Santa Barbara, CA — On July 27, 2011, the United States plans to launch a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to a target in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. This test closely follows a similar test from Vandenberg on June 22.
The test comes just two weeks before the 66th anniversary of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is a reminder of the United States’ continued reliance on nuclear weapons in spite of proclamations by the Obama administration of the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world.
Each test costs tens of millions of dollars. In addition to the budgetary implications, such tests result in serious international relations problems.
David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, stated that the ongoing US testing program is provocative and stimulates other countries to improve or develop nuclear weapons and conduct their own tests. He said, “The continued testing of Minuteman III nuclear missiles is a clear example of US double standards. The government believes that it is fine to test-fire these missiles time and again, while expressing criticism when other countries conduct missile tests. Such double standards encourage nuclear proliferation and make the world a more dangerous place.”
Krieger also commended the nonviolent protestors who have been holding vigils against such tests outside of the Vandenberg AFB gates. There is a protest planned for 11:45 pm on Tuesday, July 26, just hours before the scheduled launch in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
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The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation — The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders. Founded in 1982, the Foundation is comprised of individuals and organizations worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations. For more information, visit www.wagingpeace.org.