In August, we will commemorate the incredible agonies of the people of two cities that have experienced nuclear devastation. It is a time to reflect on the ever-present and ongoing danger posed by the world’s 17,000+ nuclear weapons. The threat of the accidental or intentional use of nuclear weapons is—and will be—increasing, according to a recent estimate from the office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Despite this estimate, the US Congress could be moving us toward an even more dangerous world.
The New START Treaty agreed upon by the US and Russia entered into force in only 2011. By 2018, it obliges each country to reduce its number of deployed nuclear weapons to 1,550, and its number of nuclear launchers (missiles, subs, and bombers) to 700. The treaty also allows for inspections, which reduce the dangerous insecurity about what the other side is doing.
Congress is now threatening the very core of this important and hard-won treaty.
Senator Corker (R-TN) has introduced the badly misguided "Russian Aggression Prevention Act 2014", S 2277. This bill, if passed, would halt all reductions in nuclear weapons launchers agreed to in the New START Treaty, “as long as Russia threatens Ukraine”—however that is defined. Such legislation would put us in clear non-compliance of the treaty. The House has already passed a similar bill, the Lamborn Amendment, which would halt all the nuclear weapons reductions in New START.
Tell your Senators that S 2277 threatens the safety of the world and, if passed, would be a major step backward in our relationship with nuclear-armed Russia. Ask them not to sponsor it, or, if they have already sponsored it, urge them to withdraw from this reckless piece of legislation. The last thing we need in our relationship with Russia is increased nuclear instability and a new arms race. Ask them to show leadership and speak out publicly against the dangers of this destabilizing bill.
Tel: 202 224-3121 (Capitol switchboard)
Mail: Senator (first & last name)
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510
Visit www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s2277 to see whether your Senators are co-sponsors of S 2277.
Photo: Elegant Terns, Ron Wolf