In the Trump era, the threat of nuclear war is the highest it’s been in decades. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists recently moved its famed doomsday clock from three minutes to two and a half minutes to midnight, midnight representing nuclear catastrophe. They cited President Trump’s reckless and ignorant comments on nuclear weapons as one of the 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 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 arsenal command and control structure all the more urgent. 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.
At the same time, 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 trillion over the next three decades. This escalation is contributing to a new nuclear arms race between virtually all the nuclear weapons states, but particularly the U.S. and Russia. 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. We’re also working to ensure the U.S. fulfills its obligations to nuclear treaties we’ve signed, and pushing for further international diplomacy to advance the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
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