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Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on February 7th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 49 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 49

Trump's plan will make nuclear war more likely

By Sandy Jones - Santa Barbara

The 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) released on Feb. 2 represents a reckless realignment of an already dangerous U.S. nuclear policy.

The review specifically calls for the development of new, low-yield nuclear weapons that have lower explosive force. Many experts warn that such smaller weapons would blur the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons, representing a significant and dangerous increase in the likelihood of their use.

Rick Wayman, director of programs at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, stated, “Once nuclear weapons—of any size—are introduced into an armed conflict, no one can guarantee that the cycle of escalation would end. The terrifying reality is that nuclear weapons can end human civilization as we know it. Every person on the planet should be outraged that the Trump administration threatens their future in this way.”

In another important policy shift, the Trump administration’s NPR would permit the U.S. to use nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of non-nuclear attacks on the United States, including cyber attacks and attacks on American infrastructure. The review seeks to deter nuclear war by making it easier to start nuclear war.

Last year, the price tag for a 30-year makeover of the U.S. nuclear arsenal was estimated at $1.2 trillion. Analysts say the expanded plan put forth in the Trump NPR review would push the cost vastly higher.

Just last week, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight. This is 30 seconds closer to the metaphorical “point of annihilation,” and is the closest to midnight the clock has been since the end of the Cold War. Clearly The Trump Doctrine is equivalent to winding the Doomsday Clock in the wrong direction.

The review does not contain a single reference to Article VI of the U.N. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which obligates the U.S. and the other nuclear-armed signatory nations to the treaty to negotiate in good faith for nuclear disarmament. This posture review signals such a radical and dangerous shift in U.S. nuclear policy direction that NATO states will be forced to re-evaluate their positions to not automatically accept and support the U.S. in this changed nuclear policy.

World leaders now face a clear choice: support the Trump doctrine and lock the world into a likely nuclear war, or join the rational world in moving toward the elimination of all nuclear weapons. The world’s international security framework must not rely on nuclear weapons.

David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, said, “The prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons is the only rational choice. World leaders must now take the right step and sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that opened for signatures at the United Nations on Sept. 20, 2017. By doing so, they would lead the world away from almost certain annihilation and toward the worthy goal of eliminating nuclear weapons and creating a safer and more secure world for all of humanity.” 

Sandy Jones is the director of communications for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara. Send your thoughts to letters@santamariasun.com.




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