The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Boris Yeltsin
The Kremlin
Moscow, Russia

Dear President Clinton and President Yeltsin:

When you come together in your forthcoming meeting, we urge you to set a course so that Earth may enter the new millennium with all nuclear weapons taken off high alert status. One straightforward method to accomplish this would be to separate warheads from their delivery vehicles and place them in secure storage.

We ask that the United States and Russia mutually commence the de-alerting process no later than January 1999 and complete the task no later than December 31, 1999. We ask you to work with the United Kingdom, France, and China so that they will likewise take their nuclear arsenals off alert within that time frame.

With the Cold War over for nearly ten years, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China maintain peaceful relations and carefully avoid military confrontation. Yet all five nations live in a condition of nuclear insecurity because of the danger of accidental or unauthorized launch of missiles kept on hair-trigger alert. They face the risk of attack by missiles launched on warning due to miscommunication or misinterpretation of data. By removing these dangers, mutual de-alerting will substantially enhance the national security of all the nuclear weapon states.

Mutual de-alerting is an action which the two of you can carry out through executive action. This is what your predecessors, President George Bush and President Mikhail Gorbachev, did in the fall of 1991 when they reduced the alert status of strategic bombers and a sizable number of intercontinental ballistic missiles. In 1994 you two took a positive step when you agreed to stop aiming strategic missiles at each other’s country. It is well within the purview of executive authority to move now to de-alerting your respective nuclear arsenals.

De-alerting carries the endorsement of a variety of groups, including the Canberra Commission (1996), a statement of 60 generals and admirals leaders from around the globe (1996), the National Academy of Sciences in the United States (1997), a statement of 117 civilian leaders, including 47 past and present heads of states and prime ministers (1998), and the recent New Agenda Declaration by the foreign ministers of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa, and Sweden (1998). This approach also has the support of a variety of religious bodies and numerous non-governmental organizations.

De-alerting would be very welcome by all the people of Earth who would like to enter the new millennium free from the fear of nuclear destruction. We hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to lead the world in this direction.

Sincerely yours,

Organizations from the United States
Howard W. Hallman, Chair
Methodists United for Peace with Justice

Robert W. Tiller, Director of Security Programs
Physicians for Social Responsibility

Joe Volk, Executive Secretary
Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers)

Donnan Runkel, Executive Director
Peace Links

Christopher Ney, Disarmament Coordinator
War Resisters League

Anne Anderson, National Coordinator
Psychologists for Social Responsibility

Ellen Thomas
Proposition One Committee

Paul F. Walker, Ph.D., President
Veterans for Peace

Robin Caiola, Executive Director
20/20 Vision

Michael Mariotte, Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Gordon S. Clark, Executive Director
Peace Action

Susan Shaer, Executive Director
Women’s Action for New Directions

Daniel Plesch, Director
British-American Security Information Council

John Isaacs
Council for a Livable World

Tim Barner
World Federalist Association

David Krieger, President
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Clayton Ramey
Fellowship of Reconciliation

Mary H. Miller, Executive Secretary, and Rev. David Selzer, Chair
Episcopal Peace Fellowship

Marie Dennis, Director
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Jay Lintner, Director, Washington Office
United Church of Christ, Office for Church in Society

Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, Director of Legislative Advocacy
National Ministries, American Baptist Churches

Bishop Walter F. Sullivan, President
Pax Christi USA

Margaret N. Spallone, Recording Secretary
Abolition 2000 Working Group of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the
Religious Society of Friends

L.William Yolton, Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship

Kathy Thornton, RSM, National Coordinator
NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

Rev. Robert Moore, Executive Director
Coalition for Peace Action (New Jersey)

Ralph Hutchison, Coordinator
Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (Tennessee)

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director
Tri-Valley CAREs (California)

Byron Plumley, Disarmament Program Director
American Friends Service Committee (Colorado Office)

Greg Mello
Los Alamos Study Group (New Mexico)

David Buer, Interim Director
The Nevada Desert Experience (Nevada)

Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Los Angeles

Wayne Shandera, MD
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Houston

Peter Wilk, MD, Co-President
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine

Ed Arnold, Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Atlanta

Robert M. Gould, MD, President
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Greater San Francisco Bay Area

Herbert M. Perr, MD
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Nassau County

Jennifer Aldrich, Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Oregon

Wendy Perron, Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility/New York City

Josiah Hill III, PA, President
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Oregon

Daniel Kerlinsky, MD
Physicians for Social Responsibility/New Mexico

Martin Fleck, Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Washington

Wells R. Staley-Mays, Director
Peace Action/ Maine and Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine

Jonathan M. Haber
Action Site to Stop Cassini Earth Flyby (Massachusetts)

Harry Rogers, Nuclear Issues Coordinator
Carolina Peace Resource Center (South Carolina)

Organizations from other nations
John Hallam
Friends of the Earth

Zohl de Ishtar
Women for a Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific
International Peace Bureau

Graham Daniell
People for Nuclear Disarmament
Western Australia

Babs Fuller-Quinn, Coordinator
Australian Peace Committee (National Office)

Irene Gale, Secretary
Australian Peace Committee (South Australian Branch)

Pauline Mitchell, Secretary
Campaign for International Cooperation and Disarmament

Debbie Grisdale, Executive Director
Physicians for Global Survival

Norman Abbey, Director
Nanoose Conversion Campaign

Joanna Miller
Project Ploughshares

Peter Coombes, President
End the Arms Race

Caterina Lindman, Chair
St. Jerome’s University Social Justice Committee,

Peter G. Rasmussen, Co-chairperson
Pax Christi

Laura Lodenius, Press Secretary
Peace Union of Finland

Malla Kantola, Secretary General
Committee of 100

Regina Hagen
Darmstaedter Friedensforum

David Wakim, Chairperson
Pax Christi Trust
Aotearoa-New Zealand

Kate Dewes, Vice President
International Peace Bureau
Aotearoa-New Zealand

Professor Bent Natvig
Science and Responsibility in the Nuclear Age

Bengt Lindell, Secretary
Swedish Physicians Against Nuclear Weapons (SLMK)

Commander Robert Green RN (Ret’d), Chair
World Court Project
United Kingdom

Anni Rainbow and Lindis Percy
Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases
United Kingdom

George Farebrother, Secretary
World Court Project UK
United Kingdom

Dave Knight, Chair
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
United Kingdom