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Time to Get Serious About De-Alerting
Jill Marie Parillo
June 24, 2009
We need to increase the warning time of our nuclear weapons to give the President more decision making time. About one thousands U.S. nuclear weapons are on day-to-day alert, ready to launch in minutes notice. U.S. nuclear strategy still revolves around a Russian threat, but Russia hates the idea of de-alerting our nuclear weapons.
Russian experts argue that if they agree to de-alert nuclear weapons with the United States, the U.S. would be capable of taking out the Russian nuclear arsenal with an overwhelmingly superior conventional force.
PSR believes that the forth coming nuclear disarmament agreement between the United States and Russia and a new U.S. nuclear posture review should require an agreement to increase warning time of the vehicles that launch both the U.S. and Russian strategic warheads. This is because human beings are fallible and human institutions are fallible. Recently the U.S. Air Force accidentally lost track of 6 nuclear warheads, unknowingly flying them across the United States. Furthermore, U.S. and British nuclear submarines collided in the Atlantic Ocean last year.
As easily as these things could happen, a U.S. or Russian warhead could accidentally launch causing innumerable deaths and even an accidental nuclear war. It is time to get serious about de-alerting and end the false claim that accidents don't happen, and reduce the great threat these weapons pose to human health and life.