Rick Wayman, NAPF’s Director of Programs, had a letter to the editor published in the Washington Post on April 19, 2016. The letter appears below:
The meaning of Hiroshima, 70 years later
Regarding the April 16 editorial “The lessons and legacy of Hiroshima”:
The leaders of every nation possessing nuclear weapons should be required to visit Hiroshima. This, of course, includes President Obama and whoever is elected as his successor in November. Abstract theories of national security and nuclear deterrence have been stubbornly followed for more than 70 years while willfully turning a blind eye to the very real catastrophic human consequences of nuclear weapons.
The Post’s call for further reductions in nuclear arsenals is important, but quantitative reductions lose their meaning when the remaining hundreds or thousands of nuclear weapons are made more “usable” and equipped with new military capabilities.
The United States is in the midst of a $1 trillion, 30-year program to modernize all aspects of its nuclear arsenal: the warheads, delivery systems, production facilities and command-and-control system. The other eight nuclear-armed nations are also engaged in modernization efforts. A visit to Hiroshima would underline the moral and humanitarian imperatives to abolish nuclear weapons. This, taken together with the existing legal obligations to pursue in good faith — and bring to a conclusion — negotiations on nuclear disarmament, makes it clear that continuing with business as usual is unacceptable.
Rick Wayman, Santa Barbara
The writer is director of programs for
the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.