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Cut the Nuclear Weapons Budget -- Yes YOU!
Catherine Thomasson, MD
February 7, 2012
New to the world of Washington, DC, I can see that much of
the action is outside the Beltway even with the budget debate coming up in the
Halls of Congress. That means YOU are
the most important people. I attended
the two day retreat for the Peace and Security Legislative Strategy with heads
of amazing groups around country. Experts
such as Daryl Kimball-head of Arms Control Association, David Culp of
Friends Committee on National Legislation, Joel Rubin of Ploughshares and many others who are strategizing about the
potential for cutting the nuclear arms and military budgets to better address
real security of education, economy and health.
Why are you important here in DC? Because legislators are most swayed by
their local constituents. Your neighbors
and Congress people need to hear from you in the newspaper as well in person
and through the mail. Now that I’m in
DC, I am not their constituent. You are
local. The New START treaty passed
because key legislators heard from people like you. Likewise the nuclear budget won’t get cut
without you. In fact the entire military
budget appears to be a sacred cow that in fact makes us less secure because we
are not substantially funding diplomacy, foreign aid and education to come up with new
solutions to the world’s problems. We
have nuclear weapons on missiles in silos (ICBM’s), on submarines and carried
by bombers. Do we really need all three
as a deterrence force? Really do we “need” any? All will slowly age over the
next 20 years, but there are of course plans to upgrade them all. There are enough nuclear weapons loaded on
the submarines alone to destroy Russia 3 times over.
Nuclear weapons infrastructure is a
relatively small item in the Pentagon budget, but packs an enormous threat to
our own security and safety should an accident, theft or misfire occur. It may not be on the radar of your
legislator, so you need to advance cuts as the only safe thing to do. We do not need a new weapons factory in
Kansas City and our wonderful chapter there is fighting it, but it needs to
have its budget cut. Please target all
your representatives and write Letters to the Editor anytime you see the budget
mentioned. In this budget tightening
time, there is no excuse for allowing the nuclear weapons and military budget
to escape the knife. Besides—we know we
are safer without nuclear weapons!