The following is the text of David Krieger’s letter to the University of California’s President Robert Dynes opposing the UC’s management of the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, which research and develop nuclear weapons.
Dear President Dynes,
I am writing on Human Rights Day to urge you to oppose further collaboration between the University of California and the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Laboratories. It is highly inappropriate for a great university like the University of California to involve itself in the research and development of weapons of mass destruction. By providing oversight and management to the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories, the University of California places itself in the position of researching and developing weapons capable of causing massive suffering and slaughter, such as occurred at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The International Court of Justice has stated, “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” Rather than contributing toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, the University of California is providing support for continued U.S. reliance on and development of nuclear weapons. Policies of the current administration include research on more usable nuclear weapons, such as mini-nukes and “bunker-busters,” research being carried out at the UC-managed labs.
A great university should provide not only knowledge but a moral compass to the students it educates and to the larger society. The University of California cannot fulfill this function so long as it remains an accomplice in the U.S. effort to base its security on the ongoing threat of mass annihilation. The University of California should be a leader in working to end the nuclear weapons era; not a leader in contributing to new nuclear arms races that extend the nuclear weapons era.
I encourage you to take a strong and principled stand against a continued relationship between the University of California and the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories, a stand that will contribute to nuclear sanity and the security of all Americans.
*David Krieger is the president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org). He is the editor of Hope in a Dark Time (Capra Press, 2003).