ACTION ALERT: Trump's New Nuclear Doctrine Called a "Roadmap to Nuclear War"
February 5, 2018
The Basel Peace Office, Abolition 2000, Sen. Edward J Markey et al.
The Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review has been criticized as a "roadmap to nuclear war" that calls for developing new low-yield "tactical" nuclear weapons and increases the role of nuclear weapons in US military planning by lowering the bar on the threats that could trigger a nuclear war. It backs a modernization of the existing nuclear arsenal that would increase the nuclear weapons budget by $60 billion per year.
ACTION ALERT: Trump's New Nuclear-war Fighting Doctrine Released.
What Can You Do to Reverse It?
The Basel Peace Office
(February 2, 2018) -- The United States Defense Department (DoD) released the new US Nuclear Posture today, following a review of nuclear doctrine to reflect the new priorities and perspectives of President Trump.
The new posture highlights the 'need' for strengthened nuclear deterrence capabilities to 'counter' threats from Russia, China, North Korea and other adversaries of the United States.
It outlines the Trump administration's plans to develop new low-yield so-called "tactical" nuclear weapons and reintroduce old, Cold War weapons systems. It also increases the role of nuclear weapons in US security, elevating the threats of a nuclear war. And it expands current plans to modernize the nuclear arsenal, increasing the already bloated nuclear weapons budget ($60 billion per year).
US Senator Ed Markey, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, has called the new nuclear posture a 'road-map to nuclear war.'
A leaked draft of the nuclear posture published by the Huffington Post on January 11 was one of the reasons the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists decided to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 2 Minutes to Midnight on January 25.
What You Can Do To
Reverse This 'Road-map to Nuclear War'
1. Call on your legislator to support the Markey/Lieu legislation which would prevent the President from unilaterally using nuclear weapons without authorisation from the US Congress;
2. Call on your legislator to support the SANE Act (Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditure), introduced by Senator Markey and Representative Blumenauer, which would slash the bloated nuclear weapons budget and re-invest these resources in climate protection, health, education, job creation, renewable energy and national infrastructure.
3. Call on your candidates for the 2018 city, state and federal elections to endorse the Peace Legislators Pledge, which commits candidates to support the peaceful resolution of international conflicts and the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction;
Residents of Other Countries
1. Call on your Prime Minister/President or Foreign Minister to attend the High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament at the United Nations from May 14-16, and use the occasion to urge the US and other nuclear-armed States to 'step back from the nuclear brink.' Click here for a sample letter and contact details for world leaders and their UN ambassadors.
2. Call on your government to end public investments in corporations manufacturing nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. See Move the Nuclear Weapons Money.
1. Join us in New York for the UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament -- May 14 @ 10:00 am - May 16 @ 6:00 pm -- and the public event Count the Nuclear Weapons Money [May 10-May 16];
2. Check that you are not Banking on the Bomb;
3. Invite your mayor, parliamentarian and/or local religious leader to endorse A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Our Common Good, which we will present to world leaders at the UN to support nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament measures.
TEXT OF THE JOINT STATEMENT
A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Our Common Good
Statement by parliamentarians, mayors and religious leaders to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the onset of the nuclear age and the foundation of the United Nations
From the ashes of World War II, and in the wake of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United Nations was established with a common vision to end war and with its first resolution to eliminate "all weapons adaptable to mass destruction."
70 years later, over 16,000 nuclear weapons remain in the world's arsenals costing $100 billion annually -- funds that could instead be used to reverse climate change, eliminate poverty and address other social and economic needs.
As parliamentarians, mayors and religious leaders we join together to highlight the continuing risks of a nuclear catastrophe -- whether by accident, miscalculation or intent -- and the moral and security imperative to achieve nuclear abolition.
We reaffirm UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's description of the abolition of nuclear weapons as a "common good of the highest order."
In special ways mayors are responsible for protecting the safety and welfare of their citizens, as well as for preserving and promoting cultural and environmental values and heritages; parliamentarians for national policies and laws for the benefit of present and future generations; and religious leaders for advancing the shared moral principles and respect for the well-being of all people regardless of ethnicity, nationality or religion.
Together -- as mayors, parliamentarians and religious leaders -- we support the common good of nuclear abolition. We reject nuclear weapons, which threaten our humanity, contravene our moral principles, violate international law and thwart the safety and wellbeing of current and future generations.
We commit to principled action to advance shared security and well-being based on deeply held and widely shared moral principles, the rule of law and a profound commitment to non-violent conflict resolution.
We call upon world leaders to commit to nuclear abolition and to replace nuclear deterrence with shared security approaches to conflicts. We further urge states to advance a nuclear weapons convention or framework of agreements that eliminate nuclear weapons.
We pledge to engage our constituencies and to strengthen the cooperation among religious leaders, parliamentarians and mayors to promote this vital mission.
Adopted in Hiroshima on August 6, 2015, for presentation to the United Nations to support nuclear disarmament initiatives.
Endorsers of the Joint Statement as at August 5, 2017
And please help us to advance these initiatives in cooperation with our partners UNFOLD ZERO and PNND by making a donation to the Basel Peace Office.
The Basel Peace Office team
Copyright 2018 Basel Peace Office, All rights reserved.
The Basel Peace Office and its partner organisations: Abolition 2000, Global Security Institute, Middle Powers Initiative, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, Swiss Physicians for Social Responsibility (Swiss IPPNW), UNFOLD ZERO and the World Future Council.
Basel Peace Office, Seminar fur Soziologie, Petersgraben 27, Basel 4051, Switzerland.
Senator Markey on Trump Administration
Draft Nuclear Posture Review:
A Roadmap for Nuclear War
Hon. Edward J. Markey / The US Senate
WASHINGTON (January 17, 2018) -- Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in response to media reports detailing the draft contents of the Trump administration's forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review.
The leaked document outlines the Trump administration's plans to develop new low-yield so-called "tactical" nuclear weapons and reintroduce old, Cold War weapons systems. It also indicates that the administration will increase the role of nuclear weapons in US warfighting, including to respond to conventional threats.
The draft report, however, fails to explain how the government would pay for any of these new weapons in addition to the already-unsustainable costs of recapitalizing existing US nuclear forces. Senator Markey and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced the SANE Act, legislation that would cut $100 billion from the wasteful nuclear weapons budget over the next decade.
"The reported contents of the Trump administration's forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review are a roadmap for nuclear war," said Senator Markey. "President Trump's fixation on the size of his 'nuclear button' is reflected in a document that outlines an unnecessary expansion of America's nuclear arsenal.
"Simply put, President Trump wants new nuclear weapons and more ways to use them. We don't need new nuclear weapons, 'low yield' or otherwise, and we certainly should not be creating more ambiguity about the military scenarios in which we might use our nuclear weapons.
"Threatening to use nuclear weapons to respond to and deter conventional threats is unnecessary when we have the most powerful conventional military in the world. President Trump's approach is destabilizing, makes the world less safe, and increases the risk of nuclear war.
"Despite decades of American leadership in the global effort to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons, the Trump administration appears to be abdicating US leadership and instead unnecessarily instigating a 21st century nuclear arms race."
In July 2017, Senators Markey and Feinstein, along with 20 of their senate colleagues, sent a letter urging the Trump Administration urging it to conduct a Nuclear Posture Review that included broad interagency input, reaffirmed America's longstanding commitment to eventually eliminate nuclear weapons, adhere to longstanding, bipartisan principals regarding US nuclear weapons policy, and produced a publicly-available document.
In November 2017, Senators Feinstein and Markey sent another letter with 13 Senate colleagues urging the Trump administration to reject calls for new nuclear weapons and to reevaluate the affordability of the current nuclear modernizations effort in the next Nuclear Posture Review.
"We must continue moving toward a future free from the threat of nuclear war," said Senator Markey. "US nuclear policy should focus on reducing the role of nuclear weapons -- relying on them only to deter nuclear attack on the United States and our partners and allies -- and avoid any move that could lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons or increase the risk of inadvertent nuclear war.
"Incorporating the recommendations outlined in this letter into the Nuclear Posture Review will help us achieve this vital objective and will reaffirm the position of the United States as the global leader in nuclear arms control and nonproliferation."
"The United States has a moral obligation to reduce the threat of nuclear war," said Senator Feinstein. "The Obama administration's Nuclear Posture Review reduced the role of nuclear weapons and reaffirmed our commitment to eventually eliminating nuclear weapons. I urge the Trump administration to reject calls for new nuclear weapons and maintain the course set by the previous administration."
The full text of the letter to Secretary Rex Tillerson, Secretary James Mattis, and Secretary Rick Perry can be found HERE.
In the letter, the senators also urge the heads of the Departments of State, Defense, and Energy to adhere to longstanding, bipartisan principles regarding nuclear weapons policy during the current review process.
For example, the senators call for maintaining US obligations under existing Senate-ratified arms control treaties such as the limits on deployed strategic warheads and launchers agreed under the 2010 New START Treaty with Russia and article VI of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which obliges all parties 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."
The senators also stress the importance of continuing the US moratorium on nuclear weapons testing first put into place by President George H.W. Bush, instead continuing to rely on the Stockpile Stewardship Program to ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the US nuclear arsenal as the directors of US national labs have continuously certified that nuclear test explosions are not needed to maintain the reliability of US nuclear weapons.
Others signing the letter include Senators:
Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).