Before the end of the year the Super Committee will be required to submit plans to cut at least $1.5 trillion in deficit-reduction measures over the next 10 years. What we decide to cut will speak to our priorities as a country. Most of the measures will be painful choices that will have meaningful impacts on ourselves and our community. Some measures, however, not only represent deep cuts in our deficit but also proactive steps for our national security. One of those cuts must come from our bloated nuclear weapons budget (Click here to sign-on to a petition to “Cut Nukes”!
Our spending on nuclear weapons has increased to a level higher than at any point since the end of the Cold War
. In 2010, the United States spent approximately 55.6 billion dollars on nuclear weapons. The next closest country, Russia, spent 9.7 billion dollars. Not only does our spending out pace any approximate threat from another country; the accelerated spending on our arsenal also sends the wrong message to our allies and potential rivals. The message to the world is that the United States continues to see a role for nuclear weapons and a need to invest in its future.
Fundamentally nuclear weapons are a liability, not an asset, and pose a real national security danger to the United States. If we do not make serious movement towards the elimination of these weapons, that threat will continue to grow. In South Asia and the Korean Peninsula, we see the very real possibility of these weapons being used in the midst of tense and hostile regions. The risk posed by a terrorist organization acquiring sufficient weapons-grade nuclear material to make a bomb increases as more of this material is created each year. And, while we like to think of our country as above the possibility of an accident involving one of our thousands of nuclear weapons - history shows
that we’ve been more lucky than reliable stewards of our arsenal.
If we are to build a strong international consensus against the possession of nuclear weapons, we must make sure that our actions match our words. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was a good first step towards restarting the arms control dialogue internationally. Now, the world is watching to see whether New START was the floor or the ceiling for the United States’ ambition to realize a nuclear weapons free world. Although there will be significant opposition from the nuclear weapons industrial complex, we have the potential to make a real difference in the thinking behind the Super Committee on where they make their cuts.
Take 5 minutes and sign-on to a petition to urge our country to “Cut Nukes” at http://www.cutnukes.net/psr
and share it with your friends and family to ensure we reach over 100,000 signatories. This is our chance to have our voice heard.