernized nuclear deterrent force is needed now more than ever.”

All this emphasis on modernizing the nuclear deterrent force may be good for business, but ignores two important facts.  First, nuclear deterrence is only a hypothesis about human behavior that has not been and cannot be proven to work.  Second, it ignores the obligations of the U.S. and other nuclear-armed states to pursue negotiations in good faith for an end to the nuclear arms race and for nuclear disarmament.

The U.S. and other nuclear-armed countries are gambling that nuclear deterrence will be foolproof rather than a game of chance, like nuclear roulette.  Rather than providing security for the American people, nuclear deterrence is a calculated risk, similar to loading a large metaphorical six-chamber gun with a nuclear bullet and pointing the gun at humanity’s head.

The only foolproof way to assure that nuclear weapons won’t be used, by accident or design, is to abolish them.  This is what the generals and admirals should be pressing to achieve.  Negotiations in good faith for abolishing nuclear weapons are required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and by customary international law.  Since these obligations have not been fulfilled in 44 years, one courageous country, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, has brought lawsuits against the nine nuclear-armed countries, seeking the International Court of Justice to order their compliance.  They have also brought a lawsuit specifically against the U.S. in U.S. Federal Court.

Rather than showing leadership by fulfilling its obligations for ending the nuclear arms race and for nuclear disarmament, the U.S. conducted a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile test on September 23, just days after the International Day of Peace and days before the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26.  Such displays of arrogance, together with U.S. plans to spend some $1 trillion on modernizing its nuclear arsenal over the next three decades, suggest that if the people don’t demand it, we may have nuclear weapons forever, with tragic consequences.

You can find out more about the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits and support the Marshall Islands at www.nuclearzero.org.


Articles by: Jan Oberg and David Krieger

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