Target: United States President Barack Obama
Goal: End the ongoing expansion of America’s nuclear weapons stockpile
In 2009 President Obama urged international leaders to come together and discuss safety in a nuclear world. He pledged to “reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same.” Five years later the Stockholm Institute revealed that as the third Nuclear Security Summit begins, the United States is working to modernize its nuclear arsenal to the tune of $214 billion over the next decade.
Al Jazeera has reported planned upgrades including nuclear-capable combat aircraft, submarines and warheads, and the construction of new nuclear weapon production facilities. Such spending goes completely against the President’s vow to “put an end to Cold War thinking.” The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty calls for gradual disarmament and bars nations currently without nuclear weapons from creating or obtaining them. The United States is moving in the opposite direction and increasing its nuclear stockpile, going against the treaty and making the world less safe.
Jay Coghlan, Executive Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said in a recent interview that “every weapon that we retire is one less nuclear weapon waiting for an accident or that we cannot fail to keep absolutely secure.” Call on the President to end all expansion of the United States’ nuclear weapons program.
Dear President Obama,
The military may seek a renewed commitment to America’s nuclear weapons program in order to prioritize defense spending. Senators in states like Wyoming, Montana and New Mexico may oppose reductions in missiles and delivery systems because investments in such technology mean jobs for their districts. But this rationale cannot take precedence over the nation’s commitment to the international community and its own citizens — our nuclear stockpile must be reduced and not expanded to confirm the safety of all individuals.
Why do we need hundreds of intercontinental ballistic missiles on high alert decades after the Cold War ended? How can we enforce sanctions on foreign nations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty when we refuse to uphold it ourselves? We already have enough nuclear weapons to eliminate life on earth ten times over. Ongoing cuts to essential social services for children and the elderly remain on the table, and the economy continues to flounder. How under these circumstances can you justify committing $214 billion to expanding the nuclear program over the next ten years?
I must insist that you uphold your oath to the American people and the world and begin disarmament without delay. Demand that no further nuclear weapons, delivery systems, or production facilities be created. To do any less is to betray the security of now and future generations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Federal Government of the United States via Wikimedia