For Immediate Release
Santa Barbara, CA – A Minuteman III ICBM missile test is scheduled for launch early on Sunday morning, September 4, from Vandenberg AFB. The launch window extends from 00:01 to 06:01 PDT.
This comes just six days after August 29th, a date designated by the United Nations as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. While this Minuteman III missile will not be carrying an armed nuclear warhead, the sole purpose of the United States’ 450 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles is to deliver powerful nuclear warheads to any target on Earth in under an hour.
Bunny McDiarmid, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said, “Nuclear weapons were designed and tested to be the ultimate doomsday weapon, setting a legacy of fear and destruction. No other human invention had as much impact on the story of humanity in recent decades.” To read more, click here.
David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, stated, “Regularly testing its nuclear warhead delivery vehicles – in this case, the Minuteman III ICBM – stands in stark contrast to its obligation under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms rate at an early date. This planned test on September 4th continues the provocative behavior by the U.S.”
Krieger went on to say, “Test-firing these missiles while expressing criticism when other countries conduct missile tests is a clear example of U.S. double standards. Such double standards encourage nuclear proliferation and nuclear arms races and make the world a more dangerous place.”
The U.S. Air Force’s proposal for the development of a new generation of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) has in fact stalled over questions surrounding the program’s cost estimates. The Air Force estimates that research, development and production of 400 new missiles would cost $62.3 billion. However, because ICBMs have not been produced by the U.S. for many years, some believe the cost would end up being much higher.
Former defense secretary William Perry has said unequivocally that his experiences have made him believe the U.S. should remove ICBMs from its nuclear triad, which also includes strategic bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
With each missile test, the U.S. sends a clear and expensive message that it continues to be reliant on nuclear weapons. Each test costs tens of millions of dollars and contributes to the U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion modernizing its nuclear arsenal over the next thirty years.
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If you would like to interview David Krieger, please call the Foundation at (805) 965-3443.
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.