PSR builds opposition to new nuclear arms race
June 20, 2016
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA, Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee) both published op-eds in June opposing the new "LRSO" cruise missile.
PSR is working with allied organizations and enlightened legislators such as Senators Dianne Feinstien (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Adam Smith, (Ranking Member on the House Armed Services Committee, D-WA), to rein in the government's plans to expend a trillion dollars over the next 30 years on a nuclear weapons binge. PSR is determined to head off the projected U.S. nuclear weapons buildup.
With over a thousand individual messages to the President and op-eds at CNN.com, in Portland, Maine, and at Common Dreams, PSR authors challenged President Obama to rise to the occasion when he visited Hiroshima in May, and announce real actions to reduce the threat of nuclear war. In the end, President Obama did say encouraging things in his speech, such as this: "Among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them." But at Hiroshima, the President fell short of declaring any substantive changes of policy and at home, he is presiding over an immense project to revamp and rebuild the entire nuclear "triad" (land based missiles, bombers, submarines).
Representatives Quigley, Smith, Blumenauer, and Jared Polis (D-CO) offered an amendment to the House Defense Appropriations bill to slash funding for the proposed new "LRSO" nuclear cruise missile by 72%. Thank you to the 1,059 PSR members who contacted their legislators prior to the June 16 vote, when 159 U.S. Representatives voted in favor. Both Lockheed Martin and Boeing Corporation weighed in to oppose the amendment, and it was soundly defeated along partisan lines. But the vote did prove that Congress is far from united over the government's trillion dollar nuclear weapons plan.
As if to underline that point, both Ranking Member Smith and Senator Feinstein published op-eds on June 17, expressing their opposition to the new cruise missile. Smith's op-ed in Foreign Policy is titled "America Already Has More Than Enough Nuclear Missiles." Smith challenged the trillion dollar nuclear buildup, saying "this nuclear investment would actually undermine U.S. security." Smith also wrote, "Now is the time for serious oversight and a realistic approach to these issues in order to stop an emerging arms race and avoid wasting billions of dollars we cannot afford." Senator Feinstein's op-ed in the New York Times, is co-authored with Ellen Tauscher and titled "A Nuclear Weapon That America Doesn't Need." According to Feinstein and Tauscher, "Congress has shirked its duty to carefully evaluate the need for new nuclear weapons capable of immense destruction. The decision to build the Long-Range Standoff Weapon should be thoroughly and publicly debated."
PSR's allies on this campaign include: Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, Arms Control Association, Council for a Livable World, Federation of American Scientists, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Zero, Peace Action, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Women's Action for New Directions.
The PSR Security Committee is building legislative lobby teams around the country to stop the new arms race. We need more participation. Free training provided. Please contact Security Program Director Martin Fleck.